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Yep, Insiders has gone off into the wilderness, as far as I am concerned. There seems to be less and less focus on travel and travel tips, which was trhe original intent of nsiders when it started. We seemed (and I am as guilty as anyone on this count) to have evolved (or devolved) into a social networking maze of discussions and answers, a tennis volley where no one seems to be keeping score or getting points. We're getting to the point where voices are being drowned out by other voices shouting or whispering all at the same time.
So what? Well, for many of us this is static on the line. We'd like a return to a dialog about hotels, people we encounter in them, associates we've interacted with, and places we've visited. Not a good thing. I am not a big fan of change, as I have said in the past, but radical change for the sake of change is at the bottom of list of favorite things.
Now what? Well, I might see less and less of Insiders as the days go on, hitting other sites instead. Or I might stay connected, who can say?
I hope that the Community Manager and others at Marriott rewards are doing some stock taking as I write this, and deciding if the decisions made to convert Insiders was prudent or not. You can return to a way in which ,many more of us would be pleased. Give us a review of how you think things are going, please. We're (at least I am) listening.
You are right on, in my opinion, and I, too, have been frequenting other sites instead of insiders in the last few weeks. I miss the ease of the old insiders, and also the spot on advise and honest feedback of the "regulars." I guess, after being loyal to Marriott for 15 years, after not being taken seriously in many different Marriott venues the last few months, the revamp of insiders was the icing on the cake. Too bad. What is the most frustrating thing for me, is to not be heard, and that has happened over and over with this new site. Ignoring loyal customers, who were champions for the brand is a travesty.
I could not agree more, SteppingStones! I do not begrudge at all those Insiders who like the new site, but I only joined in the beginning because of its exclusive focus on travel. Now that that is no longer the main focus (at least to my eyes), I have lost interest. I check in occasionally, read a post or two, then go on with my business, whereas I used to spend a lot of time writing about my travels, including photos etc. and reading about others' adventures. Again, I wish everyone well because I doubt the site will change in any significant way. But I do not plan to be a real voice in it -- in fact they can probably change my Rock Star status to Novice based on my recent participation levels. To some that may sound like taking my marbles and going home, but I just don't have the time to devote to this new site, which I find to be overly 'busy' in the wrong sort of way.
And all this time, I thought it was just me. I'm not a social networking person but if this is what facebook is like then I know I'm not missing anything. I too miss not only the old site which I was slowly but surely figuring out, but I thought the posts were more interesting. And now that the community manager has tagged one of my recent posts as "abuse" I have virtually no interest in very much at all about marriott. Like SS and PC, I might or might not check in occasionally, that is if I don't get kicked off first, but it just ain't fun no more. And the point system and participation meter is a joke.
Well although I liked the old site better, that does not mean that I will abandon Insiders. All the postings that are being made are not that dissimilar with postings made on the old site. It seems to me that one of the major reasons for the lack of travel related posts has a lot to do with you guys (SS, Prof, NHhusker, etal) as you were some of the main contributers to those posts. Now that you are "turned off" by the new site, you travel related posts seems to have disappeared, That's a shame, because you guys (and several others) are the ones that made the site what it was. But you are right, each of us have to make a decision on how much we want to participate in the site and if that also means abandoning the site, so be it. As far as the point system and participation meter, come on...That certainly should not be the focus of any discontent and, in my opinion, too much is being made of it..Who cares about how many posts one makes, it is unimportant and just another excuse for not liking the site. So, for those of you that continue to use and benefit from Insiders, I applaud you. For those of you that want to move on and no longer want to particpate in this site, I wish you well in your new endeavors.
Dear Jasper, I applaud your point of view but disagree with the premise that our lack of travels posts is at the heart of this kerfuffle. I would say that the real issue is that the structure of Insiders inhibits travel related posts by adding superfluous other widgets, and hiding the means by which we can post about a place we've been. If I were designing a site I'd start with a world map, and ask the question "Where would you like to comment on?" That would drive comments to specific areas and experiences.
I agree that the postings on this site have become far more than the 'travel info' we have all looked to find in the past versions. Maybe that is what Marriott wanted. I don't really know.
However, I do believe that a lot of Insiders DO want to have a travel site they can visit that gives the travel input we had all known and looked for in past versions of Insiders. My discussion post : Insiders: Where are You? has logged almost 400 views and 65 replies/posts with some extremely good travel info. I don't think there is another post that carries that kind of response or input. I tried with that post to bring a focus back to travel and informational posts related to the same. There are still posts coming online even as of today and the original post is weeks old.
That response gives me the impression that others feel the same way a lot of us do....that we want a travel site that gives us updates and info on current travel conditions and experiences (at Marriott and other places) that we can relate to and process for our own future usage in whatever manner we decide.
Let's continue to post our experiences and the rest of the fluff...............
I am in agreement with all of these comments, those that suggest this site has "turned off" many of the devotees and those that suggest we accept change and forge onward.
I believe the BIGGEST issue is that the new site required a HUGE learning curve and that, despite our best efforts, we all have made "mistakes" in posting. For example, when speaking of a destination, was it logged in the Destinations group or the Marriott Rewards group? Was it properly tagged by location and name of hotel? Was it created as a document, a blog, or a discussion? Was there a question in the context and if so, did the discussion get designated as such with the Ask A Question checkbox? As the author of a "rewards" topic that has morphed into a destination discussion - did you do the "branch" process to refocus the topic? (see "Branch" Feature for Authored Posts)
All of the above have contributed to a lack of organization in the MRI. The search feature is MUCH better in v3 than it was in V2, so to me, finding a topic from weeks, months, or even farther back is much improved. Having said that, I find the new site a "mixed blessing." Sure, some of the frills are worthwhile, but all of the bells and whistles of a "social site" were overkill for the purpose of MRI and its intent on discussion travel and destinations.
It would be grand, IMO, if the new stewards were able to help "clean up" and organize posts that have gone astray - even if they did not author them. The ability to fully organize this site would go far in making it much easier to post and to read about topics of interest.
Greetings everyone - I've mentioned this before but it's well worth repeating... thanks for hanging around through the changes and helping us continue to improve the community for everyone.
The migration to the new platform was certainly no small change, particularly after the previous site went unchanged for so long. But we're listening to your feedback and we'll continue to make changes. We just introduced two Marriott associates today that will be participating within the community as you've asked for more involvement. And as pingreeman mentioned, there is a learning curve and your feedback is helping us make improvements. For example, we're looking at ways to include links within the header so you could jump between topics, blogs, and groups, and we're working on a visual overview of the site.
The community does have what some may consider new bells and whistles, but we're still here to facilitate your travel discussions between members of all ages - that hasn't changed. tef6178's post is one example, but feel free to create your own new thread or question about a destination, Marriott Rewards, travel tips, or other travel-related topics.
CM - I and several other MRI members had participated in surveys about the MRI site, attended the video conference to have direct feedback from members, a follow-up Q&A over the phone, and several posts offering suggestions including volunteering to QA a BETA site (myself and possibly others), why is it that this site is only "remotely" in line with the comments and suggestions provided? You mention, "But we're listening to your feedback and we'll continue to make changes" and "your feedback is helping us make improvements" Isn't this the "cart in front of the horse" approach? Wouldn't this have been better during user acceptance testing? As such, I am more displeased about MRI that a BETA site was not first established for some of the Super Stars, Rock Stars, and Apprentices to give it a "once over" before releasing it - I feel having done so would have avoided sentiments such as found in this post. All we got for indications of what was coming were a few screen shots and a couple of meaningless explanations of features/functions.
I will continue to trudge forward, but to hear MRI members feeling lost, abandoned, confused, etc. is discouraging and to keep being optimistic is getting harder with every post like this. I do not want some of my favorite "old-timers" to abandon the site.
Hi pingreeman, we appreciate your expertise and passion for improving the community. We share that passion and we are listening to the feedback provided during those video conferences, surveys and phone interviews, as well as the recent suggestions from Insiders. We welcome your vision and ideas for the site, but to keep this thread from running astray, we'll incorporate what we can over time and we're all on the same team in creating an awesome community for Marriott Rewards members to talk about travel.
So there you have it! there are several 'veterans' that find issues with the new site and there are some 'veterans' that like the new site. Points well-taken on both sides of the issue, but individual experience will be the deciding factor. Many enjoy the bells-and-whistles of the new format, many find them cumbersome, distracting, and downright confusing. What I don't understand are those that like it somehow belittling those that don't. Maybe they don't really care, but are just building up their post count so they can reach super star status in hopes of finding some joy in their lives..... Either way, I too will continue to stop by from time to time, or not, but I will miss the old community.
We have started to lose sight of the original admonition in Insiders 1.0: "Posting should be relevant and respectful." That being said I reread this thread and I see no disrespect only dialog, but then maybe that's my Pollyanna side showing? I hope that all posters will not need to be politically correct within the limits of this forum--just honest and not blatantly disrespectful.OK?
I agree with SteppingStones that there has been no belittling intended -- or even unintentional. What those of us who dislike so much about the new site is that it seems to have completely lost its travel emphasis in favor of a Social Insiders. I am not a Social Insider and anyone who knows me would say yes! to that. I miss the interchange between involved travelers to Marriott sites (which is sometimes there, but usually takes too long to find) or just travelers in general talking about their experiences.
Marriott Insiders was the ONLY 'social' (if you could call it that) website I ever belonged to or ever will. I don't have the time or interest to be involved in what has to me become a Facebook page. I do not belittle you or anyone else who enjoys the new site. More power to you! But it's not my kind of site and if it remains such I will rarely if ever check in. That is in no way an insult to you or others who find it useful, but I can only say again that it is not my kind of place.
Dear Shoeman, I used my super powers as a superstar to pen that one. I wanted one that would "last" and not be shanked, get iot? Seriously, I find that the directions we're taking are not the one that I signed onto last decade. But time marches on, Marriott can call the shots, all I can do is note the problems I have encountered.
Count me in as one of the "semi" veterans who was initially turned off by the new format. Upon first glance, it's not inviting at all. However, with some perserverance, I was able to get used to it and, more or less, find my way around, then eventually feel comfortable enough with it to start posting again. It is an improvement over the previous version? yes. Is it perfect, or even ideal? no. The organization still could be improved, having each individual topic "thread" stand out more within each of the 4 main categories (Destinations, Marriott Rewards, Travel Tips, Other). Closer to ideal may be the only other forum community I participate in, High-Def Digest: http://forums.highdefdigest.com/forum.php