Monday, January 31, 2011

Cruisemates.com No More! Why Do Message Boards Attract & Foster Vermin?

A while back I started The Gold Standard Luxury Travel Forum as "This is the place to have intelligent discussion and discourse about cruising, travel or just about anything related to having great experiences."  It has a great deal of information and, to be sure, has been a place for "intelligent discussion and discourse".

A few months ago I was approached by Cruisemates.com to be its luxury cruise boards Moderator so that I might breath life into its long quiet and inactive boards.  Overall it was a great experience and some decent discussion was had.  However, I have chosen to end my relationship with Cruisemates.com.  The reason is very simple:  The owner of Cruisemates.com expressly chooses to enable posters that bully, insult and seek to escalate conflict.

While there is no question that my short time as a Moderator for its Luxury Boards (Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal, Regent, etc.) resulted in a significant surge in activity and posts...not to mention the existence of relevant and timely information, I started spending more time dealing with the dregs of message board life - and the possible consequences thereof - than being productive.  It clearly became time to walk away.

What truly underscores that the decision to let Cruisemates.com's luxury board sink back to the bottom of the internet ocean is the request that I say nothing so that the very problem I refused to accept does not become worse and, I presume, so that Cruisemates.com doesn't look bad.  Juxtaposed, there is not a cruise line out there that has ever asked me not to write what I believe...They may not always like what I write, but they know it is my honest opinion. (And, of course, I should add that my position with Cruisemates.com that things change or I am gone somehow became perverted as well.)  It speaks for my making a wise decision.

My job is to provide my clients and prospective clients with the truth as I see it and information that I believe to be accurate.  Why?  Because I want to encourage people to book their cruises with Goldring Travel.  Babysitting troubled individuals on message boards is not part of that job.  Seriously, if I love my job...and I do...why would I want to ruin it with such things?

So please remember that The Gold Standard Luxury Travel Forum still exists and that I will now be putting 100% of my effort into revitalizing it and making it one of the "go to" places for luxury cruise and travel information and discussion.  As you probably know, I own that message board and I absolutely will not tolerate "bullying, insulting or escalating conflict".  That wouldn't be very intelligent, now would it!