I want to make sure whatever advice I give our "YOU! the Brand." clients and travel industry colleagues comes from firsthand trial-and-error experiences. I believe in sharing failures as well as successes because we learn from both.
Speaking of learning, Darren Rowse's Problogger site is one of the best blogging classrooms on the Web today. Every visit to Problogger always adds fuel to my blogging engine plus Darren adds new and innovative slants to how we can best use blogs to communicate our messages and improve our blogs' value propositions.
Earlier this week, Darren challenged his readers to a Group Writing Project that involves making our blogging goals public. His theory is that we achieve accountability and motivation from presenting our blogs' goals in a public forum. Additionally, we'd have to give some thought to our blogs' original goals and adjust them to our current audience and today's environment.
Since blogs are inherently dynamic and responsive to their readers, they have a tendency to drift from their original purpose. Darren's project helps pull us back to our initial intentions or motivate us to trash yesterday's ideas and chart new courses. In either case, Darren is challenging us to "lift our kimono" and reveal the concealed magic . . . or chaos.
I have three goals formy "Roads Less Traveled" blog:
1) Provide a safe-harbor for experimentation and education. While the general theme of "Roads Less Traveled" always touches on a behind-the-scenes and opinionated look at the travel and tourism industry, each post spans a wide variety of audience segments -- from vacation travelers to armchair travelers; from leisure travelers to business travelers; and from travel professionals to traveling consumers. The purpose of each post is to test reader reaction and response rather than to follow a narrow topic or a focused discussion.
2) Expose and exploit common misconceptions about how travel experiences are sold and bought in today's online world. I've not done a good job of satisfying this goal. My posts have been too practical and warm-and-fuzzy. While I won't totally discard future "rose-colored-glasses" posts, I will drill into thornier issues like studies showing that online agencies, like Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity consistently offer $50 to $80 higher air fares than those quoted by travel professionals. I'll also become more aggressive in stating my opinion as to why these discrepancies exit.
3) Recognizing that travel is all about "the experience," and most of us travel in order to return with better stories to tell friends and relatives, I will pen more posts featuring off-the-beaten-path travel experiences that produce better bragging rights for those wanting the best stories when they return home.
Blogs give us a chance to offer feedback by leaving comments. I thrive on feedback and encourage you to click on the Comment link below and share your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions.