Barclays wants content, or they wouldn't be paying us for content. They want your 1 rad story that you spend lots of time on, just like they want the 100's of stories that other travelers have posted. Someone like me, I could post stories for ages. I traveled the world full time for 8 years, and have been on over 100 international flights, every continent but antarctica, etc.... For me the miles are seen as a huge perk. There are some very serious world travelers on this site that also been about everywhere, and one thing a world traver like me looks for is value. I write elsewhere as well, but the value here is that I can come here, write/share, and earn more money for travel in a unique way and hopefully help another traveler at the same time. If Barclays limited me to posting 5 stories a day - granted I haven't posted any in a few months, then it wouldn't be worth my time. The times I have posted stories, I've dedicated an afternoon, evening, etc. to write stories, upload pictures, etc.... I view it as work for travel.
Clearly Barclays has a budget for the site... If they start running out, you'll most definitely see all payouts cease, or get close to falling off. This is a great travel site, and I think the community managers have done a great job so far at listening to suggestions and following through with the right ones to the best of their ability and staff availability.... limiting users to a few stories a day or a week though is not one of them. Keep traveling and sharing your stories, and enjoy the site!
Traveling the world for centuries doesn't necessarily signify great stories but the other point is that no one or two or ten people are needed to dominate the site for it to be successful. Some of the "top" contributors (solely based on quantity) have posted myriad lackluster entries, unworthy of review or miles. In fact most have actually made finding various content a chore because they periodically dump their stories during one big session.
And I agree there are probably some limits to keep the operational costs down but if the pool is limited, why not impose restrictions so everyone can engage the experience and earn miles and not have a few consume the entire bucket?
I agree with many things you say, Kauai, but x712xdamx is also spot on.
The real value of a community like this will be to have a massive amount of stories. That's where all the value lies in online communities nowadays: massive amounts of data.
I am absolutely not supporting the abuse that's going on on this site, such as members posting stories about each restaurant in their home town. Stories must still be of quality, but my point is that as long as that's the case, imposing a story limit would be shooting themselves in the foot.
The solution I think should come from two things, first for community managers to not be afraid to enforce the rules, and second finding ways to display large amounts of stories better. How about splitting them in geographical regions for example?
After having initially proposed (along with several others) to limint the number of stories per day, I think you and X712xdamx bring up good counter-points. Thanks for the differing perspectives. Additionally, if someone wants to "abuse" (not a good term maybe) the system by posting low-quality stories only in order to acquire points, and the system encourages this to happen, more power to them. It 's unfortunate in my opinion, because I think there are a lot of user who are genuinely interested in reading high-quality travel stories. Therefore, I hope...hope...they change the system somewhat to either condense the display of stories in a more effecient manner (as you suggest), or decide to take a more proactive stance against junk posts.
But who knows? If the site stays as it is, I myself may begin writing posts title, "Here is a creek I saw the other day," and "This tree fell down on the trail" by the handful!
I disagree the real value is having a massive amount of stories but even so, growth occurs incrementally and in due time. As more registrants join, they will contribute and participate and thus create new, fresh content.
An alternative option to a hard limit, is to restrict the miles to the first X stories per week or month. If you only post for the miles, then you simply wait for the cycle reset. Limits aren't aways bad, and sometimes less is more.
Let's just be a little business savvy here, shall we. Barclaycard is just a division of Barcaly Bank, and Barcaly Bank is huge to say the least ..... Almost 2.5 trillion dollars in assets ..... Been around about 300 years mind you, and they didn't get this big nor last this long by making stupid business decisions. And make no mistake about it, this Barclaycard travel community site is nothing more or less than a business decision. I don't know the whole reason, I wasn't sitting in their board room when they decided to start this site ....... But what I can tell you is this. The Barclay Arrival Card has as of right now about the best overall points program, 2% on every purchase. That means you spend $50,000 and you will earn 100,000 points worth about $1,000 bucks. There are some people on this site that already have 500 meaningless 1 picture 50 word stories posted and at 200 miles each they have 100,000 miles worth $1,000 bucks.
OK, so here is where the common sense part comes in. What's in it for Barcaly? Why would Barcaly want to reward people for writing meanginless 50 word one picture stories and then give em a $1,000 for it. That would be a very poor business decision if they allowed it to go on. If Barclaycard has the best rewards program of any card and they still require you to spend $50,000 dollars to earn $1,000 in free travel, just how long do you think it will be before somebody at Barclaycard wakes up to the fact that what they at first designed as a marketing tool to get folks to enjoy their new points card and mingle with one another and share real meaningful stories, has been hijacked by a few inconsiderate greedy folks that see this as a free ride to travel and nothing more. They could care less if you even look at their story as long as they get the points. Barclaycard is losing money, and unless there is something in it for them, it's only a matter of time before they will put the kibosh on it for everybody.
Personally, I welcome strict limits. Why on earth would I or anyone else want to click on 30 or 40 stories with one picture and 50 words each about some wall in a gold mine, or a menu at a restaurant ........ I mean I have actually seen a whole 50 word story about a picture of a menu. I would rather click on 1 or two stories with lots of pictures and a real long and discriptive story of their adventure. Either this place becomes what it was planned to be by Barclaycard, or it will be severly limited or replaced all together by that same Barclaycard. I guess I see the writing on the wall, after all, that's just good business.
I mean, the rules are set. Barclays has staff in place on the site to enforce them. I suppose everyone has different motives for why they post stories. Some problem lean heavily towards the site paying for their next cruise, while others lean heavily towards enjoying a new travel story community, and I imagine some are in the middle - stoked on the miles, and also loving the community!
Now, also down to business.... Barclays without a shadow of a doubt has a budget in the millions to promote this card. This website is one of thousands of outlets. They also run commercials, print ads, billboards, and pay affiliates online a pretty penny to promote this card. Them giving out 30 million points on this website to users is nothing to them but a financial liability they put on their books. They don't have a single financial transaction until you actually CASH OUT those points. As a credit card affiliate myself, and someone who writes about this topic, I can tell you that the average user with this card will not even use their miles, or certainly nowhere near all of them, and they'll cancel the card and lose them, or they'll forget about them into expiration, etc.... Some of them will redeem them for cash back or gift cards, which does not earn 1 cent per mile, it earns 1/2 a cent per mile. So 100,000 points earned on the site? Only worth $500 now. Barclays will make way way more than that on the swipe percentage fee from your purchases, interest, late fees, annual fees ($89/yr), and their partnerships with travel companies and large merchants. By the way, I don't think more than 5-10 people have earned that many miles on this site, but I wanted to use your example. Now I DO agree that the front page layout is poor and needs some re-coding so you see a variety of stories. When I upload 20 stories, people should just see 1, and then see 19 different ones from other people, but I don't code website so I can't help there. ;) However, there is literally not even an argument that Barclays is having a financial problem with this site by giving out miles in a program they own, that are worth $0 unless you redeem them.
They're also gaining priceless rights to all of your/our pictures and stories. Your very pictures that you upload? Yes, you still own them, but you gave them a copyright to be able to use it however they want. They're theoretically paying $2 to receive a hand written story, and at least 1 original photo. In marketing, advertising, content and even the stock content world, that's really really cheap. This saves them hundreds of thousands of dollars from buying stock photos online, or hiring photographers. Eliminates some surveys they will fork out thousands of dollars to get done, etc... I wouldn't cry for Barclays. If they thought they weren't getting what they wanted on this site, and that it was hurting their profit, they'd shut it down. In the meantime, enjoy the miles, enjoy the stories, enjoy the threads, and I say let the mods do what they want. Great site!
Is it possible that a Community Manager can send this out in an email to the community? I feel like most of the people who contribute to these discussions are not the ones who need to be made aware of these expectations.
Hi @Jimmeekay We receive all Abuse Notifications via email that community members flag as 'inappropriate' (as well as your comments), we verify the information, and take action directly via email to community members who are not adhering to our Community Guidelines. We also send an email to community members who help identifiy when content that is not appropriate. We appreciate everyone's dedication to keeping this community full of robust, quality content. :)
Update: 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.