Forum not Forums
9th October 2022 at 06:51TimM
Well first, Happy John Lennon’s Birthday.
Don’t you think that the ‘Forums’ should be ‘Forum’?
Following on, as a matter of housekeeping, would it not be better to be less prescriptive about areas for discussion, take that layer off and let contributors discuss on what they felt important? Less prescriptive, not totally un-prescriptive. More vague subject areas would be a help.
Finally the daily pointer to today’s chat in the news feed is a great annoyance. Let the forum work on its own merits.9th October 2022 at 07:56John
I thought each “area for discussion” is a forum, so the whole thing is the forums.
But the whole thing could also be the forum, with sub-forums.
Agree with the other points.9th October 2022 at 09:28dst87
I don’t think there’s prescriptivist about areas for discussion, simply a structure in place to keep relevant topics organised. If I want to see or engage in some discussion about a specific hotel loyalty scheme, it’s easy to see those.
Perhaps I’m misunderstanding your suggestion, but I’d hate to have just one huge list of mixed topics. That would be a pretty unusual way to structure / run a forum.9th October 2022 at 09:41Barraclough
I’m not sure whether TimM’s comment about forum or forums is a grammatical one or one of substance about the structure of the HfP website? If it’s a grammatical comment ‘forums’ is surely an acceptable plural to forum as the old latin word ‘fora’ is less used nowadays, as English usage develops and as it has always done.
If TimM is suggesting amalgamating the HfP forums into one though we would lose the convenience of locating topics and their history quickly and conveniently. I follow two or three forums closely and changing to a single general forum would be a big loss. As the header to the Daily Chat says: “If you have specific questions about Avios, hotels or credit cards, please ask them in the appropriate forum and not here. This thread is a good place to post interesting deals you have spotted or your general thoughts on travel and all things miles and points”.
The changes made in December 2021 have settled. We should also recognise that the HfP readership demographic is varied, with some reading everything and others dipping in occasionally: from London-centric business frequent flyers, others located around the UK, some more interested in hotels, and others being leisure travellers. The present forums structure, I think, works quite well for most readers.9th October 2022 at 09:43Barraclough
I don’t think there’s prescriptivist about areas for discussion, simply a structure in place to keep relevant topics organised.
+19th October 2022 at 10:09The Savage Squirrel
Fora? 😉9th October 2022 at 11:08TimM
I’m not sure whether TimM’s comment about forum or forums is a grammatical one or one of substance about the structure of the HfP website?
If TimM is suggesting amalgamating the HfP forums into one
It was one of substance but the grammar follows the substance. The forum is the place to discuss everything.
And no, I am suggesting a thinning out, reorganisation and democratisation, not elimination, of categories based experience so far.
Taking part in online discussions across a wide variety of topics, I notice most forums tend to self-organise with hot-topics staying at the top and point-of-information topics resurfacing when relevant. ‘Head for Points’ is already fairly narrow. To have to scoot around many categories within the forum to see what people are discussing seems like an unnecessary layer of enforced mis-organisation. The daily ‘daily chat’ threads also counter-productive in this regard. So what we were discussing yesterday is not relevant today and BTW should be filed under a different category?
My feeling is that the HfP forum should be less compartmentalised and more self-organising to be more relevant, faster and easier to access. Only my humble thoughts.9th October 2022 at 11:29AJA
I think things works quite well as it is. The idea of calling it Forums slightly annoying grammatically but rate use of the term a 1/10 annoyance score.
No objection though to ending the link to the daily chat forum as I find it via the hamburger link at the top and then click recent threads.
I also find the daily chat thread useful – it could be renamed miscellaneous. It covers things that are random and should only really be used if another more appropriate existing thread doesn’t fit. I think it’s useful to keep it and close it down as happens currently.9th October 2022 at 11:33Aston100
I don’t think there is a need to change anything.
Notifications would be useful though.9th October 2022 at 12:59SteveJ
To have to scoot around many categories within the forum to see what people are discussing seems like an unnecessary layer of enforced mis-organisation.
“Recent Topics” is the only way to view this forum daily TBH, no need to dig into categories unless you are searching for some existing threads.9th October 2022 at 14:26RobHfP Staff
I have considered whether it should be forums or forum!
I think both are acceptable in this context because of the number of categories.
At SteveJ says, the way I personally navigate is via ‘Recent Topics’ and this is actually what we recommend people do. The categories page is really there to show newcomers what we talk about and I’d be shocked if many people navigated in and out of each separate sub-forum.
We are planning a rethink of the category structures after a year, which will be December. However, if you look at where there is minimal activity, it is only really in the Accor, Radisson and Hyatt sections. I think we’re obliged to keep these three sections because all of the other hotel content on the site covers the ‘big 6 and only the big 6’ schemes and I think the forum should match that.
The chat thread gets quite a bit of traffic so I am loathe to get rid of it. The link on the main blog home page (ie the spot it has at No 4 on the home page) will stay because it is a great way of getting casual visitors to HfP into the forum.
One thing that gets missed is the SEO value of the forums. Google sees that there is a forum category on Accor which means that it knows a) we are serious about discussing Accor and b) any discussion in that category is likely to be about Accor if the wording isn’t totally clear. This is important to us because the forum is becoming a decent source of new visitors to the site. In fact, one of the projects we are looking at internally is how we keep people on the site when their initial landing page was a forum page.9th October 2022 at 20:04TimM
If you are shortsightedly revenue-focussed then the current approach is arguably correct. It may be irritating to most of us but understandable. However, the business value depends upon much longer-term customer satisfaction – 10 to 20 years. I suppose I could put it:
Business value for you later = our satisfaction now
Naturally, I am more concerned with the latter but there is a healthy symbiosis.
Surely SEO is a thing of the past? If not, it will be soon.
The best way to keep visitors is to satisfy them and that means unleashing and optimising the full-breadth of relevant conversation. IMHO.9th October 2022 at 21:37Froggee
I’m lost @TimM.
On SEO, the number of times I have googled something frequent flyer related with HFP being in the top couple of responses is beyond impressive. I get the impression that Rob has this nailed. How else does he drive traffic to his site? Genuine question as I have no clue but how is SEO going to be a thing of the past?
A couple of people including Rob have mentioned the recent topics tab. This seems to offer what you want?
I admit it would be easier for me as a frequent reader if that was the only view this forum had as it would save me clicking on it. But I accept that I’m totally not normal and it’s probably unhealthy how often I visit here. I don’t think it spoils my user experience.
With hindsight the change from chat streaming in the comments to the bits topic of the day to the forum and the daily chat thread has been an improvement. The only thing about it that makes me said is how @Ghengis barely posts now having said it wasn’t for him. He was my favourite poster as was always friendly and super switched on.10th October 2022 at 05:24memesweeper
IMHO it’s a forum, with categories. But the fora/forums name would be absolutely fine too.
What I think you *really* want is tagging, with a mandatory minimum of one tag, navigating/filtering/subscribing by tag as an option, and (optionally) curated tags not user invented ones. I have no idea if the software can support this. But it would mean you could have a thread tagged “cancellations and legal rights” whilst also being tagged “BA”. I think this might feel more democratic, as you put it, whilst keeping content organised.10th October 2022 at 09:11Amy C
I just wish the first post in the chat thread was amended or gone. It’s no longer a ‘new’ forum. It’s ten months old now.10th October 2022 at 09:14RobHfP Staff
I just wish the first post in the chat thread was amended or gone. It’s no longer a ‘new’ forum. It’s ten months old now.
True. I was thinking the same over the weekend. It is actually a bit trickier to change than you think because the post is automatically generated at midnight, but I will get it done.
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