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If you haven’t heard already, my little travel blog was named as one of the 25 best blogs in the world by Time today. This is far and away the most flattering thing which has ever happened to me since I started this site. I’m listed along side other mega sites like Engadget, PostSecrets, Zen Habits and Roger Ebert.
Today has been totally crazy with people emailing me and sending me Tweets of congratulations. I think it may also open up a bunch of other doors for me, but I won’t know about that until later.
I will confess that I had a sneaking suspicion that this might happen. I was contacted by the writer Steven Snyder last week via Twitter about coming into to their offices on Wednesday when I was in New York for TBEX. In the end, he didn’t need me to come and and just said something cryptic like “Wait until Monday. You’ll be very pleased.”
I assumed they were going to give me a brief mention in an article about travel or something, but I found it odd because every time I’ve been mentioned in the press, someone usually talks to me. Also, upon a bit of digging, I realized that Steve was a tech writer, not someone who would usually write a story about travel.
I sort of forgot about it for two days, figuring that I’d have some sort of mention in Time, but it wasn’t anything to get to worked up about. Then for some reason, out of the blue, I remembered seeing a top 25 list of blogs they did last year. A little bit of digging and I discovered they did it in 2008 too, and the the 2009 list came out in February of last year. The 2010 list hadn’t come out yet….
His cryptic comment made sense in this context. A tech writer would certainly write an article about blogs and it was about time for them to release the list. I figured there was about a 75% chance I was going to be on the 2010 list of best blogs.
75% isn’t 100%, however. When I figured out what it probably was I wanted to piss my pants I was so excited, but I couldn’t really tell anyone. It wasn’t that it was a secret or that I was asked to keep it quiet so much as I didn’t want to look like a total fool if it wasn’t true. I mentioned it discretely to a few people at TBEX, trying very hard to stress the “I don’t know if this will really happen” part.
I had to get up at 4am today to catch my flight back to Wisconsin. I woke up at 3am, rolled over in my bed and grabbed the laptop to check Time.com. Sure enough, there on the front page was the link for the 25 Best Blogs of 2010. Needless to say, I didn’t get back to sleep. The first person I told was Jen Leo, my co-host on This Week In Travel, who was up in London.
Obviously, I’m very happy about this for several reasons:
- As a blogger, especially in an industry with such established, traditional media as travel writing, it is difficult to get any respect for what you do. In the three years Time has been doing this list, I’m the first and only travel blog to be mentioned. I hope this gives some respectability and legitimacy to the entire field. I hope I am not the last travel blog to be so honored.
- After spending three and a half years tramping around the world by myself in shitty hostels and guesthouses, it is nice to be acknowledged for what you do.
- The internet is about disintermediation and removing gatekeepers. Nonetheless, we still exist in a world where the opinions of some institutions hold more sway than others. This is sort of a “seal of approval” which can help me professionally, especially with people who have no clue what blogs or social media are about.
I don’t know if anything like this will ever happen to me again. This might be my 15 seconds of fame. If so, I’m certainly going to enjoy for the brief time it is has everyone’s attention.