Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
May 1st 2013 11:33AM You make a very valid point, Linda. Writers do, indeed, ask publications to pay for their travel, though more often than not, it's PR dollars paying for it, not the publications themselves. These are commercial organizations who are investing in writing as a business proposition, though, they have their own agenda and I can assure you it is not just "I want to see this person travel and read the results." I digress into travel writer wonkishness -- let's pull this back on the rails.
I don't think the route has to be unique for the trip to valid, but I do think the voice does. I don't see that in any of the projects I've highlighted here or in the many others that I looked at while writing this piece. The fact that the general public has replaced the editor as the gatekeeper of which trip get funded does not negate the need to make a compelling case for the donors.
Why you? Why now? Why should I give you money? It's clear what's special about these trips -- no argument here ... More
Apr 29th 2013 10:04AM My situation was vastly different than theirs, as were my attempts to get out of it. I tried to find employment and when that failed, we asked for enough money to get to a place where employment was guaranteed. Even as an 18 year old, I knew that my bad planning was my fault and I was going to have to suck it up and find a way out. I never would have asked strangers for money. And let's be clear, these folks are asking for money to support an alternate route -- they are not broke. They HAVE money, they want MORE.
Given the state of the world and the endless number of places where that money could go to help people in poverty... yeah, privileged people panhandling on the web so they can have an awesome experience is offensive to me -- especially coming from travelers. Surely they've seen things in the course of their journey that would give them some perspective on this.
"We knew that crossing China would be too expensive for us, so it wasn't ever in the cards." But it is now, because we've figured out how to rationalize getting *you* to pay for it. Again I say this: No.
Documentaries are awesome, I totally agree. And this one, especially, what an amazing route to travel. There are over 500 books about traveling The Silk Road available right now on Amazon, including one by Marco Polo written in the 13th century, so it's not like Silk Road narratives are new.
I don't think that crowd-sourcing is bad by default. So let's say I was going to fund a documentary about traveling the Silk Road. Why should I fund THIS one when so many others exist? Or, even for a new one, why should I back *these* guys? What, exactly, is so special about them that they should have my money?
I like to think about these kind of things in real world scenarios. People behave differently on the web because they don't have to look you in the eye. So imagine, if you will, these folks standing by the entry of your local supermarket next to their camper van, in their Goretex jackets and excellent footwear holding cardboard signs saying, "Need money for personally enriching adventure and vanity publishing." Right next to them, imagine the guy selling the local homeless newspaper.
Apr 25th 2013 5:46PM I saw this pitch for a Kickstarter campaign. Compare and contrast with the ones I've highlighted above.
Apr 25th 2013 1:34PM Nope, not all of us do, that's so true. Hence the suggestion of working for money. In our situation, had there been no parental safety net, we'd have stuck it out until we earned ferry fare. We'd have worked our way out of there eventually, it would have taken longer, that's all.
Serious questions: Who would you donate money to? The people mentioned here? Why? Why choose them over the other projects asking for money, or giving money to charity projects? An Amazon search reveals over 8000 items -- books, documentaries, other stuff -- on The Silk Road, why would you give these people money rather than just reading something that's out now?
Jan 23rd 2013 11:11AM Last year I passed through AMS on an upgraded first class ticket and they would not let me use the Delta lounge. Why? Apparently Delta only lets you hang out there if you're flying first on an OUTBOUND ticket. The KLM agent at the desk could not be convinced to let me in anyway, and I have yet another story of being iced out by Delta in spite of my status and longevity.
It makes me miss NWA.
Jan 6th 2013 8:13PM Thanks for the alternative sources, Dean and Walk. Really.
Dec 10th 2012 10:59AM Andrew, you're totally right, of course -- and I'm not the least bit offended by your comments. (Trust me, I've seen much worse.) The product is marketed as effective and without the ability (or inclination, really) to do my own blind study, I can only present what's, at best, anecdotal evidence. I used it, here's what happened for me, for the curious, only.
Oct 3rd 2012 1:51PM Thanks for the clarification -- I think you're right on this and I'll test it on my next flight.
Jul 23rd 2012 2:15PM I'm shooting the DMC-ZS20 now, but again, it's my third one. The previous was a 14x zoom, the husband still uses that one.
Jul 20th 2012 7:34PM Nope, no kickbacks. And I do actually test everything to see if it lives up to the hype.