I greatly admire Pam Mandel (edit: I initially spelled her name wrong. Amy FTW) (Nerd’s Eye View). I had the pleasure of meeting her at the NYC TBEX in 2010 and was so happy that she’s as kind, frank, and funny in person as she is on her blog.
Yesterday, the topic of travel blogs came up in a discussion on the state of the interwebs (I’m the most exciting person ever) and I had to explain the difference between the travel blogs I like and the travel blogs I don’t give a second though.
This morning, Pam nicely sums it up why your site might not be a great thing to read in this piece on Gadling. My main takeaway? If you care more about monetization/expansion/world domination than actual thought / storytelling / user experience, that’s a dealbreaker.
There’s the famous “I know it when I see it” line from Justice Potter Stewart, defining his threshold test for naughty media, and I think it applies here (only with less boobies). Some travelblogs I come to via referral, and am quickly drawn in by their humor, insight, great photos, use of memes, whatever. There are other sites that I land on, on the other hand, see the request to subscribe, get punched in the face by the pop-up cross-sell, get overwhelmed by link exchanges in the side bar, and I instantly surf away. This resembles Pam’s list of why she broke up with you, but serves as the reason why I never read you in the first place.
It’s a straightforward call for, well, straightforwardness. Oh, and being better, as Pam often calls for (see: Who Owns Your Internet Noise?). You should read the piece on Gadling. While you’re at it, you should ask her blog out on a date, as it’s pretty lovely company.