I learned during the 42 Story contest that 'checking the board' is worthless during a tsunami of stories, or in this case reviews. NathalieF Andy taught me that you could avoid the barrage by going to Discussions at the top of the page and clicking Trending (there is also an All) on the left column - that's where I saw this.
As regards to the contest - it does certainly seem to damper current discussion, as there are very few listed, and with very low comment participation. Again, like the 42 Story contest, I don't know why Marriott doesn't have a segment for Reviews and keep The Board (what I call the five most recent postings) available. I certainly understand why they opened up the contest - just take a look at the more than 32,000 views on Andy's topic "How does a chance to win a 7 day vacation sound to you", it's terrific for at the very least increasing Marriott's data base and hopefully for increasing the sharing of ideas (eventually) on Insiders. What would be interesting would be to see how many 42 Story participants actually stuck around and participate in Insiders. I'm also fascinated by the rapid response (like Marriott does on Facebook) that comes when a newby posts a question - that type of interaction would make for a terrific Insiders forum if it continues (nope) after the cicadas.
The other issue I have with the Reviews, is the missed opportunity for the reviews to be linked to previous posts, which might just help secure additional participation after the contest deluge. I read a good review of the JW in Indianapolis which was titled something like A Good Business Trip. When you go to the Right Column and click More Like This, rather than taking me to write ups on the JW in Indianapolis, it took me to five reviews mentioning the word business trip in the title (all over the world) instead (and yes, Andy I know all of the JW reviews could be read by clicking the Blue Box See All Reviews and I know how to search - I was talking about for the newest participants, if Marriott was focused on the reviews being of most value with some possible participant retention value, the More Like This could have been 'enhanced').
Speaking of 'enhancements' newhilton, whereas many of the reviews have a Facebook innocence to them, "oh I just stayed at the Bofunk CY Free! using my rewards and it was wonderful", and collect badges like it increases their chances of winning the contest, I believe the addition of new Insiders will actually over time, be beneficial as a sounding board as we all exchange and test ideas about the Rewards program. In the meantime, I'm going to sit this one out for awhile, let the flood of reviews wash over the forum and jump back in once it subsides and go from there.
Everyone's entitled to an opinion but we're pleased to see such great member reviews.
If the hotel reviews aren't your flavor, feel free to take part in our latest The specified item was not found.. To your point about finding things and easier participation, take a look and share your opinion
In hindsight the Facebook comment about the reviews does appear a bit smug, that certainly wasn't my intent, if for no other reason than to distract from my two core points, which I will return to later. To me some of the earliest reviews seemed more like Facebook posts (similar to some of the baseball stories posted for just the sake of points - or quite frankly, some of the Clinton captions). For the record, I appreciate the reviews collection and other than the overwhelming format, feel they are useful.
A more thorough reading of my post shows I felt an opportunity was missed when reviews were categorized by title in the More Like This column (A great location: A business trip; A great stay) rather than by specific property. What better way to introduce all of the new members to the immense value of the forum than to have a review linked to a jerrycoin writeup, a sg moneysaving idea, an ssindc photo, an anadyr introspective thought, an eb between the eyes straightshooter observation, a kharada cultural lesson, a tef concise policy explanation, an iahflyr aviation travel insight, a profchiara history perspective, or a pluto/californian/gemprincess colorful experience etc etc etc.? I had mentioned this thought previously in the day and was puzzled over why Marriott chose linking the reviews that way.
I also wondered why the reviews, like the baseball story contest, would by their enormous volume, be posted in such a fashion so as to significantly diminish the very interaction new members could benefit most by, as witnessed by several questions posted with little interaction. We might have gotten only one shot at some of the contest participants for sticking around and the sheer number and rapidity of posts could have blocked the chance of gaining another contributor.
As far as joining groups to suggest ideas, tagging the community manager is enough for me. Sometimes it works (like the changing of reviews to include the name of the property) and sometimes it doesn't (like suggesting that when we vote for Insider of the Year or story winner or photo winner, a running total of votes not be included so as not to potentially influence voting). I'm willing to live with that and would hope Insiders wouldn't need to Spark through layers of receivers to have an idea considered.
Actually, on the 9th in response to your post, I had just met my blind date at her hotel room.
No really, ............................................................................................................ she is blind !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I will not tell you that this room is a Marriott Room, so don't try and schmooze me into doing so !
I was at the Bellagio instead of a Hyatt or Hilton that night. So there ! That's my story and I am sticking to it !