Welcome to our first monthly Trazzler newsletter.
The past month has been a whirlwind for us. We opened up publishing to users and writers; recruited writers and community managers; published hundreds of outstanding user-submitted trips; worked with more pilot bloggers; and launched Trazzler on the Facebook Platform.
The response from writers has surpassed our wildest dreams with hundreds and hundreds of trips pouring in from every corner of the globe. We’ve loved every minute of reading your beautiful, wonderful, weird, creative, poetic, and poignant trips. Every day we get more, so keep checking back, sending us feedback, and—please—keep writing.
A Little About Who We Are
Trazzler is not a front for a big evil corporation—we’re a mom and pop turned global. Our small team is comprised of people from San Francisco, Florida, Madrid, Paris, Slovakia, Bangalore, Australia…
Moms, brothers, cousins, significant others, former coworkers, former significant others, and friends from kindergarten have all been tapped to pitch in. What you see on Trazzler.com is the culmination of many years of experience and countless hours of dreaming, scheming, planning, and hard work. And this is just the beginning.
Why Trazzler is Different
So many other travel sites are essentially reference books with logistical information, tourist bureau propaganda, or an unedited, overwhelming morass of useful and useless information. Guidebooks rely on just a handful of undercompensated writers to do it all. At Trazzler, you’ll find what slips through the cracks everywhere else—those secret places that you might only tell your friends about… those defining travel moments that reside in your memory long after you have returned home.
Our Commitment to Writers
The vast majority of Trazzler Trips were written by a crack group of freelancers from all over the world. We will continue to commit a significant percentage of our budget to writing and editing, because we firmly believe that the success of Trazzler hinges on quality and creativity. In the next few weeks, we’ll be hiring more writers (freelancers and community managers). We are also hatching plans to reward the best user trips. Sign up to write trips: http://trazzler.com/about/write-for-trazzler
To Trazzle: I Trazzle, You Trazzle, He/She Trazzles…
Each Trazzler Trip transports you to a very specific place and moment. Real human beings are behind each and every trip, carefully choosing the photo, writing the copy, and editing it. As you trazzle—clicking “skip to next” or “add to wishlist”—you decide what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Trazzler is a savvy friend who will get to know your Travel Personality over time.* Use it as “virtual teleportation” (as Biz Stone imagined when the idea was hatched), travel therapy, a game, an escapist fantasy, or—we also hope—as a tool to learn about new ways to travel to one-of-a-kind spots and an outlet for your travel ruminations.
Trazzler on Facebook
In July, Trazzler was awarded a fbFund grant to take what we are doing on Trazzler.com to the Facebook platform. Last week we launched our Facebook application and would love for you to check it out and send us your thoughts. Send trips to Facebook friends, see where your friends want to go, tell your friends where you want to go, plan trips together:
For the time being, your Trazzler.com Wishlist and Facebook Wishlist are separate. This will change soon as we bring your Facebook friends to Trazzler.com and sync accounts via Facebook Connect.
This Month’s Trip Challenge: Mom and Pop
This is a tough time for the scrappy family-owned businesses that we know and love. So this month, we would like to pay homage to our favorite mom-and-pop places by writing about them. Why not submit a few trips about your favorite local joints and let others know about them by adding the tag “mom and pop”?
Mom and pop trips: http://trazzler.com/trips/tags/mom-and-pop
September/October: Best New Trips
It’s agonizing to pick just a handful. We have received hundreds and hundreds of really top-notch trips. But here are just a few that caught our eye this month:
#9672 Jellyfishing (Without the Sting) at Jellyfish Lake in Palau http://www.trazzler.com/trips/jellyfish-lake-in-palau
Writer: Christopher Yurkanin
#211 Trekking to the Foot of the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand http://www.trazzler.com/trips/franz-josef-glacier-in-new-zealand
Writer: Barbara Weibel
#4265 Sitting Trackside for Roller Derby in Raleigh, North Carolina http://www.trazzler.com/trips/roller-derby-in-raleigh-north-carolina
Writer: Tina Jett
#1006 Eating a Highwayman’s Feast at an Historic Pub in Hampstead, London http://www.trazzler.com/trips/spaniards-inn-hampstead-london
Writer: Tim Chester
September/October: Favorite Sentence/Metaphor
“If Sanibel is the prom queen of Gulf Coast islands, think of Pine
Island as her mangrove-encrusted tomboy little sister.”
#419 Feasting on a Fresh Crab Omelet in Matlacha, Florida
Writer: Cathy Salustri
September/October: Favorite Photo from a Flickr Photographer
#9865 Watching the Sunrise from the Charles Bridge in Prague
Photographer: David Smith, http://www.flickr.com/photos/smithdm3/
September/October: Favorite User-Submitted Photo
#6228 Living Like the Garifuna in Cayos Cochinos, Honduras
Writer and Photographer: Kirsten Hubbard
September/October: Featured Blogger
Jim Early at the North Carolina Barbecue Society travels in his own
backyard, spending countless hours researching the best old-school
barbecue in his state. He’s a fascinating guy who is passionate
about his “obsession” and is working hard to preserve this North
Carolina tradition. I’ll be blogging about him and our other
bloggers in a few days. In the meantime, check out his trips (more
coming soon) and sites.
http://www.ncbbqsociety.com and http://www.jimearly.com
Where Do We Go From Here?
* Make the website social with Facebook Connect.
* We want to get better at personalizing your tripstream. With
thousands of trips to choose from, we want to show you those that
most closely match your preferences. This month, we had vegans
getting repeatedly visually bludgeoned by a photo of salamis and
outdoorsy types getting a pretty sleazy Vegas trip. That’s not what
we want… The solution: make that algorithm geekier.
* Do something clever with the places you’ve been.
That’s it for now. Throughout the month we’ll be blogging here about
trips, news, and Trazzler ephemera.
Megan Cytron and the Trazzler Team