As we are planning to go public soon, co-admin Elliot and me have realized that we first have to determine the general direction that this blog is going to take.
We would be glad if you participate in this discussion in the comment section below.
There are two major options:
The first would be that there is a kind of editorial staff that provides content (posts) to the viewers/followers.
On this blog, we have now 2 admins (Elliot and me), 14 authors and 3 viewers. Here is again the link from the wordpress support site about the different user roles.
But I will just explain what an author and viewer/follower can do on a blog, because this is important for the discussion.
Authors can “write, upload photos to, edit, and publish their own posts”. And they can comment on other people’s posts. But they can’t change or delete the posts of others, or change any settings of the blog. For example, in the Commons of our Blogging201 class every participant was an author and could post their questions or tips in the Commons and comment on other people’s posts.
Whereas a viewer (that is the same as a follower, only on a private blog) can just read the posts and comment on them. It’s just the same that you do when you follow a blog.
At the start of this blog, I added everyone who demanded access to this site as an author. At a certain point, some of you said that we should stop adding authors, and just add people as viewers/followers. So I did this. So there are now 16 bloggers who can publish their own posts on this blog (14 authors plus 2 admins).
The problem that I see now with this concept is as follows:
If we are only 16 people who can publish posts here, we are like an editorial staff which has to deliver content regularly to its viewers/followers. But most of our authors (me included) have already said that they are very busy and can’t publish posts here on a regular basis. I think most of us can only make time to post here every now and then.
So I think as good as this option sounds, it is not very realistic and this blog will become wasteland soon if we do it this way.
If you disagree, this is the right time and place now to come forward and say that you will take the responsibility to post regularly on this blog.
Having said this, my suggestion is the second option:
All followers can become authors by filling in a simple contact form and sending it to the admins (we can then add them as authors).
But before implementing this option, we would have to set up some blog rules. For example, that commercial tourism organizations are not allowed to post here (so this blog will not become a site for professional advertisers). Or that we don’t want these hi-here-is-a-link-to-my-blog-bye posts that don’t publish any real content. The admins will then make sure that bloggers stick to those rules including the right to delete inappropriate posts.
This option would enable this blog to become a more interactive site. And there doesn’t need to be an editorial staff then that has to carry the burden of producing content all the time. Come to think of it, this was the idea that I had in mind as I set up this blog: followers can easily become authors and publish their own questions, tips or articles as a way to connect with other travel bloggers.
And this could be more than just an agony-aunt-style blog. We could include a more magazine-y scope in the categories.
Besides an About and Blog rules page, my suggestions as to the categories would be:
The Commons: all the questions and ideas about the design of your travel blog and travel blogging in general, like How to attract followers, Which is the best theme for a travel blog, or How to create an appealing design and so on.
Magazine: everything that doesn’t fit the other categories. For example, Elliot said he would like to do daily prompts for travel bloggers, Or posts that are not related to a special travel destination like 10 things to pack when you go on travel, or How to survive a hostel.
Travel destinations: If you want to do posts about a specific travel destination (but it should not only be a simple re-post from your blog). This way, you could introduce yourself to the travel blogging community, and it could be a good promotion for your blog.
Accomodation: The same, if you want to recommend a nice hostel or hotel.
Maybe later, we could even implement an apartment-swapping subcategorie, or accomodation offers (from travel bloggers for travel bloggers).
Of course, all these categories could be refined or even changed (now or along the way).
So these are the two major options we have now. And we have to make a decision about it, otherwise we can’t prepare this blog for opening day.
We are hoping for lots of comments.
take care, KleesButterfly