All about LP
Replies: 227 - Last Post: Sep 9, 2013 9:01 AM Last Post By: katija
Jun 11, 2013 2:41 PM
All about LPI posted this on All about LP but it didn't immediately post...since in the post I said I was going to crosspost to this forum it may not appear here either...but the news is out there...
Quote text of thread:
Cross posting to WE as those forum members seem to ask good questions.
Lonely Planet hires CTO from within in first leadership move in post-BBC world
Comment from SKIFT: "LP has a formidable challenge ahead of it as Google has signified that it wants to own travel and has the resources to reach consumers at every step of the way as well as hire whoever it wants to make this happen. "
Jun 13, 2013 4:41 AM
True, we do have a huge challenge ahead of us…and that's the exciting bit! I am aware our long standing forum is not providing the best experience to the travelling community, thanks for putting up with it and being patient. I don't have a magic wand that fixes every bug. What I do have is a huge determination to do our best to make your travel experience better and to encourage everyone to travel and experience the world.
Jun 13, 2013 4:56 AM
2Gusb, you are the man then. You are the one in charge. As stated - "...in May it promoted Gus Balbontin to Chief Technology Officer from his previous role as Director of Transformation & Publishing Innovation."
So then, talk to us. Talk to your consumers. Tell us in more detail how you are going to fix the forum and remove all the causes for complaint. Give us something concrete rather than a general 'it'll be fixed in due time' etc etc
We are leaving and have left in droves. What are you doing about it?
Jun 13, 2013 3:16 PM
3Mark - fully agree with your comments. I have been away for the past 6 weeks so have missed some/most of the too-and-frow that has taken place, especially concerning the sale by BBC (?); and the forum migration. But if Mr Balbontin is now "the man!" then yes it is his responsibility to ensure that this forum is swiftly returned to the leadership role it has enjoyed for the past 10 years.
Jun 13, 2013 5:51 PM
Thank you for the reply...I echo the others comments...
Communications is a two-way street. Either you were not made aware of the great concerns of the forum members or were not in a position to do something constructive. The attrition rate of regular contributors has been high and I see them contributing their knowledge to other forums on other sites..
I can't think of anyone whose posts I've read ever wishing TT (and LP) ill but loyalty is a very portable thing.
Good luck with the work ahead of you.
Jun 13, 2013 10:48 PM
Jun 13, 2013 11:25 PM
6I'm amazed so many of us have lasted this long, still hanging around hoping for an occasional crumb. It must mean something....about LP, or about us.
It's up to you and yours, Gus. We've heard mainly empty promises so far, and nothing short of actual action is likely to convince anyone that you've got anything different to offer.
Jun 14, 2013 2:57 AM
7Imagine you are the Chief technology Officer of a worldwide brand. Imagine it has a forum where there are constant complaints and you have taken over at a time when the forum has undergone several years of changes. A great amount of established people with expertise have left the forum and the forum relies on people's knowledge to answer the questions. The forum is no good if everyone asks questions and nobody can answer them. It's a bit pointless having the forum then if all it is is a list of unanswered questions. People will just avoid it and go elsewhere.
Don't you think the 'CTO' would be checking the forum a lot and at least make an opening statement?
Apparently not. Maybe he has been too influenced by previous management that seems to avoid all issues and does what the h..l they want anyway.
Jun 14, 2013 8:19 AM
Jun 14, 2013 6:22 PM
Jun 19, 2013 4:57 AM
Thank you guys for the engagement and the comments, even though some hurt a bit. I'm ok with taking the punches as long as you guys are staying the right side of constructive. We’re all on the same side here and aiming at a better community for LP and our members.
So, I’d like to give you a little more background on what I’m doing posting here. At this stage it’s about checking in with you all, listening and building your views into our future plans wherever possible. It’s been a tough few months for Thorn Tree, we all know that and we want to start making things better. That said, I’d like to underline that I have just taken the position and while I’m committed to making things better I cannot post nor check the forum every day. At least I am here, and at this point I am just trying to listen and learn what's happening. I won't promise anything nor make any commitments on specifics because I honestly can't! I need to get my head around everything, understand dependencies, complexities, legacy, etc and then with the team work out a plan.
What I can promise is that as soon as I am able to I will share with you a plan on what happens next. So, frustration acknowledged, let’s do some constructive things that we can do now. I’d love you to point me at other forums that you think are amazing in functionality, or in how they are moderated, or in any other way. Also, I am in Melbourne now and maybe some of you are too. Is there anyone that wants to catch up?
Jun 19, 2013 7:39 AM
11I have complained quite a bit about the changes to the Thorn Tree over the years and many others have complained even more, but I will give LP credit for being stoic during the bad times, even if it is a bit questionable whether it was necessary to completely shut down the forum just to start cleaning out the trash.
Frankly, I have a bigger problem with certain forum bullies who believe that they own certain branches and who drive new people away with their arrogance and disdain.
Naturally, this is a problem on every forum that exists, not just the TT....
Jun 20, 2013 1:51 PM
12Hello, Gus. I am nutrax. I've been member of this community since around 2000 and I am a regular poster on a number of branches. I do have some thoughts on what could be happening.
First, I am really glad to see you here. This is something that users have been repeatedly asking for--would someone in management please step forward, publicly and tell us what's going on? To acknowledge that there are issues, that the issues are affecting the community, and that LP takes responsibility for correcting them. The absence of that makes many people think that LP is either covering up something or just plain doesn't care about Thorntree.
It doens't bither me if you post a sincere "we haven't yet figured out what's going wrong here" as long as it is also a sincere "we care about getting this fixed. Now."
I do want to stress the word "community," because that's what TT is. In the past, techies would show up with cheerful (and sometimes cheeky, LP-style) posts about current problems, to let us know they were aware of it and that they were trying to correct it. I miss the marmots and the fictitious Work Experience Wayne as scapegoats. That has been sadly lacking for the past year or more. In fact, communication in general has been sadly lacking.
Please, stick around and encourage other techs to keep us informed. Let us know that LP does support TT. Wish I could meet you in person, but, alas, that involves a 14-hour plane flight.
General TT instability Since the Great Shutdown of December 2012, TT has been unstable and unreliable. The random appearance & reappearance of bugs. The periodic appearance of "the bus."
When TT went down for migration to a new server, we were told it would be a few hours. It turned out to be a few days. The promised Twitter updates were few and unhelpful. That's a big example of instability.
The Recent Threads Bug That is a biggie. New posters rely on Recent Threads to see if a question has been answered. Regular users see if there has be a follow up to a post. If an ancient thread is resurrected, it is almost always a sign that a spammer has turned up & needs to be reported. When TT4 was launched in 2007, Recent Threads had been removed. It was probably the single thing that users complained about --complained, heck, hollered --about.
Log in and posting bugs These are apparently miserable intermittent, which makes it tough for you I know. I have not had a log in problem, but I do have occasional problems posting. It sometimes takes 2 or 3 times before a post goes through, instead of just taking me to the main TT page.
The Infamous Apostrophe Bug I'll bet you've never heard of this one. If you try to post a link, where the link title has a single or double quote, it won't show. You just get a blank.
If I post [Lonely Planet web site|http://www.lonelyplanet.com], I get Lonely Planet web site
If I post [Lonely Planet's web site|http://www.lonelyplanet.com] I get . (blank space) [I had to use code to format this]
This has been going on so long without correction that we've more or less given up. I'd love to see someone finally cross it off the list.
One last thing, please, can we get PMs back?
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jun 20, 2013 3:41 PM
Jun 21, 2013 7:38 PM
14Lack of communication is a huge thing.
If you look back through the posts of people that have said they are leaving and never coming, there is a strong theme of feeling hurt / ignored / unappreciated, a feeling that the contributions that they have made have not been valued or appreciated. People who have posted valuable info to the TT rather than their own websites because they felt it was in the public good feel that there their contributions meant nothing - and how can you argue with that if the posts are deleted with no regard to the contents.
Personally I am dismayed by the wilful destruction of so much information, and the lack of explanation for it makes it even more terrible. There has been no frank explanation of anything.
It hasn't had much impact on the NEA branch AFAIK but there appears to be a lot of justifiable resentment about a banned word list for filtering posts. While I understand you don't want to be facilitating pimping, it's not reasonable to stop people discussing legitimate social issues.
I don't know to what extent this is a problem, but people that used to hang out in the women's room etc on totally irrelevant threads also contributed useful information to other branches. With no place to "play" perhaps the motivation to stay has also gone.
I've written about this elsewhere
If you drop by Tokyo in your travels, it'd be great to meet - but it's not easy to arrange without PMs...
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