Archive for August, 2009

The Goal

August 28, 2009

Reasons we need an independent BoD

  • Have you read that the developer has no choice but to increase credit values for newer resorts due to increased construction costs?
    These and 9 other myths are explained here.
  • Did you know that resorts added to the Club recently have, in effect, diluted your ownership interest?
    Find out how here.
    Historic WM Credit Values chart
    Total credits per unit per year chart
  • Look here to find out: Who is WorldMark, The Club, WRDC, WorldMark by Wyndham, and where is Trendwest?
  • Have you noticed that reserving the units you want is becoming increasingly more difficult. Look here for a 2006 Credit Usage Analysis Chart.
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The Tone of the WMO Forum

August 27, 2009

Like any internet forum, WMO will naturally attract a wide range of opinions. At times the tone on WMO will seem to be very negative, for the underlying message – the continued erosion of owner rights – is a negative message. However that it is the message, and not the messager.  It is the message that is negative and the only way to stop it is to expose it to the light of day. Just like sites focused on global warming will appear to be negative at first blush.

WMO Today

August 26, 2009

From those humble beginnings, today WMOwners.com is a vibrant community of concerned WorldMark owners. As a site founded due to excessive moderation and censorship on the official WorldMark forum, the WMO forum supports a board spectrum of owner opinions. As is natural for any group that been subject to extreme censorship, the bias on the WMOwner.com is to support more freedom of expression. At times this will be led to opinions that might, on the surface, seem extreme. Keep in mind that those opinions are the opinions of the individual, and do not represent the official position of WM Owners, Inc.

For today WMO is uniquely positioned to act as an advocate of the owner. Toward that end and due to a generous donation by a WM owner, WMO actual holds a membership in WorldMark. This aspect of our mission is an evolving strategy, and is far less mature than our owner education and communication mission. Bear with us as we flesh out our policies and processes in that area. We pledge to always put the interests of WorldMark owners first.

Please visit the WMOwners site for more information.

So it really all started with a mouse… or a click of one.

August 26, 2009

With all due respect to Walt Disney, the community at WMowners.com was first launched in November 2003 by a WorldMark owner. The first major outage of the WM4M occurred over the Thanksgiving holidays, and caused one owner to speed to action. As one remembers it:

…but no one knew for sure why they had closed it, but the writing was on the wall. It was at this time that this forum founder felt the pressure to get something up on another site. She did so within days. It was something we had talked about before but never so seriously as when they shut the forum down with no warning. The WM4M fluttered off and on until April of 2004. There were some other closures for “holidays” they said and there was evidence of more censorship when it was back up. Cendant’s policies changed the WM forum.

So it was  from this humble beginning initiated by an insightful owner that the WMOwners community was first launched.  Recognizing the barriers for effective owner to owner communication, this owner essentially told Trendwest to go “fly a kite” and launched WMOwners.com on her small web storefront called the “Kite  Shoppe”.   In these early days, WMOwners was about Owner Education and Communication, and was largely hosted in a forum called ““From the Garden to the Kitchen” on that site.

Later in August of 2004, the site you know today became to form, and was labelled wmowners.com by the founders. So you see, it all started with a “mouse”… click. 😀

Then a little censorship

August 25, 2009

In Dec 2006, Wyndham decided to close the coffe shop. They offered the following explaination for that decision:

We also provided a venue called the Coffee Shop which allowed for more unstructured discussion of WorldMark related topics. In recent months the Coffee Shop portion of the forum has become underutilized and is no longer serving its original purpose as a constructive place for owners to visit and exchange ideas with other owners. In recent months, 90% of the Coffee Shop posting has been generated by no more than 50 owners. As the Coffee Shop is no longer a value added service enjoyed by the WorldMark ownership as a whole, the decision has been made to eliminate this venue from the WorldMark forum.

First add one part community forum

August 25, 2009

The community that is known as WMOwners.com, was formed from a web community on the official Trendwest WorldMark owners forum. The original forum was a true owner community, where owners could create threads and post to each other about a wide-range of issues. As one member recalls:

“The old forum in pre-Cendant days was a fun place. As long as you behaved in a civil manner and didn’t talk about resales you were OK.”

Many WorldMark owners think that this unique forum was a result of the prevailing “owner first” policies of TrendWest during the early days of the Club.

In the years after the purchase of TrendWest by Cendant, the purpose and function of the Trendwest forum became more and more restrictive. While discussion of “resale” was always prohibited, under the new ownership, more and more topics became tabooo. As one owner recalls:

“As the owner population grew so did forum participants. A new “breed” you might say came along; those with questions, and not satisfied with the status quo.”

As a natural result, many owners chaffed under the new restrictions. This shift in the tone and purpose of the forum resulted in the forum temporarily shutting down in November of 2003. Between November and April of 2004, the forum operated sporadically. Then in Apr 2004, a new forum was unveiled. This forum did not allow users to create new threads. Threads could only be created by a moderator. For general WorldMark discussions there was a area called the Coffee Shop. Owners could discuss general topics about WM in that area.