Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011)
I just found out in the New York Review of Books today that he died last June. One of my all time favorite authors. Read him! (You won’t be disappointed.)
His Wikipedia biography. Scroll to the bottom for his books
Why Travel and Food Writers MUST Know About OneRecommends.com
If you write, blog, speak about travel or food you need to know about OneRecommends the free travel recommendation network. The most important thing for travel and food writers, whatever medium they use, is to gain and keep readers and OneRecommends can help. People rely on writers and bloggers to give inspiration, knowledge and guidance. OneRecommends allows users to do all this and engage with followers. OneRecommends will help grow readers by allowing users to link back to their own sites/pages and OneRecommends will help retain and engage readers by featuring a follow button.
People who have signed up before OneRecommends launch in the new year will be given the opportunity to have home page listings to further increase the traffic to their profile pages.
OneRecommends is totally free and will allow users to create a profile and using simple tools create lists of the hotels, restaurants and bars they recommend by location around the world. This will all be shown on the persons profile page with several methods of searching. Once you have created your profile page you will be offered tools to share this with your friends as well as your readers and followers on twitter, facebook and other sites. Your page will keep track of visits and you can make this public if you choose as part of your brand building.
Why Recommendations not Reviews?
A fundamentally issue at present on the web is all travel sites are about reviews yet in life we never ask a friend or colleague for a review we ask for a recommendation. Where would they stay, where was the best restaurant they found while there? With OneRecommends you will be able to see where your friends and where people you know recommend but you will also be able to follow writers, bloggers and others you like and admire and see where these experts in the industry recommend.
Every establishment will have its own page that will show number of recommendations and by whom, you will be able to filter these by friends, people you follow or by type. They will also have info, contact details and photos. The amount of recommendations over time will also be recorded to show how “hot” an establishment is, ie it used to get recommended but not much anymore or in the last month has had hundreds of recommendations and is very hot.
For every recommendation you make you will have the option of adding a 140 character reason why and add photos but you won’t need or have to do either.
Next Trip get Recommendations by People You Know and Trust
When people are looking for hotels or restaurants they will be able to use our search functions to find where people they know, people they follow such as travel experts they like and admire and people that have recommended similar places to them Recommend where ever they are or are thinking of going.
OneRecommends is launching in the new year and is set to correct the major problem in online travel research we don’t ask for reviews from anonymous strangers we ask for recommendations from people we know and trust. This should be the same online.
Sign up now for your free page at www.OneRecommends.com plus invite friends once you have signed up and ensure the chance to get homepage coverage for your profile.
Also see why we think this is a better way than tripadvisor for finding the right place here
Does being a Pro make an ʻexpertʼ?
I recently heard of a freelance travel writer for a popular travel guide who submitted ʻexpertʼ articles on some of the coastal towns of Oregon in the US. This professional travel writer who based out of Portland, Oregon seemed to do a whirlwind visit of the Oregon coast before submitting their writings to the travel guide. But hereʼs the thing - a good friend of mine runs a motel in one of these coastal towns - when he read the write ups from this expert he told me, in his words, ʻshe totally missed itʼ. Now this could make your world fall apart if you are a fan of guidebooks. Goodness knows I have my fair share of them.
This story surely leads to the question ʻwhat makes an expert an expertʼ? Being paid for something by the relevant industry and having a skill does not automatically make you an authority on a subject. They say you need to clock up 10,000 hours on a subject to be deemed an expert. But of course no travel expert will have 10,000 hours of knowledge on any given city - there has to be some element of them using their general experience of traveling to ʻreadʼ a city and write as accurate a portrayal as possible to convey this to their readers.
But there is a better model for us recommendation seekers…
Another question: What do we look for in an expert?
For me, getting great pointers from someone who lives in your destination city is of great value. That person knows and, hopefully, likes the city where they reside. Their recommendations are tried and tested - they go deep. They are not recommending something to you fresh from a submission to a travel guide to make a deadline - they KNOW the city. I bet if the freelance writer in the example story was asked to describe and recommend Portland, the city where they reside, they would offer up some killer recommendations, accurate and with love.
For my money that is what a travel expert is all about - accurate recommendations with love for their city.