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Offsite groups

Travel Forums System Talk Offsite groups

1. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin 736 posts) 1y

Hi all,

Just wanting to know your general feelings about offsite groups being mentioned (a lot!) in the forums. At first I was happy to let them go but with new members posting offsite groups I feel this has descended into a promotional area.

What are your feelings? Should the posts be allowed or should we search for an alternative solution? Any and all feedback welcome.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4428 posts) 1y

I've been telling people in the Australia & New Zealand forums that a single thread / post to announce a group is fine, but that I'll delete further mentions after that as promotional. (And they generally seem to understand/accept the reasons behind that.)

(What I didn't count on was the endless "post here and I'll add you to the group" thread, which because of the bumping effect keeps drawing attention. I think that without that one thread, the total amount of group attention is actually quite low.)

I understand that these groups are useful for the members in them, so I support them because of that (though it'll forever puzzle me that people are actually enthusiastic about posting on facebook rather than here), but they're definitely not good for the overall long-term health of the forum, drawing away lots of members, some of which might otherwise have gone on to become regular members, who in turn would be helping other members.

In the case of "Euro travel buddy group & trip recommendations " (which I suspect triggered this question?), that was totally promotional, and such mentions from first-time posters should just be snipped. But what I've mostly seen so far are people posting a few times on these forums, getting to talking with others, and then thinking "hey, we should start a group to talk more easily". Those are hard cases.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Aug-2013, at 01:42 by Sander ]

3. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 1y

There was a brief discussion around links to facebook profiles a couple of years ago, and my thoughts then were that it would be best to keep links to facebook on a persons TP profile rather than in the forums. I would suggest this is the same with links to groups as well.

Of course, how many people look at a TP profile and then click through is probably low. Perhaps if someone has a facebook link (to their fb profile and/or group) in their TP profile, then an icon recognisable as facebook next to their name in forum posts could indicate this - linking first to their TP profile as their name does now). That would probably cause less "clutter" in forum posts surrounding facebook links.

ETA: of course, twitter, Google+ etc icons could be used in the same way

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Aug-2013, at 12:55 by mojorob ]

4. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin 736 posts) 1y

Sander, you're right about that post but there were also additional factors that make me question the nature of the other group that was posted! Just don't want to be getting suspicious unnecessarily

mojorob, I like the Fb profile links on the TP profile (as it currently is), though I think adding group links and especially private groups very much feels promotional. What need does someone have to include such a link as part of their profile if they are not promoting it? See, getting all worried again

5. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 1y

Quoting KellieBarnes

mojorob, I like the Fb profile links on the TP profile (as it currently is), though I think adding group links and especially private groups very much feels promotional. What need does someone have to include such a link as part of their profile if they are not promoting it? See, getting all worried again

One area to look at is what's the difference between a fb group and the "collaborate" feature in the travel planner on TP. Perhaps the collaborate/group feature on TP (the planner) is too specific, maybe it's not obvious enough, maybe it's not "pretty" enough, or maybe it doesn't fulfil the requirements of users.

6. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin 736 posts) 1y

Good food for thought.
We had never thought that planner collaboration addressed a similar need. We've certainly thought about groups within TP forums but devising a way for this to sit within the current framework and still offer the same safe and helpful community environment is the key.

7. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1769 posts) 1y

Such posts should only be used where notably relevant rather than obviously promotional.