p.s. BTC members might want to refer back to posts by @KauaiHawaiiGuy and @dreamshark in:
This is a slippery slope, and one that is HIGHLY subjective. Let me first say that I do not put out story spam (I put a lot of work into organizing my past adventures, provide multiple pictures, and give good descriptions of things that I find personally interesting to me).
Some people on this site might be using these stories to read/learn more about places, and that's awesome. In fact, I'm sure people could definitely learn about the world from some of my stories. But, first and foremost, my stories are for me so that I can keep a history of my life as I travel the globe.
MOST of my stories have 5 or more pictures, but I do not like writing more than around 50 words for my stories. I find that once I get to the 50-75ish word count, I'm done saying what I need to say because the images and stories that I am writing are a brief snapshot of what I want to remember about that event.
I do understand that using ONLY one image ALL THE TIME might be suspicious, but there are several of my stories where I only took one image of the subject that I'm talking about.
But, I digress. I REALLY LIKE how the system is set up right now. 50 words works for me (I don't like adding fluff to something that I don't think needs fluffing), and, although I normally add a TON of pictures to each one of my stories that I have taken on my iPod from my travels, I don't want to feel bad just because I only took one picture of something that I think is cool.
While I do understand your frustrations, yogagirl, this site is for me. If others enjoy my stories as well, awesome! I'm creating my memories. And I think the best way for us to improve the site is for us to make our OWN personal stories the best they can be and not worry so much about what other people are doing. Let's not make it harder for the people that already enjoy the site and love the current format. It works so well for my purposes! This is what has caused me to make Barclay Travel Community my main travel site over TripAdvisor (I was an avid TripAdvisor user before this, and I came here because of the obvious benefits, but also because of my ability to further document my travels).
Thanks for posting this, @yogagirl. I couldn't agree more. I would like to see stiffer minimum requirements for a story: "at least 3 pictures OR 100 words" doesn't seem too onerous. And I think that any story with the pictures posted upside down or sideways should be taken down. How hard is it to LOOK at the story you've just posted and correct the errors?
But that wouldn't keep people from acting like bots, posting worthless content as fasat as they can for quick points. Instead of 1 blurry picture of every single animal in the zoo, we'll just get 3 blurry sideways pics of each animal. Not much improvement.
The only real answer is some site improvements to make it easier to pick out the worthwhile stories. A way to sort stories according to popularity, for instance. Then the better posts would keep getting more kudos instead of sinking into a tar pit of dreck and never being seen again. That would give people incentive to do worthwhile posts. And people do tend to do what they are rewarded for.
I know there are others here that share your frustration. Any other suggestions?
I guess there's a differing of opinion about the purpose of the site, then. I personally find it daunting to open the site and see a full page (12 stories) mostly from one person. I look at a few, load the next page, maybe one more, then typically go no further - but that's my style and yours may vary!
The conversation that I linked to above (it was authored by @Jimmeekay) started with an excellent design suggestion. I hope the issue gets some traction from the Barclay development folks.
"I guess there's a differing of opinion about the purpose of the site, then."
Did you mean to direct this response to me, @yogagirl? I was agreeing with you! I have exactly the same reaction when confronted with a whole page of new stories from one poster.
rikerwt, I did not mention you by name, but my opinion is obviously very different from yours. I do not view the site as my personal travel diary. My purpose is to share my experiences and to read about others'.
IMO it's up to Barclay to decide how to proceed. Then those who want to stay will; the others will drift away.
No, my response wasn't directed at you @dreamshark. I should have replied directly to rikerwt, which I did right afterwards! Sorry for the confusion. :-/
After surviving cancer last year, I've learned to not sweat the small stuff in life. We can agree to disagree, @yogagirl. ;)
Even @JaredY, one of the community managers here, described this site like this:
"Posting a story was a pleasant walk down memory lane. It’s kind of like listening to a good song you haven’t heard in a long time. The music brings back memories from that time in your life (and hopefully in a pleasant way!). We designed the Barclaycard Travel Community with that experience in mind. At the end of telling your story you will have remembered things about your trip that you might otherwise have forgotten and you’ll also have a document of that trip that you can revisit. Plus, if it’s written well, other people can share that experience and learn more about the place you visited."
This seems to be more in line with BOTH of our opinions and perspectives. :)
Keep in mind that Barclaycard's purpose for this site is probably different from both of our positions and opinions. Their purpose is probably to encourage Barclaycard Arrival credit card usage, Barclaycard Arrival credit card retention, and to create a community that would satisfy both of our needs of shared stories and personal diary entries. Again, there's nothing better than working on one's own quality to make something better. I'm proud of what I have contributed because my stories are real places that I have traveled to (there isn't a month that goes by that I'm not on a plane once or twice), and I adore that I have a place to put down my memories.
This will be my last post on the subject. I'm not here to argue or be confrontational, I'm here to post memories of my trips. :) Love to you all.
This site is obviously not meant to be used as a personal diary. The whole thing is about sharing; you might notice how that word is used all the time. I don't see how there can be any misunderstanding around this, even right after the section quoted above from JaredY, comes this:
"Update December 23rd, 2013: We want to make sure that stories posted in the community are helpful to other members..."
Yes, it's a slippery slope, but at some point I think a limit must be set if we want to see this site succeed. Some guy already made stories out of every animal he saw at a zoo. I personally like collecting coins from each country I visit when I travel, and must have thousands of coins by now. Can I make a story out of each one? From a personal point of view, that would be a great way to organize my collection (and earn some miles at the same time), but obviously it's not interesting for anyone else.
More onto the OP, this topic has been discussed in a few conversations in the Participation Miles branch, and I put some of my ideas there:
In addition to irking other members, another problem is that the search feature becomes much less useful. If I want to find stories for Alaska for example, I would prefer to receive a list of 10 varied stories from different users over being spammed with 40 stories all belonging to a single hike some guy did. It makes it very difficult to find useful content.
Another idea towards a fix could be to only award miles once per member and city, so that if you post 40 stories about the same city, you only get miles once.