The Travel Insider started life in October 2001.
We had sold a travel company the previous year, and after some rest, relaxation, and recreation (three different ways of saying “travel”) we were working on a book “An Insider’s Guide to Buying and Enjoying Travel : Tips, Traps and Tricks”. Then, 9/11 happened and it was plain that for the next while, people would not be interested in travel guides. So we started a website instead, covering our two interests and career focuses to that point – travel and technology.
Originally the plan was to write a 750 word weekly roundup and a 750 word feature article each week, and we planned to use sections from our draft-stage book. We expected we’d run out of things to write about in a year or so and could then put them together and publish them as the book we’d been planning, and now with a ready-made audience.
Well, that was not much less than 20 years ago.
These days, instead of 750 + 750 words a week, some weeks we go as high as 10,000 words. Our worry about running out of things to write about? Ummm, still not a problem, more than a 1000 weeks later.
They say internet years are a bit like dog years – that is, things change and evolve very rapidly on the internet. We don’t disagree.
When we started, neither Facebook nor any of the other social media sites existed. Neither did the concept of using cell phones for anything other than phone calls, indeed, in the US, no-one would even use them for texting. The thought of short pithy comments on Twitter was still a million miles from anyone’s imaginings. Google was a tiny company, barely a couple of years old. Amazon was probably still selling books out of Jeff Bezos’ garage in Seattle. Digital cameras were an impractical gimmick – very expensive, terrible quality. Newspapers and magazines were thriving.
Our “business model” has also changed totally, and repeatedly, over the years. There are still some traces of our first ever web-pages, and while we didn’t save all our very early newsletters, most of them can be found if you do some careful exploring, too .Nowadays, there are several key parts to what we write and do.
(a) This site you’re on right now. This is a brand new (as of May 2019) part of our “publishing empire”, and will be where we put our technology reviews and commentaries.
(b) Our main current site for everything else. We’ve been using the WordPress platform since early 2010 for our newsletters and most of our articles. You can see it all here.
(c) Our earlier site, which we still occasionally go back to and update, and which we plan to migrate to a more modern format. One of these days.
And what of the future? We hesitate to guess, but we’re sure it will continue to surprise us, and in close to equal measure, excite and horrify us.
We hope you’ll join us on this interesting journey. Please sign up for our free weekly newsletters, and roam far and wide on our three websites. Follow us on Twitter, where we offer a lot of pithy “sound-bite” comments, and/or (especially if you don’t “do” Twitter) get the daily digest of our tweets via email from TinyFollow.
Perhaps consider also coming on our of our occasional tours. They are great, not only because of the places we go and the things we do, but most of all because of the great groups of people who travel with us.
Lastly, I have been using the word “we” in this article. But it is time to step out from behind the curtain. “We” is actually me. David Rowell. If you’d like to know more, here’s a page I wrote a decade or so ago. I’d like to say nothing has changed since then, but, alas, the hair has thinned and gone grey, whereas the body has thickened!