In preparation for TBEX 2013 (the Travelblog Exchange conference in Toronto, Canada) I’ve been rereading some things I wrote about blogging and the state of travel writing online. I’ve compiled that stuff here — all vanity links, all inside baseball — so if you’re curious about where I stand, this collection of essays pretty much spells it out.
Stubbornly Clinging to the Organic Web
I want more readers. I see this as fundamentally different than traffic. Traffic is an anonymous clot of vehicles on the information superhighway. Readers, they’re hanging out at diner counters on the back roads of the internet. Yeah, it’s kind of a clunky metaphor. I’m okay with that.
Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, for the love of god, and I think it was a big deal that I went trekking in Ladakh? What is the matter with me?
Shift (The comments on this post are aces.If you bother to read it, read the discussion, too.)
It may surprise you to learn that I don’t think the problem is with sponsorships (or press trips). I think it’s with the work that results from those sponsorships. It’s in that shift from making readers happy to making sponsors happy.
But wow, a lot of people are walking around convinced that they do want to sell you something, and that product is their musings on the world, perhaps, in digital format. They would like to sell you their audience especially if you are a potential advertiser, though I would argue that an audience is not yours to sell, they are your garden to tend.
15 years later – albeit with some digressions into commercial experiments — these are still my goals. Write. Get better. Share. Make art. I am first and foremost an artist, writing and blogging is my medium. I still do it for art.
Image: NY Herald composing and linotype room, 1902, Library of Congress