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Best Single-Author Travel Blog

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Official Travel Notes Blog

Best Single-Author Travel Blog

This award celebrates the best travel blog writing by a single blogger. Again, the topic is open, as long as there is only one regular poster.
With some 70 nominations, and a few coming in after the nominations had closed, this is a popular section and will take some serious reviewing to make the deadline I've set.

Posted in order of nomination.

View From The Wing: RSS
Plenty of useful information for jet travellers looking for a little 'flyer talk', along with some use of images but not really a contender.

The Cranky Flier: RSS
Brett, the airline dork, has worked in aviation and the travel business. The second nomination in line edges up the runway ahead of the first.

Killing Batteries: RSS
'Leif Pettersen’s battery-powered rise to the zenith of travel writing rapture' is a nice enough read but as far as awards go, it's just a little flat. There's plenty of substance to the posts, so worth going along with your jump-leads to help spark the blogger-reader interaction that the writing deserves.

Tim Leffel’s Cheapest Destinations: RSS
'Bargain destinations, travel values, and cheap places to vacation'. Rich enough to deserve its nomination.

Andy HoboTraveller: RSS
The Hobo has been around for ages, both travelling and blogging, so will not seem like a tramp off the street to most of you; even Forbes and The Guardian have mentioned him before.

AviationDaily on Airports: RSS
Probably in the wrong terminal here and might take-off better in the 'Best Informative/Practical' category; depending on the competition.

AviationViews: RSS
Spicing up airline news is not the easiest of things to do. Grounded due to fog.

The World, My Playground: RSS
Adventuregirl puts on a good display in the playground. Sharp photographs blend in well with the soothing colour scheme, making it a pleasure to read the writing.

Learning Cantonese: RSS
My thoughts are that the guest blogger's entries invalidate Daisann McLane for this nomination.

Vagablogging: RSS
Again, invalid due to the number of posters.

How Conor is Spending All His Money: RSS
The travelling is done and we're moving to Nepal to start an orphanage.

MaxaBlog: RSS
Rudy Maxa's 'savvy traveler news' is another I would prefer to think about again, if it's in the 'Best Informative/Practical Travel Blog' category.

Funchilde: RSS
Around the World in 100 (or so) Days - is the tagline and I'm still pondering with this one. It hasn't really thrown me overboard. It's not that there's anything wrong, I just can't find that extra-special, what's really right with it, kind of feel. Maybe I need 100 or so more days for it to grow on me.

Megan Lyles:
Megan's bus trip from New York City to the tip of South America, with photographer-partner Michael Simon. Sadly, as it's more of an archive now, the entry has a flat tyre as far as the awards are concerned.

The Tranquilo Traveler: RSS
Joshua Berman is the author of numerous award-winning guidebook titles with Avalon Travel Publishing's Moon Handbooks series. I've a feeling it's not the winner here though.

Fly Away Cafe: RSS
Another b5media blog to stall my browser; which kind of puts me in the wrong frame of mind before I start. There's almost enough time to make a coffee while I'm waiting. And I could do with one right now, especially after clicking a link - and then sadly, right-clicking the mouse; back to lag-city.

Escape Blog: RSS
'Getting there is only part of the equation, making sure you don’t piss off the locals is where the excitement begins'. If you say so, but won't break out of the shackles here.

The Seattle Traveller: RSS
Sadly, b5media again.Which makes me feel that any aspiring, travel-award-worthy scribe should trek off to somewhere more reader-friendly.

Online Travel Review: RSS
Daily airline news by Jared Blank; a former travel analyst with Jupiter Research who's a slave to Continental's OnePass, complains frequently about the 737 being used on transcon flights, is obsessed with Icelandair and has a little fan club in the nomination comments.

Travel Sweeps: RSS
The link was posted badly in the nomination thread but we won't hold that against them. Writing on the web is not just about the words and what it does for the reader. It helps if it looks appealing to tired eyes too. Barbara Benham has done this well and is up there with the best of them. The subject is worthy too. Who doesn't want to win a travel sweepstake? Bookmarked and subscribing to feed.

Budget Globetrotting: RSS
Nick is an 18 year-old, aspiring world traveller from the 'United States’ mundane Midwest', as he puts it. The purpose of this blog is basically to find budget travel ideas for his own future shoestring trips around the world. He's put a fair amount of work into it already and could be one to keep an eye on; especially if budget travel is your thing.

'Melody’s Travel Blog' was nominated again in this category but we've already reviewed it, slightly negatively, in the 'Best Photography on a Travel Blog' category. It certainly doesn't sound any better for being nominated here. As with 'Lets Visit Asia'.

Travelistic Blog: RSS
It's a shame this travel site was nominated in what I consider to be the wrong category. The writing isn't sharp enough here, which isn't surprising when it mainly presents videos for travellers. It would not have pushed our top two choices but it may well have closed down a stop and focused itself somewhere between Flickr and My Travel Backback; with some cosmetic changes on the layout and a free link check to weed out the broken images; on the internal, archived pages.

Wendy Perrin posted in the comments to nominate 'Upgrade: Travel Better' - 'For recognizing that travel blogs deserve recognition, starting The Travvies, and raising the profile of those lesser-known but great travel blogs out there'.

Now as Wendy is so humble, the PerrinPost RSS gets our honourable mention. It really is what travel writing on the web should be about. The writing is crisp and the photography; especially the currently-running 'tropical' blues and greens, really makes you want to be there; if you don' already feel that you are.

Then a few posts later I saw that 'Perrin Post' did get a nomination. Quite right, too!

TravelerWire: RSS
I almost cringed when I saw a blog from a site called 'Directory of Hotels' but it's
actually a very professional-looking production. The writing doesn't waffle and the
photography is sharp. A real contender.

Travel Happy: RSS
Chris Mitchell, a British writer currently based in Bangkok, offers his own personal guide to travelling in South East Asia and Australia up for nomination. And why not? It's actually quite deserving.

Dive Happy: RSS
Chris also has a companion blog for travellers who like to spend their time under water in Thailand and South East Asia.

Select World Travel was added to this category as well, but as with in the 'Best Photography on a Travel Blog' category, I don't feel it makes the final selection here either.

Smarter Travel put forward two of their blogs for nomination: Up Front with Tim Winship RSS and Ship to Shore RSS by Erica Silverstein. Both might have looked better in 'Best Informative/Practical Travel Blog' categories but don't feel right here.

Corporate America Runaway: RSS
'Sherry escapes from NYC to travel the world' and sometimes has fun not acting her age while she does it.

Exposed Planet was already covered in the 'Best Photography' category and looks rather bare alongside the travel-writing competition here.

Happy Hotelier
'A happy doorman, bellman, concierge, front desk agent, technology engineer, Limo driver, valet parking attendant, cleaning boy, gardener, pond- and central heating technician, personal assistant, butler, cook, designer, developer and owner of a small and very luxurious Hotel in The Hague', Dutchman Guido J. van den Elshout likes looking around for hotel-related news, publish his own hotel reviews and has a nice list of travel blogs he likes to read.

A Luxury Travel Blog: RSS
Not quite five-star treatment here. What really bugs me is all the 'bookmark this' and 'tags' lined up before we get into the post; which are mostly just snippets, so nothing to really get into.

I don't think Nerd's Eye View deserves linking to as it's just not 'travel' enough.

Chronicles of On The Road Travel: RSS
An online resource for independent travellers in South and Central America. I actually came across this one on MyBlogLog just the other night and added myself to the Community, which I don't very often do. I hope to see this one in the 'Best Destination Blog' category, as I feel it's better placed to do well there; considering it's not really 'written by a single blogger'.

Flight Level 390 didn't really impress me in the 'Photography on a Travel Blog' category and it didn't reach the right level here either.

And there we have it. The total number put forward didn't come out as high as I expected, due to duplicate nomination calls and one Russian nomination that I didn't bother to look at.

Final Verdict

While 'The Cranky Flier' might take-off ahead of the other aviation-related blogs, with some competition from 'Online Travel Review', I think a less-specialised travel blog has more of an all-round appeal and deserves to win this category.

'HoboTraveller' has probably been left at the side of the road this time, with 'The World, My Playground' and maybe even 'Travel Sweeps' both creatively nudging ahead (I hear a fan club over there scream with delight).

Considering Nick is yet to get seriously on the travel road, Budget Globetrotting could be one to keep an eye on in the future.

In my opinion though, the Best Single-Author Travel Blog is a close call between the equally professional productions of Perrin Post and TravelerWire.



At 19/2/07 18:53, Blogger Bolorunduro said...

This blog looks catchy and nice

At 2/3/07 17:57, Anonymous Tanya said...

I am flattered. While TravlerWIRE is still in its infancy, I am humbled to be among some of the finest travel writers in the blog world. Thanks again for the honorable mention and I look forward to next year’s travvies!

Tanya (TravelerWIRE)


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