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It seems that combining these into just one section would increase involvement from more people. Ask & Answer could be eliminated.
Non-regular forum insiders who have questions that could be easily answered if they just participated in the forum section of Insiders.
All would benefit from more participants on Insiders.
Theolejudge, I was in Prague about 5 years ago. I stayed at the Ren which is now a Hilton or Hyatt. The full-service Marriott is across the street and gets very good reviews. The location is very good... close to the Old Town Square and lots of sites. I walked all over Prague... have to say it was the only vacation where I lost weight!
It's also close to the bus station if you want to take a day trip to Terezin which I highly recommend.
I loved Prague! I could retire there!
Thanks Jerry and Theolejudge!
Theolejudge, if you do a search on 'Prague', you'll find quite a number of posts and replys. I posted some photos on some of my replys.
If you do go, I also highly recommend a night or two in Cesky Krumlov! And, if you do go there, in addition to the Castle tour, the tour of the Castle's baroque theater is fantastic! One of the very last baroque theaters remaining in the world.
In addition to Pingreeman and CountryJim to name a few, "Marriott" has been actively responding to questions in Ask & Answer. This is a positive development that has the potential to thrive if Ask & Answer is added to Forums.
If Ask & Answer is added to become a 5th Forum, do you envision the Ask & Answer tab going away? Rather than shut down Ask & Answer which a 'merger' suggests, what about 2 ways to get to Ask & Answer? From the tab as well as Forums?
Intuitively, less technical work would be involved by leaving the Ask & Answer tab as is and simply adding A&A as Forum #5. Bottom line, I agree that adding A&A to Forums will definitely benefit Insiders.
One potential gliche is that the difference in Forum appearance. I have no idea if the differences are purely cosmetic or if there are substantial technical hurdles involved. Personally, I find the appearance of A&A fonts to be challenging on the eyes. Also, A&A has limited Text capabilities.
I too agree that combining the Forums with Ask & Answer makes a lot of sense. There is considerable overlap already, since so many people ask questions or for suggestions in the Forums and some of the questions asked in Ask & Answer are so specific that only Marriott can answer them.
Your idea of adding A/A to forums makes sense.
It just seems that having one "Forum" including A/A will promote much more activity and provide benefits to people than is happening now.
Then the next step is to really promote the benefits of "Insiders"! No other hotel organization can "Boast" of a free benefit for travelers such as "Insiders".
Promotion of Insiders as the hub for Marriott Rewards members to post reviews, share travel photos/tips, enjoy advance notice on special offers and post comments, complaints or suggestions is a great idea. There are so many benefits that add value to being a Marriott Rewards member that merit an Insiders shout!
My conversation with many associates tells me that Pinreeman is correct--Marriott employees cannot legally be members of Marriott Rewards (though if members in advance of employment they apparently can be in a hold staus until their associate status ends), and therefore cannot access Marriott Rewards Insiders.
I for one think that's a good idea, since it prevents lurkers in what is supposed to be a MR forum.
"Marriott employees are not allowed to sign up - even if they are MR members."
Is active employee participation on Insiders needed for greater awareness? Would more employees participating in Insiders Forum discussion help community? Maybe.
Marriott's presence in thriving 'communities' elsewhere online provide good examples. With nearly 900 posts, a Marriott employee actively participates on FlyerTalk under 'Marriott Concierge'. And, any number of property managers actively respond to guest compaints as well as compliments posted on TripAdvisor.
My attitude is that we have a balanced mix now. The Insiders Lobby includes Mr. Marriott's Blog, the Chef Blog, Concierge Corner and Destination Spotlight all of which are employee authored. By including A/A under Forums, there's more Marriott visibility in Forums - the hub of the Insiders community. Would more than that upset a sense of a level playing field or create broader community? It's a fair question, any thoughts?
I think Marriott has now struck the right balance. Earlier, it seemed (true or not) that Andrew and the people at Marriott were more distant. But with the new presence on A& A things have changed. I think it's very important, as they realize, that Marriott associates do not become a guiding or even significant force in the Forums. If that ever happened, we could never really know that our views were being expressed and heard freely. But with this new level of visibility vis-à-vis A&A as well as occasionally in Forums, it strikes me that it is just the right balance.
TJC:"My attitude is that we have a balanced mix now. The Insiders Lobby includes Mr. Marriott's Blog, the Chef Blog, Concierge Corner and Destination Spotlight all of which are employee authored. By including A/A under Forums, there's more Marriott visibility in Forums - the hub of the Insiders community. Would more than that upset a sense of a level playing field or create broader community? It's a fair question, any thoughts?"
I also think Insiders has achieved a "balanced mix", but striking the "right balance" is a work-in-progress, IMHO. Marriott Rewards members span an enormous collection of brands. Many of the A/A questions pertaining to the lodging side of the business are answered directly, but those pertaining to other segments such as Marriott timeshare do not appear to be.
Ironically, since 12/19, A/A appears to have more new posts across 'Recently Asked', 'Recently Answered' and 'Unanswered Questions' than the Forums. If technically feasible, making A/A visible under the Forums would certainly highlight the combined Insiders activity - which is growing.
Thinking expansively, perhaps the Forums landing page might also feature a strip of Recent Photos culled from those attached to posts. Clicking a photo might bring you to the post. The added layer of user-friendliness might encourage and realize wider participation.
With some exceptions, blizzards are not fun for road warriors. The airports shut down, everyone is snowbound and cabin fever can be frustrating. We finally made it to Portsmouth and see that we are on your heels, actually.
Orlando for NYE - Great choice! Main Street in the Magic Kingdom for the Parade and Fireworks is the best. Enjoy the warmer weather and have a happy.