There have been a fair number of new folks checking out Marriott Rewards Insiders (MRI) lately. Some come to post a comment on the latest sweepstakes topic. Others come to learn about promotions like the MegaBonus. Still others find their way to MRI to read up on travel topic, post a question, or try to resolve a customer service issue.
Many get here and aren't sure what the purpose of the site really is. So this question goes out to long-time Insiders (though those who have joined more recently are also encouraged to add their thoughts).
How would you describe MRI to someone who is thinking about joining (or someone who has just joined) this community?
I view MRI as a community designed for individuals with similar interests (Marriott, travel, etc...) to interact and enjoy themselves, with the added OPPORTUNITY for extra perks and benefits. I emphasize opportunity because it is not a requirement for Marriott to give us access to Mods that often helps us, notify us of promotions early, or give us special chances to earn points through contests, however many of us know that those things happen over and over again.
MRI is completely for entertainment and knowledge sharing, but often comes with many added benefits!
My take at least
I see this as a site to connect with others that enjoy Marriott and enjoy travel. It's an awesome site to get advice and tips, not just about hotels but also general travel. I love the added perk of getting a few tidbits (yay brightlybob - good word) of Marriott info before others.
Like the header of the site says, the members are at the heart of this community. We keep the forums going with the help of the mods.
I enjoy when the mods add to the discussions, but I know it's not their job to do it.
I have learned so much about Marriott and the Rewards program from this community. I have also met some pretty amazing people and can't wait to meet them in person soon.
I Think there are three groups. The lurkers ( not meant to be argumentive) who check in and may look at a specific post or two . The group that bejacob mentioned that come in a post once or twice on new promotions and other areas of interest. Then the 100-200 who review and post frequently who are generally loyal to Marriott ( at least frequently stay at Marriott's) and both enjoy the info they get as seartexan has outlined . I think many also enjoy the camaraderie that is present with many frequent posters witness tipple
There is a fourth group. Those who come here just to post a complaint about a hotel/policy/etc
Not saying there's anything wrong with that. Sometimes, people may not be able to get any help through other means, and MRI is their last resort. I know a lot of people on sites like FlyerTalk are encouraged to come here after posting a big issue, as the marriott representation on FT is slim.
Whoa, bejacob .... this is way too esoteric for me...
How about, to each his/her own?
Reasonable response. It occurred me that a one person recently (not mentioning any names) bemoaned the fact that this site is merely a place for social interactions and there was almost no useful travel information available. While I agree with the first comment, I don't with the second. I thought seeing how others view MRI might be helpful.
the one thing that insiders is not is the place to solve every issue and problem. the mods do review but i don't look at insiders as a place to handle every issue . i do respect people's opinions and have not gone to hotels with repeat issues and have chosen hotel based on insiders reviews
I couldn't agree with you more. This community site has been set up purposefully with few, if any directions. As long as the dialogue is respectful, participants can go anywhere they would like. I have no idea if Marriott looks back on the development of this site and smiles, frowns, or is indifferent as to what it has become. I believe that those that come aboard to raise an issue, do so as they have no other outlet available. Also, with no direction given, how would they know this wasn't (in some peoples opinion) the right spot to do so? Most importantly to me, this site has morphed in the last 3-5 years away from predominantly travel-related questions, posts, pic, etc, to becoming predominantly posters with a social agenda. These posters enjoy themselves immensely but offer little to those searching for travel information. The good news for the current crowd, social-media is the thing of the day and the Corp folks would likely be happy with that aspect of the direction of the community. However, while there have been some millenials join in, it doesn't seem to me that this valued group is embracing the community as much as the middle-aged weary traveler. I long for the days of Prof Chiara, Jerrycoin, Stepping stones, et al, were posting, and when travel information was shared, discussed, and enjoyed by many. Anyway, to each his/her own.
Excellent points. That's why I very carefully worded my question "how would you describe MRI?" not "what is MRI?" We all have different ideas about it and that's not a bad thing.
I'm not sure I'm in complete agreement with you that the site has gotten so far away from travel-related topics. I still see a lot of threads about certain locations (Hawaii & NYC), questions about the rewards programs (MegaBonus or rollover nights), and other travel discussion (airlines, credit cards, etc.). Two things that seem to be less common these days are blogs and photo albums. We still get some, but I believe the site could use more.
I do share your concern about the site becoming just a social outlet. Without a connection to Marriott or at least travel, I, too, question why some things get posted. Luckily that still seems to me to be a minority of the topics. As long as the words "Marriott" and "Rewards" are in the name of this site, I feel there should be some connection to those words in what is discussed. That's not to say I believe it should be the entirety of the conversation.
I have also watched this site change over the last few years as new folks join and others leave. A few things have remained relatively constant such as the things I mentioned in the 2nd paragraph above. Some folks still take time to blog about their travels. Back when I was new to this site, some of the back and forth banter didn't make sense to me. It still goes on, but now I know who most of the participants are. That's a change for me. I'm sure we'll see more changes.
I appreciate your comments. As both you and ssindc say "to each his/her own." I couldn't agree more. I know how I describe MRI to folks who are not part of this community. I was curious how other members of this community describe it. Some see it much the same way I do. Others have given me different perspectives to consider. It's from those folks that I learn even more about what we have here.
Message was edited by: bejacob
I too agree. We are allowed pretty much open dialogue-good and bad. Also getting quick help when needed.
My only "complaint" is the hosting software (not sure if that's the right term). I find it difficult to navigate threads or material sometimes. A more traditional BBS style would be easier. But that's a small complaint.
MRI is a site that allows individuals to ask questions and seek advice on virtually any Marriott subject, and for that matter on almost any travel related subject. MRI is a place where individuals can "vent" (we all need to vent from time to time) and then find out if their anger is well placed or if they are off base. Best of all, MRI is a place to gain a deeper understanding of Marriott and all it has to offer, and how to best take advantage of Marriott's features, programs, promotions and properties worldwide. Happy trails to all the wonderful MRI's.
I would describe Marriott Reward Insiders as a travel-related clearinghouse -- for advice and tips, to ask questions, to inquire about or to recommend destinations, to discuss common interests (whether travel- or grilling-related), and sometimes to complain.
It's definitely part of the corporate Marriott universe, but personally, I'm glad to be orbiting within. As a somewhat infrequent-but-earnest traveler, I was welcomed by this community and encouraged to participate and contribute regularly, and I'm very glad I did. I've learned (and enjoyed) so much more than I've given. And the friendships formed -- though not all face-to-face -- are genuine.
Iits not that I didn't do my homework mister bejacob, sir, its my dog what ate it... Honest
Anyhow... How do I view Marriott Rewards Insiders?
Well its mainly a travel related site focussing on Marriott Hotels and the rewards program. And that I think must be clear to anyone who spends any time reading the boards. By its very nature the Rewards program is most rewarding and effective for regular travellers, that's road-warriors to you and I. Hence there's a lot of discipussion about maximising the Marriott loyalty program as well as more general travel stuff.
It also has a social angle, as we comment on the threads, the vast majority of which are travel related we do comment upon contributions.
So it's a travel related site with a focus on Marriott hotels and especially its loyalty program.