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What would make you participate in Fodor's forums more fully?

What would make you participate in Fodor's forums more fully?

Oct 12th, 2019, 04:45 PM
  #41  
kja
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Well, I'm certainly not going to get into a discussion on what "noteworthy" travel might entail -- we all travel for different reasons!

But I agree that people contribute different things to this forum, and I think that's a good thing.

And I agree that personal animosity serves no one well, and that it can discourage new and old posters alike. I don't mind a bit of criticism now an again -- if I inadvertently post something that is inaccurate, for example, I appreciate it when someone points that out (nicely). Too, I think that debates can enrich us all. But to me, those are very different things than attacks.
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Oct 12th, 2019, 10:51 PM
  #42  
kja
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BTW -- both IBanna and ibobi are monitoring this thread -- such great news! So keep offering your ideas about how IB can help us and how we, individually, can make Fodor's forums better for all of us.
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Oct 13th, 2019, 02:54 AM
  #43  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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I would imagine a lot of users access the forums using tablets rather than desk or laptops. I know I certainly do, especially when on the road. The development of an App, rather than just a mobile site may enrich and enhance the experience. The TA is next to useless but I find the Wordpress app really useful as I can draft posts offline and post when next online. For those who do write trip reports when travelling, it would make life a lot easier.

In answer to your question, what would make me want to stay with Fodorís, some new life, preferably with a wider age demographic, more diverse opinions and above all, greater activity. I could be wrong, but I imagine that is what the powers that be are striving for. So far, their efforts (and I do welcome most of them) donít seem to have reversed the decline. Maybe the world is moving from forums, to Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc. Even Facebook is now rarely used by anyone under the age of 40.

As a mentor of mine was always fond of reminding me "if you do what you have always done, you will get what you always get". Just maybe the changes implemented so far have not been radical enough.

Last edited by crellston; Oct 13th, 2019 at 03:01 AM.
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Oct 13th, 2019, 06:21 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I used to visit the forums daily and found lots of useful info here. However. when the format changed I never quite made the transition. I was finding posts on threads I was interested in were often quite redundant, very little new info. Also, now I am in well to my old age I do very little independent travel so much of my research is into small group adventure tours offered by various tour companies. Perhaps I am overly sensitive but I find there is sometimes an air of superiority from those who choose independent travel over a set itinerary with a group.

As a Canadian I would be insulted if US and Canada thread were combined. I used to respond to questions on the Canada threads but there again, found the questions covered the same ground and I didn’t have sufficient current knowledge of the destinations to make a meaningful reply.

The Air Travel forum was what got me interested in this form in the first place. I still have it bookmarked and check it now and then and always when I am going to a new destination. Air travel is so complicated these days I like to fly armed with as much information as possible.
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Oct 13th, 2019, 03:54 PM
  #45  
kja
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@ crellston: An App is an interesting idea!

And I think you're right about the age demographic. I have the impression that a number of our more senior travelers are no longer traveling, and so no longer posting. And with that, I think the niche served by Fodor's has been shifting. My sense is that a niche is important, particularly if Fodor's is to compete with bigger travel forums, and I'm not sure that there's much attention to that -- or if there is, I haven't heard anyone articulate it. (When I joined, this seemed to be THE forum for those who had interests in what I will loosely call "culture"-- the arts and history of various destinations. Not that one couldn't get good information if one just wanted to have a glass of wine somewhere atmospheric where one could people watch -- and not that there's anything wrong with that! It was just that we seemed to have a lot of posters who could, and did, comment on museums and historical buildings and the unique cultural aspects of various places, etc. Of course, my impressions about these issues could all easily be mistaken.)


@ eliztravels2: Good points about the value of different forums!

I must admit that I approached the new format kicking and screaming, but once the kinks were worked out (something that, unfortunately, took some time), I must admit that I have found many of the changes to be distinct improvements. I like the option to quote people specifically when it seems useful to do so; I like being able to post photographs -- and the option to block them from view; to my surprise, I have even found rare uses for the ignore and PM functions. I like that we can post about the problems we encounter, and get prompt responses from ibobi (or other IB staff) or from other posters. But it certainly took some getting-used-to, and I think it's unfortunate that some people left rather than try to adapt. I wonder if there's a way for IB to reach out to former Fodorites?
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Oct 13th, 2019, 03:55 PM
  #46  
kja
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Originally Posted by crellston View Post
As a mentor of mine was always fond of reminding me "if you do what you have always done, you will get what you always get".
I like what I've always gotten here.
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Oct 13th, 2019, 08:55 PM
  #47  
 
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IMO alot of the opinions expressed hear are a bit outdated, written by well intentioned people who long ago established the way they like to travel. Therefore I am always reluctant to engage, sometimes I do post but it almost always ends in an argument eg a recent 'disscussion on coats for a woman for Europe this Christmas' became a argument of whether or not Australians wear thongs all year round. Its rubbish. And all subjective. I think that most travel forums (including TA) are becoming irrelevent anyway. Young people get their travel info elsewhere. The few posts I have seen here from young travellers is almost an after thought, one was looking for things to do at their destination, while on the plane. Its different now. My grand daughter is just 18 and off to Borneo and Thailand on Boxing day for 5 weeks on her own. She has booked (and paid) for it herself, knows where she is going and has booked some of the hostels, she has asked her cousins about their recent year long stay in SE Asia for their advice. So my point is that forums like this are, by their very nature a limited interest thing, that has had its time.
I enjoy the conversations and sometimes come across a trip report that is well written and interesting, but I get really bored with the same posters banging on endlessly about the same thing, like the poster who ALWAYS goes on about driving after a long flight, or the constant advice about jet lag...really enough.
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Oct 13th, 2019, 09:36 PM
  #48  
kja
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Inreresting comments, missdonkey!

Originally Posted by misskdonkey View Post
IMO alot of the opinions expressed hear are a bit outdated, written by well intentioned people who long ago established the way they like to travel. Therefore I am always reluctant to engage
I'm not sure I follow your logic -- why do other people's opinions make you reluctant to engage? Why would whether those opinions are outdated or current affect your willingness to engage? Or why would whether others have established the way they like to travel affect your willingness to engage? I'm not trying to question your reluctance -- I'm just trying to understand it, if you are willing to share a bit more on the issue. (And of course, you don't need to do so.)

Originally Posted by misskdonkey View Post
I ...sometimes I do post but it almost always ends in an argument ... And all subjective
Does this statement mean that you believe that we ought to be able to agree about everything travel-related? From my perspective, there are some facts (like one's options for getting from place to place or what's on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list) -- but it seems to me that many issues associated with travel are subjective, and while that doesn't mean we need to argue, it would suggest that people will disagree. But maybe I've misunderstood your point? Please help me understand.

Originally Posted by misskdonkey View Post
Young people get their travel info elsewhere. ... My grand daughter is just 18 and off to Borneo and Thailand on Boxing day for 5 weeks on her own..
Sounds like your granddaughter is about to begin a wonderful trip! I wonder -- did you ask her whether she consulted, or considered consulting, Fodor's Forums? Maybe she would have some interesting insights into why she did or did not look here or its value (or lack thereof).

Originally Posted by misskdonkey View Post
I get really bored with the same posters banging on endlessly about the same thing, like the poster who ALWAYS goes on about driving after a long flight, or the constant advice about jet lag...really enough.
That would probably be me. And it seems to me that if really were "enough", then no one would be asking us to comment on itineraries that call for them to drive immediately after an overseas flight. You are, of course, free to ignore me or my comments, all or just those ones!

Last edited by kja; Oct 13th, 2019 at 09:41 PM.
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Oct 14th, 2019, 12:10 AM
  #49  
 
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I think of arguing in the sense of defending a position. Not in the sense of attacking someone. A lawyer argues their case.

Arguably if a person won't argue their position they might not hold the position strongly. Of course you can also convince them to see your position.

While I agree younger people have moved away from text based forums I don't get the impression they've abandoned the concept. An 18 year old may be looking at instagram images to decide but many slightly older are engaging. The difference I see is more that they don't stay and become part of the community. That might be because they're busy with other things.
Traveler_Nick is online now  
Oct 14th, 2019, 03:05 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 65
Yes Nick that might be possible, on the other hand maybe they aren't really interested in your opinion, because of the way its argued. I don't think they are just looking at instagram either, in fact I know 'they' don't. There is a whole other world out there that we aren't part of, as it should be.
And I'm sure kja, you don't follow my logic, because you don't choose too, you seem interested in views that are similar to your own, in my opinion. Thats why I don't really engage here. Its clicky and parochial. Thats why it won't be around long. You get hardly any traffic because people don't feel welcome.
And yes I did ask my granddaughter about travel based websites in her planning. She didn't know Fodors and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to her.
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Oct 14th, 2019, 06:03 AM
  #51  
 
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"Its clicky and parochial."

You may be on to something. I have been a member since 2006, mostly asking advice at first and writing trip reports. From 2006-2012 we lived in Washington, D.C. and I would chime in with contemporary observations for a few months after we moved, then felt like I was no longer qualified to contribute because I was too far removed from real-time. We moved to Vienna, Austria for 7 years in 2012 (moving back to the U.S. this past June) and I focused on answering relevant questions based on contemporary experience, and will likely stop in a couple of months for the same reason. But many Fodorites feel differently, and perhaps Fodors will become a place where "old"* travelers go to reminisce.

We traveled quite a bit while in Europe, but rarely did I post about our many travels to France or Italy because they didn't seem like they met the well-curated and "approved" (or, parochial?) itineraries of the seasoned Fodorites. I shared instead about our travels to places less traveled.

*As for clique-y. Though I am 51, I was informed by a Lounge Lizard that I am "old." In the short months since returning we have taken a couple of off-the-beaten-path long weekends in the U.S. that were incredibly rich in history, sights, and culinary delights. But who wants to read about the travels of an "old" person?
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Oct 14th, 2019, 06:58 AM
  #52  
 
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I mostly ignore the Lounge, and I would certainly ignore anyone complaining that 51 is "old". I have met 80+ y.o. travelers with loads of energy. Please do report on your weekend trips!
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Oct 14th, 2019, 09:08 AM
  #53  
 
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Yes, fourfortravel, do report on your weekend trips. I imagine 51 is well below the median age of these forums especially the Lounge, a place I rarely visit unless in need of some light relief! Indeed, it would be considered Positively adolescent by some standards.

Not all of us are set in our travel ways as you seem to be convinced Missdonkey, but what if they are? People will only tend to contribute in their area of experience whether that be independent treks in remote places or an all inclusive cruise. I happen to travel independently and rarely take tours. If I say to someone say "I would consider visiting xyz because it is, easy, more flexible and cheaper" it is because I believe tha t8 be the case, rather than believing that all package tours are anathema.

I agree that some forums seem "clicky and parochial", some more than others. but consider that it may just be people that have known each other online for years and may have even met face to face and have formed "relationship" Some particular forums seem to go out of their way to exclude newcomers either intentionally or unintentionally. Personally, I find it unacceptable that some ridicule the questions asked by newcomers as stupid, forgetting that there is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers. Some of us do go out of their way to welcome new members.

Missdonkey, you do seem very anti these forums which is fine and entirely your prerogative. As I mentioned previously, I too have become a little tired of these forums in recent years but have decided to stick around and actively participate in the hope that my own contributions will go some way to breathing some life into the forums. I urge to do the same and become an active participant. I would also urge you to consider asking your granddaughter to seek advice re her trip to Borneo. I for one have spent many months on the island over the years in some of the more remote areas as have a few others like Kathie. We really need the new blood here.
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Oct 14th, 2019, 10:45 AM
  #54  
 
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As for clique-y. Though I am 51, I was informed by a Lounge Lizard that I am "old."

That is taken out of context entirely. Anyone can go read the thread and see how the conversation went.

I (who do not consider myself a "lounge lizard" but am the person you are referring to) simply said that 51 is not "young"... because it is not. You claimed how "young" you are because of dress size, energy, fitness, etc. Many people, not just me, participating in that discussion agree that over 50 is simply not young any more... but that is not a BAD thing.

Not really very nice to misrepresent things to make your point.
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Oct 14th, 2019, 10:49 AM
  #55  
 
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banging on endlessly about the same thing

That's because new people do come to this forum (gasp!) and often ask the same questions that have been asked & answered a million times before. So to accommodate them we say it again.
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Oct 14th, 2019, 11:08 AM
  #56  
 
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A Somewhat Modest Proposal

I see that this thread has two themes: Trying to improve the site and also trying to increase traffic since clicks are money. A secondary theme is to discuss the Lounge as turn off or irrelevancy or a benefit to the site. These discussions are too narrow.

The internet is always changing. Forums are seen by some as old hat. Just tweet, post mems, tag friends, churn. Actual discussions with opposing views and new ideas , not so much. Yet this is the real heart of Fodors. TA has no threads that are allowed to go off topic, no real arguments of substance, no real followup to any given thread. It's great for "Where is the Relay store at CDG Terminal 2?" but little of experienced travelers helping a newbie plan out a three country vacation. We are not like that.

So, in view of trying to avert the feared death spiral that hangs over this thread, I suggest two things: One, remake not the format but the Fodors concept. Bill Fodors as the place for in depth travel advice and discussion. Get those PR guys and gals into gear. Make up a motto or tagline that will appear whenever Fodors ia mentioned.. Advertise to attract traffic (yep, that will require monitary investment). Fodors must distinguish itself from one shot visitor that wants a simple answer.

Then, add another function to Fodors. The Lounge is sometimes disparaged "because it's not travel." Exactly! The Lounge brings traffic from established users, but, being closed, no bucks for clicks. The stuff I suggest above is not my modest proposal. This is: Add general discussion forums that will allow all registered users to converse in depth. Politics: sure. Humor: Of course. Home economics? Car repair? Whatever: Absolutely. "But this will just bring trolls and rancor." Unfortunately, it could, so this enterprise extension will require a niceness police force. Maybe even pre-posting moderation of new members and previously disciplined members. There must be a way to do this as there are plenty of sites that remain rancor and troll free.

Will IB want to try these things? I don't know. I do know that when an established enterprise goes into decline, it must renew itself or die. I don't want Fodors to die.

What do you say? What does IB say? Should I copy this post into a new thread? If so, where?

Speak up!

AJ

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Oct 14th, 2019, 11:26 AM
  #57  
 
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This thread has 2.5k views! But only 55 posts.

So how to make all those lurkers participants? What would make people reading but not posting do something different?
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Oct 14th, 2019, 11:43 AM
  #58  
kja
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@ Traveler_Nick: That's what I meant by "argument" -- stating a position and defending it, not attacking someone.

@ misskdonkey: I honestly believe that the world is a better place because people differ from one another and I can't imagine enjoying a world in which everyone thought and acted the same way. As I stated upthread, I'm still learning ways to be more sensitive in my comments, and I will try to be more welcoming and more explicit in appreciating a diversity of viewpoints. Whether I agree with others or not, I think a travel forum is better if people feel free to express different viewpoints and also feel free to "argue" (i.e., debate) their views. JMO.

@ fourfortravel: Personally, I don't think the age of a traveler is linked to the value of his or her descriptions of travel experiences. I'm not sure why you would let the comment of someone posting in the Lounge (or elsewhere!) influence your choice about posting, but I understand that you would want to participate to the extent and in the ways that you feel are right for you.

@ thursdaysd: Some older travelers are utterly awesome, aren't they? And whether they have loads of energy or only enough to inch along, they give me hope for my own travel future.

@ crellston: Thoughtful as ever! You are reminding me of an old saying: "If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Like most generalizations, I don't think this one has universal applicability, but IMO, it sometimes bears considering.

@ AJPeabody: IMO, your idea to make Fodor's niche that of a place for in depth travel advice and discussion is a very interesting one. I'm glad that ibobi and IBanna are reading and can see your analysis -- and I hope they let us know what they think about that idea.

@ suze: The number of responses to a thread is often very small relative to the number of views ... and making people want to participate is, I think, the question!
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Oct 14th, 2019, 12:05 PM
  #59  
 
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Precisely!
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Oct 14th, 2019, 12:07 PM
  #60  
 
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Views without posting generate click counts, nevertheless.
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