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    • Taylor Strickland

      (IMPORTANT) What's next for our community   03/24/2016

      Today we're excited to announce the start of our new Facebook group: Universal Community by Orlando Informer. We're also announcing we're closing our forums. This is probably the hardest decision I've made so far with Orlando Informer. This week marks the 2nd anniversary of our forums. Monday will mark 2 years from when I first applied to work with Orlando Informer. I was entering a pool of over 50 applicants, didn't meet the requirements, and didn't think the odds were very high that I'd get the position of Forum Moderator. It never even crossed my mind that not only would I get the position, but that position and these forums would be the start of being able to do what I love as a fulltime job. At its core, our forums have always had two goals: A ) Help families receive specific answers to specific questions, feedback from folks who have been in their shoes, and help them maximize their investment into their vacation. B ) Build a community of people who love to visit Universal, with a foundation of respect and tolerance. I can speak for our entire team on our forums (both past and present), especially our Community Manager @Chuck Plagmann, when I say that we have devoted hours of time every day of the year working towards these two goals. We feel that we've made major strides towards both of our goals, but see the opportunity to help a significantly greater amount of people plan their vacation and add on to our established (and amazing) community. Unfortunately, as time goes on, forums like ours have a tendency to slow down and be replaced by social media. It's the cycle of life for forums. We believe that this Facebook group is the logical next step for our community. Our forums and the content within will remain browseable for the foreseeable future, however you will not be able to submit new content. Our Facebook group, Universal Community by Orlando Informer, will be curated by our same team that ran the OI Forums. @Chuck Plagmann and I will be on the group daily to provide insight and help families plan their vacation. @debi will be monitoring for any Special Needs questions. Our (very talented) authors, like @Marc N. Kleinhenz, will be on the group to talk about their latest articles and your feedback. Finally, @Park Beast will even be dropping by from time to time to talk about our weekly podcast. You can access our Facebook group by searching "Universal Community by Orlando Informer" or visiting UOR.community from any webbrowser. We know this is a substantial change from our forums, but are hopeful you'll be willing to give it a shot. Additionally, we're launching a Facebook group for Universal Hollywood: "Universal Community by California Informer" or visit USH.community. This is the end of the forums, but it is just the beginning of our community. One thing we consistently hear from members of our forums is how different our community is from some of the others found online. We are committed to maintaining this reputation in our Facebook group. I have met a countless number of people, many I call friends, from our OI Forums. I know real bonds (and even relationships) have resulted from the time spent on these forums. I'm looking forward to seeing these bonds develop and new ones form on our new outlet. Please know that this decision was not made lightly or without considering the amount of time many of you have spent on here. I fully believe this is the next step forward to growing our community and helping as many people as possible have the best trip to Universal. I'm looking forward to interacting with everyone for many years to come. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with feedback -- taylor [at] orlandoinformer.com See you on the Facebook Group, Taylor P.S., Unlimited likes on Facebook, you can thank me in advance.
Taylor Strickland

#OIMeetup What have past Orlando Informer meetups been like?

34 posts in this topic

There's never that many people when we are there! It's always nice to see Chuck though. Missed everyone when we were there from Sep 28 to Oct 1 because I got really sick! Back in March!

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Marty and I were at the September Meetup.  I wholeheartedly agree with everything Bern said.

 To meet up with friends from around the globe in person after building up friendships on here was great.  We also had a mini meetup in September 14, and those faces were there again in 2015, which was brilliant.   Our trip in September was the best we have had to Orlando, and I put that firmly down to the shared laughs and great times with the OI folks.  :)

We've got a few video clips of City Walk in particular which we watch back and they still make us giggle - oh aye :lol:

Edited by Burpy HammeredTime
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Did I read above correctly...and see someone mention MARCH for the next OIMeetup? Dang it! We're supposed to be out there late April! I still want a t-shirt, Taylor! Oh, and you have to put the cow somewhere on it. :D

Missed Marc today on the podcast... because I believe he'd go into details about the H1B visas story. How did Disney prove they needed that many? Heck, they already had people working those jobs in the first place! (Whoops...wrong forum! LOL)

Keep up the good work! Love the OIPodcasts.

Edited by amiller03
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On 12/20/2015 at 4:12 PM, Lainie said:

Marty and I were at the September Meetup.  I wholeheartedly agree with everything Bern said.

 To meet up with friends from around the globe in person after building up friendships on here was great.  We also had a mini meetup in September 14, and those faces were there again in 2015, which was brilliant.   Our trip in September was the best we have had to Orlando, and I put that firmly down to the shared laughs and great times with the OI folks.  :)

I was also at the September Navigator's Banquet. I find it difficult to talk to people I am meeting for the first time, even though @Maureen introduced me to others. Unless I see someone's name in print with their photo, it's hard for me to remember who they are. I think the one thing we didn't do that other meetups have is take a group photo. I would have liked that to add to the photos I took....

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4 hours ago, Lainie said:

Yeah - we really should have got a group shot taken that night!

There were  a few group shots at HHN and they are great. 

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I love this photo so much! Some of my most favorite people, all together :wub:

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On 2/5/2016 at 11:21 PM, amiller03 said:

Did I read above correctly...and see someone mention MARCH for the next OIMeetup? Dang it! We're supposed to be out there late April! I still want a t-shirt, Taylor! Oh, and you have to put the cow somewhere on it. :D

Missed Marc today on the podcast... because I believe he'd go into details about the H1B visas story. How did Disney prove they needed that many? Heck, they already had people working those jobs in the first place! (Whoops...wrong forum! LOL)

Keep up the good work! Love the OIPodcasts.

The next official OI Meetup will be around May 21. We should be able to share more details in the upcoming days. I don't think this is a meetup anyone will want to miss.

Thanks for listening to the podcast!

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7 hours ago, Taylor Strickland said:

The next official OI Meetup will be around May 21. We should be able to share more details in the upcoming days. I don't think this is a meetup anyone will want to miss.

Thanks for listening to the podcast!

Saving vacation time...

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On February 6, 2016 at 7:05 PM, Amy G said:

I love this photo so much! Some of my most favorite people, all together :wub:

I love the color of the sunlight on all of you in this pic!

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53 minutes ago, Kathkat said:

I love the color of the sunlight on all of you in this pic!

Some of us have no sunlight on us :lol: I'm the only female not in any sun! Maybe @HPTR was right about that Dementor thang. Laughing so hard right now :lol: 

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If anyone is feeling particularly generous and wanted to fly me over from Australia for the upcoming Diagon Alley meet up, please let me know! :lol:  Events like this make me wish I lived a little closer... :(

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1 hour ago, Unknown said:

I wonder if Unknown will be there. Maybe say his name 3 times. 

Unknown. Unknown. Unknown!! 

Did the all knowing, unknown, know of this before Taylor announced it last night?!

If you did go, would you wear an name badge?!!

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On 2/8/2016 at 11:21 PM, Bern said:

Some of us have no sunlight on us :lol: I'm the only female not in any sun! Maybe @HPTR was right about that Dementor thang. Laughing so hard right now :lol: 

Pssst.  I think I see some sun on your arm and leg:lol:

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1 hour ago, Kathkat said:

Pssst.  I think I see some sun on your arm and leg:lol:

I saw that after I posted :lol: Well, I'm the only face that isn't illuminated. . . hmm . . hey now. . . <_<:P 

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1 hour ago, Bern said:

I saw that after I posted :lol: Well, I'm the only face that isn't illuminated. . . hmm . . hey now. . . <_<:P 

My face is a little shady too! The left side of my neck is nicely lit though :)

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I am not seeing any of this, just a whole lot of people having a great time and getting a pic taken.

 

I will never forget the face of the scareactor when we we were walking/strutting down the street and she tried to put a scare into the bunch. She saw all those people coming and bolted! Great times and hope to see everyone this fall.

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3 hours ago, Amy G said:

My face is a little shady too! The left side of my neck is nicely lit though :)

Possibly because you are a little, as you say, "shady". :lol: That's why we're together, we're Shady Sistahs. :D  I think most people were definitely "lit" before, during and/or after that photo was taken. 

2 hours ago, HPTR said:

I am not seeing any of this, just a whole lot of people having a great time and getting a pic taken.

 

I will never forget the face of the scareactor when we we were walking/strutting down the street and she tried to put a scare into the bunch. She saw all those people coming and bolted! Great times and hope to see everyone this fall.

Camaraderie, that's what a meet up is.  

JimmysMom, Kathkat, Amy G and 2 others like this

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On 2/9/2016 at 9:43 AM, Dan_Mol said:

Did the all knowing, unknown, know of this before Taylor announced it last night?!

If you did go, would you wear an name badge?!!

I may say hello to a few. I blend in.

I did know of the event for a while now. Very happy to see it is happening :-) 

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On February 9, 2016 at 6:38 AM, Unknown said:

I wonder if Unknown will be there. Maybe say his name 3 times. 

Unknown. Unknown. Unknown!! 

Someone promise to do this for me!

21 hours ago, Bern said:

. :D  I think most people were definitely "lit" before, during and/or after that photo was taken. 

*Raises hand*

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I haven't really visited this site in a while, but I still follow OI on Instagram.  I was soooo excited to see this since I was already going to Disney that week.  How could I pass up on this opportunity?!? Can't wait!

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