I guess I am in a minority of MRI contributors who see this site as one that Marriott and Marriott Rewards created and allow it to run itself without much if any interference from them. If they wanted to directly moderate the site they would have by now. Jive and formerly Liveworld did most of the checking and zapping (I was zapped on both sites once or twice for offensive -- in their lexicon comments).
So, I guess the site is what we collectively make it to be: no more or no less. We'll always have very relevant and very irrelevant (in the eyes of the posters) posts. From time to time the MR personnel will weigh in but very infrequently, to assess or correct something. Overall, we write what we want, and within the limits of the site's rules, get them posted right away.
I find that the site has much less value as a travel related site than a chat room, where the focus is whatever we want it to be. Is there a solution? Probably not within the structure of MRI. Are there alternatives? Sure,there are bloggers for every topic in the world you can imagine and some you can't. Is there a need to jump ship and head for the blogosphere, as some have suggested? Jury is still out on that IMHO.
I am leaning toward moving on, if that's a confusing enough comment.
You bring up a good point, similar to what I was just pondering last night. I too may open a floodgate with this idea. Since Marriott has made this site have more of the "social" chat features, and they probably won't go away from that now, why didn't they add the ability to chat directly with other users. While some may say that's a step in the wrong direction, I see that as an improvement. The reason I think that would be better, is that only people who want to chat with each other would do so, and the idle chatter and joking that we have done (which we ARE trying to get away from), wouldn't clutter up the site, like is has previously. People who didn't want to chat wouldn't even see it or be a part of it. It seems like it might fit more people's desires? I am open to any criticisms of that idea.
SS, I would hate to see you go. I too am a bit concerned over the fact that it seems no longer a travel site. I have come here for travel related information often and you have usually weighed in. I appreciate that and it has always been helpful! There are many here that I look forward to getting travel related advice. I have also been conflicted about it being a chat room of sorts, and until recently stopped participating. I am also amused by the mindless chatter to gain status. I can chat on FB but I can't get travel info there. Marriott in my eyes is going in the wrong direction! I have been rethinking my participation as well!
SS and Tryt,
I just don't see the "Clutter", if one does not want to read or participate in a post, they don't have to. Frankly, I enjoy a lot of what others might consider "Clutter".
When I posted the information on the Burlington, Iowa FF, I was concerned it was "Clutter", because it sure wasn't something that would interest many people. However, much to my surprise it did appeal to some.
Thank you for you kind words. If I had been just another user, I might have been just a little different in my stance. But since I agreed to be a Steward, I had to rethink when I was causing some of our veteran posters and travelers, to rethink whether they wanted to be here. That is something I do not desire, and we would all be less here without their inputs. I do hope that the site evolves so that less policing, or self-policing has to happen, and Marriott finds a way to foster both the "strictly travel" and "social contact that stays in the general travel" areas. There needs to be a way to "isolate" the media that different types of users can choose to see or not see, and it needs to be much more effective than what it is currently, IMHO.
thanks for your very candid post. there is no easy answer to this, and as long as 1/2 the people see nothing wrong with the new direction, enjoy it in fact, we are all doomed to in-fighting and condescending remarks. Regarding the remarks being made, I hope the last sentence in your post does not expose you to the same abuse I received from Jasper when he addressed my comment regarding checking out TripAdvisor with ProfChiara. I believe he said Good Riddance................
You may be right about the doomed to in-fighting, although I hope you are not. Sometimes when we get on different sides of an issue, it can go on for a long time and even become a feud! For example, I point to the battle over smokers we had in a post, that went on for a long time with some hostilities on both sides. I appreciate all the sides and try to respect everyone's right to disagree. For me, it all boils down to one really important principle, and that is to respect each other and not have to prove we are always on the right side. Holy wars have been fought for reasons such as proving we are the "one" right way, and eveyone needs to think and believe like us!
And for both you and ss, and all the other posters who are thinking of leaving, it makes me extremely sad to lose any of you, and I really mean that!
Ok, TRAVEL, just to make this relevent (I didn't say I have to give up my poor sense of humor did I?)
thank you for trying. as you can see from the above post, Jasper has a different way of communicating. I am not now, or have I ever said 'my way, or the highway". I respect others opinions too much to do so. Others, clearly do not feel the same or have the class it takes compromise.
thanks again. you and I have NO problems.
I hope we all adults about this, Shoeman. I find that the more catty the remark (and No Jasper I am not making this about you) the more insincere the post is. I have slipped into *** for tat at times and regretted that each time (after posting and then deleting my post if I remembered).
Hey, if everybody leaves, I'll have to send messages, photos, and whatever else to myself. How much fun can that be? For what it's worth, much of the "clutter" has been reduced just since it was brought to everyone's attention. Seems to me that we're heading in the right direction.
The Corn man speaks the truth. The chatter/clutter/ *** for tat/ has slowed down significantly. The inmates ARE running the asylum and THEY ARE getting it together.
In the first dew days, there were tons of posters who wanted to leave because they were uncomfortable with the new look and navigation. That blew over as the inevitable winds of change started to feel more comfortable. It's still not the same for some, but there has been a bevy of informative posts and posters.
The next issue was the current issue...too much chit chat not Marriott or travel related. That is sorting itself out.
In the long run, most people will come and go. It's nice to have new folks take the lead for a while. It gives the the main posters a chance to catch their breath. Most will return in some capacity. Their contributions have helped to build this site. There is too much collective knowledge on here to leave forever.
I hope we are heading in the right direction. Seems like a lot of feelings have gotten ruffled up in the last few days. I am trying to do my part by spending a lot of time going back and removing as many of my frivolous postings as I can find, that I was part of, to try and make less reading for people to wade through in the future. And it takes a heck of a lot longer to do cleanup, than it does to quickly send a posting . Let's hope the others hang around long enough to see if things improve, or not.
I chimed in on the poll which seems to have a very similar topic but I'll repost here as it seems just as relevant...and if we can have duplicate threads on essentially the same topic I am gonna post duplicate responses
I've seen some posts that are a little outside the lines of "travel related" but all in good fun and honestly seem to be meant to spark discussions. While this site is and will always be a "travel" related place, it has also become a place where many people come daily, sometimes hourly to read posts, live vicariously through others or research a trip. As a result of this, many folks have developed a following or like to follow others and like with any forum this is a healthy sign of community growth. For many of us, this is the only outlet to communicate with the other members here. I would wager few if any insiders actually have interactions outside of this site with each other.
As for the Facebook references and features of the site I think it sort of goes the way of Shakespear's "Much Ado About Nothing" and even follows the story line to a point While Facebook and the like are viewed as "evil" by some and the features often considered less popular by some, from a business stand point MR cannot turn a blind eye to it. I do not see as much "Facebook" here as some seem to voice the opinion of but more of a place that is evolving with the market trends and utilizing the software packages available for this type of interaction. Much of the issues raised about security and reduction in privacy are in most cases a direct result of what someone inputs to their profile. I would wager if you really looked under the covers of any site, lets say google.com, you would find that the same issues could be raised, though few people vocalize the evil that lies within the Google empire as vehemently as they do for Facebook.
In my opinion the site is progressing in a healthy way and will continue to grow, hopefully bringing in new members to contribute and continue to add different insights, perspectives and experiences. My hope is that we do not loose any members as this growth happens. We do need to either focus more on "travel" topics at times or perhaps we need a "Random Thoughts" type of area to segment other less travel related items that seem to be classified as idle banter. That said however I would hate to see the friendly, though sometimes extremely random conversations go away from MRI.
While the site has evolved, its purpose has not. We're still as committed as ever to this community as your travel resource by facilitating new ways to communicate and share experiences and tips. And although we try to make everyone happy, we're including each of you in the dialogue along the way. And we do our best to incorporate as many of your ideas as we can. For example, we've formalized a process for Insiders to post ratings & reviews (can't get more Marriott or travel-related than that!), made personal blogs available for everyone, and we're taking your suggestion to soon create a Customer Support area so those posts can both get their due attention and allow everyone to discuss travel throughout the rest of the site.
We've posted some tips for everyone to get the most out of the community as a travel resource in a Community Update blog post.
Thanks Andy, I sure hope that the site continues to evolve, and actually get back to basics, and away from the way it is now structured. I posted an idea that you have the opening choices include a selection for "Travel" or "Travel-Related" and that you find a way to have an automated word finder (a la Google) that would place a post in these categories. Happy travels to you and the gang at Marriott Rewards too.