Eliminate The Lounge

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Feb 11th, 2018, 08:16 AM
  #1
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Eliminate The Lounge

IMHO it is time to get rid of The Lounge Forum. Fodors is a travel site. The Lounge has become a tight knit group of posters who are not interested in travel.. Many people have left it. Many members won't post because of the attitude of those who do. And since no new people can join it seems to me that it is time to let it go.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 08:49 AM
  #2
 
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I think there are plans to 're-open' the lounge to people with a posting history. But I do wonder why current members think what is posted there now is private and only the handful of Fodorites who participate can see it. Thousands of people (maybe tens of thousands - dunno) can read everything posted there. Some probably lurk and some may not post because of the tenor of some threads . . . But a LOT of people have access.

there probably does need to be an 'off topic' forum, otherwise the stuff in the Lounge would end up on the other boards. Years ago, the travel forums had a lot of non-travel stuff which is now in the Lounge. . I also think that if there was a sub forum (tag) for political topics it would go a long way towards improving the atmosphere.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 09:37 AM
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I would guess not "thousands" of people can see the Lounge - yet. One of the admins said there are currently only under 50 active posters in the Lounge. I'm sure some people lurk, but how often?

A bigger worry about the Lounge might be if it were opened, then content would get out to the wider web and wind up in Google etc. - forever. Depends how they "open" the Lounge - if it stays "invisible" unless you have a certain number of posts, then that still won't allow it to go out on the open web.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 10:28 AM
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Someone mentioned years ago, that the Lounge was instituted because so many "personal" posts were interfering with the actual travel forums. It was thought the Lounge would help streamline the actual travel info.

With all due respect, SusieQQ, have you looked at the number of "looks" there are on the What's For Dinner thread? The Lounge helps keep the active posters as part of a core group of very active travelers. Even JanetKMR, who was not a big traveler, provided news about Richmond to a Fodor's friend.

Please keep the lounge and open it to all.

Last edited by TDudette; Feb 11th, 2018 at 10:29 AM. Reason: adjective
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Feb 11th, 2018, 02:42 PM
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The Lounge would stay closed, but new members would get in after a period of time and a sufficient number of posts in the travel sections, as I understand it, so the Lounge posts would still not be googlable.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 03:12 PM
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Andrew, I'm pretty sure you are wrong. Every single person registered on Fodors at the time the Lounge was closed has access to it. That would be thousands. I think iBobi has mentioned this a few times but everyone seems to ignore it.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 03:28 PM
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Sure, lots of people have signed up for accounts here over the years - but how many of them have long since moved on? Never came back after posting one or two travel questions before their big trip? (My mom has an old account - she posted something once or twice maybe ten years ago. She has long since forgotten she even has an account here.) IB could tell us how many active lurkers there are, most likely, who had accounts prior to the Lounge cut-off date and still visit. I'd be shocked if that number was "thousands."
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Feb 12th, 2018, 08:26 AM
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I thought that the Lounge was instituted to get non-travel threads off the travel boards. If it were closed, where would those threads go? No one coming to Fodors for travel content wants to wade through a bunch of threads on what's for dinner or what the book club should read, never mind an on-going saga about someone's wayward kid or someone else's relationship problems.

I don't know whether those with access to the Lounge who still come to Fodors number in the hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands but it is for sure more than zero. I think I have posted on four threads in the Lounge in the last year, and that is more than in the preceding four years, but I stop by every so often to see what is going on, and I have seen several posts recently from people who describe themselves as lurkers. If the "core group" of Lounge posters (aka clique) really think that they are the only ones reading their posts they are deluded. Not to mention that anyone who puts content out on the internet should have no ultimate expectation of privacy, regardless of where they post.
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Feb 12th, 2018, 08:55 AM
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There were several Lounge posts when someone (erroneously) said that one needed to have posted in the Lounge to have future access . . . So people who had been lurking posted there for the first time. They had 'membership' for years and obviously were regular lurkers or would not have seen the warning.
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Feb 12th, 2018, 09:52 AM
  #10
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In the interest of quelling speculation:
  • While I appreciate the suggestion and the reasoning behind it, the Lounge is not going to be closed. However...
  • As previously stated, entrance requirements to the Lounge will change (ETA not currently available). Currently there is a hard cutoff date -- if you were "in" before that, you're in. If not, you're out. I think that stinks and is contrary to the entire spirit of a community. When the change occurs, it will be something like a rolling eligibility window of time on forum + number of posts. Many more Fodor's members will have access to the Lounge than currently do; however, since the current ratio of those with access vs. those who actually use it is miniscule, I might guess the usage of the Lounge is not going to change terribly much. Most Fodor's members are here to talk travel.
  • Currently there are in excess of 300,000 Fodor's accounts with Lounge access. This number has not significantly changed since 2013, I'm told.
  • Changing the Lounge's eligibility requirements will not make it "public" nor will it become indexable by Google or other search engines. The Lounge will remain a private forum.
  • There is not nor will there be a post "quality" requirement; nor will there be a requirement to have posted in the Lounge previously in order to maintain access. The only members who were "in" before and may be knocked out are those who have not made the minimum (reasonable) number of total posts in the Fodor's forums. It is unlikely that this will affect any Lounge members, and exceptions may be made upon appeal.

Last edited by ibobi; Feb 12th, 2018 at 09:56 AM.
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Feb 12th, 2018, 11:53 AM
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Sounds reasonable. I would only suggest that before a knockout there be a warning, and after a knockout there be a link sent for appealing, unless the link is already in the warning.
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Feb 12th, 2018, 06:03 PM
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The way it's been described, it's not being considered to "open" the lounge to everyone. Just to registered Fodors users who are logged in. And perhaps who have met some other sort of eligibility criteria. This would prevent the lounge threads from being searchable via Google. The Omni board on FT has been mentioned as an example.

The reason that special interest boards keep off-topic community style forums is to keep the loyalty of a user base. Very few people are robotic enough to be happy just sitting and answering rote questions on a niche subject day after day and so, most will drift off, save for the die-hard know it alls (who tend to be pretty territorial, IME). But being able to build a familiarity between users about a variety of subjects, much like friendships in real life creates an environment that builds brand loyalty as it builds community loyalty. (and the r/l vs internet line blurs when it comes to Fodorites). You can't really create that while simulatenously insisting that people "stay on topic". Thus, the usefulness of a lounge or Omni board. It's fun and it's right next to the on-topic boards, so that people will bounce back and forth between them during their leisure time on the site.

I agree with Janis in that this has *never* been a private space, just a limited one. Besides the small group who still use it are a lot of accounts who can pop in an read. And based on a "who's lurking' poll that was posted long after the lounge "closed", there were a surprising number of people who don't post who chimed in the say they still read the lounge threads.

I agree that the lounge could be better. I don't agree it needs to be closed. That's usually said by someone who is just not very happy with the prevailing opinions of the group and likes the idea of making that sort of talk stop by closing the space where it's happening. The lounge isn't hurting anyone, not really. But letting a fresh flow of posters in would sure do a lot to improve it and give it new life, IMO.

Last edited by CounterClifton; Feb 12th, 2018 at 06:06 PM.
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Feb 12th, 2018, 06:10 PM
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Didn't see the posting by iBobi before responding to the first few posts. Sounds pretty ok to me.
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Feb 13th, 2018, 04:44 AM
  #14
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Too bad it will remain.There may be a large number of those who have access but only a small number actually participate. And that group is intimidating and will probably scare off any new members.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 07:47 AM
  #15
 
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To improve the atmosphere in the Lounge why not have a rule that every post must end with "Perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?" That would encourage collegiality and open-mindedness.

Perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?
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Feb 14th, 2018, 08:13 AM
  #16
 
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Beware! Thinking is what causes mistakes. Every time I tell someone that he made a mistake, the first thing I hear is, "Well, I thought ..."

Perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?
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Feb 14th, 2018, 08:14 AM
  #17
 
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The ratio of folks who ONLY look at ALL of the different threads to the posts is quite high, SQQ.

I quite agree with CC's brand loyalty statement.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 09:24 AM
  #18
 
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There is an easy answer for those who like Susie Q don't like the Lounge - don't post or lurk there.

Why it matters to you whether it exists or not escapes me. Had you cared to read it there was a specific thread about why certain of us value it which I won't summarise here but suffice to say some of us have at various times found it very valuable indeed. Why you would want to remove that option for others I cannot begin to speculate.

I for one am grateful for ibobi's reasurrances.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 09:42 AM
  #19
 
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My first post to the lounge some years ago was what I thought would be an interesting discussion about travel.
Instead the attack wolves descended and I had my throat torn out.

Or so I thought. Actually it was my thin skin.

I stayed away for a while but then turned into an occasional lurker and an even less occasional poster.
But I've come to realize it's generally full of wonderful people and has a lot of value. No reason for it to go away.

Perhaps I'm wrong.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 11:20 AM
  #20
 
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The real irony is that many people in the lounge donít want to post on the destination boards because they think you all are mean and cliquish!
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