First and foremost, we want to thank everyone for their participation and engagement in the community. In the spirit of keeping the community rewarding and fun, we wanted to clarify expectations for stories. Based on our Community Guidelines, we’d like to clarify a few things:
Update: As of 4/11/2014
We have made a few changes to how Participation Miles are earned in our travel stories area. Some of you will like these changes and others may not. Keep in mind we are making the changes to improve everyone’s experience in the community. Please read our blog that provides greater detail on this change.
In summary, the changes effective 4/11/2014 are as follows:
As usual, please let us know your thoughts and if you have any questions we’ll be happy to address them.
I'm still relatively new to this place, and so am not sure how long it's even been in
existence. But my fear is that there is so much abuse that Barclay card might just shut the whole thing down and those of us that are actually posting well thought out stories with lots of description and pictures and color might pay the price for the abusers.
I first noticed with this one member (I won't mention his name though I'm tempted too) where he posted 94 stories about his trip to McCarthy Alaska, almost all in a row, most about one dilapidated abandoned gold mine, barely 50 words each and one picture for each story. I see he has done the same with Buffalo and some rocks in Utah etc. 325 stories already and all (or most) with one picture and 50 words.
Now here is where I see the problem. Not counting kudos this guy as earned 65,000 points ..... and that's worth $650 bucks and sooner or later Barclaycard is going to get wise to this and the party will be over for everyone. I do hope that this can be stopped before we all lose this great site. I also enjoy getting a few points, but with the few stories I have put up I won't be traveling anywhere soon on participation miles.
The crazy thing is that I was doing a little calculations, and this is what I came up with. If the total time it takes to put pictures on your computer from your camera, and post a story and add even one picture and write the bare 50 word minimum just averaged 15 minutes a story ..... this guy has devoted 81 hours of his life to posting 50 word one picture uninteresting stories to earn his $650 bucks. Had this guy had a life instead and actually worked those 81 hours someplace, he would have earned more than $650 bucks he thinks he scooped up from Barcalycard. By the time I ever get 325 stories on here I'll probably have thousands of hours involved, but for me its the fun, not the points.
Community Manager moved @truthteller comment.
Well truthteller, I don't beieve that you are being very truthfull. I clicked your profile to see if you are one of those very people that are abusing this site and you have no profile, no stories, no nothing. So did you join just to tell me to get lost?
Actually, after posting this I regretted it. It felt like I was whining, but I couldn't figure out how to delete it .... Maybe you can't. Not that I think the abuse of 10 or twenty or even 50 short one picture 50 word posts in one day is a good thing, just that I'll keep my opinion to myself from now on.
Your opinion is well thought out and welcomed, Kauai. I think you raise a good point and "truthteller" is probably one of those people (under another name) that has abused the service.
I have two suggestions to improve the quality of this community. Others have also put out some very good suggestions as well, so I hope I'm not being duplitious. First, give me (any user) the ability to hide all stories from a certain user. If it becomes evident to me a certain user is only looking to put down 50 sloppy words to score points (hey, as of now it's his or her right to do so), it would be nice to have the ability to say, "this person really isn't posting anything of worth, so I'd just like to skip him/her for now." This should serve to give a user more relevant stories to browse, and might dissuade the story spammers (especially if "kudos" are given more weight).
Second, limit the number of posts a person can make in a given time period. One per day? 5 per week? I don't know the answer, but it is frustrating to see an entire page or two or three covered up by someone's obvious "story spam"...low-quality posts designed only to score points. Limiting the number of posts per time period would create more interest, more diversity and more worth to the site.
Thanks for your attention. I hope some steps are taken to address the concerns you and others have raised. This site has real potential, but must be careful to manage the abuse of some.
I whole heartedly agree. I would be more than content to be limited to one a day, for me it's all about the fun of concocting an interesting travel story, points are nice but secondary.
Thank you for the positive responses to our updated guidelines. We removed the inappropriate response in this thread. We will continue to work on providing a terrific experience for all community members and we appreciate your feedback and suggestions!
JenniferH ............. If I might ask a question and make a suggestion. And I want to apologize beforehand, I expect this to be lengthy. You say that ...."In the spirit of keeping the community rewarding and fun, you'd like to clarify a few things". OK, I get rewarding if you mean, the more stories you post the more rewarded you get with participation miles. There are quite a few members here that are being rewarded handsomely, some 10, 20, 30 times a day. Unfortunately though, some of us see rewards in a totally different manner, and so when you say in the spirit of keeping the community rewarding and fun, it is becoming less fun for some of us and richly rewarding for others.
For me, and I know for many others, we feel rewarded when we have completed composing and interesting travel story and post it to the site. We might agonize over which pictures best represent what we are trying to communicate, write and perhaps rewrite our story until it has that certain something. We really want to share with others what we felt when we were there. And the reward might be in the knowledge that many people looked at our story and viewed the pictures, maybe made a comment and told us how they appreciated what we put together, perhaps a few kudos, but the points are secondary to us. I have only been a member a few weeks and have a grand total of ten stories now. I doubt that I will be traveling anywhere far and exciting on the point total I have amassed. I know I speak for many, perhaps most. Some of us that have been here longer have a bit more in the point department, but still, those of us that take the time to actually create lengthy interesting stories will never garner enough miles from posting stories to go far.
Now if I don't understand the purpose of this site, please correct me. But if the intent of this community is so that people can share their travel adventures with descriptive interesting stories with hopefully more than one picture, even your "new rules and guidelines" are broken with impunity daily. You have the same ability as me to scroll through today's, or any days postings, and every day there is/are people that post 10, 20, sometimes 30 "stories" in one day. One of your new "rules and guidelines" is ..... "Do not post multiple stories of the same place with relatively similar information and images (Example: seven travel stories of one museum or town with a single photo in each.)" So now some are posting individual pictures with a description of what is in the picture. The letter of the new "law" has been met but the spirit of it's intent has not.
I wanted to post a new story I had worked on yesterday, but as usual there was a person or two again that was posting 50 word one picture stories one after the other, and I thought, what's the Pont ...... It will be relegated to some back page before I even finish editing it and getting all my pictures in, so I didn't post it. That's disheartening, and I know many feel the same way. Rather than being able to post and read good long well crafted stories with lots of pictures, we have to hunt and peck through a mass of "participation mile postings".
So lastly here is my suggestion. No new rule or law will get people that are here only for the miles to be more thoughtful of others or creative either. I believe the only thing that will work is to limit the posts allowed. I am sure that those of us that enjoy crafting a good story would be content if we could only post one story a day, two if you want to be generous. But mostly, it would dissuade those that are here only for the points (after all, getting 200 or 400 points a day will just stop being fun for them after getting 5,000 a day before) and allow others to actually get a front page spot now and then,