I tend to agree with Kris and Kellie - WORLD DOMINATION!! (Hey, I have the TP Holy Hose and Crowbar of Destruction if things get out of hand.)
But, I also agree with Kris about the internet situation here at home. It worked well during the meet-up in Chicago but there were higher internet speeds. Even without video (during our skype conversations), the quality sucks (not to put too fine a point on it...). Kris will have no real access via his workplace. (Not that we are the 'be all & end all' of who would attend.)
Personally, I think the concept is a good one though, now I agree with Sam on what has to be installed through Google. Granted, it's already on my laptop (because of Chicago). I'm more apt to side with Hien and bring back the chat room. I realize it was removed because most of the regular users moved on (to that website which will remain nameless). If it can handle enough people, I recommend bringing it back and promoting the discussions. Not only does it keep members showing up, it's not moving them over to G+. It just feels like G+ hang-outs will be taking away members more than just letting them chat about things important for TP on TP.
I understand your point of just 'talking' about things and not having to type. One question... Who's going to be taking notes?
Wait, wait....I've got it!!!!
TP+, complete with circles you can join and squares you can HangUp with...........triangles you can serve cheese on, rhomboids you can play Angry Travellers on......(toss an obnoxious tourist through a brick wall to gain points...)....
I think I largely agree with Sander here (although I'm far more anti-facebook than I am anti-google). I think it's something that could start off strongly but fade away, either by fewer people commiting to it (particularly with many members who would or could be travelling), or by it becoming a literal hangout where the original reason is no longer the reason for people turning up.
It would take a lot of commitment from people outside those who work for TP/Tupela who don't have the same level of "ownership" of how TP develops - I feel a more ad-hoc method of feedback and suggestions is a better model, but exactly what the best format(s) for that is I'm not sure.
I'm probably biased against this since I'm both "anti-video" (which I think is a hugely inefficient medium) and "anti-google" (which knows far too much about me already, and I'm nowadays actively going out of my way to limit my exposure to google 'services'), but this doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. It'll create a bit of a clique, and you're either in the in-crowd or you aren't; a very strong demarcation. Might over time give rise to feelings of exclusion; we've even seen such things before due to the perceived in-crowdiness of the "travel guru" group.
In the past - I'm thinking for the redesign - you've just posted screenshots and ideas in the open forums, so everyone could contribute without much of any commitment. That's a much more open and more fluid process, with a much lower barrier to entry, and one I'm personally much more in favour of.
Though I understand the appeal of having the live chat resurrected, I'm not inclined to bring it back. It's just more software to support, troubleshoot, etc which is pretty much why it was dropped in the first place. There's also so many other chat options out there (FB, Skype, Google) that would work in a much more stable way.
But all points taken and I think this will just have to go in the people-don't-want-it basket
I don't believe this needs to go into the 'people-don't-want-it basket just yet. There are only 13 replies and 4 of them are yours. Maybe moving (or reposting) this in GT would get more input to see what members really think. ST is not visited as often as the other forums. Most of ST's recent threads have dealt with problems members are experiencing somewhere on the site. By my time zone, the thread has only been available for comment for 2 days. Most replies have been by Admin and Mods (those who check ST most often).
I understand your not wanting to bring the chat room back online. I also understand there are more stable platforms to use. Skip the 'basket' at the moment and place the idea out there were more members will see it and comment. I'm willing to try any platform, just can't promise my internet will be as stable. I still think it's a good idea.
The thread's in the main forum list, so I think it gets enough exposure. Probably a lot of members just don't care either way. I'll let the thread sit, but obviously for now it would probably just be a hangout with me, myself and I which, although hilariously fun, would not really bring any new points-of-view to the table
I don't think that people don't care about new ideas, and new improvements that can be made to this site, but that this thread has been hijacked by how this would need to be done. The whole I hate ... Microsoft, Facebook, Google (with or without +), IE, Firefox, and I don't know which other company.
I don't think that there is anything bad in creating a kind of consumer panel, which is common practise in a lot of companies / organisations. If established the answer is yes, then check how this can be done best. My two cents on this, would be not to do this in one of the open online applications.
Like my regular work, I don't want to waste time with the 'how'. What's the question, what's the answer is an approach I like though.
So, instead of indeed wasting time like Herr Bert mention about Google+ or whatever which way to discuss about it, why not share the ideas here and see how people react about the content itself. We do have a forum for such things. Way better.
Apart from that (new ideas), I think in a way (and generally spoken) it's good that certain things we took for granted will return. That is: joining a travel website to share information, ask questions and upload your own travel items, like blogs, photos, maps etc. That's why people join TP, apart from the few who join instantly for either spam or to snap the prize at (photo) competitions.
And I think that communication here on TP is far more important than being busy with things nobody cares about in the first place. So ask things, reply on forum threads, upload photos, share more stuff etc etc. Far more important than having some nice looking extra feature, few travellers care about in the long run...
The reason I mention this, is that I have see better days/years on TP and with all those new features it really does not get better, although we would like thing otherwise. Just make sure things work in the first place for example and then think about new stuff if really needed.
FWIW, I think the how of this idea (which is: how to get feedback from members about proposed work on the site before it happens) does matter a lot; different mediums have different advantages, and choosing the "wrong" medium will just make this flounder (or exclude people to such a degree that it creates a division). I get that realtime communication has great benefits for the sender (Peter); not so much for the receiver (us) - though obviously the hope is for the communication to be going both ways a lot - and video has high bandwidth, thus allowing information-sharing through sidechannels (facial expressions), which is quite efficient in bringing across nuances (without much extra effort). Over the last few years I've actually learned to see real benefit in face to face meetings - making me decidedly atypical for a programmer - and now believe it's mostly a matter of the right tool for the right job. In this case, I don't think this is it.
I understand Peter's desire not to have competitors get easy access to this information, but as membership to the proposed hangout would not be strictly limited after all (glad to see my fear for lack of openness being taken away!), and might even have after-the-fact access to the information, I don't think it would serve that goal at all. So maybe a restricted forum (access only to full member and above?) could be an option here? Yes, text needs more effort from the sender to be able to get ideas across accurately; you have to make the nuances explicit, and think about how to do that beforehand - but at the same time it allows for a wider group of people to receive the information (no one excluded by timezone differences causing them to be at work or asleep), which could make that extra effort worth it. Maybe it would be possible to include snap-polls or something similar to get the general sentiment from a larger percentage of people who read, so you can also gauge the reactions of the large group of people who after reading feel they don't have much to contribute which hasn't already be said. Occasionally reading an extra forum should need much less commitment from members than regularly attending a video session at a specific time, using a specific technology.
And Utrecht: I agree that focussing on the core of what makes TP successful is generally worthwhile; polishing that last 1% to perfection might cost 20% more effort, but it can vastly improve the experience for everyone, which will have much more than 1% impact. I don't see anything in Peter's original message which excludes that though; new ideas to get feedback on don't exclusively have to be about new features. In my experience the team does spend quite a bit of time on improving existing features, even if a lot of it won't be always obvious from where we're sitting.
[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jan-2013, at 17:55 by Sander ]