1) How did the idea of creating a Global Bloggers Network come about?
Janice: It happened in London, November of 2009. After having Skyped for about 6 months, mentoring each other with our blogs, we finally met. Face to face, we could talk for hours about our blogs and the community and the fact that there were people that were kind of envious of us supporting each other. In December we talked about forming a group and decided we would do it. We launched in January. It was all pretty fast. The photo (above) was taken at that very first meeting.
2) What are the objectives of GBN?
Janice: GBN has a different shape than it did when we started but the purpose is the same: to connect travel bloggers for the sharing of information and providing education through webinars.
Keith: It’s also a great platform for travel bloggers to discuss travel, blogging trends, technical issues and even ad pricing.
3) The nature of these things is that the community runs it, not you. Have you been surprised by the way GBN is used?
Janice: I’m not surprised by how the community runs itself – travel bloggers are really great people. I’ve never had better colleagues. I guess I am surprised by the amount of discussion. It’s an incredibly vibrant community.
Keith: I’m not particularly surprised but I enjoy the dedication of our members to helping and supporting each other in an atmosphere that’s casual and fun.
4) So, what type of discussions take place on GBN? How wide is the range of thread topics?
Keith: There’s a huge variety of discussions: from “HELP, I think I’ve been hacked! What do I do?” to “I’ve been approached by xxx company inquiring about my ad rates. How should I reply and what can I charge?”. GBN members also love sharing information about destinations, travel trends and writing styles. I’m particularly enjoying one of the current threads to the question whether travellers unconsciously adopt the local accent when they travel and if there’s a word for it.
5) Can you give an example of how GBN has stepped up and solved a problem for an individual blogger?
Janice: Let me answer this because I have a personal experience. I was in Vancouver at TBEX and heading out on a blog trip right after that. When I travel, I schedule posts ahead of time but I got up one morning and discovered that I had scheduled two for that day. My inventory wasn’t deep enough to allow this to happen but I didn’t know how to pull it back and not affect Google. I posted my problem on the GBN page and within minutes Chris Richardson was in touch. With a few back and forths, it was solved. It took all of 15 minutes. Now that’s a circle of support!
6) I sense that ‘reaction time’ is one of GBN’s best assets. If a blogger has an urgent problem because their site has fallen over at 0600 on a Sunday morning, GBN can be their best hope of rescue. Is that right?
Keith: Yes, GBN can be their best hope of rescue. That of course depends on the nature of the problem. I’m very impressed by the speed with which members respond to cries for help. Sometimes, the cause of the problem is a simple oversight which can easily be fixed – GBN members excel in swiftly getting to the root of the problem and suggesting solutions. We’ve also seen serious hacking issues. In these cases, members have suggested experts they’ve worked with before to help solve the problem.
7) There are other blogger forums out there. What would you say makes GBN unique?
Janice: We started the GBN page because some people felt intimidated on the Travel Bloggers page started by Gary Arndt. Many people there are quite advanced. I think the difference is that new bloggers feel free to ask simple questions on the GBN page and they get answers. I consider the relationship between the two groups to be collaborative and I am active in both (though more on GBN!).
8) Any plans to develop or change GBN in the future?
Keith: GBN is a community and as with all communities, it grows and evolves. GBN now looks very different to when we first launched it. We will continue to develop plans to collaborate with partners to provide sponsoring, blogging services or perhaps even revenue opportunities for our members. We also intend to continue bringing in expert speakers to educate our members.
9) Are you proud of it?
Janice: I didn’t see that question coming but, yes, I am proud of it. I think GBN is a great resource for travel bloggers and I believe that it contributes to the professionalism of our community. So far, it’s all good!
There are no differences between the 28 September, 2011 @ 12:31 revision and the current revision. (Maybe only post meta information was changed.)