How Do You Earn OMAAT Gold & Diamond Status?

How Do You Earn OMAAT Gold & Diamond Status?

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I’ve been trying to provide some general blog updates over the past few days, including a commitment to more trip reports, and my overall take on the state of points & travel blogging.

Several months ago you may have noticed that we introduced different “tiers” for commenters, including Gold and Diamond “status.” In this post I wanted to provide an explanation of that — why did we introduce this, what are the status levels, how do you earn them, what are the benefits, etc.? I’m sorry, as I should have explained this a long time ago, but frankly there has been a lot going on in life, and we run a lean operation.

Why we introduced OMAAT user tiers

Obviously this blog would be nothing without readers, and beyond that I also hope that some feel that OMAAT is a community. While some sites have moved away from having a comments section, that’s something I’m 100% committed to maintaining. While the internet sometimes brings out the worst in people, it also sometimes brings out the best in people, and leads to some very interesting conversations.

As we redesigned the comments section, we thought of how we can encourage positive interaction between people. That’s where the different user tiers come into play. No, this isn’t at all about picking “favorite” commenters, because that’s not how this works.

Rather it’s about recognizing those who (for the most part) positively engage in the community. This is intended to address a few different things:

  • First of all, in our community people love elite status, so I thought that was a fun angle
  • Blogs get a ton of spam comments (we get several thousand per day, most of which are caught by a filter), but even beyond that we feel more comfortable giving certain permissions to people who comment more often (including not having to moderate their comments, allowing them to post links, etc.)
  • This system is intended to encourage people to interact nicely, and I’ll explain how that’s the case below

What are the tiers of OMAAT status?

There are five tiers of users on OMAAT:

  • Guest — this is someone who just comments without registering for an account
  • New Member — this is someone who registers for an account, but hasn’t interacted that much yet
  • Member — this is someone who has interacted pretty significantly in the community, and has earned 25 points
  • Gold — this is someone who is very engaged in the community, and has earned 250 points
  • Diamond — this shows the highest level of interaction in the community, for those who have earned 500 points

For what it’s worth, status is “lifetime,” so you don’t have to requalify every year. At least that’s the plan as of now. 😉 And no, there are no status match opportunities… yet!

How do you earn OMAAT status?

Earning status is based on how many points you accrue. How do you earn points?

  • You earn points with each comment
  • You earn points for each person who marks a comment you made as helpful
  • You earn points for each comment of someone else that you mark as helpful

I’m sure people can appreciate the intent behind this — the more you comment, the more other people find your comments helpful, and the more you find other peoples’ comments helpful, the overall friendlier the community it is. At least that’s the goal.

For now I won’t share exactly how many points (or fractions of a point) each action awards, since we all love some good gamification, right? I don’t want to encourage people to just mark hundreds of comments as helpful without reading them.

What are the benefits of OMAAT status?

We’re starting slow here, and for now the perks of OMAAT status are simply about commenting permissions:

  • Member comments are auto-approved, so you don’t have to wait for a comment to be manually approved
  • Gold members don’t currently have any additional benefits, other than having elite status, and that’s worth something, right? 😉
  • Diamond members can add links to their comments without them needing to be manually approved (again, this limit is in place to make sure the comments section doesn’t get spammed)

In the future I plan on adding some additional benefits and experiences based on status, but to be perfectly honest, it just hasn’t been a priority right now, as there has been a lot going on in life. Nonetheless I at least wanted to provide an explanation of the system for now, for anyone who is curious.

Bottom line

I think the comments section is a vital part of the blog, as users share all kinds of awesome tips, constructive feedback, misrepresentations of Hilton Honors’ upgrade policy, etc. 😉 Of course the internet can also be an unfriendly place at times.

Our OMAAT “elite” tiers are intended to make the community a nicer and more engaging place, by encouraging people to leave comments, and also recognizing those who like other peoples’ comments, and have their own comments liked by others.

As of now the perks of this are limited to user permissions (including having comments auto approved and leaving links), but in the future I hope to be able to better recognize frequent readers for their contributions to the site, which I appreciate more than I can put into words.

Hopefully the above all makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas related to this. As always, thanks for reading!

Conversations (124)
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  1. JasonB Member

    This post is the equivalent of a mileage run so I want in.

    When will the OMAAT credit card be released? I'd rather just sign up for that instead of earning status the hard way.

  2. Ivan New Member

    So would you say that marking your own comment as "Helpful" represent a great points double dipping opportunity?

  3. Christian Guest

    Crickey, one more programme to get competitive about!

  4. Karen Guest

    Is there going to be a devaluation

  5. Kanaka Member

    How do I reach top Ambassador level? 100+ comments and $20,000 spend on credit cards I sign up for via OMAAT links? ;)

  6. Marshalg New Member

    This is a good idea to encourage commentary and award those that leave good words on this site.
    I am a United million mile gold for life and an Alaska 75K Unfortunately United's almost complete withdrawal from Seattle makes it hard to use my status.

  7. SMR Guest

    Cool, I need some sort of lifetime status other than Bonvoy!

  8. Dude26 New Member

    How many points do I need to meet Winston?! :)

  9. ConcordeBoy Gold

    Cute concept! Thanks.

  10. Andy2003 Gold

    So when does gold become 50 points instead of 25 points and when does the award chart for the comment section get devalued?

  11. Benjamin G. Guest

    It would be nice Ben if one of the benefits to Gold/Diamond was if you could comment back/respond to some of our comments/questions! Thanks Ben!

    1. tcATL New Member

      I think Ben engaging with comments from anyone if they are compelling/useful to others is better than that.

  12. Bill n DC Gold

    Cool. I started in the very next post on hotel loyalty liking and commenting :-)
    Don’t be closing the OMAAT Lounge!!
    Like the idea for PDB
    AND all the best for your Mom <3

    1. Benjamin G Guest

      It says GUEST next to your name.....

  13. guisun Gold

    Was there at some point a platinum status? I could swear I was plat before. lol. Also one of the aspect that I like about this blog, is the comment section. I like to hear what others has to say, good or bad.

    1. Moodz New Member

      I thought I saw this too before?

  14. Nomad Member

    Great idea Ben, long a lurker, now a commenter :)

  15. Michael Guest

    I have been thinking about this, but I need to get an unobtainable status such as Titanium Galactic 360 Diamond Sheik Key status on OMAAT. Nothing less will get me out of bed.

  16. davidleas13 New Member

    Just love the comments haha, people here are just too funny (and knowledgeable).

  17. David C New Member

    Hahaha the comments here are hilarious!

    Though OMAAT swag should trend - would love me some bag tags.

    I’m in need of a really good travel breif case/laptop bag that can hold all the gadgets and one set of clothes - could you get on the please Ben!

    1. Carrie Member

      I can see a Rimowa/OMAAT collaboration.

    2. Bill n DC Gold

      Great ideas for swag

  18. EugOR97 New Member

    This is a test…only a test

  19. TheBestBlackBrent Member

    As an experience Diamond Guest I feel that I deserve some special recognition!

  20. Michael Guest

    No match for a CK? Darn, have to start posting more ;)

    As always love the blog, and the tone- its always been the right for me. I would not be surprised to find out we had been on the same flight before :)

  21. Skylash Guest

    So I don't comment often be because 90% of the time someone says what I wanted to say, and I don't care for post padding with +1 posts.

    I may never be fully engaged on your site because you I don't have a unique comment that would be valuable to the conversation.

    Is there a way to ensure you're not just getting comments from "the smartest people in the room?"

  22. henare Diamond

    I've seen the statuses and I registered for an account when you made that opportunity available and I am disinclined to do more.

    I'm looking at this in the "what's in this for me?" perspective.

  23. Ray Gold

    To be honest, I had completely overlooked the status notices by each name. Thanks for the information.

  24. Morgan Gold

    Been waiting for this post, happy to find out I have been a Gold member for a while!
    Great system Ben - keep it up!

  25. Aaron Guest

    I must be blind because I don't even see an option to register.

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      (for the web site) upper right corner next to the Login button

    2. Nomad Member

      Couldn't find the link on the mobile site, but it's there on a laptop browser

  26. Carrie Member

    Once corona virus restrictions are lifted, when should I receive my entry level status membership pack and what should I expect in said pack - OMAAT luggage tag, OMAAT branded emergency stale sandwich wrap, OMAAT credit card wallet ....... the merchandising opportunities could be endless. And do I earn the OMAAT champagne bucket if I attain Diamond status?

    1. polarbear Member

      Well, OMAAT SWAG idea is not all that bad.
      Imagine an Unobtanium Medallion who just scored the last F upgrade next to you sports an OMAAT luggate tag as well?

    2. tuotuo Member

      I am willing to pay for an OMAAT luggage tag as long as they do international delivery

  27. Tortuga Diamond

    I liked it better when the cat was in the bag. I really have no desire to see how the sausage is made -- and even less desire for everyone else to see and then spend their time talking about it and gaming it.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Member

      I guess I need to sign in more often when I comment! Otherwise it just shows me as a "Guest"!

  28. kimshep Guest

    Ben, whilst I appreciate the concept of what you are trying to achieve (ie. increase interaction, increase quality of comments, make the area 'friendlier' etc), there are some fundamental questions I would pose, as a member :

    1. Would you join a 'loyalty' facility with *no* explanation of how points are earned, let alone 'burned' ? Whilst many people have signed up, this is still a fair question, in my estimation.

    2. A number of...

    Ben, whilst I appreciate the concept of what you are trying to achieve (ie. increase interaction, increase quality of comments, make the area 'friendlier' etc), there are some fundamental questions I would pose, as a member :

    1. Would you join a 'loyalty' facility with *no* explanation of how points are earned, let alone 'burned' ? Whilst many people have signed up, this is still a fair question, in my estimation.

    2. A number of members have posed the question of posting as a 'guest' rather than signing in - and that includes me. My feelings, there are two possible answers / responses. One is to only permit responses to be lodged by mandatory log-in. This means that every comment would be registered and receive points. For those who are currently 'guests', it would mean they have to do a sign-up / join.
    The second option is a little more complex. You could leave the system as it is now. Simple. But here's the 'hard' part. For all those users who have signed up as members, the site then has their permanent sign-in name and email address. If a member lodges a comment as a 'guest', surely it should be relatively simple to run an 'end-of-day' routine to compare 'guest' submission details (NAME) and (EMAIL) with the membership details and if they match, points could be allocated to the member account for successful posts.

    Surely, either of the two options could be used to satisfy members (yes, I know - we all like to add comments etc without signing in - guilty LOL). The idea of mandatory sign-in would convert the greater majority of your guest-list to a member list, whilst ensuring that members automatically accrue points. The second option allows members to add comments to be added easily without sign-in, but would require an additional routine or two to be run on a daily basis.

  29. glenn t Diamond

    Some of the comments on this post are hilarious. Well done!
    May I suggest that all Helpful clicks on this post not be 'counted' , to deter the fanatical status chasers?
    Chuffed with my Diamond status; wondered how that came to be! Nice contrast to my elite Coal status with most airline programs.

  30. Janet Guest

    Unfortunately I have not been able to register, so I rarely leave comments anymore. The new system doesn’t work as well as the old system. I get rejected every time I want to indicate a post was helpful.

  31. Azamaraal Diamond

    OK

    Must log in first. Got it Insh'Allah

  32. azamaraal Guest

    Hey Ben

    I still appear as a guest. I tried to register again but could not because I am registered already. Case sensitive?

    1. Janet Guest

      I have had the same problem.

  33. Matthew Tobe Guest

    Do they have to be on here or can they be on Facebook itself?

  34. Happy Flyer Member

    I agree with a couple of other commenters, I would like to see a dislike button in addition to the helpful one.

    1. tcATL New Member

      Agreed, "Unhelpful" button would keep the spam and people trying to pick fights from clogging up the comments.

  35. Kate Member

    Ok a test, think I just figured out logging in.

  36. GBOAC Diamond

    I'd like to offer a suggestion to improve the comment section -- consider adding an edit capability so one can correct typos misstatements etc

  37. Kate Guest

    Oh… I just looked at a comment I made a couple of days ago. It says guest. I registered my name when you set up the new system, but I certainly haven’t been logging in, nor do I have the slightest idea of how to do that. I just go to boardingarea and read from there.
    Oh well, enjoy your blog and understand your efforts to encourage constructive comments.

  38. GringoLoco Gold

    At what level do the annoying pop-up video links disappear???

    1. henare Diamond

      I think you have to be a diamond to avoid the pop-ups that cover the content.

  39. crosscourt Guest

    Three points with your blog I would like to re-address: 1. can you please get rid of the pop-up videos? They are so annoying especially if you are trying to read an article on a phone 2. the "Bottom Line" part of an article should be in bullet point form instead of rehashing much of the text. I would think that section is a synopsis 3. all the credit card reviews should be spun off...

    Three points with your blog I would like to re-address: 1. can you please get rid of the pop-up videos? They are so annoying especially if you are trying to read an article on a phone 2. the "Bottom Line" part of an article should be in bullet point form instead of rehashing much of the text. I would think that section is a synopsis 3. all the credit card reviews should be spun off into another blog or whatever as they likely have no bearing or interest for non-American readers.

    1. Schar Gold

      YES to the bottom line part. I always find it so redundant, like unecessary at times. shorter, bullet pointed and more concise would be the way to go. or just end the articles wirth a question for readers to discuss.

  40. pstm91 Diamond

    When should we be expecting our luggage tags, First class upgrade vouchers, and bottle of '75 Dom in the mail? ;)

  41. DSK Member

    Curious what this was all about. Thanks.

    (OK, I admit it, I only made this comment to check my status).

  42. PatONealJr New Member

    Hi Ben:

    I’m happy to see the status is lifetime (for now). What are the chances of devaluation lol?

    I just want to say I enjoy this blog very much and read it almost daily. I’ll make more of an effort to post more. I’m new to the points, miles & status thing. I went from just one credit card three years ago to eight as if today. I’m expecting my Chase Aeroplan card...

    Hi Ben:

    I’m happy to see the status is lifetime (for now). What are the chances of devaluation lol?

    I just want to say I enjoy this blog very much and read it almost daily. I’ll make more of an effort to post more. I’m new to the points, miles & status thing. I went from just one credit card three years ago to eight as if today. I’m expecting my Chase Aeroplan card anytime now (thanks to this blog). I clicked the link on this site & hope you get your referral

    One last very random thing I like about this blog is the FONT! I’m a fan of Sharp Grotesk!

  43. Roundtree New Member

    Curious to see what impact this has on commenting. I hope you'll publish an assessment down the road.

  44. Vistaro Guest

    Wish I’d logged in more now !

  45. Carl Guest

    How do I know if I am a member? Or what my status is? I don't recall logging in ever. I vaguely remember signing up but I don't remember what happened next or what my account is

    1. Carl New Member

      Why, golly gee. I just figured out how to log in. I guess I have been a guest in my previous interactions

    2. Pam Guest

      I wish “Reply” was over to the left, I constantly hit it as I scroll down….annoying when opens along with all the pop-ups. I usually only read thru now til all that starts up!

  46. JayC New Member

    do you status match with other travel blogs statuses? ;)

  47. Jay Guest

    Do you do status matching with other travel blog status? ;)

  48. Tom Guest

    Is this for real? I think continuing to focus on content will help grow the blog. I for one will continue to comment occasionally as the topic dictates and I have something quasi meaningful to say. I won’t be chasing elite status.
    Oh what are your plans for lifetime status? An executive lounge? Dealing with the DYKWIA crowd ?

  49. Sexy_kitten7 Guest

    I just want to see my status! LOL

    1. Sexy_kitten7 Guest

      So it says I'm a guest. I've been commenting here for over 5 years. Is there something I'm missing? I know I'm not a super user but c'mon!

    2. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      The tiers only came into effect during the recent redesign, you haven't missed out on much. Just create an account and log in! :)

  50. Motion to Dismiss Member

    I also have been writing comments without logging in. I've been reading/commenting since 2014 but not always using the same name to post.

  51. RF Diamond

    Comments are what makes blogs fun. OMAAT comments are usually a fun time. Unlike a corporate blog that turned off comments because they couldn't stand the heat.

  52. Fabian New Member

    Awesome initiative

  53. Santastico Gold

    Is there a secrete status?

  54. Darin Member

    Oops. I’ve been adding comments without logging in. Thanks for the reminder, now I have some catching up to do.

  55. Sean M. Diamond

    Shouldn't we get comp Diamond status if we sign up for credit cards using your affiliate link?

  56. Vivek Doshi New Member

    Another elite status I must chase now :).

  57. Grogg New Member

    What are the top secret unpublished status tiers?

    1. tuotuo Member

      it's called web editor

  58. Creditcrunch Gold

    I was Gold but slipped back to member, feels like going from BAEC GGL to Silver ;-(

    1. Airfarer Guest

      Me too. It didn't take long. Not the first status I've lost in the past year or so.

    2. Airfarer Guest

      Wow, now I'm a guest. Just discovered that with the previous post.

    3. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      Are you logged in?

    4. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      Strange, I thought Ben said that the statis didn't downgrade.

  59. mike Guest

    Wish all the comments were listed on 1 page like it was before.

  60. Ben Guest

    Can you give me 1,000 miles through Simply Miles for a comment? Need to double dip to hit my AA status.

  61. Travis S. Guest

    I’m jealous as I’ve been following the blog daily for the past eleven years. I rarely comment, but I deserve elite status!

    1. DenB Diamond

      Loyalty programs aren't about what you deserve.

    2. travisair Member

      I know, I thought I put a smiley face at the end. Just kidding around. :)

  62. Anonymous Guest

    To increase Visitor interaction get rid of the annoying video ads first!!

    1. OPR New Member

      BoardingArea requirement...

  63. prpilot17 New Member

    can you convert OMAAT points to Schrute Bucks?

  64. Diego New Member

    Sounds like a great way to engage community!

  65. Deborah New Member

    Bummer. I missed out on points the other day when I commented on the trip report article. I guess I forgot to log in. I’ll do better next time.

  66. Sel, D. Guest

    Can there be an invitation-only Winston status?

    1. Clem Diamond

      Oh gosh yes please, that would be epic hah!

    2. DenB Diamond

      @Sel, D. Sorry the algorithm only issues the invite for those that type "Winston", "cutest" and "smartest" in 20 posts in a one-week period, or you can earn it without posting at all, by Liking 90% of posts that meet the above criteria over a two-month period, minimum 100 posts. Until you achieve these milestone thresholds, you're in the...

  67. Clem Diamond

    Thanks for the explanation, I recently moved up the OMAAT status ladder (without credit card spend, pure words-in-comments
    activity!) and was questioning what happened ! Also interesting to see that almost every comment in this thread has now been voted as helpful, looks like it's working ;)... Keep up the great work!

  68. Khatl Gold

    Lol - always wondered what the status meant... but like you running lean and not telling us, I'm sure most of us were also running lean and overlooking to ask!

  69. CalanMan New Member

    Well at least we don’t need to worry about a Gold Status devaluation for a while!

  70. DrewT Member

    Guess I'm going to have to comment more now!!

    Have you considered something like a forum section? Comments aren't a great format to foster conversations over a longer period, imho.

    I do know that's sort of its own can of worms to open though, and the moderation required would probably be through the roof. Maybe just make it for people with "status" to keep the noise low. (Or maybe it already exists in secret, an I just don't have high enough status yet!)

    1. Ivan New Member

      The prior design of OMAAT had a forum. I suspect it was deliberate to get rid of the forum in the re-design.

  71. Angela Davies Guest

    I really appreciate the fact that you’re committed to maintaining a comments section. I understand it’s a hassle to moderate but overall it adds so much to the blog.

  72. Michael SEA Member

    I always read the comments, but generally don’t write my own. This will definitely make me mark more comments as helpful.

    Thanks for telling us about this! Now if you would just match my MVPGold and Hilton Diamond status that would be nice.

    -Michael

  73. Max Guest

    Please add a dislike button (with negative points) for comments as well.

    Also, when can we expect the first devaluation/‚enhancement‘?

    1. DenB Diamond

      The dislike button would be a devaluation

  74. uldguy Diamond

    Ben,

    Nice think about those turkey pastrami sandwiches you’re holding on to…..

    They have an unlimited shelf life.

  75. Chris K Gold

    This makes me want to favorite comments with reckless abandon even if they are supportive of Marriott!

    1. tcATL New Member

      Had me until the last word.

  76. WillM Guest

    I Hope that Statusmatch.com reaches out to you

    Waiting to convert my newly acquired Finnair Plat...

    1. Steve Guest

      What about turning right?

  77. Jemmyfromtheblock Guest

    So exciting, love this gamification

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ RetiredATLATC -- Unfortunately complimentary PDB service has been suspended due to coronavirus. However, we do have some delicious turkey pastrami sandwiches available for purchase...

    2. view New Member

      You forgot to mention the pastrami is hand-carved.

    3. polarbear Member

      Sandwiches should only be served to elites while reading articles 501 characters or longer. Shorter than that - snack basket

    4. polarbear Member

      What about breakfast benefit?

      I think gold and above should be allowed to have coffee and pastry while reading the blog in the morning (plat can go for espresso-based beverages).
      Regular and new members have to wait until they are done reading and start with their work day :-)

  78. YT_HireJeffSadden New Member

    Well you're tier system got me to create to account!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ YT_HireJeffSadden -- The system is working already, woot! Welcome and thanks for reading!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ RetiredATLATC -- Unfortunately complimentary PDB service has been suspended due to coronavirus. However, we do have some delicious turkey pastrami sandwiches available for purchase...

20
GringoLoco Gold

At what level do the annoying pop-up video links disappear???

19
Sel, D. Guest

Can there be an invitation-only Winston status?

18
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