The last week has been a whirlwind. Tahsir decided to create a manufactured spend forum and quickly gained over 600 members in his Google Group — far more than are easily managed with its limited features. But I just happened to have a private forum sitting around after conceiving the idea of Travel Codex back in February. There’s nothing like a pressing opportunity to spur one to action!
Travel Codex has a fairly simple concept: private conversation, available to everyone. There is lots of information on travel people want to discuss but may not want to discuss in an “public” forum where Google can share that with the public and let drive-by Internet surfers take without contributing. That applies to sensitive topics like manufactured spend and fuel dumping. But it can apply to anything, really. And I hope that a few other features I’ve added will make it an interesting place for experts on individual topics to share more in-depth material.
In any case, we now have over 700 members. They’re contributing to Manufactured Spend …and also Airlines, Hotels, Meetups and more. There’s no advertising and no cost to join. It’s truly impressive how much demand Tahsir was able to tap into.
We have some good news/bad news to share with you. The good news is we’re making it easier for anyone to join. Previously Tahsir had said only members of his original Google Group could move over to Travel Codex. That’s no longer the case. It’s open to everyone, and everyone will get their account approved. It will still be “private” in the sense that you must have an account. But it won’t show up on Google.
The bad news is we do need to keep some topics more restricted than others. Things like Manufactured Spend and Fuel Dumping. We are working on a trophy system to recognize contributors and grant them access to these private forums. The existing 700+ members will keep their access to the Manufactured Spend forum. I am looking for someone to moderate access to the Fuel Dumping forum. New users will be admitted to these forums eventually, hopefully beginning next month. In the meantime, I’m telling you that there is more than just Manufactured Spend to contribute to and discuss, and we have some very motivated, engaged individuals.
We’re still figuring it out. I’m fortunate that the blog earns enough revenue on its own that I can support Travel Codex without worrying about monetization at this time. I’m fortunate that I have people like Tahsir and others to help with moderation and running of the site. I’m fortunate that we have readers who are interested in trying something new and being part of the adventure.