Hi Stuart, I'm curious as to how the growth worked, and whether you ever thought of just throwing up your hands and jacking the site in, because you seem to have done an immense amount of hard, solid legwork and coding work in the early stages for very little reward. Let me try and break this down in a slightly more adult way, à la Dave above.1. What traffic/revenue points registered as milestones for you? 2. Did you have specific targets (revenue/traffic/other) that you were working/planning towards? 3. Did the site grow fast from the get-go or was there a lot of hard work for minimal reward at the beginning? 4. Can you ever remember a point at which you doubted the site would work / was worth doing, and seriously considered chucking it in? 5. Did you do much research before setting up Travelfish, or did you just "know" that the website was likely to fly if you stuck at it?
I understand that in Uganda homosexuality is currently punishable by up to 14 years in jail, and the bill to make it punishable by death has been reintroduced to parliament. When do you see Uganda becoming a safe destination for gay and lesbian travellers?
The linkage between homosexuality and paedophilia is a little unfortunate, but I'm pleased he made that statement, at least. It's clearly a step in the right direction. Theodora
Most genuinely green businesses actively measure and work to reduce their carbon footprint. I suspect a non-greenwashing travel business - be it a publisher/blogger/writer/whatever or a resort - should be doing the same. To simply ignore the carbon cost of air travel in sustainable tourism is disingenuous at best.
Great references, John. A great link on the carbon costs of biofuels below (as I can't work out the formatting), which shows that even the corpspeak "currently working on a roadmap" may be optimistic at best. I think rather than looking for sustainable aviation, we need to be looking to fly less. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430251/"
Hi John, Joining the discussion a little bit late in the day... I think the question of why green products command a premium is an interesting one, and one that's at the heart of greenwashing - I don't see there being great costs involved in a niche organisation like the Green Council for Green Schools (as opposed to, say, a large industrial facility that's trying to get environmental certification from a recognised body). And I'd suspect the certification system for the Green School Council is every bit as robust as the pay-for-play green hotel certification bodies (like Earthcheck) that dish out ridiculous ratings like the ones you mention above. The school, here, justifies its premium price point by some outstanding PR. Theodora
I like your point about sponsored travel content conceivably being a good thing. I'd love to see travel content that's sponsored by an entity that's not a destination or a hotel, if that makes sense, so there was more variety in destinations covered - Rolex did something with National Geographic that was fascinating, and I can see there being space for (eg) trainer companies, shoe companies, dive gear companies, sunglasses, bike companies, etc to fund and sponsor genuinely interesting indie adventure travel. The sort of stuff that's expensive and time-consuming to do, and that isn't just giving the client a blowjob.I don't think sponsored content is going away, but I'd very happily read about someone's mountain bike indie exploration of Wagazululand or wherever if all I need to do is look at the bike firm's logo. I'd also be more than happy to read someone's foodie tour of XYZ destination sponsored by Magimix (bad example, but you get my drift), or a family rollercoaster tour (which I probably wouldn't read) sponsored by a kids' clothing brand.
I don't think there's an intrinsic problem with paid-for content, any more than there's an intrinsic problem with advertorial, it just depends on who's doing the paying and how it's done - so, editorial freedom, disclosure, and no BJ hotel "reviews".
I would have thought taking a retainer to promote a client in editorial as a journalist would be sackable - never work in this town again kind of deal. And rather surprised that her/his editors aren't picking up on the repeated mentions of the business and querying them (unless they've disclosed to their editor).
Thanks for sharing, John. And, no, there's still no sign of a negative writeup of a paid trip, or a disclosure of payment for a trip.
Thanks for sharing, @hitriddle. It's a wonderful piece of writing, but, of course, Hamilton Nolan and Gawker have the clout and reach to do that, and get away with it, and still be offered more. There's a glancing mention of a PR "blacklist" in this piece - http://angieaway.com/2014/11/11/press-trip-dead/ - and I'm fairly sure any travel blogger producing this kind of amazing piece would be blacklisted stat.
Nice to see a well-researched indie, how-to piece.
@eurapart And you beat me to it - but massive kudos to her, definitely.
Sorry, but why the actual fuck is this woman having another child?