congratulations mr hashway on your new status. Am still not clear on the rules.Looks like quantity is a big factor. too bad. would have enjoyed offering blogs on my many years in africa (where others have not travelled), the caribbean and years in italy, first hand and local.and am still amused that those who offer 'thanks' to some other messages rate higher than the original message (fascinating that most of the time those who log a thanks are already atVIP status members). i dont understand this much, suspect as the rules are not transparent,as that isnt intended.
obrienkf, I would like to spend more time in this community that I do. However, I am buys doing many other things. My guess is there are a number of retired individuals who participate in this community and simply have more time to be involved. From what I can see, the Luxury Link team tends to make their quarterly rating decisions more on "quantity" rather than on "quality" in the postings. I don't understand the purpose of the ranking system. I guess it is dealing with the unknown that draws us back to the flame! Keep up your postings, I find them interesting!
Interesting to learn that you will be off to the Dolomites shortly. When are you going and where??? We also will be off to the Dolomites in early June visiting Castel Fragsburg (LL) in Meran, Hotel Angelo in Ortisei/St. Ulrich and Hotel Gruener Baum LL in Bad Gastein in Austria, just over the Italian Boarder.
I am sorry to see you did not make VIP Contributor since I have found your posts full of expert advice, and if quality over quantity would have been a major factor, you should have made VIP Contributor status in my opinion. I kept an eye on the number of posts for the last quarter for the new VIP Contributors and I believe fredhashway rang in with as low as 101 posts.(Not a reflection on fredhashway's quality of posts, just a reflection on the number game....) I beliefe thank yous and acknowledgements of posts keep this a friendly board, but I am with you ,it is hard to understand that a thank you would rank higher than a post that contains concrete information and advice. I believe we should rank all posts, but a thank you or simple acknowledgement in my opinion does not deserve a higher than one or two ranking.
For what it is worth, I have very much enjoyed your contributions and profound knowledge and the generouse advice you have given. Until LL Moderators look closer at the quality of posts, I would suggest you follow Omegaets advise and open up new threads on the subjects you want to comment on like Africa, Safaries and Italy. Please don't get discouraged and keep your valuable posts coming since you have been a real asset to this community.
My sentiments are fully with you and obrienkf with regard to the issue of quality of posts vis a vis quantity. Similarly, I agree wholeheartedly with both of you on the ranking of posts. I too find it quite incomprehensible to see a simple 'thank you' ranked at a 3 and often higher than a substantive post that offers good travel advice or information. One amazing LL Community post I recall vividly simply contained the following one word: "yes" and it was ranked a 4!!! I find that incredible and frankly unjustified. So, yes, I feel that based on the quality alone of the many posts obrienkf has contributed so far, he should have become a VIP this time around. Also, I feel it behooves the LL Moderators/Editors to clearly set out the criteria used for designating someone a VIP Contributor, and those used to determine how an existing VIP retains his or her status, so all who participate in this wonderful website will know.
If my message came across as any disappointment, it was, but more to the point, it was a very plain language observation on both the difficulty in learning what the criteria, if any, is, for the opportunity to 'blog', and the disconnect between rankings of a substance based message vs. a thankyou.The ranking seems abitrary and entirely based on our own doing ... but something that cannot be controlled.
As for thank yous, I dont rate "thank yous". I think that they are "thank yous" to the person who wrote the message, a courtesy within the community.That any criteria still remains ellusivemakesthis communitymessaging interesting.Perhaps that is something that anyone who may attend a VIP event could ask, so that it does become transparent. Or not. Ifit is a "volume and ranking of thank-you messages" based system .... then woe is the future.
I will still offer comments on Dolomites (you should be there during ski season.....), and other sidebars on Italy, Greece, and Africaas time permits -- on threads based on the country / destinations, as I have done in the past. But 'blog'isnt on my desktop.And Icannot imaginelogging a few hundredposts to achieve that.
I can appreciate why you don't rank 'thank you' posts. Usually, I skip ranking those as well, unless they also contain some useful travel comment, ideas or information. I 'm sure that everyone who contributes to the LL Community would appreciate it if all of us made a point of ranking the more substantive posts. Often, I come across excellent unranked posts that are shown as having been viewed well over 50 times or more, yet no one's entered a ranking of any kind. Very strange. I look forward to continuing seeing your very detailed and informative posts on Africa and European destinations you have experienced.
I think I've said this before, but I find this ranking of posts to be pretty meaningless. First of all, there is some sort of computer glitch and the rankings often don't "stick" after a couple weeks, so posts I ranked weeks ago pop up again unranked. Secondly, there is absolutely no criteria given, and rankings can be based on emotion, agreeing or disagreement with the message, relevance to the thread title, length and depth of post, etc. I find the thanks to be valuable to the board as it creates comraderie (especially if somebody spent a lot of time answering a specific question, that deserves a thank you!) but yes then that's just an easy post that probably doesn't deserve a high ranking. Plus in the end for all of the VIPs after posting over 200 posts the rankings end up averaging out to 3 "stars" no matter what....it honestly just seems superfluous and a waste of our time. It's not like this board is littered with "unworthy" posts.
As we've seen with Obrienk, whose posts are novels packed with valuable information and probably add up word-for-word to be as many as some of the VIPs, what seems to matter right now is quantity of posts and time spent on the board. I even suggested to Obrien that he break up his multi-paragraph posts into numerous posts just to appease whatever criteria it is that identifies the VIPs. At least for now. I'm sure as time goes on they'll smooth things out and look at substance as well as quantity.
I beg to differ with you on the ranking system. Since LL has instituted this ranking system, it clearly means we should use it. As it stands now, it clearly counts towards the VIP Contributor status. However, I also feel it does not take a rocket scientist to give an accurate ranking. How difficult can it be to rank posts from 1 to 5, 5 being the best, 1 for a mere thank you. The problem is we are making our own missery by not ranking at all or by ranking too low or too high. Clearly, a post with lots of good information, first hand experience and thoughtful advice would deserve a 5, a 4 should not be far behind, 3 for a good reply and some additional information, a 1 or 2 for a thank you and acknowledgement. If we stop ranking, we are shooting ourselves in the foot since those unranked posts (good or bad or indifferent) won't count. I agree with you, however, that LL should give a clearer guideline on the ranking system and on how they arrive at determining who will make VIP Contributor. A board like this clearly will have people putting out questions, answering questions, and sometimes, one subject leads to another and you will find a whole thread where only 2 or 3 contributors write back and forth... such is the nature of such forums. As a whole, however, I find most of the threads and their posts quite interesting and quite often they are packed with valuable information and insights such as many of obrienkf's posts. I suggest, however, that we continue ranking all posts until LL either takes the ranking off the table or puts out more direct guidelines or explanations. Let's stick with the program, or the rules, if you like.....
Thanks for giving your input - I think this is a good topic of discussion, and I'm kind of hoping the moderators will jump back in with more information as to why the rankings are so important to them. I'm really struck by the fact that all of the prolific posters (and really most of the posters) have an average of three "star" ratings - so in the end, what's the point?
Don't worry, I haven't stopped ranking. It's just that I don't like to. It seems silly. I guess we'll agree to disagree on this point, as I in fact do find the rankings a bit difficult to determine. What if I don't like the tone of a post (some I've found to be negative or condescending), but it is long and full of information? What if it took some obvious time but doesn't help because the poster has never in fact been to the place described and is just copying something they found online? What if it is simply a long post filled with photos picked off the internet? What if it is short, concise, quick to the point but gives excellent information? Sometimes the shortest quickest ones are gems that get right to the point. (I'm certainly not great at that - as you can see I have to write several sentences to get my point across!) Plus, although I try to read all of the posts and focus on them, if there is a super-long post regarding an area I'm not anticipating travelling to anytime soon I might honestly just give it a 4- or 5- star rating based on the length. That's not really fair, since it might be full of fluff.....
These are really generalizations but considering the amount of time we all spend on this board and that we spend ranking it's worth thinking about....I think we actually had this discussion before a month or so ago (when these computer problems with the rankings began) but I'm still not satisfied with the process.