Some of you know me already. Most of you (to your great credit) do not.
I have been working with Randy Petersen in some capacity for the better part of the past 15 years. I have written and edited articles and newsletters (I wrote the FlyerTalk TalkMail newsletter for about 10 years from 2000-2010), helped produce numerous Freddie Award ceremonies, developed partnerships with travel start-ups and industry giants alike, and have worked with a team to launch, administer and maintain a host of travel-related websites – BoardingArea included.
For all of this I was a behind-the-scenes guy. I learned a lot about frequent flying, website development and management, and most of all, the frequent flyer community.
When I wrote TalkMail – and for a brief period I performed a similar task writing the OnPoint newsletter for Milepoint – I would scour the community for threads of interest to highlight. Not once did I have difficulty finding enough worthy threads to feature. Rarely did I have to concern myself with over-featuring an individual member, as there were hundreds of thousands of contributors, with new ones arriving and posting daily. Compiling the newsletter was among the most enlightening and enjoyable of my tasks. I was consistently amazed at the amount and quality of information, humor, and goodwill shared by members of the frequent travel communities – often hidden away in the deep, not-always-easily-searchable recesses of the forums.
When we launched BoardingArea, I worked with Randy Petersen, Canarsie and Kiwi to launch “The Gate” – a blog version of the FlyerTalk TalkMail newsletter. “The Gate” still exists today – hosted on FlyerTalk – and is still essentially what it started out to be. And while that blog admirably highlights many great threads on FlyerTalk, what it does not and cannot do is highlight great threads that spring up on other travel communities.
Which is where ThreadTripping comes in.
I no longer work for FlyerTalk, Milepoint, BoardingArea, or any other travel website/online community – but I still read the discussions. I learn how to maximize my credit card spend. I discover hotels and destinations I otherwise would never have known. I pick up travel tips that make my long plane rides easier on my aging body.
But most of all, I continue to be amazed at the amount and quality of information, humor, and goodwill shared by members of the frequent travel communities.
With ThreadTripping I will strive to once again highlight the astounding conversations taking place in the frequent travel communities – no matter in which community the conversation happens to be taking place. While many bloggers do a terrific job of condensing content found in the forums into a form that can be more easily consumed, this blog will point you back to the forums to enjoy the juicy raw goodness of the original conversations – warts, trolls and all.
I must say, during my time working for Randy Petersen I was never encouraged/discouraged from selecting particular threads. Still, when you write for an organization there is an inherent obligation to consider goals and restrictions, both in your writing and your selection of content. With ThreadTripping those self-imposed shackles are removed. The threads highlighted here are those I find informative, entertaining, humorous and just plain fun to read – and I hope you do as well.
Now, onto the threads…