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. I’ll give you more details as we go along.
First up are story details. We have not required members to include them up until this point. And from what we can see in the community most members don’t use them to enhance their stories. In case you are wondering, details give you the ability to provide reviews on the various places you went - like hotels and restaurants - in a nice digestible format for the reader. And, details can fill out the story map as well. We want to encourage the use of details; it makes for a better story and the community becomes a better travel resource. So to help motivate you, we are going to give 10 Participation Miles for every detail shared in a story, up to 25 as of September 15, 2014. One caveat though, you can only add a detail if the place is available in google maps database, but that is pretty extensive.
Because we are trying to keep the miles earned from storytelling roughly consistent, we are going to reduce the base miles for submitting a story to 150 Participation Miles. However, if you share more than 5 details you will be getting more than 200 miles for the story. The more information you provide the more miles you can earn. As of September 15, 2014, there is a maximum of 25 details you can add per Travel Story. If we determine members are adding ‘fake’ or ‘irrelevant’ details, we reserve the right to remove your travel story completely.
What makes a quality Travel Detail:
1)It’s relevant to the story you are telling. You highlight a store you visited, a restaurant you ate lunch in, an historical spot during your travel story.
2)You provide comments about this detail. Simply adding a place on the map and not providing additional comments isn’t really useful for another community member. Did you like the restaurant? Would you recommend their famous dish?
What is defined as “Travel Detail Abuse:”
1)Adding Travel Details to the map that are not relevant at all to the story. (ie. Adding a travel detail about the airport you flew into before starting your journey without any details about the pros/cons/rating of the airport.)
2)Repeating the same detail over and over in the Travel Story.
3)Having the same detail multiple times with different comments; all comments on a detail should be combined into one.
4)Including details and/or comments that are not beneficial to other Members- for example, details on the fast food chain you visited.
And, adding more details can mean more miles in another way. Stories with greater details provide more value to a reader and are more likely to be kudoed.
The last change is that members will be limited to telling only 5 stories about one particular city. I know members like to share lots of stories about their hometown, and that is great. However, we’d rather have some of these specific posts turned into details, where other members can additionally see your rating. In addition, we’d the like the stories to be coming more from a visitor perspective, since that’s what the readers are most likely to be looking for. We think the local slant is a great one but, we don’t want that to overwhelm the visitor perspective, like it has in some cases.
As usual, please let us know your thoughts and if you have any questions we’ll be happy to address them.
Updated: September 15, 2014: with new limit of 25 travel details per travel story.
Updated: April 17, 2015: with a new cap of 100 Stories per Month.