I recently sent out a question to some 1000 or so tourism academics (professors, lecturers, graduate students, and other researchers) on email discussion lists, asking them "Do You Blog?" The purpose was to see how blogging is used by tourism academics. A summary of my findings can be found here:
The major categories or types of blogs that people told me about include:
- Blogging about Tourism
- Blogging for Classes and Students
- Research (and) Blogs
- Personal Travel Blogs
- Podcast Blogs
- Email Lists as Blogs
In my informal survey, above, I found a handful of people who are doing things in each of the areas that I listed. However, even though blogging has been around for about a decade, the higher education arena seems to be taking it up only now. Travel blogs, on the other hand, have been popular with the general traveling public for several years now. That is actually how I got started blogging -- by being encouraged by my daughter to keep a travel blog of a particularly interesting trip that I took June 2005.
Travel blogs have become incredibly popular because people like to talk about their trips. In addition, because they are in the public arena (on the Internet), they also provides an ever growing opportunity for tourism researchers. In my summary above, there were more people using blogs for research purposes than anything else -- including five research papers that I know of that have been (or will soon be) submitted for publication in academic journals.
There are a lot of travel blogging websites available. I, personally, use Blogger.com (aka blogspot.com; owned by Google.com) for almost all my blogging, simply because they can all be accessed from one "dashboard." However, by doing so I am not getting the many other features that specialized trip diary blog sites provide -- such as easy photo and video uploads, trip mapping, and social networking. Some of these specialized travel blogs include:
- TripConnect.com (formerly TripMates.com)
In addition to these "consumer" travel blogging sites, there are other blogs that are more professional, travel industry, and destination marketing oriented. A few examples of these are:
- PinoyTravelBlog.com – A Filipino Guide to the Philippines
- Gadling.com – Professional Travel Writers - collaborative blog
- Roads Less Traveled - by Scott Ahlsmith of The Travel Institute
- VagaBlond - Collaborative Travel Blog about “Fashionable Travel”
- Geeky Traveller – A Travel Blog for Nerds
- Written Road – Tips for Travel Writing
- Up In The Air - about Tourism and Climate Change by the Icarus Foundation
- Carbon Neutral Tourism
Note: You can subscribe to blogs and read them as you would an online newspaper by using an RSS agregators, such as Google Reader or Rojo.com (two that I have used), or Bloglines.com (very popular).