A Year of Travelblather – Top 5 posts in 2011

2011 has been a really interesting year. Here are my top 5 favourite posts on Travelblather.

I just checked - I published 23 posts in 2011. Just about one a fortnight. I had some help from some great guests too.

So, looking back, which of my posts do I think are really insightful? Which ones do I think I'd tell a newcomer to Travelblather to read? Here's my top 5 for 2011. Interestingly(?) they are often posts that didn't get that many comments. Perhaps because they are more distilled and emphatic with less room for discussion? What do you think?

Free Sucks - Seriously I hate it
This theme percolates through much of my writing here on Travelblather. The idea that free is always good is frankly lazy and stupid. It typifies the mindset of the dumb consumer endlessly feeding on stuff that they are thrown - just because they can. With no thought about why it's free and what the implications are longer term of accepting it. Free is often really, really bad. This post explains why.

Forget Content - Think Curation and Connections
One of my first posts of 2011, this I think remains pretty pertinent - why create yet more content just because you can if someone else has done a great job already? With the zillions of new pages of content being added all the time online, search engines are struggling to make sense of it all. Maybe real people hold the final answer!

Choose Your 'Friends' Wisely
Many commentators suggest that social media came of age in 2011. Did it? I'm not so sure. But one thing is for certain, our online connections will have increasing importance as we go forward - in all sorts of ways. Some good, some bad. Maybe we need to think more carefully about who we are 'friends' with online and why?

Will Quality Content Beat Social Connections?
Just one comment on this post. But for me it's a bit of a call to arms for content creators. I feel strongly that the skills we possess are so undervalued in the online world. I remain convinced - as I say in this post - that quality, niche content written by experts will outlast the current excitement about social media and the social graph.

Endemic Corruption Or Just A Travel Press Trip?
OK. This one did garner a lot of comments (over 50). As often happens when the comments snowball, they went off topic quite a bit. There's some really interesting innovation going on with the travel blogging community as they seek to monetize their work more aggressively. I admire their boldness, but because travel bloggers are publishers as well as writers they risk alienating their readers if they get too caught up in chasing the bucks too overtly.

Thanks everyone who has read and commented in the last year. It's been great fun!

Any posts you found particularly useful? Anything you'd like to see more or less of in 2012? I'd love to hear what you think.


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