Hey, I was curious about being a travel helper. Sounds like a good idea (I like helping people), but I am curious how often people who have volunteered to be travel helpers get requests. I don't want my email box filling up with request.
What have people's experience with this feature been?
I maybe get 2 a month, so it's not that bad, although as i'm not overly specific in where i'm a helper for (i.e., i could have listed 50 countries etc), it may be significantly less (or more?) of what others get.
i've gotton about 18 queries in about two months which isn't too bad, most of them are quite similar queries, ie where to go, what to see, accomodation prices..... it can be really nice when someone askes for your help and you're able to give them more information about places they may not heard of before, for example in Ireland we have Newgrange, these are tombs that are older then the pyramids, I would have thought they were famous but anyone who has contacted me didn't know they existed . Also if you don't have too much time to spare you could just be honest if too many people contact you, they will appreciate it and just contact the next travel helper.
On the whole I think its a great feature and its a good way to swap specific information.
I'm a travel helper for Canada. Sometimes I get like 5 emails a day, and other times (like nowadays) I get none. So it varies. And as for personally addressed info requests, I've probably gotten about 7 or 8 emails so far (I've been a travel helper for.. I don't know, 8 months now?... something like that). So it's a cool thing to be, especially if you get questions on places that you know lots about.
I get about 3 or 4 a week. Those are the real travel help requests, ie the ones that come to my message center based on the countries I signed up for (4 currently I think). Those are (usually) personal and a smart requester looks for someone that actually knows something about the kind of question they are going to ask based on the profile they have filled in. Most of mine are for Oz based on the work I used to do there.
We set up the system so it can't fill your email box as the messages are stored on the site. You will get an email however notifying you of the request. I usually look at it quickly as it shows the request and depending on whether i have time there and then answer it straightaway or delete till some other time when I am actually on the site and answering messages.
There is one other kind of notification to your email inbox you might start getting if you are a travel helper. This is if someone posts something in the forum and then selects a country you are also listed as a travel helper for. You might have noticed this when starting a thread before. You are only notified for the first post, ie the start of the thread. The post is also included in the notification email. As these are usually pretty general requests, I don't tend to get around to them too much but when I have the time and know I can help, I'll give it a shot. Depending on the countries you sign up for (thailand and australia are pretty popular for example....), you can get quite a few of these notifications at periods I have noticed.
By the way, you can unsubscribe at any time to the travel help service or if it's the emails that are bothering you, you can switch off email notification in your message center which will stop all emails being sent to you....
Hope that helps!