Update (Finally!) On New OMAAT Contributor(s)

Filed Under: Misc.

The past six weeks has been an incredible chapter for One Mile at a Time. After sharing that we were seeking a new contributor to the blog we received a stunning and humbling number of applications.

From there, we worked with a small group to create and write posts for the blog. That has been an incredible experience for us, and hopefully a pleasant one for the writers as well.

After a great deal of deliberation, we’ve made some decisions, so we wanted to provide an update.

What was the decision process?

Since we started reviewing applications, Ben and I have spent at least an hour per day on the phone discussing. There was a day last week where we were on the phone for five consecutive hours. Which is all the more notable when you consider that we generally manage things around here with iMessages and emails.

The challenge has been that everyone is wonderful. Sincerely, there’s not a single application we received where we thought “oy, this could never work.”

OMAAT readers have an incredible range of experiences and talents, and we are so appreciative of that.

Once we started working with the group doing sample posts those feelings were amplified tenfold. I know that not everyone loved the topics covered by some of the authors, which is fair — though we don’t expect all 60-70 posts each week to resonate with every individual reader — but everyone we worked with had tremendous background knowledge of miles and points.

Truly, each and every one of them would make for a fabulous contributor to One Mile at a Time.

So we’ve had to spend a lot of time thinking about nuances and the distinct perspectives another person could bring. We tried to factor in individual areas of expertise, and what aspects of miles and points folks were most passionate about, and how that would fit into what we already have going. We considered the post development and editing processes — both how people received feedback and edits (though everyone was delightfully gracious where those things were concerned), along with how much tweaking and editing was required on our part before publication.

Blogging, it turns out, is a very different skillset than writing.

And what we realized is that given our situation right now, and the incredible pool of talent, that limiting things to one person who could upend their lives to write 10 posts a week (which, again, we’ve come to appreciate is not practical from a time perspective for someone who is new to blogging), was going to be complicated.

We’ve decided the best approach (for now) is to add a few contributors who will collectively be adding those ~10 posts a week (and possibly more in the future).

As we don’t want to overwhelm you (or ourselves), we’ll be adding these voices individually over the next month or so. Our hope is that will let everyone acclimate without it seeming like too dramatic of an adjustment. These are some amazing, talented, engaging folks, with very niche perspectives and skillsets. We are so excited for you to meet them.

New faces, but not big changes

This is scary and exciting, and we’re so grateful to you guys for the readership and support that makes having this option possible. I mentioned when we first posted that we aren’t looking to change the key things that make this site what it is, and I just want to reassure you all that that is still the case.

One Mile at a Time is always going to be Ben’s baby, and we promise that isn’t changing. He’s still going to write a vast majority of the content, and will probably continue to refuse to take a day off ever.

The goal of adding some consistency with other contributors is to take a bit of the daily load off him, and also allow us to add more of the detailed and time-consuming content that sometimes falls by the wayside currently. Having OMAAT be the first and last spot you need to look to learn about using your miles is important to us, and this seems like the best way to open up more bandwidth. But the fundamental nature of the site and content won’t be changing.

Thank you thank you thank you

The best thing about One Mile at a Time, truly, is the sense of community and the passionate readers. We can’t express enough how appreciative we are of your support and patience as we’ve gone through this process, and the constructive thoughts many of you have shared.

We’re a little nervous, and a lot excited. Thanks for being along for the adventure.

Thank you again to everyone who applied!

  1. I have to say Tiffany, this has been interesting to follow – as someone who’s had to hire (not for my blog, of course), I can commiserate with the difficult choices you have to make. I particularly think the idea of a collection of team members contributing the ~10 posts a week is a great idea.

  2. I found the guest contributors fitting into three categories. I found three posts that were excellent and two that stood out as poorly thought through and not well written and the rest were good or very good. Looking forward to the new writers. Good job Tiffany and all the writers!

  3. This really does seem like the best possible idea. The variety brought by several different contributors will add tremendous value to this site.

  4. Good luck OMAAT! I stumbled across this blog a few months back and have become hooked. I find the reviews and news entertaining and informative. I used to just read the odd thread and post a bit on Flyertalk, but I find OMAAT far more engaging for travel/points/hotels/airlines. I also like that there’s a real person/personality behind the reviews, namely Ben.

  5. Thank you omaat for giving everyone the opportunity. I will provide my insightful commentary on this blog comments section. People guess which one of the guests column I had written?

  6. I think this makes sense – simply, I was never certain that even the best “Guest” writers had enough in their tanks to provide the kind of content in which you were interested. Forcing one additional blogger to go outside his or her lane would have compromised quality.

  7. Congratulations to the new members of the team! I do hope this was a great learning experience for everyone involved and a big thank you to those who contributed with your perspectives regarding all things miles and points. You certainly brought some fresh unique perspectives here and we can see from the comments you all collectively generated a lot of interest from readers like me. Job well done!

    To those who didn’t make the cut – thank you for being a part of this process and expressing interest in creating unique content for us to enjoy. To those who landed this opportunity – looking forward to reading your posts and having a healthy discussion together on wide range of topics that we all are passionate about. Even if some people find us strange 😉

    All the best!

  8. Good news!

    A side note, there was mention of OMAAT being Ben’s baby. At first I thought “who is Ben”. It’s Lucky!!!

  9. I just hope the guy who called London grimy and joyless isn’t one of the new contributors.

  10. Tiffany,

    You’re a good writer but these posts about the hiring process come across as so fake and insincere. Nobody can be that excited about this, especially when you say you were on the phone for “five consecutive hours.” I can certainly think of a lot of things I would rather do in my life than talk to Ben for five straight hours.

    And please save the “thank you thank you thank you” closing. One thank you is sufficient.

    More real, less fake.

  11. Great job Tiffany, looks like you guys arrived at the same question and conclusion I eventually did in the end. I think you’re going about it exactly right. Can’t wait to see all the great new topics and fascinating range of perspectives!!

    The diversity will only make OMAAT better. Well done.

    And fwiw I don’t find your style or process fake at all (wtf is up with that comment???)

  12. Just, please, ask them to stop mentioning Ben in every post. It’s one thing to post links to other posts but in all the guests posts I saw Ben was mentioned like Lenin in Pravda. It’s kinda lame.

  13. “I just hope the guy who called London grimy and joyless isn’t one of the new contributors.”

    Skippy the BA hating kangaroo?

  14. Just be careful guys that you don’t get caught up in talking about yourselves all the time. I understand you are American based and the world knows how much the Yanks love talking about themselves… but… be careful, don’t overcook it.

    We subscribe and enjoy the content for the travel updates, airline reviews, points offers etc; that’s it .

    We’re not interested in your private lives or the internal goings-on of OMAAT. Be careful lest you lose a few along the way while you are navel gazing.

    Just saying…..

  15. Makes sense. I’d rather have a library of specialists than a bookshelf of generalists.

  16. Impressive process and reflection of future growth plans. Well done!
    Proud to be a OMAAT reader.

  17. I agree. Just wish he would have used this same level of detail before bringing on Ford…..oh wait! I guess just be engaged to Ben and you can write absolute drivel.

  18. Jealous? About what? Having a husband who’s never home. Nope I’ll pass. I was merely stating it’s nice to know you can discuss candidates for 5 hrs splitting hairs while you let someone you’re dating post random crap haphazardly written on your website. That’s all.

  19. I’d love for the new writers to identify their guest post when they first introduce themselves on the blog. Is that possible?

  20. >One Mile at a Time is always going to be Ben’s baby, and we promise that isn’t changing.

    It’s a little bit ironic that this was written by someone other than Ben…

  21. I still cannot believe I appear to be the only gal that liked the post about BA. It was a well written, disinterested and dispassionate look at BA’s modus operandi – and the need for everyone to temper their expectations about its future.

  22. Tiffany, your posts and admin competencies (Post-it flagged doc stacks!) and so much more are awesome. You and Ben work so well together.

    After reading this post and its comments -please, please add a “like” button.

  23. Awesome post Tiffany and what a great way to go about this. What I love most about OMAAT is the sincerity & homegrown feel. Don’t become another TPG please. 🙂

  24. @Steve – wow… Is that so bad when someone is positive for a change?

    You said Tiffany should be real… For some, being real is seeing the reality (so much work to go through), but the better reality is – we get some new great coworkers in.

    Reality – lengthy business call.
    Reality as well – Is this the worst thing ever? Ever?!??
    Reality – yes, it was a hard work to go through all the applications, and procedures etc. & i’m tired.
    Reality as well – We really have readers with awesome product knowledge. And even though we had to go through the selection process, we need a new team member, we are really grateful people showed interest in the position we advertised, it shows our blogs is really being read, etc. etc.

    I hope you get my point, dear Steve 🙂

  25. I suppose I’m kind of in the middle on most of this. I started reading this blog six or seven years ago, and really liked the original and informative content, but mostly I liked the fact that my questions were always addressed. That’s dropped off almost completely over the last few years. The price of success, I suppose, but I still miss the interaction that drew me to this blog. If hiring new people for the blog will once again make it personal and teach reasonably knowledgeable readers things they didn’t know before, I’m all for it.

  26. I am happy there will new on to join the team but I am wondering when Tiffany would leave the team?

  27. @Tiffany — I was interested in this post partly for the update and partly because you’re such an incredibly clear writer. And, despite what Steve says, I find sincerity to be one of your strengths, as it is one of Lucky’s as well.

    What you’ve said here makes perfect sense, and I look forward to the next stage in the blog’s life cycle.

  28. You guys may want to look at slack for daily community as the team grows. Emails and iMessage sounds like it could get tangled fast!

  29. @Tiffany: I like most of your posts, which are generally well written and informative. In this post, you refer to the need to edit the new contributors’s posts. But who edits your posts? The adjective “incredible” appears four times within the first six, short paragraphs, and there is a double, grammatically incorrect use of the word “that” in the eleventh paragraph. Please let me know, if you are wanting any more editors!

  30. Please God let them hire the guest who wrote about points traveling with a family of 4. That would fit perfectly with what I’m looking for more of.

  31. @A Consumer — An argument could be made that the double that is inelegant. However, I would argue that that is not technically an error.

  32. @Jay: Well said! It would also be good to learn about the possible negative consequences of using points/’miles’, eg ‘miles’, which are awarded to an individual for business-funded travel , and are used for personal/family travel. My understanding of UK tax legislation is that an individual would incur a tax liability at the highest marginal rate (40%) of the nominal value of the benefit derived. Assuming the value of return business-class flights for a family of four from LHR to JFK is assessed as being £10,000 ($14,000), that renders the individual liable to a tax bill of £4,000 ($5,600).

    @Lucky, @Tiffany: Is an article, which explores possible negative consequences of using ‘miles’, something you may want to publish?

  33. @Malc : You may be right, but it made me go back and read it again, which is normally a sign that the editor is having an off day. My daughter is a magazine editor, so I have some knowledge of the subject!

    By the way, thank you for not correcting my error; “incredible” appears thrice, not four times (as I incorrectly stated), in the first six paragraphs of article, although it does crop up again later.

  34. I am really excited for some fresh perspectives on here! It might sound critical but I have been reading a whole lot less the last 3/4 months as I have found Lucky becoming more and more dramatic with his opinions, to the point where the writing has just been less than professional. It will be great to take a load of work off of his shoulders and have some new perspectives to follow.

  35. Excellent decision! to have more contributors writing less frequent articles.

    Each person can focus on a particular demographic
    OMAAT is particularly focused on the single US traveler (hence obsession with reverse herringbone seats and doors)

    Totally fine, but many of us travel in couples and families.

    So intermittent posts from people who do travel in couples and families will flush out the blog
    Not to mention from smaller airports or overseas

    In addition, a top reason we read this blog is trip reports. But Lucky can only take so many trips, and is more interested in exotic routes (again, nothing wrong with that)

    Having 1 new contributor might add a trip report what? Once a month? But adding 5 will quintuple the ability to do them, including “boring routes” like MSP to Europe, DFW to Latin America, CDG to Kenya, etc

    Even better, hopefully Lucky has at least one contributor loyal to the major airlines (Delta, United, American, JetBlue, Southwest, Alaska, Air France, Lufthansa, etc)

    Thank you for all you’ve done!

  36. Also, comments to guest articles showed why multiple contributors is a great idea

    Comments were
    “Amazing! Hire them immediately “
    all the way to
    “Boring and offensive! Fire them”.

    For the same article

    Shows how we are all looking for something just a little different

    Obviously what *I* am looking for is the best direction for OMAAT…

  37. @JRMW : Do you mean “flesh out the blog”, rather than “flush out the blog”. Or maybe, with a family travelling together, you meant “flush out the bog”!

  38. I think OMAAT should always allow guest posts going forward. There are a lot of people with really good views or are experts on different things and having guest posts would be nice.

  39. Debit
    Based on your undeniable writing style I’d venture to guess it was the two Donna mentioned in her post.

  40. I hope you are adding a good editor to keep OMAAT’s voice consistent and to develop a style manual.

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