Urban Travel Blog

The last couple of weeks have been exciting times for me, as ideas for an online travel magazine, which have been floating in my head for the last eight or nine months, settled into a concrete plan – which I quickly turned into an up and running website! I’m delighted to unveil the Urban Travel Blog!

For some time I had been discussing the creation of an online travel magazine with my web developer friend, but I guess it was always wishful thinking to suppose he would find the time in his already packed schedule to knock up a site for me. But then I realised I didn’t need him! With publishing technology like WordPress, a few plug-ins and a willingness to step out of the knowledge comfort zone even a techno-retard like myself can launch a respectable looking and functioning site. Great!

As for why I wanted to launch my own travel magazine, it’s a point that I think is worth discussing. You don’t have to be trends forecaster to see that traditional media is increasingly being replaced by the Internet, and whereas I think there will always be room for physical guidebooks, magazines and newspapers undoubtedly that market will shrink rather than grow. Ultimately people don’t want to pay for information that they can access for free online, and with the trend for laptops small enough to actually carry around with you (such as my lovely Samsung NC10 notebook) combined with a growing number of places offering WiFi access, plus of course smartphones, an increasing number of travellers can access the Internet at any time – not just from their home or office.

So with the Internet still growing in power as a media tool, an online magazine is clearly the way forward over a traditional printed one. But there are already tonnes of travel magazines online I hear you cry – what’s different about your one? Well firstly, I don’t agree that there aren’t hundreds of travel magazines online. There are hundreds of printed magazines who at some point clumsily post their content in a user-unfriendly way onto a website that is merely a support mechanism for their paper product. Then there are hundreds and thousands of online travel guides, but these tend to concentrate on practical travel information, reviews, tourist attractions, and – as someone who has browsed a lot of such sites knows – are basically hotel booking sites dressed up with content. Finally there are some catch all contributor content tipping bins, such as Suite101, where all and sundry are encouraged to write about their every turgid moment over such a scope of topics that it hardly makes compelling reading. The model is basically designed to make money via Google adsense and fair play to them, but it’s not a route I’m interested in following, even if I hadn’t left it too late!

So what I’m trying to say, is there is still tonnes of room for an online travel magazine which is a) designed as a web medium b) publishes articles, not reviews, in the manner of a traditional magazine c) has a defined focus (urban travel/cities) and quality control. Phew, I think that’s it!

Hopefully this is something for city lovers to get excited about and enjoy, and if you’re one such person you can follow all the latest developments by signing up for the blog’s RSS feed (see homepage), or catching us on Twitter.

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