On New Years Day I ran an open forum where you could post suggestions for ways of improving Head for Points. I am grateful to everyone who took the time to comment or send me an email, especially those people who said they liked everything just as it is.
I replied to some ideas in the comments to the original piece, but I wanted to respond to a few ideas here as well.
One comment that comes up on a regular basis is a request for a forum. It isn’t going to happen, sorry. There are a number of reasons, but primarily:
- it would take a huge amount of admin time, even if I found volunteer moderators
- the advertising revenue from forums is poor as readers tend to flick past them to get to the latest posts
- it would take the focus away from the ‘comments’ area of HfP articles
- Flyertalk already does a great job of covering British Airways issues
Very few sites have successfully managed to operate a forum whilst keeping the focus on the core content.
Here are some things that will change (and some which won’t):
A few people felt that the competitions took up ‘space’ that could be used for articles. I do not fully agree with this, but I accept that the ‘last chance to enter’ articles are unnecessary for regular readers. I will therefore try to run four articles on days when one of them is a ‘last chance to enter’. By coincidence, today is one of those days.
Someone suggested the idea of a calendar. I like this. At present, closing dates for various offers are spread across the credit card pages, the ‘Hotel Offers‘ page and the ‘Avios Offers‘ page. It would be good to bring all of this together. I’m not sure what method would be easiest given the large number of people who do not visit the main site because they read via mobile, RSS or email. I will experiment with a ‘Final Reminders’ post every two weeks, probably on a Saturday.
Someone suggested the idea of an ‘executive summary’ on the ‘Hotel Offers‘ page. This is already up and running – you will see that I have added a paragraph with my suggestion of where you should focus your stays in the coming months.
Someone said that, when I review a hotel or airline, I should go into more detail as to what points I used and how I justified the valuation. I fully agree and will aim to do this, starting with my Etihad trip to Abu Dhabi in two weeks.
Some people asked for more ‘beginners’ information. My general view is that I don’t want to go any deeper than I already do with the ‘Beginners‘ page. Anyone who has ever emailed me will know that I try to get back to everyone and I simply do not have the resources to deal with lot of questions from people who know absolutely nothing about frequent flyer or hotel loyalty schemes. I would prefer HfP to be an intermediate stop for someone who already has some miles and points, has spent some time learning about the subject and now wants to really get to grips with it.
There were various requests re comments. Some people want them kept open longer – my view, to be honest, is that there is little point commenting on a three-month old article as no-one will see it. That is not why they are closed off, though – it is to reduce robot-generated spam. Closing comments after 3 weeks means that literally 97% of HfP articles cannot be spammed. Some people wanted more comments in the right-hand menu – I increased this last year, I may increase it again. What I cannot do for technical reasons unfortunately is run a dedicated page of comments.
Someone suggested that I add the partner links to the mobile site. This makes sense and I have added a small click-through Amazon link to each page of the mobile site. I have not added eBay, BA, IHG or TopCashback – eBay is fairly small in terms of revenue and I’m not sure that many readers book BA flights or IHG hotels via mobile.
A couple of people were interested in ‘success stories’ of great redemptions. I have thought about this before (as, if I’m honest, ‘holiday filler’ material!) and might do it. Perhaps I could offer a £25 3V gift card to people willing to write 300 words on their best ever use of miles and points? Keep an eye out for this one in 2015.
I have read every single suggestion to the original article, so if I haven’t mentioned your idea above then don’t worry, it is lodged in my subconscious and may emerge in one form or another in the future.