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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.


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 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!


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!


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


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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