Please, no one, take this personally. But I have been extremely busy with college and extensive travel this semester, and every time I log on, I get the same 'Communications,' which are usually vote up or down. I think they have made the point and Marriott should take note about a) CL on weekends; b) breakfasts on weekends; c) upgrades for P and PP, etc.
But I am no longer even logging in for the most part because that is all I see as 'new activity' on MR Insiders. I have already voted, as have most, so be it. I would seriously like to see more travel0related items, but I think because I just turn off without checking 'Activity', I feel it's getting old. Marriott is either going to give us weekend CL privileges, breakfast or equivalent or they are not. But what is the point in constantly making this the first thing I see when I check in? As a result (even though I DO AGREE), I don't check in that often any more because the site has for me become less interesting.
I am probably in the minority, and so be it. But I'd like to see us get into real travel discussions again. I really want Marriott to address these very serious issues -- I stay very infrequently at Marriotts these days because I'm both comped and get better weekend and breakfast results at other hotels -- but I also hope we can get on with discussion and not simply polls that have been there every days. Marriott knows what we want. I doubt we can get any more than what has already been expressed, but what purpose does it serve for me (or anyone else) to see the same post I've already voted on every day, yet no new posts?
I don't want to deny others the privilege of weighing in on these issues. But my time is limited during the academic year. When I check in, I don't want to see things I've already voted upon. I want new insights on where Marriott Rewards are going.
I'd agree and when I see these polls it is merely because there is another vote in almost all cases. I wish the community manager would lay out all the polls and other miscellany and then branch them into suitable groups. Then perhaps this would be harder, but it would be great if we could opt out of an entire group, rather than stop following a certain thread. For example I'd like to opt out of polls myself in that I vote and then get inundated with new results!
Andy please help!
I know what you mean. I guess there should be a cut-off date on some things. With others, people new to the community here like me have never voted, so I still feel appreciated when I do. It would certainly be better if Marriott proper would chime in and say something like "I hear you, and we are going to do something about it!"
It is certainly frustrating, but as I am new to the Insiders, I guess this is something I have not had a chance to experience in the long-term. I have already met some great people on this forum, and for that I am appreciative (as well as a lot of things that I did not know about my Marriott membership.
I am going to create a discussion (my first) in the next day or 2, and I hope it makes a difference in some people's travel in a positive way.
I guess time will tell what I am going to gain from all of this, as well as hopefully contribute. I guess my limited tenure in this community has not provided as of yet the depth perception of members who have been on here longer. I am hoping to continually chat with people and find new new perspectives into the world of Marriott. As you, I hope Marriott will listen, and I guess time will tell for me. So far, I am very happy I discovered the Insiders and the way members are so quick to lend a hand and be helpful.
I hope you hang in there, and that somehow we do make a difference to not only community members, but to Marriott members as a whole.
Thanks, and I hope you have a nice day/evening! - Al.
Thanks profchiara, we'll make sure Insiders are the first to know whenever there's news. We understand your concerns and have seen the number of votes and replies on several topics and I can promise you that we've shared your collective thoughts for consideration. We've always been forthright and honest we'll continue to be.
In the meantime, let's heed profchiara's call for travel discussions
SS - it sounds like in your case you would want to click "stop tracking" in the actions link in the specific discussions, polls, or ideas you do not wish to receive updates on.
PS--the call for travel discussions seems to work for a while but not long. I see myself and others wandering into areas that a just slightly travel related and unless there is a filter to prevent straying it will be a fact of life. In some ways, the meandering threads make sense and are fun to read. Just me talkin' here.
Of course, as you know Roger, at times we ahave jumped onto other topics/discussions. I do not mean to detract from other's perceptions or thoughts, but I guess it is a way of creating camaraderie amongst participants. It is fun as well! As long as any divergant thought train does not last too long. Human nature is a frail thing, and sometimes cannot be helped! Thanks for the insight as well, Andy!
I do find that the problem is that the title of the post and the substance of the hundredth post reply are sometimes so far off in the ether that it is hard to reconcile the two. But like conversations with spouses and children that's to be expected. Just have someone transcribe a family dinner conversation to see what I mean.
I will join you in this viewpoint. You notice I have been weighing in less on things also. We seem to cycle around towards getting more travel-related, but then wander down the paths to friendly banter, but don't often get back to the original topic. NathalieF Andy, I'd still like to see them add a chat type of option to this site, so that people can engage in this (as I would many times), but also not see it in the activities that are shown. Many people get turned off trying to wade through the large threads that arise from long discussion, and polls, and other things, to find the more travel-related things they may have come here looking for. I think we all want to socialize here from time to time, and a chatroom where we could check each other out, when we have time, and new people wouldn't see all that until they were ready or wanted to.
I too, have been visiting less lately. Also, I am sure I have drawn the ire of ss for chastising him on his nonsensical posts. wasn't really picking on him, I just knew he would take it in the spirit it was sent. I agree totally with ProfC, there are just too many communications developed each time a cry go out for more votes, or someone adds their vote. It was fun at first, but has become tiresome. Partly because NOTHING has come of any of the poll results, but that is another issue. My fear is that as new people enter the coup (alrenaissance as an example), they may think that the senseless banter is what the site is all about. Many of the Poll threads get to a point so far off the original subject it is ridiculous. As usual, I do not have the answers, but I can identify the problems....
By the way Jasper, all of us coaxed you into being the POLLSTER, it wasn't all your idea. Please don't leave the group, you are a net positive on your wonderful travel posts.
Then again, maybe the few of us that don't have the time or patience, or interest in the senseless banter are the true minority and maybe we should take a hike???
By the way, was in Beverly Hills this week. Stayed at the Beverly Hilton. Very nice place, always treated like a movie star!
It is. I get out there about 6 times a year and either stay in Beverly Hills at the Hilton or in downtown LA at the jw Marriott. Both are great experiences. I love to put my iPod on and head for a long walk in the residential area of beverly Hills. It is soooooo beautiful.
Have you ever been to the "Magic Castle", across the street from The Renaissance in Hollywood?
If you would like to go, you have to have a magician introduce you, but it is an awesome place, and I can arrange that for you. I would only do that for people married at Borgia, in Washington, Mo and who had their prom picnic at Meramec State Park!
Let me know! The place is very special.
This was a "Hang out" of Johnny Carson and Orson Wells.
I am not a magician, but this is the "HQ" for magicians all over the world. I have never seen anything like it. First they have a piano "Irma", that can play any song you request. This place will have the finest magicians in the world do everything from recite every selected page of Shakespeare (Selected by the audience) to wonderful card tricks to just pure magic.
One of my greatest dining evenings was starting out at Wolfgang Puck, then walking to Mr. Chao's, with another stop after that and the The Castle. What a lot of fun.
Send me a direct message with your cell phone # and I'll try to set it up, if you have time either this trip or the next.
I could not remember the name of Spago's. It was really great and we had pizza in the bar. I wish I could remember the pub/dining place that was between Spago and Mr Chow. It was a wonderful and historic place and Streisand had just left. These places in Hollywood will never be the same, security is too much of a factor.
Make sure you get a burger at Mel's Diner close to The Renaissance. If you can, and it is still there, the Oriental place at the top of the mountain across the street from the Renaissance has great food and a wonderful view of the Pacific.
Have a great trip!
I hope nobody leaves this forum.
Far be it for me to say, being so new, but I am trying to pick-up on the general run of things, and certainly do not mean to be a "senseless" chatter, and get too far off of the point at times.
So I understand your concerns, Shoeman, and would like to be a contributor, without saying too much at times. This is certainly a better forum to converse then something like Facebook, and has a lot of intelligent people who I respect and who know a lot of things. I did not, and do not mean to break any conditions which make people feel uncomfortable, since we are all here to speak our minds about travel, and do comparisons with Marriott vs. other hotel chains and the like.
At the same time, I do not think, and I guess most others would agree, to turn this into a rigid and inflexible sounding board with no other interaction. I have been a bit talkative, but in many ways I am trying to get a feel for the community, and develop a rapport with long-standing contributors who provide me we a lot of valuable information. I really did not know what to expect when I became a contributor, but I can certainly agree as being new that Shoeman is correct in perhaps giving new members the wrong initial impression about the site. Occasional senseless banter is one thing, but the inundation at times between certain of us members may create a situation where it is hard for occasional contributors to sort through all of the back and forth discussions.
I must admit that the relationships I have formed in the short amount of time on here are both insightful as well as productive for me. I even tell my girlfriend and coworkers of many of the things I have discovered about great people on this site, and the knowledge and other interesting things I have learned from a so many people on here.
I guess you could say I am trying to find my way around here, and go with the flow. I also must admit I get excited when people on the other side of the country tell me about places and things which are right in my backyard here in Pittsburgh, and there experiences in my hometown. It makes me proud, and creates a real sense of connection with others in the forum. I do not mean to get overlyzealous about certain issues, but it is human nature I suppose.
now to help correct the human nature, I have been reading what others say, and guess that perhaps the best method would be to send a private message to others to follow -up on something that may jump off subject. this has already been the case several times, and I am fine with that, or perhaps an IM sort of thing, so that conversations between 2 or more people that may seem like nonsense to some others, would not become "entombed" within the running threads.
The only problem with that, is that if this had always been the case since I started contributing to this forum, I would not have gotten feedback from many others who chimed in on a subject which if held private I would have never gotten an opinion or the ability to perhaps have ever conversed with them. This is what makes the site special and appealing to me. I look forwards to hearing the opinion of members such as you, Shoeman, SS, Jasper, Jerry, Andy, NuHusker, Pluto (Rose), PainedPlatinum, Ssindc, Traveler2, ArkWright, ProfChiara, Erc, Try53, and many others. If they had not overheard conversations, I would not be able to now recite them from memory as I do now, and pick up on their different personas.
Please understand that what I am stating is as a newer member looking in. I will of course abide by whatever the consensus is as to what is deemed "proper" and the correct etiquette. I just hope nobody's feelings get hurt, as there is truly no reason anybody's should be. (Except me for the misspellings I am incurring, sorry, just got home, long day of work ) I will simply just track this post, and see how everybody feels, and abide by it).
Everyone have a great night, and good day tomorrow!
Best Intent, Al
Hi. Your post both proved my point to be accurate, and at the same time, made me feel bad for calling you out. You seem like a great guy that has a willingness to participate and travel knowledge to pass on to others. There will likely never be a consensus on the direction of the site as no one is in charge. Also, while I deplore the senseless banter, you just made an eloquent case for one man's senseless banter is another's conversation. I can respect that. Just wanted to point out what you just confirmed. I had a feeling that was the case.
Shoeman and Al,
I like the "Senseless Banter"! Because it comes from people I have in high regard. If I don't want to read it, I don't have to, but this is entertaining and informative to me. I also like the "Polls" for the same reason.
There is a delete button on all our computers and a lot of other sights to view, but I really get something out of what you all have to say. There is something on the "Statue of Liberty", Give me your tired (You know the rest). Give me all the comments you want on MI, as long as it is clean and not abusive. Like SS says, "That's just my opinion"!
By the way Al, that was one, well written post, Thanks!
Thanks Jerry, SS, Awk, Pluto and others who have made some response to my posting in regards to all of this. Internal shake-up is a good thing sometimes! Puts us back on a steady heading, and everyone gets to vent.
I just wanted to say that the personable attitude of the people I have encountered on here is what kept me coming back, and for that I appreciate it. I fully understand everybody's view points, respect them, and feel good about the community as a whole. God Speed to MRI, you guys/gals are the best, and everybody have a great day! I insist!
I certainly agree with your points, and do not feel bad, as this is what this forum is for, to voice your opinion on things like this! My skin is not glass, plus you did not offend me in any way or form. I highly respect your opinion and voice, and look forward to our discussions in the future, no matter what they may be!
Safe travels to you as well my friend, Al.
Shoeman and others,
I like the "senseless" banter, the cameraderies that are formed and the socializing. It develops a sense of connection and rapport, which can be a basis for trust between people - no small thing - in fact of some importance since we are placing a certain amount of trust in one another as we seek out travel advice, recommendations and share one another's travel experiences. Perhaps it can get a little overboard, I don't know. To each his own. Some find it tiresome, others find entertainment, amusement and that sense of connection. You can't please all of the people all of the time.
To piggy-back on something that Tryt said: "Many people get turned off trying to wade through the large threads that arise from long discussion, and polls, and other things, to find the more travel-related things they may have come here looking for. " A good example of that might be Shoeman and Jerry's off topic discussion right here in this thread about travels to Beverly Hills and Hollywood. On the one hand, it's a perfect example of how we tend to get off track from an original topic, which can be cumbersome for someone looking for specific information and thinking they will find it in a specific discussion, only to end up wading through comment after comment of unrelated material, and to be clear, I am very guilty of wandering off topic myself. On the other hand, it is the perfect example of what ProfChiara and others would like to see more of: travel related topics! Hollywood and Beverly Hills would have been an excellent new blog topic in the Destinations category. I found the posts interesting and valuable, but perhaps they simply and more appropriately belong in a blog of their own.
The Community Manager can branch off comments that wander off topic to a new thread, but it can be sometimes confusing when that happens. Perhaps we can do our part by sticking to the topic at hand and when a new thought arises that is related to travel, creating a new topic of interest in a separate blog. This can help keep the site easier to navigate. We can also make use of direct and private messages, although you can't accomplish group banter that way, and I do think there is a place for group banter here.
I don't know what you think of posts like for instance SS's recent post about the mayoral election in Carmel, but to me that was a very valid travel post. I just mini-vacationed there two weeks ago. Stayed at a Marriott. No, two Marriotts. I am very interested in that destination. Learning little quirky things (like who won the election) about a place I've traveled to and plan on returning to again adds value to me as a traveler who wants to make connections in and with the places I visit.
I think most of what goes on here at MRI has been fine. Perhaps we just need to police ourselves a wee bit in keeping with the mission and spirit of the purpose of this forum. As I see it, we are here to connect with other travelers, share travel experiences in an effort to be helpful to one another as Marriott Rewards members and travelers, share information about the Marriott Rewards program towards the same end, and help each other make the most of the MR loyalty program, as well as help the program to thrive (win/win). We're here to enhance and enrich our travel experiences and to help others do the same. At least that's why I'm here. There are a lot of valid blog topics on this site that I personally could care less about (Lifetime Platinum's getting a useless free night stay credit on their birthday for instance), but I wade past it to find the stuff that is important to me, like how do I get around in this city or where's a good place to dine in that city, and which is the best Marriott there, and I don't mind wading past the other topics to get to what I need because I know that the othe topics (like Lifetime Platinum issues) are genuinely important to many people, and I respect that.
So I've put in way more than my two cents. I've tried to be thoughtful and considerate yet frank, and I apologize if I've offended anyone as that is not my intention. You are all very much appreciated by me. Every last one.
Your frustrations are well taken. 'Following' members has helped me to not miss blogs that have been created in my absence and for which I have no knowledge of, since they rapidly appear and then fall off of the list of 'top 5 most recent activity' on the home page. By 'following' members, anytime anyone who I am following creates a new blog topic, I am notified in my communications, instead of just getting notified every time someone comments on a blog that I commented on and am thus tracking (unless I turn tracking off for that blog). 'Following' members or topics keeps me apprised of new blogs that I may otherwise not be aware of.
I also think there is and always will be an ebb and flow to valuable travel specific blogs on this site. It is dependent on new blood as well as new travel experiences (from both new blood and 'old' blood). I have traveled X number of times to Y places. I cannot post beyond these experiences. At the point that I (or all of us) have posted on all of our experiences, there is nothing else to post (or thus read) until at least one or two things happen: new blood comes forth and shares their experiences, knowledge and expertise and/or one of us currently active 'veterans' travel anew and post about that. That's the only way to keep the waters churning. We must endeavor with consistency to continue to blog about our travel experiences and welcome and encourage newcomers to courageously jump in with both feet and do the same. I certainly haven't blogged about all of my travel experiences and can and will do more. I challenge all of us to continue to consistently do these two things, or to get busy and start if anyone hasn't already. I know it takes time and can be a bit of work, but we all have to give to get, to keep the forum fresh, vibrant and germane to the purpose of Marriott Rewards Insiders. In fact, here's a challenge for each of us: in the next week (or as soon as you are able) blog or create a photo album here about a travel experience that you have had in the last two years that you have heretofore not blogged about here on this site. I'll bet there's some fairly recent travel story that you haven't shared... I will do it too. I know it takes time, even if you have to do a little research to jog your brain for names and facts or find pictures, but it will pay dividends. We have to consistently give to get. Each new day, the forum is only as good as it's contributions which means we can never rest on our laurels, instead reaffirming ownership of some of the responsibility for maintaining a thriving community of great capacity for richness and value on MRI.
Dear Pluto: I see your point but for me the ground truth with regard to MRI's viability as a blog experience we need to be able to post anything and everything without imposing any censorship on the subject matter.
Here's why: for a first time user who stumbles on the site there needs to be a free and flowing exchange of banter that anyone would feel comfortable with. If there are only posts on a temple in a remote area of Thailand, for example, or what a person experienced in Beijing on their last trip there, the new poster would feel intimiated that he or she is not in that league. There are "experts" and "novices" in travel and not just in terms of nights stayed or status received. Let's be sure that each of them gets something from MRI.
MRI is not an elitist blog, closed off to only the most experienced traveler. Other than being an MR member there is not fee, and no number of nights stayed requirements. Everyone is welcome, anyone can post as long as they play by the respect and relevance rules--not that hard if you watch you language.
As to self-policing, I hope it works and doubt it ever will. It goes to the heart of censoring MRI--something I think we should avoid like the plague. The group itself, the mass of posters who come and go, are the best judge of what is good and bad. I recall that a person posted once (about a year ago) with an inappropriate solicitation for something, I reported it, and the poster never reappeared.
There were other instances where subjects popped up that were so controversial that the posters engaged in name calling and personal attacks--same result: the CM stepped in as well as other posters and the matter went offline.
Overall MRI has morphed in the three years it's been around, and taken turns onto wide boulevards and down a few dark allies,.Is it better or worse for that? You be the judge. It is something you be a part of every hour that you're awake, once a month, or never. No one is holding you to a posting schedule.
What I mean and hope you understand is that this is a big blog, with plenty of enthusiasm for lots of things. I would hope we never judge the appropriateness of the subjects being discussed solely based on an artificial construct that they must always be travel related, since that can easily leas to a very sterile experience online. We can read Rick Steve's or watch NatGeo if we want that.
I want to see what people, most of whom I don;t know, think about virtually anything anywhere. If it happens to coincide with a place I have been or would like to go, so much the better.
End of speech, thanks for listening
This message board is what it is. Some have complained that it should change, others (ME) have deleted content when criticized by others for it, others have cut back on their posting, and some have even left completely when they didn't get their way. Many, maybe even most, of the travel destinations written about here are places I'll never go in my lifetime. Some I just don't care about visiting, others I simply can't afford, but in all cases I truly enjoy hearing about y'all's enjoyment. I'm not a particularly touchy-feely type, but for what little I know of each of the regular contributors on Insiders, I have developed a respect for y'all that it might take years for me to have that type of connection in another setting. And meeting jerrycoin in Phoenix confirmed that. So, if somebody posts something that isn't of interest to me, I just simply don't read it. As for having to scroll thru the clutter to get to the good stuff, I reckon my time is cheap when I'm enjoying myself. So feel free to ignore this post if you care to...my feelings won't be hurt at all. Heck man, I'm going to the Red & White Spring Game with 80,000 other rabid cornhuskers....it don't get much better than that on an April Saturday in Nebraska! Now that's what I call travelling!
nuhusker, my feelings exactly. I read what I am interested in and just skip the rest. Sometimes I am not even sure what a post is really about. Some days I read more posts because I have more time.
I hope you have a great time at the spring game. We can't get to the Razorback spring game next Saturday, but I sure hope lots of fans go to show their support for the student/athletes.
I can't resist. At the "River" this weekend visiting family. Just had lunch with my 96 year old grandma, and we were marveling at the wonders of the internet. I mentioned something about how easy it was to get hooked, that one could search for anything they wanted, for instance medieval France, and get back copious amounts of information that could keep one glued to the computer for hours, even days. Her response was, "When I was in high school, my ancient history teacher returned a paper to me with a note on it that said, 'Helen, if you pay more attention to your ancient history, then your life won't be nearly so much of a mystery'." She said she never forgot that her entire life! It was so stellar and reminded me of you. I just had to share!
Ya, me too. That's why I had to share.
Al, as you will remember, I volunteered to step up and be your "MRI Stalker," just as "Rose" was Charlie's stalker on Two and a Half Men. (You never watched "Men?!") As Pained said, I am sweet no matter what my name. (Except when I'm not. )
NOW I definately understand! I just started watching 21/2 this year based on my girlfriend's recommendations. Great show, but can you believe I have never seen a single episode with Charlie Sheen in it? I will have to program my DVR for reruns or something, as she tells me those were the best episodes. I really do enjoy the new ones I must state.
Based upon the 49 or so replies to the original post is all the more reason we need a general unsubscribe button to all posts. Over the above posts this original post took on all different facets including things about specific hotels and areas. While i can unsubscribe to this post in the action area, it is only for this one topic. i dont have the time or inclination to go into all the posts and click unsubscribe to the topic. In fact, as I am sitting here on the plane i have received about 6 update emails in the past 45 minutes. I would ask that the Community Manager look to have a tool bar or action area where we can unsubscribe to multiple areas at once.
I am confused, jmring. If you never replied to the original post, how is it that you are getting update emails to it? The only posts/replies that I get email updates to are for posts that I have previously replied to, in which case I can stop tracking those threads at any time.
My main point was that I am interested in the posts till they turn into one liners back and forth rather than discussing the subject. Then it's hard to find the ones (or there are too many to go through) that pertain directly to the particular topic. I did unsubscribe from the two posts I mentioned in the original comment, so it's been less of an issue for me in the past week. But I tend to be able to post/read around 4-5am and then again between 4 and 5pm, so that's why I dislike having to go through all the answers.
I agree that many times the intent of the original post gets lost in chatter. I guess I actually didn't understand until now what you were suggesting in your original post. But I'm not surprised as pretty much anything with computers and internet stumps me. I suspect I'm missing many of the posts that are made since I only check my communications log. So whatever the most recent posts are, is pretty much all I see unless I go back thru the individual threads for more detail. I agree that is a pain. But I don't know if I can handle another change to this website.
I enjoyed your polemic - partly because I enjoy a few " yours outraged" inputs, but mainly because in time it might lead to improvements in what - as SS said many months ago - remains a very good idea.
The challenge for me is not to discover some suffocating template into which we will each have to fit our inputs, or else terminate our involvement; it is to enrich the range of contributions to which we have relatively easy (i.e. essentially well sign-posted) access.
One of the difficult, but actually rewarding, questions is what constitutes "travel-related" issues. Before I get deluged by a healthy load of sceptical comment, or worse, I'm not advocating a new posting "category" entitled the "Semantics of Travel". Far from it!
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a conversation with PainedPlatinum in which we discussed the question of "purpose". My input - again certainly NOT intended to be definitive in any sense - went thus:
"Looking at the majority of (non-complaining) posts, it seems that the overwhelming interest lies in immediate and usually very practical issues relating to Marriott hotels, other alternatives and restaurants - more often than not, in the USA.
This is fine and perfectly rational; I don't have any problems with it.
My question is this: when it comes to other parts of the world, is the demand pattern the same? Or is there a "market" for something slightly different, still focused on travel, of course, but taking a wider perspective, embracing, for example, heritage, context and culture; the ultimate aim being to offer a broader basis for understanding and appreciating differences and thereby to make better informed choices about such issues as location, timing and opportunity."
This, for me, is the main rationale for sites such as this one: the handling and enjoying of uncertainty and the unknown. When each or everyone of us gets out of our travel "comfort zones", what then?
I completely agree! While most do deal with the US, there are many of us who either travel abroad or some who live abroad, like you, so I think we need to keep both to the forefront. Even people who aren't in that category sometimes take the trip of their life (and their points) abroad, so I think it's a very healthy balance.
Thanks so much for being back on the site. I've been off for a week as you'll see from another post, but I think your posts are extraordinarily helpful.