I am in the USA and what happens is I feel free to surf the net and look at whatever pops up in my mind. Normally I have to pay, and even thought the cost is normally less than one dollar per hour in the underdeveloped countries of the world I still feel a need to get off the internet and stop spending money, so when I come home I surf.
However, it is nice to be ignorant of the travel internet, because when I search for pages I am amazed at all the minor and major ways of taking money, time, and bamboozlings of tourist and travelers.
I try my best to make pages pretty and fun to look at, but in the end, I am always a slave to getting the information on the net and will worry about how it looks later. But it seems most travel sites are about looking pretty and worrying about helping the traveler later. I unfortunately for lots of pages have been to a lot of the place they are writing about and know the are feeding readers a line of crap.
This is how it works; they collect a lot of information from sites that do provide facts such as the USA Central Intelligence Agency great site (CIA).
Then they go around, surf, and find out what is popular, so they go see what the rest of the people are looking at, and then they copy. Therefore, if a person is good at self-promotion and is interested in self-promotion they can get on these lists.
So for example you take a site like mine and you bug me or write me until the webmaster gives up or they just pay the webmaster to put them in the category. I will not take money to put in my favorites or to talk about a web site, but I will tell you if the site has some merit, and they seem authentic in their desire to help me… If they are trying to help me, then they have the right person in mind, because I am a traveler for sure and have 10 times the normal problems of the normal tourist or traveler because I have travel 10 times as much.
So one they bug their way onto a site, they then try to tell other that they are on the site…. For instance, I had the above nice things said about my blog by Forbes.com (Look at the little logo of Forbes.com up top.)
This is my feeble attempt at self-promotion, I have put it up there to hope that someone see it and copies. See what happens is people want to be part of the in gang and not part of the out of touch gang, so if a company says that something is good, then they repeat what they hear or read in this case, but the same is so when someone says something is bad, the tell others. Very few people actually will make and independent opinion and pass it on, they seem to need someone to say they like something and they will repeat.
Therefore, the formula for travel pages is this.
1. Get on a big web site. On the other hand, pay for a recommendation.
2. Tell other that you are recommended by this site.
3. The other sites do not look at your site, but go with the gang.
4. Your site will be everywhere soon, and have nothing of value.
NOW, why are some of these sites so big or full of readers, it is the idea of Dale Carnegie?
What he did? He was one of the first self-help master or people that helped people to work on themselves. Me, I am a recovering alcoholic so maybe 20 years ago in my insecurity and mental problems I wanted to learn about how to be OK, so I read oodles of self-help books, plus I eventually stopped drinking, nothing to do with this book.
But this book is about how to get people to like you, so when you feel you are not loved this is a good book. It teaches the socially inept how to…
Say all the right things so people like you.
Like for instance, if I say your name to you when I am talking with you, then you like me more, because people like to hear their own name.
If I get you to talk about yourself then you will like me, because you will decide I am smart, because you hear yourself and you believe you are smart, so when I listen to you, then you must be smart…
I laugh when I have a good friend that writes me for a long time and I do something that totally disagrees with them or violates some rule they have put up and they decide I am no longer their friend or a good source of ideas because I disagree on one point.
Like for instance if I say,
“I want George W. Bush” for president.. Which I do, then suddenly I loose all sorts of readers, but to me I think,
“Do no let the door hit you on the A*# on the way out.”
Who cares if you read my own journal and besides that this is private, it is my thoughts and I have a right to my own thoughts, and whether you like them or not, it really should not matter in a travel log or journal. Just because you may be reading this does not mean I should not be honest, like if you really knew what I was thinking about you would not like me…
I know already, you do not like me, you do not know me; you are reading this for kicks… I hope you are and not for some need, but if I can help this are good and a bonus for me as I do like to help people, but if I annoy you, this is good also, because maybe you will think. I do believe that in the end if you give a bunch of monkey enough time they will write a good book. So if you think or get annoyed enough you will either turn it into good or explode, so either way all of you that think you know, that are annoying us that do know will be relieved of your annoying self. (That was one of them old-time jokes.)
OK, back to Dale, he wrote this book and it a good for anyone that wants a clue on how to be liked.
Nevertheless, some pages that are quite successful create a forum or place where a person can talk about himself or herself. Like the Lonely Planet Thorntree where people spend days and lifetimes posting. It is annoying to me at the self-appointed arm-chair travelers that read a lot, but travel very little want to tell me what to do and how to do it, and they are very aggressive if I would agree, and then they have the audacity to tell a person on the road they do not know the road… aagh, ignorance is bliss. If I do not know about these sites and then they cannot annoy me.
Now there is good in everything and the Thorntree has lots of good information inside, so I do go on it sometimes. Normally when I am in the USA and not paying for the internet, because when I am out on the road it is one of the worlds worst ways of finding out information. There is a time versus information ratio.
HOW MUCH TIME vs. HOW MUCH INFORMATION I RECEIVE
The Thorntree has the answers… maybe if you are willing to spend 10 hours to get one answer, but for instance, when there is no guidebook, like when I went to Iraq, I was on the Thorntree all the time. But normally I will do anything but get on the Thorntree.
I suppose if I wanted to promote my page then it is good to get on their and talk about myself.
I read this newsletter when I have a LOT of time, which is not often and they annoy me immensely, but I do know anywhere where there are travel writer and this newsletter has some of the big boys in it, Hasbrouck, etc.
But it is full of liberal rambling and talking about things they do not understand and they forget they are supposed to be travel writers, they believe they are also experts on all things, as I do also, but this is human nature.
I was laughing as I got a letter from one of the readers that hangs around on this newsletter self-promoting himself. He wanted to know,
“How do you afford to travel?”
I was laughing, this person for sure calls himself a travel writer…
Duh! You must be a traveler to travel, and if you are making money, you can continue to travel.
See, most travel writer make ZERO money unless they lie and promote worthless trips for worthless tour companies. The big magazines are full of pay through the nose, bend over and say thank you tours, that in my opinion are ways of taking the USA or EUROPE to a country and then saying you went to that country, but for Gods Sake, do not leave the resort.
OK, so I am at home surfing around getting annoyed at the new world of mis-representation of the world.
But here is a hint, how to know when you are MAYBE reading the truth.
They will talk about ugly and will annoy you, they will not describe paradise. Paradise does not exist, except in your mind, there is no perfect place to visit, and only an idiot would tell you the place was perfect and they had zero problems. The was in a resort, they did not leave the resort, or maybe this was their once per year vacation and they paid so much they would not want to admit to anyone they was stupid.
Like the guy that buys bad stocks, they do not tell anyone. This keeps the stock market flying as a great way to take a fortune and turn it into a shoestring.
The reason these pages annoy me that I read is that I surf around and find no real information where they tell me what is wrong with the place, they all tell me life is perfect. Life is perfect, but perfection includes the bad.
So I have been getting on all these perfect pages and learning nothing. What I try to do is avoid all the problems and what is left over is the good.
I get some readers that do not adhere to this policy, they read my blog and then I annoy them, then they decide to write me. So not have I only tortured them, and they are angry, but they go on in their dysfunctional haste to extend or elongate their misery by seeing if they can continue their misery by provoking me, to see if I will slap them silly. I really would love to slap a few of them literally, as they are begging, but getting into an email squabble seems too ridiculous.
I had some good advice from my friend Dave on emails. If they call me names, they are up to no good, so I delete them or put them in my mean mail page.
Well enough of talking to myself, I will go see if I can find some good resources of information to put on my pages, so readers do not have to search for real information.
Note that I am finally after about 8 years of travel and having Hobotraveler.com for 5 years been able to travel and talk about travel enough to earn a living. Plus fortunately google.com has no offereed a way to earn money that really works. Plus advertisers are writing me not becuase they like my pages, but because the site is huge and has a lot of traffic, so they want to be where the people are.
I was laughing in Amsterdam in a one block area there is about 5 McDonalds.
When you go to Patpong or the sex area of Bangkok there is all the Chains Restaurants.
Note: That Dale Carnegie link above is one of them "I get paid if you buy from the link" Links. So I put it on their for fun, as the internet is not costing me nothing. I have not made enough from Amazon.com to pay for lunch, but if there is nothing to lose and everything to gain, then why not?
But sometime I also play, as I wanted to see if the photo of the book would show up.