Anyone know what happened to Stepping Stone and why he left Insiders? I know I am getting more disappointed with the site and considering leaving myself. I am getting tired of all the old posts coming up as well as feeling like our input seems to not be heard by Marriott. The site seems to have deteriorated and participation seems to be waning.
I guess you can only post so much minutia. I have no idea why he left, but I would concur that the site has become boring actually. You can only discuss an issue so many times before it gets tiring. Also, the fact that not one thing has ever come of any of our suggestions, reveals a lot about how Marriott feels about the site and it's ability to learn anything from it. I will =definitely continue to use the site as a resource for specific hotel information, as well as travel tips, but I am weary of all the mindless bantering.
I just noticed that Stepping Stones account has just been moved to 'Disabled". That was quick. So I would guess his departure may be a little more permanent. I find this trend (TJC New York, Pingreeman and now SS) leaving to be troubling. They are folks who made this MRI program go as original shapers of the site. Is this site becoming more irrelevant as these continued (and not for the better) changes happen? Add to the departure of these long time contributors the fact that many other regular contributors (from versions 1 and 2) rarely even post any more.
Will this site even be here a year from now? I find the old post recycling, the same old, same old and the lack of change input by Marriott towards concerns raised by long time customers on this site also troubling. If I look back at Version 1, there was much more that happened to better the MR program from the input everyone gave on the site. Not so today. This comment is not meant to be a reflection on the Community Managers, but a perceived direction sense I have that Marriott, as a company, is changing their game to a different focus.....and not such a good one. Anyway, just my opinion.
1)The amount of time and energy that SS was putting into his participation here was staggering. It seemed more than just a hobby, but like a hobby. Maybe he just tired of the time commitment he was making. Sometimes folks just develop new ways to spend their time.
2) As far as the disabling of your account, that to me is the mystery. You can decide to cut back without disabling. Feels like a quick divorce.
3) Can a person disable their existing account and start a new account, under a different alias, for the purpose of changing their identity and input status?
If number 3 is doable, that would allow a person, seen as a community leader, to somewhat fade into the background and outside of the spotlight.
Post number 2 as a reponse:
The site, in general, attracts people looking for an outlet or information. As long as there are folks that like to share and help others, the site will continue to serve a valuable purpose. I started on here looking for an outlet to broadcast my unhappiness with a "no blackout" policy I felt was disingenuous. I came back a few times and found there were many, many people offering experienced advise on locations and travel tips. That is still the same today. As some folks come on and some folks leave, the idea and value lives on... just my thoughts.
Also, there is the BOGO thread. The last few items posted associated with that thread refer to Flyertalk and Facebook. I haven't been visiting those sites to keep up to date with Marriott minutia, but in todays' society, I'm sure many, many people pay them a visit. In fact, my bet is, that most people find Facebook as the go to source for most things. I'm not saying that is good or bad, just a likely fact.
I think you are on to something! the younger generations will feel much more at home while on Facebook, and many pure travelers much prefer flyer talk. ProfChiara as an example.
As far as the idea that ss would possibly disable one account in order to start another don't seem plausible unless her wants to become a guru under two names.......
Now Jasper can focus on taking over the lead, as I am sure he will.
Greetings Jasper100 and tef6178, Steppingstones has been an Insider for years and like many of you we've gotten to know him personally, so we certainly were disappointed to receive his request to disable his profile. He knows he's welcome back at any time so we hope he'll take us up on the offer. We're still as committed as ever to making the community resourceful for everyone. We've made some strides with the beta property ratings and reviews, and we're looking at a two-phase rollout of an ideation framework so the community will have a clear voice - more to come.
"More to come"....seems like we hear that a lot. My two cents....here is a "site" where Marriott has the top 5-10% of their customers speaking frankly about how to make things better, offering suggestions, etc. and nothing seems to be happening at the property level. I for one, while not as prolific as SS, have cut back as well to posting and reading the threads anymore. What's the point??? Therefore, SS, with the amount that they did on this site, must have been going crazy with the inactivity of Marriott.
I agree with your assessment. It seems that the only activity coming from Marriott corporate over the last 2 years has been to take away benefits and 'enforce' not exceding the minimum standards for weekend Platinum benefits. I will greatly miss SS's contributions. Marriott has lost some great ambassadors who always emphasized the positives over the negatives.
I have dramatically cut back on my participation, but naively hold out hope that things will get better both on Insiders and at corporate. Customers usually suffer when financially/ margin driven CEO's take over from customer/employee focused leaders like the Marriott family. I have worked for large corporations who shifted focus to margin enhancement at the expense of customer loyalty. Although profits increased short term, the revenue dropped dramatically over the long term. Marriott has already lost about 25% of my business after over 30 years of loyalty. Their future actions will determine whether my loyalty returns or I move the rest elsewhere.
Hi Everyone - I thought I was missing Steppingstones comments but just thought it was because the new site made it more difficult for me to find the discussions I am really interested in. I think that the most disappointing thing is that he requested that his account be "deactivated" rather than simply not checking in. I agree with the comments being made here as to the possibility reasons for his leaving the site. I hope and pray that there isn't some health issue that contributed to his decision.
While there are quite a few Insiders whose posts I value and look forward to, many of whom have posted to this discussion and some who have not, Steppingstones always had excellent perspectives, coupled with a sense of humor. His posts will be missed.
I was on last night and noticed that SS was no longer. I will miss his comments. I too find the deaf ear of Marriott frustrating. I have not been active for that long. Early on, I mostly read the comments but got sucked into the CL weekends posts and thought with the interest, Marriott would respond.