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-   -   Revised Fodor's Forums guidelines (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/revised-fodors-forums-guidelines-843731/)

Amy_D Jun 7th, 2010 08:39 AM

Revised Fodor's Forums guidelines
 
Hello everyone,

Starting today, Fodor’s Forums are following updated guidelines. The revised guidelines clarify what behavior is and isn’t appropriate for the Forums and what actions will be taken by the moderators if members choose not follow the guidelines. They should help answer the question we receive the most: “why was my thread/comment pulled?”

You can review the revised guidelines here: http://www.fodors.com/faq/joining.cfm#join2

As always, we ask for your help in enforcing these guidelines. If you see any activity that is not in line with the new guidelines, please alert the moderators by using the gray triangle button or sending us an e-mail at [email protected].

We feel that these guidelines will lay the groundwork for an even stronger online travel community. If you have any questions or concerns with these guidelines, please contact me at the e-mail address above.

Best,
Amy_D

rhkkmk Jun 7th, 2010 05:39 PM

amy--- i see no reference to trip reports and how they interface with the so called monopoly??

please note that the asia board is similar to the lounge as there are a wide group of people who know each other electronically as well as personally based on introductions thru fodors.com..... we are fiercely loyal to one another!

keep up the good work, but cut us some slack as well...

Jaya Jun 7th, 2010 05:56 PM

Most of the "Asia" board crowd doesn't post in the Lounge. We sort of have our own little Lounge right here. :)

Kathie Jun 7th, 2010 06:17 PM

Bob, I don't see how someone could monopolize one's own trip report. I expect there would need to be a complaint for the editors to look at the posts in question.

PeterN_H Jun 7th, 2010 06:51 PM

> Most of the "Asia" board crowd doesn't post in the Lounge. We sort of have our own little Lounge right here.

This view, which leads to a widespread flaunting of the guidelines, is presumably precisely what this revision is supposed to suggest. As has been pointed out before, most of us are here to discuss travel (as the guidelines require), not to wade through the endless inter-personal and non-travel-related chit-chat of a tiny self-interested ('firecely loyal') minority which is of precious little interest to everyone else, and sometimes actively works to keep those with genuine travel queries at bay.

The moderators have previously said they would enforce the guidelines and transfer such chit-chat to the lounge. Let's hope they mean it this time.

hawaiiantraveler Jun 7th, 2010 08:45 PM

Amy,

Thanks for the new guidelines. Looks pretty straightforward to me. I know that the previous poster Peter NH is a fodors editor so I am wondering if the views that he is espousing are also part of the Fodor's official website views and regulations? Thank you in advance for your answer.

Aloha!

PeterN_H Jun 7th, 2010 08:50 PM

It would be regarded as a courtesy to other users to read and abide by the guidelines:

From http://www.fodors.com/faq/joining.cfm#join2

3. Talk travel

To provide maximum benefit for travelers, we ask that you stick to the topic of travel when posting in all our forums. The only exception to this rule is the community-building Fodorite Lounge, a unique forum on Fodors.com. In the Lounge, members who have gotten to know one another while sharing travel advice are encouraged to share their thoughts on other topics in a respectful manner.

filmwill Jun 7th, 2010 09:13 PM

Big Brother?

Do we get a buzzer or electrical shock that notifies us when we're talking about too much personal stuff? Do only responses that border on personal/non-travel-related that are included in, say, my most recent trip report get moved over to the Lounge in a new non-related thread? (Yes, of course, that supposes that I actually finished my trip report, but I digress...)

And to those who think the fiercely loyal majority clutter the airwaves on this board, I pose this question: if flaunting the guidelines is "widespread", how is that those who partake in this non-travel-related chit-chat only form "the minority"? I'm confused. Two plus two equals four, right?

Bokhara2 Jun 7th, 2010 09:21 PM

PeterN_H, with the greatest respect, is the publication of your website in your profile not advertising?

I believe one of the rules specifically outlaws insertion of links to poster related businesses & interests.

PeterN_H Jun 7th, 2010 09:26 PM

Two plus two does equal four, but this is a case of multiplication, not addition. A small number of voices with a large number of off-topic posts per head. Unfortunately, Q.E.D.

But regardless of the number of off-topic postings, as well as those intended to do little more than drive others away, the guidelines state quite clearly that there should be none at all, regardless of what the 'fiercely loyal' (to each other, rather than to the guidelines or the overwhelming majority of other users) happen to think. Most who come here never post at all, of course, but are as entitled to expect Fodor's to provide the service it promises in its guidelines as those who do post solely on-topic, and those who read rather than post are, of course, just as important to Fodor's, although often treated as second citizens by the soi-disant in-crowd.

hawaiiantraveler Jun 7th, 2010 09:34 PM

This thread is getting confusing. Peter NH are you as an editor answering all the questions representing Fodor's or are they your personal views?

PeterN_H Jun 7th, 2010 09:40 PM

Bokhara2: I do not advertise on this site, and indeed currently have no products or services for sale to private individuals, but only to publishers and periodicals. What I post here I give away for free. I do provide a link (as many others do) because I do not wish to post (as just about everyone else does) anonymously, but to take responsibility for what I say here (although it's true the link is wildly out of date, and indeed the books mentioned on the page now out of print and long superseded by others I won't name here). Still, it provides some context for the detail of the postings for anyone who can be bothered to hunt the information down. But there's no profit for me, I'm afraid.

But even supposing I were in breach, would that alter the facts of off-topic posting, or that contrary to the supposition of some, this isn't anyone's 'little lounge'?

Hanuman Jun 7th, 2010 09:45 PM

are we chit chatting now?

PeterN_H Jun 7th, 2010 09:45 PM

No personal views are being expressed (except in support of Fodor's highly welcome enforcement of its own guidelines). On what may or may not be posted, the views are those of the owner of the site, and, once again, are clearly set out here:

http://www.fodors.com/faq/joining.cfm#join2

Bokhara2 Jun 7th, 2010 10:05 PM

I see. Right. I didn't realise I was required to discuss your proposition about what you regard as too much off-topic discussion in order to ask an unrelated question.

What you call off topic chit chat can very often elicit some very useful information about a location. Taken to an extreme, banning any discussion within a thread could mean that we all read the OP's question and answer the question, the whole question, and nothing but the question. Rather limiting and dull, in my opinion.

Which, incidentally, is what "(except in support of Fodor's (sic) highly welcome enforcement of its own guidelines)" is - your opinion. Of course, you're entitled to it, but in order to claim "highly welcome", surely a poll would need to be taken.

PeterN_H Jun 7th, 2010 10:17 PM

> I see. Right. I didn't realise I was required to discuss your proposition about what you regard as too much off-topic discussion in order to ask an unrelated question.

No one has required, or indeed is able to require you to discuss anything at all. All are free, as far as I can see, to make on-topic observations.

> What you call off topic chit chat can very often elicit some very useful information about a location.

By its very definition, 'useful information about a location', is not off-topic.

Unfortunately neither opinions nor polls are here nor there: this isn't a democracy, but a privately-owned site which requires membership and expects members to agree to and adhere to its guidelines, clearly set out in the link given, dull or not. Fodor's promises travel discussions, and that's what readers expect it therefore to deliver. Those who find posting within guidelines 'limiting and dull' clearly need to discover Facebook or other social media, which have quite more open guidelines, or none at all. Moderating a site such as this is never easy, and it's a responsibility Fodor's frequently attempts to shirk, but sites without guidelines and moderator are bedlam, and effectively unusable for any sane discussion. The Internet doesn't need another one of these.

DonTopaz Jun 8th, 2010 02:22 AM

The Internets are a great thing. If someone is unhappy about the manner in which an existing forum is being managed, he or she is free to start a forum of his own, set his/her own rules, and enforce them as desired. Such a forum could become wildly popular, or it could have a limited but engaged audience, or it could become the sound of a single, extremely loquacious voice.

rhkkmk Jun 8th, 2010 02:41 AM

my method of dealing with posts i disagree with or do not like is to avoid them and their author's additional postings... i would prefer if the forum would just go forward with is method and let people write what they like...we have a number of know it alls and they are just easily avoided--

marmot Jun 8th, 2010 03:10 AM

I think Hawaiiantraveler posed a very good question: "This thread is getting confusing. Peter NH are you as an editor answering all the questions representing Fodor's or are they your personal views?"

Peter NH, are you speaking officially ON BEHALF OF FODORS or are you giving your private opinion of what Fodors ought to do?

I've participated in several forums over the years and although I agree that this one does lean toward clique-y and chummy, it's not a negative. People are generally cordial, supportive and inviting. If I were Fodors I'd not only let well enough alone, I'd count my blessings that I had such an intelligent, articulate, tolerant and amusing group of regulars.

tengohambre Jun 8th, 2010 03:49 AM

If someone has taken the time to wander over to Fodor's for some travel advice it seems to me that simply skipping over the chit chat is a pretty easy thing to do. Indeed, how often do regular posters have to read through a post asking questions that a minute looking at an Atlas could answer?

And, on that score, if the "fiercely loyal" posters stopped posting, chit chat and all, how quickly would the Board go from lively to "is anyone there?"

simpsonc510 Jun 8th, 2010 03:55 AM

I'm curious just what it was that brought on this new set of rules. I'm hoping 'something' didn't set things off in the Asia forums! (but it was no doubt the lounge)

bookchick Jun 8th, 2010 04:34 AM

Carol, The Lounge I'm sure played a huge part in it, but I was on the European Forum on Saturday or Sunday after a lengthy absence from there, and almost fainted when I saw a brand-new poster, trying to get info for a trip, being pilloried by some of the "regulars" for "infractions" like failing to include the timeline of her trip, her budget, and she also committed the capital offense of mis-spelling the name of a popular European city. I don't know what's gone on in the couple of years that I've been less of a presence on that Forum, but frankly after seeing what transpired, I'm not at all inclined to return any time soon.

BC

Kathie Jun 8th, 2010 05:52 AM

So far as I know, Peter is not a Fodor's Forum editor. If he was he'd have the little Fodor's symbol by his name like Amy does. So my understanding is that he speaks his own opinion, as the rest of us do here.

I find it interesting what particular people focus on in the guidelines. Personally, I find the part about "Keep it positive and welcoming" to embody the spirit of the guidelines. For me (again, this is my opinion) this guideline welcomes interpersonal interaction in the postings. It's all a matter of interpretation, of course, when something is interpersonal interaction in support of the mission of disseminating travel information and when it is "endless inter-personal and non-travel-related chit-chat of a tiny self-interested ('firecely loyal') minority which is of precious little interest to everyone else, and sometimes actively works to keep those with genuine travel queries at bay."

simpsonc510 Jun 8th, 2010 06:06 AM

BC, I don't read much on the Europe forum although I do travel to Switzerland/Germany/Italy twice a year.

hawaiiantraveler Jun 8th, 2010 06:15 AM

I do hope to get an answer to my question up thread and not have this thread closed with no reply from Amy

Gpanda Jun 8th, 2010 06:21 AM

I can say from personal experience that the Gpanda Needs Cheer thread was an enormous help to Beth and me. In our darkest hours, the affection poured out and was something to which we turned. If the guidelines had been enforced, the thread would have switched to the forum. In fact it did briefly, but was brought back after an E-mail to the editors from Bookchick. My guess is that Peter N-H found the whole thread a guidelenes violation. However, he did show the decency not to post these feelings on the thread. I am grateful for that.

Remember the guidelines apply to all the forums. My visits to the other ones, e.g., Europe and the US, demonstrate that there is much more inappropriate behaviour on those forums. I hope that it is this behaviour that the editors are seeking to eliminate.

It's hard to imagine that Fodors will strike out the replies that do not directly address travel issues. They make their money from number of "hits". It is in their best interest to allow a bit of wandering amongst posters. It keeps us coming back. For example, if I am not planning a trip to India and Craig posts a trip report. There is no reason why I would look at it or reply if I did not know Craig and respect his views. This is generated from the wanderings over the years. Not from his pure reportage.

The community that we have formed on the asia forum is based on our shared love of travel to asia. But, it is much deeper than that. Much. The sense of community (editors note-community is an essential part of the web address) is fostered by the meanderings posted. Plus, the off topic posts are inclusionary rather than restrictive. New Participants are always welcome.

In another thread, there was a mention of SSOH, a silly sense of humor. Many of us share our SSOH's with each other. This ability to do so brings us to the forum many times per day. If it were only dry inquiries and reports, we would not check in anywhere as often as we do.

Let the occassional nonsense continue.

rhkkmk Jun 8th, 2010 06:42 AM

for once gpanda makes some sense

filmwill Jun 8th, 2010 06:53 AM

Here, here. All hail the Panda!

What nonsense to tell people what they should and shouldn't talk about on a forum (some) have been contributing to for years.

The common thread of this board is that our passion for travel binds us together, but the slipshod sense of family we've created here has kept us coming back for so many years.

That's what this forum is to me, and, sorry Peter, you won't be changing that anytime soon. I say if you find this chit-chat all so droll, perhaps consider a new forum yourself...one for those who crave to speak solely of travel and have absolutely no interest in inter-personal communication. I'll be here in the meantime.

hawaiiantraveler Jun 8th, 2010 07:15 AM

Well said Andy!

Aloha!

Craig Jun 8th, 2010 07:35 AM

I think it's ironic that the Revised Fodor's Forum Guidelines thread on the Lounge was "closed to further replies due to a violation of the forums guidelines" after 211 posts...

(No I don't hang out in the Lounge - just curious about the reaction to this.)

If the editors keep up with the censorship, our forums will become like those on Tripadvisor - sadly devoid of any personality...

Gpanda Jun 8th, 2010 07:35 AM

Okay, let's take a look at a section from a previous post:

Moderating a site such as this is never easy, and it's a responsibility Fodor's frequently attempts to shirk, but sites without guidelines and moderator are bedlam, and effectively unusable for any sane discussion. The Internet doesn't need another one of these.

I agree that moderating a site such as this is not easy. I have no idea whether it is ever easy.

I do not believe that it is a responsibility that Fodors attempts to shirk. It is clear from the removal of offensive posts and/or threads that there is moderation of this site/forum. In the eitors' exercise of this moderation, they appear to use moderation as a guideline. Now, they may elect to not remove some posts that are found by some readers not to be sufficiemntly travel-related. But, I remind these readers of "de gustibus non disputandum est". In other words, the editors are exercising their own editorial judgement and not that of any particular reader.

I strongly suggest that this site is not Bedlam nor has it been reduced to an unusable state. There are many threads from which many travelers gleam helpful information. I know that I have provided specific suggestions on travel activities thousands of times. These suggestions appear to be well-received by the originators of the individual threads. Isn't that the essence of what is supposed to transpire on this forum?

Now, I suspect that each of us who has posted on this forum for a number of years has one or two other regular posters that drive us crazy. I follow Bob's suggestion and just leave these people alone. Their information is no less valid because I have a personal animus.

I note for the record that on Peter N-H's thread about Hutong Walks, I requested a copy three times. He never sent me a copy. I suspect that I may not be one of his favorite posters. Nonetheless, we can remain civil with different opinions of the application of guidelines.

dogster Jun 8th, 2010 07:46 AM

To sandwich an opinion between facts does not change the fact that it's an opinion. Our soi-disant spokesman for Fodor's skilfully mixes the two. No matter. We have to careful to play the ball, not the man.

Surely the real issue revolves around the effective policing of these 'rules'. If, as Peter maintains, there is a vast, silent, disenfranchised mass out there in cyber-space, gnashing their teeth at rhkk's latest bon mot, trying to slash through the gibber to get to the gold, then they are hereby empowered to hit that grey triangle.

Unless the management is going to send a work-experience student in to sit and watch as we babble, policing is going to depend on those huddled masses expressing their displeasure.

Unless of course, it's a huddled mass of one.

'... most of us are here to discuss travel... not to wade through the endless inter-personal and non-travel-related chit-chat of a tiny self-interested minority which is of precious little interest to everyone else, and sometimes actively works to keep those with genuine travel queries at bay...'

'...Most who come here never post at all, of course, but are as entitled to expect Fodor's to provide the service it promises in its guidelines as those who do post solely on-topic, and those who read rather than post are, of course, just as important to Fodor's, although often treated as second citizens by the soi-disant in-crowd...'

I don't dispute what you say, Peter, even though I fear it may be more opinion than fact. I'm wondering if you have empirical evidence to back up your statements? I'd love to get the stats on this site - I assume you have them, so please share.

But none of this is the point, really, is it? Somewhere hidden in here seems to be a well-worded attack on specific individuals; the 'small number of voices with a large number of off-topic posts per head...' of which I am doubtless the most irritating. I'm sorry. Just click on the little grey button anytime you're annoyed.

Because, unless you do, short of a vigilante siege, mass-grey-triangle-clicking and a banning or twenty, I'm not sure how any of this is going to stop. I'm worried too.

Smeagol Jun 8th, 2010 07:49 AM

Dogster LOL
BTW (a bit off topic) when are you coming to London?

Gpanda Jun 8th, 2010 07:53 AM

Dogster-I dispute that you are more irritating than I. In truth it's possibly a close race, but I can't write as well as you and therefore do not have the saving grace of authoring awesome threads. Therefore, I contend that overall, the irritation crown remains in Cambridge.

BTW, if one were to apply Peter N-H's sense of the guidelines, this entire thread would be removed.

dogster Jun 8th, 2010 07:54 AM

Smeagol only asked that last off-topic question to give a fine example of just what Peter is talking about. I'm going to hit that grey triangle right now. I didn't come in here for this!

Monday.

Smeagol Jun 8th, 2010 08:20 AM

Dog - exactly - i was attempting to demonstrate the kind of thing that goes on here!!!

shelleyk Jun 8th, 2010 08:22 AM

smeagol-It seems to me that this is a personal question that should be posted on the Fodorite Lounge. Although your question does have the words "coming to London" in it which would require travel, so maybe your question does belong here or on the Europe board. The new rules sure are a puzzlement, and seem to me to be pretty difficult to enforce.

Hanuman Jun 8th, 2010 08:26 AM

shelleyk.

Smeagol was addressing dogster who is from Australia but is currently in Thailand about going to England. Therefor it belongs in 4 Forums - Asia, Australia, Europe and Air Travel.

shelleyk Jun 8th, 2010 08:26 AM

I was referring to your question to dogster about coming to London.

shelleyk Jun 8th, 2010 08:28 AM

Hanuman- Thank you for your clarification.


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