Too Many Blogs
If you are anything like me, the first thing you do at work in the morning is visit your favorite bookmarked travel blogs or open Feedly and check the latest miles / points news.
I’ve literally been doing this daily since 2009 when I got into the miles / points game and now I re-check the blogs a couple times a day.
To me it is the equivalent of checking the New York Times or CNN because I want to make sure I know what is going on and never want to potentially miss a deal.
Keeping this obsession in check used to be pretty easy thanks to Google Reader but after that got shut down, I opted to just return to bookmarking instead of switching over to a new RSS reader like Feedly.
The reason for this was because it was getting really annoying seeing 30+ exact same “BREAKING: 50,000 POINT SIGN UP BONUS” posts from different bloggers talking about the same credit card offer or deal…
On top of that, last month when I went to the annual Boarding Area convention in Las Vegas and was amazed to hear that Boarding Area has grown from 35ish (I think) blogs last year to 74 now! There are so many new Boarding Area bloggers that they created a new sub-section called Prior2Boarding!
While I love BoardingArea and think it is awesome to see so many new faces and voices at Boarding Area, as a reader I feel like it is overwhelming to try and keep up with all the miles / points news.
When you take BoardingArea and throw in First2Board, Saverocity, Upgrd, FlyerTalk, MilePoint, the independent sites like The Points Guy, Million Mile Secrets, MileValue, and then all the smaller guys I don’t even know about, you are easily looking at 100+ blogs to follow daily!
Last week, I started wondering if there was a way to use technology to solve this problem and built a small site for my own enjoyment called TravelMore (http://TravelMo.re).
TravelMore does 3 main things:
1. Aggregates All Your Favorite Blogs In One Place
All the posts from BoardingArea, Prior2Boarding, First2Board, Upgrd, TPG, MMS, MileValue, Doctor of Credit, etc are now in one central place.
If you are a blogger or reader and come across a great post that is not posted, you can manually post the link to share with the community.
2. Categorizes The Posts
My issue with Feedly is that sometimes the short headlines can be misleading.
In the below example, if I was just glancing, I would have no idea what this post is really about.
Miles? Manufactured Spend? Credit Cards?
With TravelMore, now all the posts get categorized with one of the following tags:
- Credit Card
- Manufactured Spend
- Trip Report
- Mileage Run
- Everything Else
So when you see a headline, you can now easily see what it is about!
3. Displays The Top 10 Posts
The 3rd major feature of TravelMore is that it allows users to upvote the best posts so instead of each of us individually reading 300+ posts a day (of which 90% are similar), you can now just instantly see the Top 10 Posts of the day and it updates in real time.
So for example last night, Trip Sherpa at Upgrd.com posted that the Hyatt Diamond Challenge is going away.
As soon as it happened, someone posted it to TravelMore and readers pushed it to the top. So if you visited TravelMore this AM, you instantly saw that Hyatt had stopped offering Diamond Challenges.
Outside of the 3 main features, there are some additional features that people might find useful like being able to see all the newest submitted posts (basically a Feedly-like feed).
Also if you are too busy to check the blogs daily, you can subscribe to the daily email digest which will send you the Top 5 posts from the previous day.
I Could Use Your Help / Feedback
I literally built TravelMore overnight to ‘scratch my own itch’ as they say, so if you have any additional features that you think would be useful, please do share and I will work towards implementing them.
I am also manually posting most of the links right now from a RSS feed. I am working towards automation but it is a challenge because there is no way for a computer to auto-categorize a post without first understanding what it is about…
So in the meantime, if you are a reader and find a great post, I encourage you to post it and share it.
If you are a blogger, I also highly recommend self-posting your newest content because then you will automatically be notified of any comments users make.
For example, Points With A Crew posted on TravelMore last night and because he posted it under his account, he was instantly notified when someone commented on his post.
While I am happy that there are so many new blogs out there, as a reader I know it can be a bit overwhelming!
Hopefully TravelMore can help some of you more effectively read the the travel blogosphere.
I purposely designed TravelMore to be open ended and allow users to submit posts and upvote the best content. If you find TravelMore remotely useful, please remember to do your part to upvote the best content and be an active part of the community and not just a lurker : )
Keep calm & travel more!
Don’t ever miss another FFU Update or Travel Deal!