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Well Insiders, it's now been over a year since we were promised "Hope and Change" was on the way. Remember??? Marriott had heard our complaints, felt our pain, and was working to rectify the situation. We got corporate activists listening to us, they even had/have names (Andrew, Laura, Michelle), but in the end, very little has changed regarding the usability of the site. Isn't it ironic how we have 2 parallel events happening in our lives where "Hope and Change" were dashed by a dose of reality. I'm wondering, am I the only one who feels jilted?? As this is an online travel community, I am, of course, speaking of Marriott.
What do you think?
yeah seems like perhaps there is more at play than we can see but there are things that make you scratch your head and wonder. For example, it appears that our new ambassador has 25 or so posts...none of which I can recall seeing real time. First post was the end of Feb '11, I just dont get the decision. Nothing against the person but does seem an odd choice to help lead the site. In the end perhaps Marriott really doesnt want our true opinions or maybe they just aren't ready for them. At anyrate they do seem to be looking for new blood to lead
Dear Shoeman, I read yours with interest. My "sixpenny worth" goes like this. In many cases, our assessment of the success or failure of a site like Insiders will depend mainly, if not totally, on our original expectations of it. I have not used the site as frequently as others, but my impression was never that it was a means of resolving personal issues and grievances; rather it offered an opportunity to identify and voice the most commonly shared concerns and hopes, and thereby to shape, to a small extent, the medium and longer development of MR and, beyond that, Marriott International. I am sometimes a little surprised to see how often very personal and immediate issues, which I would have assumed should be taken to the individual hotel where they occurred, are aired on Insiders. And, by the same token, I never imagined that there would be many instances where the overriding commercial logic that drives Marriott International would be upset by "user activists" - however much I might wish it to be otherwise!
Dear Arkwright, I nominate your recent post for most reasoned and well said of all time! Hear, Hear!
Expectations are subjective and we as Insiders are a community (at times rowdy, other times somnolent) that grows and shrinks in size and participation as issues arise and recede. What happens on Insiders reflects individual experiences and opinions, at once trivial and also monumental.
Insiders is like a family-seldom does the Marriott corporation intervene unless there is a kerfuffle or a personal attack issue. We make it what it is or isn't through our participation, but in the end the site is owned by Marriott, as is Marriott Rewards.
To another point in this thread, the choice of a new Ambassador depends on the number and kind of applicants. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the first Ambassadors and very much enjoyed my tenure as one.
This was a decision that took some time as you've all seen, with a deadline extension, and apparently reached after a lot of thought.
While I think that the number of posts is a valuable metric it is not the only one to be considered. A person must apply to be considered, and those who didn't were not considered.
Here's to a vibrant Insiders dialog!
Your candor is noted as well as your kindness in responding. I would never be bored hearing someone's ideas. We have to remember the thread about please and thank you anytime we post, correct? Everyone can have an opinion and none are better than others, in my view. Our discourse is relevant and respectful after all.
Nothing personal was ever intended, just my opinions, that's all.
Are we OK on that?
I agree with Shoeman...a lot of talk from Marriott, but little action for more than a year. Bad enough they ditched the original site without notice, but now to fail to make the corrections they promised after more than a year is just plain lame.
Additionally, a condescending attitute toward a poster who criticizes Marriott is simply contributing to the problem.
And my iPad still doesn't work with Marriott Insiders. !!!
"To another point in this thread, the choice of a new Ambassador depends on the number and kind of applicants."
But when you don't get a pool of qualified candidates, do you hire someone anyway?
I, like, many others didn't apply, but this won't cause me to hesitate in stating my opinion on this or any other issue.
This is why I didn't take any of those surveys they conducted over the past year seriously. If they sincerely want to improve this site, it's 90 percent common sense and willingness. It's not complicated.
I don't feel jilted (to use your words), but it does reinforce my feeling that Marriott is a big company, and like other big companies, they don't care about individual experiences as long as their overall numbers (revenue, profit) are satisfactory.
I don't have visibility into the applicant pool or the criteria used to select me as the new ambassador. What I can tell you is that I've been a viewer of the site for a quite a while. After noticing that the majority of posts were from a core group of users, I made a conscious decision to become one of those people and try to add my input to the collective knowledge/experience of the community. After all, a forum is only as good as its contributors.
I have not been posting for as long as most people, but I feel I have been pretty active since I did start, and I will continue to work towards improving Insiders. We have not had the "official" onboarding yet. One of the main things I plan to ask about is the potential for improvements to site usability and what exactly is the scope of our "voice" to Marriott Corporate. And everyone, please feel free to reach out to myself and ProfChiara if there is something on these forums that you feel is not getting the attention it deserves.
"One of the main things I plan to ask about is the potential for improvements to site usability and what exactly is the scope of our "voice" to Marriott Corporate. And everyone, please feel free to reach out to myself and ProfChiara if there is something on these forums that you feel is not getting the attention it deserves."
Good luck. This is what regular users have been inquiring about for over a year since the Marriott Insiders fiasco. You'll earn a lot of street cred if you're successful.
As some of my other posts have mentioned, I am a software consultant for large financial implementations and upgrades. I know the life-cycle involved in such endeavors - from a statement of purpose through requirements gathering, configuration, testing, user acceptance, and ultimately roll-out.
Having said that, IMO it is reasonable that MRI has taken 12+ months in their attempts to provide an Insiders site that meets the users' expectations. I am sure the MRI team had many "lessons learned" from the fiasco and do not want a repeat. Several of us participated in an online/real-time interview/survey of what important features we require, "nice-to-haves," and general overall design.
I think the very fact that a turn-around was not done in less than 12 months is a good sign that when MRI version 3 is released, we will all be more grateful for the delay in getting it right.
One thing I hope the MRI design team is planning (based on our suggestions) is to have a true BETA site that can be fully vetted before releasing the final version to all MRI users. I would expect this stage of the design cycle any time now.