Shannon Borrego emailed me to note that the number of comments is going down for each successive post and to ask if she was missing something.
Since her observation is correct, I figured that for this week’s post I should give you a progress report and once again ask for feedback.
First the Progress Report
This makes the sixth post.
There have been 157 comments and replies.
There have been 18 requests for recommendations for tour operators for 11 different destinations. In all but one case we have been able to come up with a recommendation.
Where the progress has been frustrating has been with the search and navigation. and with subscriptions, notifications, and profiles.
When I started the blog I wrongly assumed that off the shelf blog software had a great deal of built-in flexibility. This is apparently not the case. Even the requirements that I consider minimal require programming. Soon as I realized this I retained a programmer, but it is taking lot longer than I ever imagined.
What is holding up navigation and search is that I want to include the comments and replies as well as the posts. There are many very valuable insights and information in your comments. When someone clicks on a topic that you have covered in comment, it seems to me vital that your comments show up on the results page, and this has not been easy to achieve.
The other vital function that I am working on is subscriptions and notifications. Before I start doing more frequent shorter posts which I feel will make the blog more dynamic and interesting, it seems important to me that you be able to choose not only how you want to be notified when something new is published in the blog, but also how often you want to be notified, and about what you want to be notified. Apparently this will also take programming.
I am not sure how long it will take, but until you have these choices, I do not feel comfortable cluttering your inboxes with more than one post a week.
Progress in Worldwide Participation
Despite these obstacles, there has been very encouraging progress in my first efforts to involve my worldwide friends and contacts. All my tour operator friends who I have had a chance to talk to are very enthusiastic about the project and have expressed a desire to participate actively and invite their clients to participate.
I have only had time to talk to friends from Italy, Spain, Mexico, Canada and Alaska, but one of the things they have offered to do is to help me invite mutual friends who plan and arrange tours in other destinations to also join. This means that in time we can have many of the best destination based operators from all over the world actively posting and giving us the benefit their wisdom.
But before they can actually participate not only do we have to have the navigation and notification worked out. We will also need a section for participant’s bios, but I’m pretty sure that this will not present a problem.
I have also been refining my thinking for my goal for “Trip of a Lifetime.” More about that in a future post.
Now for the request for Feedback
One possible reason that the earlier posts received a lot more comments than the later posts is that they called for comments while the later posts did not. As long as you are finding the posts worth reading fewer comments are not a cause for concern. Please let me know.
I reread all the comments and have come up with the following topics for the navigation.
About this Blog. (How the blog should be organized. The purpose of the blog.)
Accounts of Trips
My Travel Style (“My” refers to whomever is writing, not just me.)
Requests for Destination Advice
Time of Your Life Trip
Trip planning. (General
Value of Travel (Why we travel. What value do we get from Travel.
What Blog Topics
As well as these topics readers of the blog will be able to search it by destination.
Please let me have your suggestions for additional topics. Which topics do you think should be emphasized more?
I am also planning to have a check box at the end of each post and each comment to allow participants to ask to be notified each time there is a comment on that particular post.
Another possibility is having subscribers chose how they are notified by subject. There will be trade-offs between flexibility and complexity.
Next Weeks Post
I have no definite plans for next weeks post. Possible topics include up-date on Time of Your Life Trip, more on vacation planning and more on the design of this blog. Let me know what interests you most.