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In quotes: Travel Blog Camp

November 13, 2008
The digital hub that is Doggett's

The digital hub that is Doggett's

I’ve already posted about the background to the Travel Blog Camp (here), so I’m not going to go into too much detail here. What I’ll do is just highlight some of the key speakers’ quotes. For more analysis, there are some links to other reviews at the end of this post. Also, thanks to Darren Cronin (aka Travel Rants) for organsing the event…

So who said what?

Alex Bainbridge from Tour CMS

“I don’t like to be called a blogger… A blog isn’t just about creating a media site. It’s just me, I just want to have conversations. No one wants to read news on a blog. If there are five sites with the same news, no one is going to read them. I want an enjoyable conversation.”

“People want your opinion of the product. The reason I have my name there is because it’s me! It’s not that I’m vain… I’ve watched the traffic come from other firms’ offices, their legal teams, their brand representatives, and I wonder why they don’t write anything! Maybe something will arrive in the post.”

“I haven’t got the bandwidth in my brain to cope with Twitter.”

“I see comments as a bit of currency. If I see someone putting in effort, I’ll go and write a comment. This is my means of saying thank you for your post.”

“Blogging has driven me to extreme posting – it’s a bit like being an alcoholic!”

Karen Bryan from Europe a la Carte

“There are three types of blog:

1. Personal diary, for a traveller to let family and friends know they’re safe, and where they are

2. Interactive travel magazines, which aren’t geeky – it’s just a different publishing platform e.g. Guardian travel blog

3. Blogs used as a marketing tool e.g. Mr & Mrs Smith Blog, or B2B”

“So what about their futures? The personal diary blog will continue to grow, but they need quality content. Interactive travel magazines have a harder future, financially speaking, and they need to be manually edited to keep up quality. The marketing tool blog has lots of potential, but only if businesses realise that it’s a lot of time and effort – they can’t just jump on the blog bandwagon.”

“It’s also OK to give quality links to other websites. The readers will hold you in high regard, and come back to you.”

Molly Flat from STA Travel

“People will pile in and slaughter companies that have their CEO going ‘Hey guys, LOL’ etc…”

“Brands want to know what consumers think. STA Travel Buzz is a ‘non-blog blog’. We aggregate the STA Travel-related content. It’s transparent – everything goes up there. So instead of people trawling trough Google, all the info is in STA Travel Buzz.”

“STA Travel is interested in word of mouth – not press releases, banners etc. They said ‘Be on Twitter, Facebook, FlickR.’ So we spread the brand, take it away from a corporate point of view, and put it on to another social media platform.”

Kevin May from Travolution

Kevin asked a lot of questions, so was tough to get down the various comments hurtling back and forth.

But, as I mentioned before, read about Kevin’s talk, and other thoughts on the evening, at these blogs:



Travel Rants

11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2008 9:49 am

    Hi Matt,
    Yeah – I think I am going to have to explain this whole Twitter thing…. my explanation is something along the lines of online travel businesses are early adopters of social media – but not inventors of social media. In the end though I am trying to run a business – which takes up X amount of time – leaving only 24-X to do “social stuff”. As we are users not inventors, I don’t feel so obligated to actually try everything.
    Blog post coming on this (on my blog) when I get a moment.
    Cheers. Alex

  2. Jared permalink
    November 15, 2008 12:40 pm

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the quick summary. I didn’t get a chance to meet you at travel blog camp, but I’m notoriously bad at networking so that’s not a surprise. I enjoyed the evening, but what I was missing is how travel blogging is different from other blogging? Or is it the same approach with different content? Nobody really answered this for me. Since you took notes (and I didn’t) I’m wondering if I missed something here.

    -Jared Salter

  3. matthewparsons permalink*
    November 16, 2008 9:43 pm

    Thanks for comment Alex.
    And to quote (retweet?) Jeff Jarvis: ” @timoreilly I’m now reversing the flow: twittering less, blogging more.”

  4. matthewparsons permalink*
    November 16, 2008 9:51 pm

    Hi Jared.
    I only started this blog a coulpe of months ago, so fairly new to it myself and not the best person to ask. But I’ll have a go…
    I think travel blogging, in the purest sense, is someone on the move keeping an online journey to let friends and family know they’re safe. As the debate towards the end of the evening veered off towards PRs, corporate blogging and journalism, it all got a bit confusing.
    But the issues raised (I think) were more about the role of blogging in the travel industry, and bloggers’ integrity when writing about destinations/travel companies etc…

  5. November 17, 2008 10:20 am

    Hi Matt, nice post and great summary thanks! I don’t actually work for STA Travel – I run STA travelbuzz – but that is a nit picky detail! Great to see so many people there and may there be plenty more to come 🙂


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