How can we spot more fantastic blogs in the early stages of a trip?
Merry Jo's Thanks-Giving Post
It really does outline one of the biggest issues for travelblog, getting 5 recommends and onto the front page, or blogger of the week, often happens when a blogger has already reached the final stages of a one off world tour.
Although it's still great that we spot these blogs and can scroll back to the beginning of the trip, I for one would love to have been following from as early as possible.
How can we make this happen more often?
Open to all ideas, even outlandish ones, throw them out - some won't be feasible - but we'll worry about that later.
Over to you. Reply to this
Anyhoo...just thought i'd mention it as a newbie :)
My other idea is if there are moderators who check the blogs before they are published, is it possible that you have a 'Moderators Tip' section on the front page and maybe any marked by the moderators are flashed up on the front page? As there are quite a few of you then hopefully you'd get a different range of what people think are interesting and also whether they are big, small or full of photos wouldnt matter.
PS. i do have to say i am really enjoying travelblog, reading other peoples adventures and forums. Great website guys!
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Are you starting a trip soon?
This thread didnt take off as much as I would have liked it to, because many new bloggers may have joined TravelBlog for the blogging facility, and did not discover the forums yet.
Mabye making more threads like this, or maybe even wording them differently would do the trick. The one for finding seasoned veteran bloggers that Merry Jo started is doing fantastically. There are some gems being dug up, who have never received and award and never been on the Front Page.
Searching for Seasoned Travel bloggers
Maybe, there could be a way to ask new bloggers to introduce themselves on the the forums, and say when and where they will soon be going to, and if they travelled or blogged before. Posting on this thread could be something that would be suggested to them, when they join TravelBlog or start blogging. Maybe, they could even be sent an email asking them to come and tell us this stuff about themselves on the forum thread for introductions, or maybe even a whole forum for it, if enough people want to start threads, and have monologues that anyone is allowed to join in with, such as the monologues I sometimes have about my trips, where everybody is welcome to cut in and comment. If such a forum happens, those posting threads on it could be encoraged to post a countdown in their thread, for those who are interested in joining them in their excitement about the time getting closer.
What if there was some trigger after a blogger has posted, say, 5 blogs where they get an automatic message or announcement accessible from the Control Panel (I'd say email, but an email-only route is likely to be ignored/deleted).
"Taking an extended trip and curious about getting on the front page? Share your trip in (appropriate forum links) and help other members find your travels." Reply to this
If we modified BoW we could incorporate this idea into it. Lets say 10 blogs from new bloggers are picked at random by the system and placed on a fifth tab on the front page. The one that gets the highest votes after a week then becomes New Blogger of the Week and their blogs will then appear on the BoW page.
Obviously, they will need to meet certain criteria like 500 words and 4 pictures. Those who are eligible to vote should also have to meet certain criteria too and of course, only be allowed to have one vote each :) Reply to this
How about a voting system?
How do we get people to vote? The ones who nominate the Bloggers of the Week, and second them will be the only ones who will vote, even if there is another tab added to the Front Page, most of the time.
It is pretty much the same as trying to get more people to hit the recommend button. It can be surprisingly difficult.
As well as that, the Blogger of the Week nominations are not only for people starting new trips. It is for all kinds of bloggers, who are good but havent been recognised. This weeks Blogger of the Week has been here a long time, and is still regularly producing new blogs.
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As for identifying great bloggers, on almost a daily basis I go to Thailand, which happens to be where many bloggers pass through, either on their way around the world or around Southeast Asia. I skip reading any blog that does not have pictures. For those with pictures, I read the blog, and if it is well written and humorous and I find that I might have some connection with the blogger, I subscribe, and then go to the beginning of their blogs and read through to the present blog. I do the same for destinations that I plan to visit in the near future, subscribing recently to bloggers who are traveling through New Zealand, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central and South America.
Then of course, if there is a blogger on the front page that I enjoy, I will subscribe to their blog.
I don't recommend too often, but hope to do more. Reply to this
How do we get people to vote?
By putting a ratings box next to each blog so that people can click from 1-5 or 1-10. I know this is possible with HTML or CSS as so many websites already have this kind of embedded voting system. We already have a similar rating system for photos.
Then it just means that each person has to make a single click rather than having to go to a forum and give a score in written form, which is not only time consuming, but also difficult to get people to do.
I feel that the recommend tabs are a totally different kettle of fish. Being as everyone can see who is following who, you are only going to press on the tab if you really like the blogger in question, where voting for a new blog or blogger via the system above you would be voting for the best out of the 10 selected and each click made would be anonymous.
Anyway, it's only an idea. Outlandish suggestions were called for ;) Reply to this
One thing that is coming up is that people don't get the recommend system to start off with - with twitter being so well known - would renaming the system help? Reply to this
On the page where that is formatted for us to publish a new blog could there be a section where someone had the option to click a few buttons?
Are you starting an around the world trip? check
Have you published 100 blogs? check
or what ever questions we deem valuable ......
I wish there was a section where people could load in some demographic information. Nothing mandatory but it would be great to know what major city someone is living near.
Tomorrow night we are having the TB holiday gathering in San Francisco. I'm sure there are other travel bloggers who live near the city and might consider attending providing we could locate them.
We've had a lot of new people in the forums lately and I think it is great. I hope it continues.
> or "Length of current trip: <select length of time from dropdown menus>"
Have you published 100 blogs? check
> That could be done automatically easily enough I'd say.
I wish there was a section where people could load in some demographic information.
> That idea has been raised a few times. I think there is something in the pipelines to cater for that, but not sure how far away it is.
Something like a 'Current location: <location selected using location menus>' field on the profile page would do probably. If nothing is selected, it wouldn't be displayed.
You could do a quick search on the lates SF blogs and send them a PM with the details of the meetup, with your mobile number. That's what I usually do if I'm heading to somewhere (has been way too long since that happened!).
Hope it all goes well tomorrow - and 'hi' to everyone there :-) Reply to this
Should we rename Recommend to Follow?
One thing that is coming up is that people don't get the recommend system to start off with - with twitter being so well known - would renaming the system help?
The word recommend has always been pretty clear to me. If I like them, I recommend them. But yeah, the Twitter thing is a point. If people are more familiar with the word Follow because Follow on Twitter is what is Recommend on TravelBlog then changing Recommend to Follow might make it more clear if most members are Twitter users. Reply to this
In response to: Msg #148387
Maybe when readers are closing a blog, a message could appear saying something like 'Thankyou for viewing this blog. Would you like to follow this blogger? Yes, No', and/or the message could appear after the reader leaves a comment on the blog.
Or, if those are too pushy, then the message could be at the end of the blog text, where the reader could ignore it if not interested and leave the blog without doing the action of clicking on yes or no. .
Maybe this would increase the number of recommends given by readers.
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In response to: Msg #148485
Good idea - I think the link at the end of the blog entry is the better option - popups would become annoying pretty quickly. Reply to this
Great find, can't wait to follow along.
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