Reply by dkm1981 on April 12, 2013
I have only received 250 points for a journal that was completed before the changes but was only approved after, I also have one that is still waiting to be approved but was, again, completed before the change :-( I agree that they should be rewarded at the old amount really.
I don't think this is fair at all and that you are penalising those who do stick to the rules rather than those who don't. I really can't understand how you can say great writers are going to be better off! Plus, like phileasfogg, I am not a particularly prolific writer, so does that mean I am going to miss out??
Reply by GreenHeather on April 12, 2013
First of all - thanks so much for your feedback. We are always impressed by your passionate responses. Let's address a few of these questions.
1. Nearly every business I can think of rewards their most frequent customers, whether that be with airline points, special coupons discounts or perks. If one member writes great reviews every week and another member writes great reviews a few times a year - both people receive points. However, Igougo is working on new ways to reward the more active member.
2. Julie does indeed penalize those who are misusing our site. In fact, she spends hours and hours researching our member activity each week. :-) Trust me, I sit right next to her. She's extremely vigilant.
3. A journal is a collection of stories and reviews that you have already written. Although we love journals and we think they are a great way to organize your content, their creation does not warrant the same point award as reviews and stories. I know Julie touched on this above, but suffice it to say that there were a lot of members were taking advantage of that 1500 point bonus.
Nothing has changed from our core values - IgoUgo is a community where travelers share stories, reviews and photos. We reward the best content. We appreciate our new members and we strive to keep our legacy members. We had to implement a few more stringent standards and we appreciate your honest feedback.
Thanks again and have a great weekend!
Reply by phileasfogg on April 13, 2013
Going forward from what koshkha's written, I remember a time - when I first joined IgoUgo - when a journal had to have at least five entries to qualify for a 'Best of IgoUgo' (then known as 'Editor's Pick') journal. How about setting a rule that a journal qualifies as new only if it has five new entries? That way, the abusers can go on plugging in old reviews or stories, but they still won't get points unless they write at least five fresh entries for that journal.
Reply by marif on April 13, 2013
This weekend, I am spending great time in Lublin, Poland. History, lots of vodka and serene parks.
But... why didn't you (referring to IgoUgo) announce the change before reducing the "Best of" points to those (like myself, koshkha and dkm1981) who sent journals for approval before the change came into operation? It was certainly not our fault that these journals were not approved before. It seems that everything was planned because approval never took so long! There's something fishy with regards to this issue. Can somebody else from IgoUgo prove otherwise?
Reply by fizzytom on April 13, 2013
Oh dear - I have been waiting for reviews to be approved that I'd hoped would be getting the 1500 points bonus. If the new system is introduced that won't happen. Not happy. Surely the best thing to do would be to award the bonus when there are five reviews/stories not already published. So you could include a review in two journals but once one has been included in one journal it can't count towards a bonus for another. Aggrieved writer here!
Reply by GreenHeather on April 15, 2013
We assure you - there's nothing fishy or planned. The reasons for delay are detailed (by Julie) above. We would really appreciate it if we could steer clear of accusations, as our goal right now is really positive.
A good idea certainly, but we do not have the technology to tell us if a review has been used more than once in a journal. It is strictly a manual research process - which is how we discovered the misuse of the site in the first place. :-)
To those who feel wronged by the change - we do apologize and we certainly want to avoid you feeling slighted. We planned to send out email communication this week because we are still working out kinks in our systems. Technically, we are not always sure when changes to our site will push through.
Thanks again for your feedback!
Reply by marif on April 15, 2013
Thanks GreenHeather for your great promises with regards to our beloved site to which members like myself have contributed for years. My intention was definitely not to accuse anybody but somehow or other I was feeling that IgoUgo was passing through difficult times for which the remedial action from your part was just a reduction of points.
Let us be positive and hope that IgoUgo will get better, possibly making it visible to more travellers worldwide. After all, this is the main reason why we contribute with our writings and photos.
Thanks to all those who are trying hard to improve the site with new technology and more creative writings.
Reply by marif on April 20, 2013
When things seemed to go wrong ('Best of' points reduced) I criticised IgoUgo. To be fair, I have now to praise IgoUgo for the opportunity it has offered devoted contributors (like myself) to earn double points for their writings, whether they are reviews or stories. Thanks IgoUgo and well done!
Reply by dkm1981 on April 23, 2013
Ooh this sounds good, where have you found out this?
Reply by MilwVon on April 25, 2013
I just became aware of the changes that were implemented earlier this month. After reading through the IgoUgo site and this forum, I have to say I'm pretty disappointed.
As someone who often cross-posted reviews between journals I have to tell you it was not in order to game the system or take advantage of your rules. Often trips and experiences are intertwined. To write one big long journal with 10-15 entries (reviews and/or stories) made it onerous at best for the reader.
Breaking down the trip (especially longs ones of a week or more) into more bite-sized journals makes more sense to the reader. (See my series written on our 15 days in Ireland last spring.) Yes several of the reviews were cross-posted but that was because they applied and contributed to the reader's experience . . . not because I wanted to scam for the points.
If that is really the issue, reducing the number of points offered is one way to address it . . . or increase the number of new & unique entries required (from three to five, as an example). To do both seems overly harsh and ultimately, damaging the incentive to contribute content.
Additionally, new reviews and/or stories about previously written about locations and attractions add value to the content here on IgoUgo. To deny "new" award points for subsequent travel writing is short sighted. I've been to Denali National Park four times. Each time the experiences and activities were different . . . the photos shared new and hopefully enlightening to readers. If I understand the new rules correctly, my upcoming trip to Denali will receive no award points. Is that correct? If so, why should I go through the time and effort to develop journals and write content?
Unfortunately, for some of the places I'm interested in the content here on IgoUgo is old and outdated. This is especially true with hotel & restaurant reviews. It seems that may only get worse if new content is not encouraged AND rewarded.
I understand that with new staff comes a new perspective and philosophy. Unfortunately, I do not feel the changes being implemented here are positive for the folks contributing content nor for the readers. It is your site, however . . . and you have the latitude to do as you feel necessary to increase its profitability and useability.
I do know one thing . . . if you stay around long enough with anything . . . you will see a decline in perceived value and benefits. It's just the way of the world. I'm disappointed to see it happening to our beloved IgoUgo.
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