Friday, October 19, 2007

The BOOT interviewed in Yeoh Siew Hoon's Transit Cafe

Travel editor, conference organiser and industry veteran Yeoh Siew Hoon has published an interview with me on her blog The Transit Cafe.

Here is the beginning of the interview

Q: What made you decide to start blogging?

I left the travel industry and missed it. I was doing venture capital work in blogging and new media. It became clear that launching a travel industry blog would meet two aims - teach me about blogging and online media and help me to stay connected with the online travel industry.

Q: Do you think bloggings the best thing to happen to humankind since the invention of fire?

No, pizza is. But on the media side, blogging has enabled us to re-write the rules of media and communication which is fantastic. It has enabled me to become virtual colleagues with bloggers from Europe, Asia and US. It has introduced me to senior executives, financiers and entrepreneurs. It has given my wife a break as now I have someone else to rant to about this industry that I love.

Q: What does it take to be a good blogger in the B2B space? Questions you must ask before you take that first step ...

Time and commitment. You have to be prepared to write for 3-6 months 5-7 days a week before anyone will notice. This won’t happen if you see it as an obligation, it will only happen if you enjoy it. The secret to enjoying it is to write for yourself not for anyone else. Turning that into a question - are you prepared to write with passion and enthusiasm even though no one will notice for a long time?

Q: What do you do it for? Fame, passion or money?

Challenge and enjoyment. I have made money from my blog in the form of consultancy projects but that is not why I started it.

Q: Do you think people trust bloggers more than traditional media? Should they?

No general answer. Even the biggest bloggers in the world cannot command the generalist influential muscle of the likes of CNN, Fox News or even People magazine. That said the blogger is able to marshal influence in sectors and groups that previously did not enjoy a medium for collective communications. See the way TreeHugger has built a movement around the environment, the Consumerist around customer service, Lifehacker around tech tips and tricks etc. However a blogger has to do more to build trust than traditional media. A person who arrives in a foreign country will feel comfortable switching on the news (assuming they understand the language) and listening to the stories told out of the television or radio despite having never heard of the news reader before. However if a web surfer stumbles onto a blog that they have never heard of, then there is not the same natural/base trust...

For the rest head over to the Transit Cafe.

For more information on Siew Hoon's Wired In Travel conference look here.

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