Travel In Blogs : A new travel community?

Recently the blog Travel in Blogs seems to have started a sort of Travel Blog community. From the outset it seams a great idea, but there is hardly anything available on the site about the site, about who does it and why they do it.

What do you think?

Added 15 March:

The basic idea is that Bloggers submit stories that can be voted upon like the Diggs and Del.icio.us es of this world. In one view you can get the hottest posts. But there are many other alike initiatives. For the moment I am reasonably content with the Google reader which loads very fast and gives you a fast means of browsing the blogs you like to read. Another issue is that the admin (whoever he may be) seems to get his ideas from a blog that looks as if it is a pure scraper or maybe even a Splog. I wont mention it here because I don’t want to grant it a link.

It is registered in the name of a thus far undisclosed person at the same address as the “aggregators” or “scrapers” i am referring to:

DreamHost Web Hosting
417 Associated Rd #324
Brea, CA 92821
US
+1.2139471032

Record created on 2007-03-09 18:34:56.
Record expires on 2008-03-09 18:34:56.

Added after the comment of David of Travelhorizons:

There are some ramifications here why I am still not sure.

I suppose if it would be non – human, they would have programmed the spider bot so that it would publish posts (I submitted 3 or 4 myself) as soon as possible and would not leave them unattended for 48 hours or more. No attention is much more human than bot alike I would think.

Furthermore, I believe that I have seen Albert Barra making a comment somewhere that he had to do with this Blog. But I can’t reproduce the comment anymore. That would also explain why there is a Spanish section. Ah, wait, it was not a comment I can reproduce what I thought I had seen: it is this post More about the T-List, on his Blog, but my Spanish is insufficient to understand what he tells in his post, even if I use Alta Vista Babel Fish.

Also it is notable that as a comment on a post by self proclaimed spin doctor Martin Schobert, of the Austrian Blog in the German language, Kulinarisch Reisen (i.e. Travel Culinary) about The T-List a certain Danay asks attention for the Blog in question:

Can the T-List go Web2.0?

We have recently launched TravelinBlogs.com.

TIB is a social network for the Travel and Hospitality Community. This site allows you to submit an article that will be reviewed by all and will be promoted, based on popularity, to the main page.

We encourage all Blogs of the T-List to sumbit their content and get additional traffic to their blogs.

Best regards,
Danay

Danay seems human and like me not a native English speaker (“sumbit”).

So again: is it a hoax of for real, what do you think?

Update:

I’ve taken out the link as, sadly, when Albert tried to move the site to another server, he lost all of it. Later I met Albert at WTM in London. He is a very likable person.

Last edited by Happy Hotelier on February 25, 2010 at 9:14 am

How to boost your Blog’s Web Presence: The T-List

T-List

The main wisdom is that the more links point to your website, the more traffic you generate and the better the (Blog)search engines can find you. So how to spread the word about your Bog?

Some examples of techniques to get the desired results are:

  • Comment, comment and comment; The advise is both inbound and outbound:
    • Give as many comments on interesting posts of fellow Bloggers as is feasible.
    • Obtain as many comments as possible simply by writing about subjects that may be of interest to others.
  • “I have been tagged”: Somebody points to (tags) usually 5 fellow Bloggers and the tagged ones should answer the pointing (tagging) by a post under the header “I have been tagged” and should give away a few until then unknown personal facts about themselves and at the same time tag 5 new fellow Bloggers.
  • Get interviewed by another Blogger:
    • Guillaume Thevenot exploited this successfully with his tag 20 Blogs I like, wherein from time to time he posts an interview. In addition he started this week publishing a list of 50 top Travel and Hotel Blogs according to technorati.
    • Paul Johnson copied the idea and has thus far published 17 interviews on A Luxury Travel Blog and yes yours truly Happy Hotelier is amongst them!
  • Join communities: For instance My Blog where you can obtain a nice widget (see my right column) that gives you an idea who passes by your Blog. Technorati, is another possibility and there are many more.

The T-List was launched yesterday by by Mathieu of Radar who modeled it after the Z List, originally launched by Mack Collier of Viral garden:

  • The idea is simple: Write a post, and copy and paste the list of the one who T listed your Blog into the post. Make sure the links are active and correct. If your blog is on that list, remove it as all to obvious self promotion is “not done”. Don’t worry, because if your Blog is on a T List, it will be on others and will spread. Add your favorite blogs to the top of the list. Publish the post. People will notice the incoming links, and hopefully write their own T List posts. The result will be that all bloggers will get more links pointing to their blogs, and more readers got to be good!

In other words:

  • Create a new post on your blog.
  • Copy and Paste the entire list of blog links in the post
  • Add any blogs that you want to include near the top of the list. (Optional)
  • Include the blog where you first got the list from, on the list in your post.
  • Do not include your own blog links on the list in your post.
  • Make sure that all links are copied intact.
  • Publish the Post.

Here we go

I add:

To the list of Radar:

Your turn!

Added 10 March 2007:

Thanks David Ourisman of Travel Horizons for creating a T-List logo that proudly appears at the top of this post.

Look at my T-List page for an as complete as possible updated T-List.

 

Last edited by gje February 6, 2017.

Istanbul and the art of booking a hotel online: Nothing Zen!

2007 September Art en Route in Istanbul CRW_2337A
I am starting this post at the end of 2006 because a journalist of the Guardian has asked me to give some insight comments about booking your travel via Internet. Well, what better answers to such question than to describe what you do on the Internet to get some answers while it is for real?

Once a year, in September, we use to travel with a very heterogeneous group of Baby Boomer friends to a city to experience Modern Art. The name of the loosely organized association is aptly chosen “Art en Route”. It even has its own logo. Art en Route has its own Small-Museum-of- Modern-Art-director who gives the group lessons in Modern Art and prepares briefs about places to visit and artists to see and acts as the Art guide in the city. He is very well humored and has to be, because the group often gives its cynical comments about the “Artsy” character of what is displayed. We (he and Art en Route members) learn a lot!

Earlier trips were to Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, and Venice. The Berlin and Venice trips I attended, The rest I had to forgo, as I had to look after our own hotel guests.

In 2007 we are to visit Istanbul for the Istanbul Art Biennale.

The frequent travelers of Art en Route and I -as the Hotelier and Internet geek- of Art en Route are asked for Hotel suggestions. After I had suggested Propeller Island City Lodge for our September 2006 trip to Berlin, I am afraid some members of the group will vote against any of my suggestions.

However, I should mention that I suggested this Hotel only after my DW called me up in the middle of the night when the trip went to Barcelona in a prior year (2004): She had just checked into the group’s hotel of choice and very much to her dissatisfaction. The room had only one window that looked out on a blind wall of an in-house light shaft and the pipes of the hotel kitchen and various air conditioners were blowing their air and stink with a lot of noise into the shaft. She demanded me to look for another hotel on the Internet immediately. Also the hotel was very shabby and located in the center of the ”Quartier Des Madames”. Hence she wanted to move out and check in into another hotel immediately. Apart from the fact that then it took even more effort to find a suitable hotel, I didn’t succeed to find any other hotel room at all for her, as Barcelona was fully booked, at least according to the consolidators and very few hotels had their availability accessible through their own sites in those days. Therefor I am always hesitant to book last minute, whatever the deal may be. Unfortunately on the other hand my DW and I are usually forced to book last minute by our work.

Internet is more about randomly than scientifically approaching such questions. Therefor I describe my rather random (in earlier years the buzz word would be fuzzy) approach while avoiding the Five Star Alliances of this world.

  • My first inclination is to go to the site of Bookings, already because, originally, it was set up by a couple of Dutchman and because it is a fast loading site and has a lot of useful content (good maps!) and added somewhere in 2005 or 2006 user generated hotel reviews to it. It comes up with 102 hotels in Istanbul….now where to start…..leave it for the moment. By the way: They changed their name into Booking.
  • Mr and Mrs Smith? I red somewhere (yes it was in The Guardian) that the couple behind the guides and the site got married very luxuriously. They have only the Sofa Hotel. I discussed this already with the lady in charge of booking for Art en Route, but it is probably a bit to far away from the city center.
  • Relais et Chateaux? Has no Istanbul Hotel presence.
  • Luxury Culture? No Istanbul Hotels.
  • The Kiwi collection comes up with the first useful hit that draws my attention: Sumahan on the Water on the board of the Bosporus, about half an hour from the city center by water taxi. I would love to stay at this place as I know where it is and know (because once I made a trip on board of the US Ambassador’s motor launch “Hiawatha” over the Bosporus) how beautiful the scenery is there and how you can be sensationally surprised if a Russian Mega Crude carrier comes along when you potter on the Bosporus in a relatively small motor boat. It is even more sensational than when from Rotterdam Centrum you want to visit Hotel New York in Rotterdam. The river Maas is very busy there with a lot of Big Barge traffic up and down the River.
    A drawback of the Kiwi Collection is that it lists few hotels and gives Istanbul and Marmara as location result: Marmara is approximately 100 miles apart from Istanbul, i am not searching for Marmara.
  • Then I look at Tripadvisor phew, 344 hotels…Again: Where to start…?
  • Once I got the tip for Travel Intelligence [ed: diascontinued since publishing this post] from a Dutch guy who takes 2 to 25 Euro cents from a respectable number of Chinese travelers pouring over Europe whereby he acts as an intermediary for booking them cheap hotel rooms. Probably he is wiser than I am. Hey! They revamped the Travel Intelligence site: Not so much faster loading, but definitely a better look and feel and a map! They also mention the Sumahan. It is probably a bit too expensive for the group. It is located in an old Raki distillery. That is interesting.
  • I turn to Expedia.com and see that a couple of hotels offer up to 25% early booking savings and other hotels have probably not set their availability correctly.
  • I am definitely avoiding the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) booking site as I recently found out that before you know how, you make a decently priced reservation but forfeit your up front payment if you want to change your date of booking or just made a simply made error in the booking.

A couple of hours went by. Now, like another Blogger, Heather Green at BusinessWeek put it eloquently recently: I should take a walk around the block to let my brain do something else than troll: surf and read and read without my brain taking anything in….on the other hand: I use to surf as an alternative way to walking around the block thinking about issues that come up in my work…

My first conclusion is: Look at various dedicated hotel sites, be it luxury, design, romance or whatever you have in mind and then check back with the bigger sites as Booking, Expedia and the like.

I look further:

My second conclusion is: First I should have called upon a friend of mine who is a big shot in business, has lived several years in Istanbul not so long ago and still frequently travels there….

Will be be continued somewhere in February, when we have Art en Route’s opening of the season session.

In the meantime I would appreciate suggestions from readers.

Update: Eventually we staid at a Hotel near the Kybele hotel which had a nice lobby for a drink.

Last edited by gje on December 17, 2016

Happy 2007!

I hope 2007 makes all of you (and me) as happy as 2006 made me happy!

It was a happy year for me, 2006. I started this Blog adventure and are having fun with it, although it takes a lot of time which I do not always have. It takes more time than you would anticipate before you start. Because of the amount of time involved I believe that the number or derelict Blogs will soar in 2007 and that the number of new Blogs started will decrease.

The last days of a year often makes you wonder how many unfinished objects, or UFOs you have left unfinished.

Here are some of my UFOs postponed to 2007:

  • Suite with a Vault, about Palais Coburg in Vienna that was completely renovated into a luxury all suite hotel;
  • Report about our visit to Berlin and stay in Propeller Island City Lodge;
  • report about our visits to Vienna and stay in Style Vienna;
  • Web two Bubble (web2.0) and what it means for the Hotelier;
  • Finalizing the translating of the Dutch posts and fine tune the instant translation possibility of this site;
  • Further developing the style of this site. I would love to have a multi style switch installed, so that the reader can choose which style he likes best;
  • Bring you more news about Dutch Hotel Design;
  • The Ferragamo Portrait Suites in Rome;
  • The Nitenite Hotel in Birmingham;
  • pay attention to What Woman Want
  • And many more…

Enjoy!