After over 20,000 questions and answers on the Ask Lucky page over the years, it’s time for a refresh.
This had to take a backseat last year during the blog redesign, as the scope of the project was just too big otherwise. There aren’t many blog pages out there with that many comments, so there were some major hurdles to overcome.
Hundreds of hours of work have gone into creating something that I hope will be more than “lipstick on a pig,” and I’m very excited to unveil the new Ask Lucky page.
If you go to the page now, rather than thousands of pages of comments, you’ll see a neat, streamlined list:
Each question can be “tagged” for searching later, so you can more easily look at past questions.
If you want to see what other people have asked and shared in the past, just click on the tag to see everything in that category:
When you click on an individual comment, it will open up a more detailed view, with the question, the answer, and hopefully, more conversation.
The current setup allows anyone to post a question. Your comment may go into a moderation queue at first, but the idea is to allow everyone to participate anonymously if they so choose.
If the spam gets out of control we’ll have to look at changing things, but for now click on the button for “Post New Question” to comment:
This brings you to a page where you enter your name, pass a quick spam check, and then can enter the details of your question.
If you guys can help me out by labeling questions as much as possible that will keep things organized, and make it easier for me keep up with everything.
Beyond just questions
One of the things I’m most proud of is the amazing community of readers on this blog. I love interacting with you guys each day, and I want to encourage that as we shift the format of this page.
So rather than just being questions and answers, we’ll also have tools to make it easier to communicate with each other (for better or worse).
To join the forum, click on the “Join Us” button and fill out some basic details.
Members will have access to more features, including being able to respond to other questions, and “like” posts:
This is a work in progress
There are still things I want to change with the technology and styling, particularly with mobile, and we’ll keep working on the polish. The tech team is also still importing the archived conversations — each question has to be matched with my answer, then reformatted and labeled, so the content will only continue to grow as we build that out.
I also have lots of fun ideas for the future, and look forward to hearing your thoughts as well!
Make yourself at home
Although the page is called “Ask Lucky,” this is really intended to be more of a group space. So please feel free to jump in and help each other out.
It is worth noting this is also a very public space. I’m not controlling access at all, so keep that in mind when deciding what to post and discuss. 😉
So take a look around, register, etc. I don’t want to necessarily bribe y’all here, but there will be some prizes for the first people who register, those who are participating the most in the first week, etc. (details to follow tomorrow).
My goal here isn’t to build another faceless forum, but rather to create an easier medium through we can all communicate.
For example, with the recent Beijing mistake fare on American I set up a Google Group for people headed to Beijing, and I was pleasantly surprised by how great the dialogue was with sharing tips, etc.
So my goal is not only to continue to answer any questions readers may have (the blog gets hundreds of comments a day, and I do everything I can to respond to every question), but hopefully to create a space through which we can all communicate more easily in a simplified, streamlined forum.
Thanks for the patience and continued support!