Obviously I am a long time user and a very experienced traveller, but I have lost my enthusiasm for TA. I posted a question in the Cuba forum yesterday. I first tried to search pinned threads and look for the topic of interest. No luck on what I wanted to know, which is how do Americans go about arranging a trip to Cuba. I did get some helpful answers, but I also got at least 20 responses by two Canadians arguing back and forth over Nova Scotia. I flagged all those posts as inappropriate becasue they were in the wrong froum, as per one of the guide lines for an inappropriate post. All the posts are still there. Meanwhile, a useful post on this topic, which numerous people have requested be featured, is just another post. There are a ton of comments on the useful post by people wondering how to get it pinned, featured, etc... I don't think the moderators care what the public actually wants.
I spend a LOT of time on another Internet forum which has millions of users. That forum has moderators that respond to requests, posters can tag other users by using @, (unlike here on TA, where it would be useful), posters can flag posts and say why they are being flagged. Posters can give a post a like or helpful rating, unlike TA forum posts.
I don't feel TA is very beneficial to me anymore. I am increasingly using other travel forums to get answers. When I answer forum questions, I try to give helpful answers. I have encountered rudeness and nastiness from all kinds of travel snobs, sometimes destination experts, on other TA forums. I recall some very unhelpful criticisms and superiority on both the China and Morocco forums. TA needs to do a better job moderating the forums because when a user like myself thinks they are starting to suck, there must be a problem.
I also post many reviews on TA, and have more helpful votes than I do reviews. I also have literally been contacted by pm hundreds of time about some of my forum posts. I try to be a helpful TA user, but I really don't think TA gives a fig. I hate the badges and points. They are useless. I have been at level six for,years. It means nothing. I can't advance any higher, and there is no incentive for me to do so. The useless rant gets as much shelf space as my attempts to provide helpful information. I don't bother to review everything any more. I once reviewed an apartment in Venice, owned by a hotel there. The post was removed, no explanation. I never give anything but truthful reviews, and to this day, I have no idea why that post was taken down, as I made clear in the review that the apartment was owned by the hotel.
And heaven forbid you try to create a first review for something. I once posted the first review ever for a restaurant in Fez. I had to wait for the place to be verified, etc... When I checked a couple of months later to see if any other reviews had been posted, there were a bunch of bogus reviews that said hardly anything. They were clearly written by friends, etc...as all the reviewers lived in Fez. Yet TA will often have duplicate locations with similar names. For example, the Fez Medina, and the Old quarter of Fez. They don't seem to consolidate similarly named places that are clearly one and the same. It's annoying.
Rant over. Trip advisor is done caring about their standards and quality control. The forums especially are becoming less and less helpful,