Friday, April 07, 2006

A way to personalise

So another week is over and another edition of Travolution is safely tucked away in the land of nod for 10 days or so until it hits the desks of readers.

Our print edition, getting ready for its third outing, has already caught the imagination of the industry in many ways – which was always our primary goal.

But someone asked me today how the Blog is doing. A reasonable question seeing as it’s also been attracting quite a bit of attention recently.

For fear of boring readers with traffic figures (very good, if you’re asking), I’ve been issuing a standard response to this question.

The success of the Travolution Blog, we feel, demonstrates a subtle shift within the online community – though it’s far from being a new phenomenon – and which the travel industry should perhaps take notice.

Online users or customers (indeed, Travolution’s customers!) are looking for new and interesting ways to access information or products.

Blogging – which for many people still sounds like something you might found yourself doing in a dark alley – is another form of communicating.

The Guardian, for instance, has recently launched of a collection of Blogs across its portfolio of online products. The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson also has a fantastic Blog.

And then there are those with “self-indulgent twaddle” syndrome (as a former colleague of mine calls it).

Some private Blogs fit that category perfectly (journalists, interestingly, do not necessarily make for the best bloggers), but for businesses the world of blogging is still a relatively unexplored medium that, if done well, can capture the interest of customers.

Indeed the travel industry is ripe for blogging. Customers want to get involved and share their experiences – travel companies inevitably have plenty of characters that can amuse, entertain or provoke users. If personalisation is the next stage, then blogging will help.

It’s all just part of the service.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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