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As many of you know, I am a big fan of Flyertalk, which is probably the most extensive online frequent traveler community out there. I’ve learned a ton over the years and I’ve had the opportunity to give back as well. I’ve met so many interesting people and I continue to get great deals and scoops, the best of which I post about here so you all can take advantage of them.
Flyertalk was created by Randy Petersen, who is a god-like figure in the frequent flyer community. Randy’s ability to pull people together from all walks of life in the name of miles and points is unparalleled and I had the unique opportunity to speak with him in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago. I met up with him and a bunch of other Flyertalkers to discuss Randy’s new venture: milepoint.com.
Milepoint is officially open to the public today, so feel free to check it out. I’ve been playing around on it for the last month or so and I have to say I’m pretty impressed. While at first it seems very similar to Flyertalk, there are a couple key differences.
1) The technology. While it takes some getting used to, Milepoint runs on a different technology suite that is more integrated with social media and has been messaging and collaboration functionality. There are definitely still some things that need to be tweaked, but overall its gunning to be much more cutting edge than Flyertalk.
2) You can “like” posts. Frequent posters who provide the community with quality, substantive posts get elite status (of course they would, the site was created by frequent flyers after all!). Higher status gives you more perks like ad-free interface and gifts. The focus at Milepoint is on the quality, not quantity, of posts.
3) You can follow both threads and users.
4) The tone is a bit more relaxed. There are a lot of fritzed out Flyertalkers who love to pick fights, especially with newbies. As of now, Milepoint is a much more relaxed environment, though that is probably going to change as it grows in size. While there are a lot of familiar faces at Milepoint, everyone is new.
5) There are plans for more standard formats and wikis. Flyertalk is an amazing source of information, but it has grown organically over time and it shows. Some forums are extremely organized and “trimmed,” while others are messy and finding information is difficult. Because Milepoint is starting from scratch, they are planning to set more standards in terms of key information and how it is found. Hopefully this will cut down on the amount of duplicate threads and allow people to get the information they need quicker.
There are more changes to come, but overall I welcome the addition of Milepoint and look forward to seeing it grow into another valuable resource for frequent travelers.
And if you need any more of a reason to sign up, Randy is giving away an iPad a day for the month of March. Considering there are only several thousand members, the chances of winning aren’t that bad. From an email he sent today:
“To celebrate our official launch, we are sponsoring one the richest promotions ever offered in any travel community. Throughout March, I will giveaway one iPad each day to a registered milepoint member–that’s 31 of them in the month of March!”