You have to see this!

You have to see this!

I wanted to tell you a little bit about some of the exciting changes happening on this site.

First, you’ve probably noticed that photos have been replaced by videos at the top of the posts. Before you do anything else, I hope you’ll sign up for my new channel.

Why videos?

• Some concepts are better explained visually.

• It’s a great way to interact with you (and you get to see what I look like).

• They’re fun.

Why subscribe to my YouTube channel, too? Because you’ll get a preview of tomorrow’s post, plus other bonus material I won’t feature on my site. You definitely don’t want to miss it.

By the way, if you’re a video or TV professional — and even if you aren’t — please feel free to chime in with any advice on how to improve these clips. I’m not trying to be Frontline or 60 Minutes; these are 30-second webisodes that draw on my years of consumer advocacy, TV hosting experience, and my limited Final Cut skills, such as they are.

And one more thing

Many readers have asked about polls and about the posting schedule. Let me address those, too.

Polls. Some readers assume that the electronic surveys tagged to the end of every post must be fair and offer a consensus of readers on a given issue. That’s not true. I don’t want to be the next George Gallup.

I publish polls for two reasons: 1) To offer a quick way of sounding off on an issue, for those who don’t want to leave a comment; and 2) to encourage further discussion. So to the extent that my surveys are provocative and even incendiary, I say: “Guilty as charged.”

Headlines. Look, I love tabloid-style headlines. I confess to it in my FAQ section. This is not the newspaper of record, and someone please shoot me if I ever try to be.

A good headline persuades you want to read the story. If I made you click, then I feel I’ve been successful.

The schedule. Here it is.

Monday – Can This Trip Be Saved? A look at a completely unverified consumer problem, asking readers if I should take it to the next level and mediate it. Note: I don’t always go with the majority vote on the poll, but I promise to listen.

Tuesday – That’s Ridiculous! A consumer case that makes you say, “That’s ridiculous!” Part commentary, part investigative journalism, and 100 percent interesting.

Wednesday – Consumer Q&A An intractable consumer case that I’ve helped resolve. You should expect this to be more thoroughly researched than Monday’s post, but if you’re looking for a legal dictionary, you’re probably reading the wrong site.

Thursday – Case Dismissed! A case that has been denied or where a consumer received less than he or she wanted. Always fascinating (and often frustrating).

Friday – The Travel Troubleshooter Like Wednesday’s Q&A, except on travel.

Saturday – The Weekender. My Washington Post column, a longer think-piece about transportation policy.

Sunday – Security. Also known as my TSA column. Runs Monday on The Huffington Post. If you want to see a lively discussion, tune in today.

I hope you’ll join me for what is sure to be a great final quarter of 2012 and beyond. As always, please send me any comments or feel free to leave one right here in the comments.

Oh, and speaking of comments — we had to migrate back to Disqus 2012 after they removed important features from the old version. Like, the ability to see them on mobile browsers.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but on the “up” side, we now have a terrific team of moderators that are making sure the comments remain civil.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • emanon256

    Thanks for posting the schedule.

  • TonyA_says

    How about interviewing on skype and putting those guests in your channel?
    Once in a while an investigative report would be nice, too.
    I find Max Keiser’s show on RT very entertaining. Better than MSM boring shows.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Christopher, you have certainly come a long way from when I started following your posts on Tripso way back when! I enjoy your style of journalism immensely…even your sometimes slightly hyperbolic and breathless headlines. ;-) And I have learned more from following your blog than from any other travel resource. I also really respect your approach to the TSA. You are fair and reasonable, you speak the truth, and you don’t play the usual media game of pretending there is anything acceptable about what they do.

    I have to admit that I’m not much of one for watching the videos – but that’s just me. I’m like that on all websites – I would much rather read than watch. On Huffpost or CNN, I skip the features that are video-only, preferring to read my news. But I realize not everyone is like that…I’m sure there are many who will enjoy your vids.

    Keep up the great work! It’s fun to watch as your success grows.

  • TonyA_says

    Hey Chris, can you increase the Mic gain (volume) on your recordings, please?
    I have to turn my volume control to max to hear your voice using the Youtube App on my Samsung Galaxy Android tab.

  • Christopher Elliott

    Are you having the same problem with all of the videos, or just this one?

  • TonyA_says

    Yes all the videos in YOUR channel (the ones you recorded).
    Let me put it this way, if I play your videos I need to turn my volume all the way up (max) so I can hear what you are saying.
    If I go to other youtube channels, I can here them loud at only half the volume. Sample channel:

  • Christopher Elliott

    I’m going to work on this.

  • TonyA_says

    Chris, one more suggestion. A podcast might be easier. Can you record the (phone) interview with the folks who are asking help (ones we refer to as OPs) or a guest – expert on a certain topic. Then imbed a (mp3) player control on the webpage. Hearing the voice of an OP or guest would add a different flavor to your site.

    Sample interview: