I bumped into some older threads this morning, that reconfirmed my thoughts as it relates to Insiders' and its potential influence - don't be turned away by the vastness of the stuff below, it really won't take as long as it might appear. I'd be interested in your reaction as to the purpose of Insiders. Thanks
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/25398#25398 Intent of Insiders. In spite of 2012 date, you can see from the replies that this is an issue from 2010 (and sooner). Tip of the cap to those Insiders who are still with us that helped formed the backbone of the forum and worked hard and repeatedly to make it an effective communication channel, which makes it more of a shame how the past year flooding of posts with contests and reviews diluted participation. pingreeman's Open Letter in the More Like This column is worth a look as well.
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/6126#6126 Marriott all a twitter. 2011. anadyr Two observations for me from this thread;
1) Insiders, as it relates to Marriott, is a forum used to air issues not necessarily resolve them and 2) Insiders was to be a closed gated loop (tjcnetwork) invisible to search engines. Not knowing my tech lingo, what I have observed of late is that it sure doesn't feel like a closed forum, what with all of the television shows being promoted 10-15 posts at a time and now we have Guests supplying reviews (the most I've seen at one time is 8 out of the 10 on the review board, but no doubt 10 out of 10 is coming). Marriott's Twitter page for the interested https://twitter.com/Marriott and of course Facebook is just as broad, reminding me again, Insiders may just not be all that significant to Marriott (to me, yes).
Marriott all a twitter led me to tryt53's
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/36005#36005 Article on Social Media w/Reference to Marriott discussing the responsiveness of twitter. I feel likewise about Facebook, Marriott is very quick to respond, even if it is a "thank you for your input". Insiders has improved drastically on response time, many times providing definitive policy answers. IMO, this, along with the sharing of travel strategies is the most valuable aspect of the forum, far more than desiring/anticipating policy change. tryt's inserted article was subtitled; The Mantra Seems to Be:Let No Tweet Go Unanswered http://www.insideflyer.com/articles/article.php?key=6911 (you can get by with a quick skim)
Digging deeper than the normal human needs to, I saw a brief listing of Marriott's Twitter Strategy (it's a quick summary, you can look)http://contently.com/strategist/2012/06/13/marriotts-five-star-twitter-strategy/ and another quick, easy glance of an overview http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/technology/1201/gallery.best-companies-social-media.fortune/ Marriott - A Social Media Star (they even have a My Marriott Hotel, a social game (along w/the infamous Renaissance Open Doors and that other mobile game).
Bottom line summary - after a 15 minute breeze through all of the above (really it went much quicker than my ability to assemble it) and then realizing that almost each Brand has it's own branch of social media - Facebook, Twitter, etc etc and then even individual properties venture into the field, I am convinced more than ever, trying to influence Marriott policy through Insiders is a low return strategy (with the exception of nuhusker's Surprise Party for Veterans). To each their own, but after seeing more and more cases of property by property implementation of policy (and having personal success dealing at the property level), coupled with observing the multi-year running struggle of Insider participation unsuccessfully attempting to nudge a full steam ahead Marriott, I'm focusing more on learning from Insiders about Social Media and sharing travel techniques and worrying less and less about my inevitable Rewards benefits erosion. Once I learn how to Tweet, I'll be like Jack Nicholson as the Joker, "wait'll they (hotels) get a load of me"!.