No disrespect to Facebook, Twitter or Google+, but if you have ever tried asking for in-depth and thoughtful advice about a very specific topic on any of those platforms you will understand why topic-based online forum communities will continue to have a place on the interwebs for years to come.
And this thread on Milepoint is a perfect example.
adrianors wants to know which airline frequent flyer program he should choose – Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus? He spells out his dilemma and over the course of the next several days he – and everyone else who reads this thread – receives arguably the most complete review of the pros and cons of each airline and program that you will ever find. What’s more, Milepoint members throw in reviews of American Airlines and its AAdvantage program just for kicks.
The other really interesting takeaway from this discussion is how some members view the current state of frequent flyer programs in general. Among of the quotes that caught my attention:
“All the programs are going downhill, so pick the least worst.”
“DL is determined to lead the race to the bottom in ff program redemptions, but delivers reliability and a nice product. The others are following similar paths…”
“My general thought on the mileage programs is that they’re all getting worse but that someone willing to invest the effort to become an expert in any of them can still get reasonable value.”
So, while it is my strongly held opinion that online forum communities are as relevant as ever, unless the airlines and hotels change their ways online forum communities dedicated to discussing miles and points could be in for some rough cyberseas ahead.