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NOW LAUNCHED: Join 2,500 readers in the new HfP forums

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We have launched the Head for Points forums. Please join us!

Many of you will know that we have been planning to add forums to the site for some time. Initially, we planned to do it soon after we launched the new site design in August 2020, but life got in the way.

Sinead went on maternity leave and I took over the commercial side of the business for nine months, leaving Rob to do the majority of the writing. This left us with little time to work on bigger projects. Luckily Sinead is now back which has freed me up to work on this, with the help of our IT partner Neil Barrett @ Enbecom.

We launched the forums this week. Over 2,500 readers registered in the first 10 days and we have ironed out most of the bugs and glitches.

HfP forums screenshot

How to join the Head for Points forums

You can register for the HfP forums here. Note that your forum login can also be used to comment across the site.

Your first post / comment to the site will go through moderation to avoid spam registrations. If you cannot see your post immediately please bear with us as we process these.

If you have any problems registering or encounter any bugs or other technical issues, please leave a comment below. We have also created a dedicated topic on the forums where you can leave any suggestions you have here. Of course, if you have trouble registering then you won’t be able to post there 🙂

If your comment would require sharing any personal data, email your query to [email protected] instead.

How to navigate the forums

If you head to www.headforpoints.com/forums or click the link which will appear in the navigation bar later today you’ll see we have a number of forums dedicated to miles, points and travel in general. This should make it easier to find the information you are looking for versus searching old chat threads.

We have also added a ‘London life’ thread for off-topic questions about restaurants, going out, property or whatever. We may add other non-travel forums if there is demand.

If you want a quick overview of active conversations then I suggest using the ‘Recent Topics’ page. This is linked in the top right of the dedicated forum menu (or you can access it here) and lists all topics by most recent response. It’s a particularly useful way of keeping abreast of the entire forum.

Have we got the categories right? Only time will tell. We have done our best to second-guess what you will want to ask about. We will keep an eye on things and delete / add sections as necessary.

We have deliberately kept the forum ‘light’. You cannot have a linkable online profile, you cannot have a signature, you cannot upvote or downvote replies etc. From our side, we will keep your reading experience clean by not placing any advertising in the forum.

What you can do, for five minutes after posting, is edit what you have written – this was a much-requested feature in the old chat threads.

What will happen to the daily chat threads?

A daily chat thread will be opened each morning IN THE FORUM and not in the main news feed. There will be a new ‘daily discussion’ thread each day which will work in the same way as the current chat thread.

It will appear at the top of the forum listings so you won’t need to scroll down to see it.

The daily chat thread in the forum is a good place to, for example, post links to an interesting new offer you have found. However, we strongly suggest that any questions which can be asked in a dedicated forum thread are asked there. This will allow us to build up a strong Q&A database for the benefit of future readers.

It will obviously take a while for the forums to gain momentum, but we hope that we can create something that is both informative and entertaining. As with the site relaunch last year, you will see tweaks as the system beds down – readers have already given us some good ideas.

There are links to the forum in the HfP menu bar. We are working on ways to show a feed of current activity on the ‘news’ side of the site.

Thank you for your continued support of HfP.

Comments (286)

  • Sukes says:

    Genghis and Jonathan’s comments above sum it up for me. I fully understand the business argument for creation of the forum. I sincerely hope it is ‘Google gold’ for HfP in time as Rob has expressed. For me, I am unlikely to trawl through the forum subjects daily and I consider the demise of the daily chat format a real loss. I have no incentive to review multiple forum topics and threads. I never consulted the chat to read what Qs others were asking. It was for the nuggets of recommendations and insights that people dropped in passing & led me to do my own research as follow up. And these nuggets also seemed to be good source material for many HfP articles also.

    • Barraclough says:

      Those wedded to the old chat thread might remember it only started 18 months ago in response to the pandemic and before that comments were spread about under the bits articles. I think Dave summed it up well yesterday. The old thread was at times an echo chamber of egos (although many posters were not like that) but there was a lot of drivel to wade through to find the nuggets, and the forums under the new system, I find, make it easy to hone in on topics of interest and to search.

      • Rob says:

        It’s also worth noting that controlling the chat thread was becoming almost a job in itself for Rhys and myself with over 500 comments on most days, and 700 not being unusual in recent months. It took 8 years to get to 400,000 comments (https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/02/07/head-for-points-hits-400000-comments/) and just another 22 months to hit the current total of 709,000.

        With no limits on who could post (ie no registration) those sprouters of racist and homophobic nonsense, especially after a few beers, were continually able to reappear. The comments had to be checked literally every 30 minutes, from 6.30am until around midnight, seven days per week, by one of us. In just the last seven days since the forum launch I have probably had to read 3,500 fewer comments than the previous week.

    • Isherwood says:

      I tend to agree. The daily chat was like picking up a newspaper and knowing that there would be all sorts of ‘gems’ within the pages. A big thanks to all those people who served such intriguing content and made it like a family. I learnt a lot from everyone in a short space of time. But of course I respect others need answers and that the forum will be widely appreciated now and in the future. HFP has done a ‘Windows’ upgrade on us and it’s a brave and rather scratchy new world…

      • CarpalTravel says:

        Not really a brave new world, forums have been around for over 20years and been an invaluable source of information and a great way of organising it.

        Facebook groups have destroyed many huge forums and having a single thread where some may stumble across a tid-bit of info is I’d argue much less likely to inform as many people. Pros & Cons for both, but long term I think Forums serve as a lasting resource whereas daily chats were entirely disposable. How many people trawl through the last weeks chat threads to check if a bit of info had been talked about?

  • Isherwood says:

    *That was a reply to Sukes

  • Stephan says:

    Much as I agree with the feeling that the bits was easier to read through. I do find it a bit of selfish view and not thinking of all the work that goes on in the background in keeping HFP going forward.

  • jlo says:

    Hi Rob/Rhys, do you mind having a look at a forum topic from me that got marked as spam? (I think it’s called “BA Holidays – Abandonment – What should happen next?”) I don’t want to repost it unless advised to. (I also posted a question regarding topic being marked as spam under the housekeeping thread.)

  • John says:

    I think there needs to be a direct link to the forum from the home page on mobile. It’s annoying to have to press the burger menu then move my thumb to the forum link.

    I know I could just bookmark the forum directly in my browser but I prefer to moan about it here.

  • Harrier25 says:

    Rob/Rhys. If you want the forum to be the roaring success you claim that it’s going to be then you need to sort this ridiculous Captcha issue ASAP. It’s preventing many posts from posting! 🤬🤬🤬

    • Rob says:

      I don’t understand why you get it. The whole point on invisible Captcha is that it’s, well, invisible. I’ve never been asked for one, on any device. Only if there is a strong suspicion that you are a bot (and using a VPN as you seem to be would be a big red flag) will it show a challenge.

      • Harrier25 says:

        It certainly isn’t invisible with its buses and boats. I’m not the only one complaining about it so it’s clearly an issue.

      • Harrier25 says:

        I’m not using a VPN. I’m just using my home BT brodband!

        • Rob says:

          Ah ok. You don’t have a standard short IP address coming up.

          • Harrier25 says:

            Maybe that’s because it’s full fibre into the house with two BT smart disks for no loss of speed anywhere in the house connected to the main hub, but this doesn’t cause an issue on any other.

          • Harrier25 says:

            ….website

  • Doommonger says:

    Disappointing that there is not a LGBT thread, a chance missed to genuinely differentiate from the likes of FT etc.

    Doomster.

    • Rob says:

      I would defer to Rhys on this, but in general we see travel as something that brings people together and is not something that should be stratified by sex, age, race, parental status etc.

      I am old enough to remember the ‘no dogs, no blacks, no Irish’ generation – grief, back in 2004 Sandals ads still said ‘for couples only*’ with a ‘*but no gays’ in the small print – but those days are long gone. If we ever did it, it would be alongside a group of other new boards such as ‘Travelling with children’ etc.

      • Geoff 1977 says:

        I’m not sure it was a serious post asking that question. Probably more just a bit of attention seeking

      • Danny says:

        I assume anyone can start a thread; if Doomster are so inclined why don’t you start one? Rob, there is no need to defer this issue to Rhys, just because he is gay; your views and opinions on this are just as valid and helpful as anyone.

        • blenz101 says:

          There are a lot of additional considerations for LGBT travellers in many countries which is what I think the deferral was referencing. Sleeping arrangements being a rather obvious one in many parts of the world.

          I tend to agree that these things don’t need to be in a ‘ghetto’ special place. If I wanted to ask about how accepting a particular hotel or destination would be then I would ask it openly in the main forums.

          Similar idea to LGBT using ‘straight’ bars rather than having to use a designated and identified safe space.

          • Lady London says:

            I agree with you blenz101. This is all part of the mainstream. Many people want something in particular from, say, a hotel stay and there can be all sorts of different reasons that don’t have to be accounted for.

            Obvs in some countries as a female I’m not going to go around sleeveless and in other places I might cover my head even though I wouldn’t normally. If I see a local norm I am going to do my best to appear to respect it and on a day to day basis I won’t provoke any discussion.

        • Dubious says:

          I Mostly likily deferred to Rhys because he is the one who is responsible for the forums…rather than for any other reason.

      • Tom says:

        Except when you are traveling to the 50% of countries that still consider you having relations with your partner a criminal offence, of course. I’m not sure it’s quite the same as travelling with children which I’m not aware is illegal anywhere yet (as much as I might like it to be a criminal offence by parents for children to play in the adult’s only pool sometimes)

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