I'm very excited.
I get to participate in one of the newest niche communities on the web, and even better, I get to help shape it's growth. The AIR MILES Reward Program is launching the AIR MILES Community for Collectors. I work for the company, and specifically in the eBusiness group, and so I get to participate in the launch and the organic growth of the community.
Different from a lot of other forums out there, this section of Airmiles.ca is specifically designed to facilitate the communication and sharing between Collectors. These Canadians share at least one thing in common, and that's their love of free stuff! Excited, engaged and avid users of the program will most likely use the forums to share tips on how to collect AIR MILES Reward Miles from various Sponsors near them, but there will also be Category specific topics like Home Reno discussions hosted by RONA and online shopping discussions hosted by AirmilesShops.ca. I'm guessing the AirMilesShops forum will be dominated by online shoppers and those in the ecommerce space exchanging help, solutions, tips and tricks surrounding the new Yahoo! Powered AIR MILES Toolbar.
What I think is pretty sweet is the Memory Gallery. People earn all kinds of AIR MILES Reward Miles throughout the year, and then take a vacation or go on a cruise or get a new Camera or go to the movies, and now there's a spot to share these experiences. Collectors can tell a story, and add photos to spice it up. What I hope to get out of the community is an understanding of the 'Routine' of an avid Collector. I want to know about how they shop here and there, and check this flyer or website for bonus Miles, and then when they have X number of Miles, they redeem for rewards based on this criteria or that. I'm interested to know what is happening in the head of an AIR MILES Collector. (Mostly so I can be a better Collector myself...)
My wife Claire is, like most Canadians, in love with her rewards. She earns everything under the sun, but the value of collecting mostly ONE kind of currency, (for example as an Air Miles Collector, she should skip Loblaws and go to Metro) is lost a little on her. Because she collects all the kinds of Gas points, she gets to a reward about 1/3 as fast as someone who goes exclusively to Shell, for example. My guess is that the new community will be a forum for explaining many of these concepts, and people like me and Claire can learn from other avid loyalty users. Maybe she'll even join in the discussion on the Forum... She can see my cute little Moderator Avatar and get some tips from other Collectors on how to get her and I to Maui faster!