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What the hell am I writing about?

March 22, 2009

Apologies in advance – this is a bit of an introspective post, and a bit long. I promise to write about Twitter straight after…


I’ve been reading a lot recently about the technicalities of blogging, as it seems to be a popular topic in the blogosphere at the moment. This one post, by Peter Moore, in particular caught my eye: Digital Diversity: bloggers and polymaths (also a quote at the end of this post).

The main aspect I’ve been picking up on is the word “niche”, or – what exactly is your subject matter for your blog. When you begin a blog, you never know exactly what you’ll be covering until you start it. It’s a leap of faith.

But it’s been seven months now since I started this blog. The tag cloud function of a blog gives you a clue as you progress, but I thought I’d pause, and ask myself what the hell am I really writing about, and can I be more focused?

From a quick glance at my 165 posts written so far, and 470 tags, I’m starting to see some themes:

  • Social media and its relationship with travel/tourism
  • Tourist boards and online destination marketing
  • Online travel journalism
  • Travel agents and communicating/selling online
  • New tourism trends, innovation, creativity…

There’s also a massive community of other travel bloggers out there – not in a “travel diary” way, but people exploring the power/influence of the internet and its relationship with travel. (Note – I’ve added a new Blog roll and Twitter roll to the left, if you want to see who I mean)

As a result of this pondering, I’m going to try and stay focused on the above points. So I’ve changed the old tagline A blog about the travel industry to New media in travel & tourism.

A bit wordy, maybe a bit pretentious/academic, but I’ll give it a go. There’s potentially a lot to write about, as this industry is currently flourishing with new ideas, and there are some fertile imaginations out there.

There’s also a new type of travel writing emerging. It’s interactive, colourful, and uses mixed media and new technologies. But it’s still enthusuastic, and passionate, and that’s what I like about travel.

Now, about Twitter…

Quote from Peter Moore’s blog (mentioned at the top of this post).

5. The ability to stick to a single topic

A successful blog needs a coherent voice, and more importantly it needs a niche – the narrower the niche the better. This all fits in with mental mind-mapping. You want to go to blog A because it will provide you with some information about issue B. It’s means to an ends.

A decade ago all the talk was about ‘surfing’ the Internet, but these days people online are less likely to be idling from page to page without any obvious purpose. They are online to research, to learn, to shop, to connect or to share. They want to know what your website is, what it gives them, and where the hell it fits in.

People are looking for narratives with which they can connect and empathise. That is why the ‘About’ page is generally the most consistently popular on any blog. The best blogs will clearly state their intentions from the off, and they’ll stick to their stated aims. Blogs that don’t do this will suffer in much the same way that Mojo would suffer if one month it decided to switch from music journalism to interior furnishings.

Yes. I know. To err is human, but if you want to be amongst the best bloggers, you don’t want to be err-ing too much.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2009 7:28 pm

    Hi Matt
    Great post and, if introspective, appropriately so.

    You’ve created an important blog here. It can only get better the more focused and niched it might be.

    I’m looking forward to more of it!

    Cheers

  2. March 22, 2009 10:57 pm

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the mention, I’m glad my sentiments chimed. I’m finding that the nature of blogging is very different to print journalism. It is all much more like an exercise in thinking out loud – and getting things right can take time.

    Anyhow, this blog is certainly heading in the right direction. Loads of interesting, interative content, and a strong angle to boot. Top work.

    Thanks,

    Peter

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