Now what?

Last month, two pivotal things happened to this site that you might not be aware of. Two opportunities have presented themselves as a result.
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I’ve heard your comments and here’s what I’ve done


Wow, what a week it’s been!

First, a little good news: After an internal site redesign, which optimized some databases and cleared out a few errant scripts, we’re moving full steam ahead. On Tuesday, we had record traffic for a non-viral story day, reaching 20,000 readers.

Thanks to all of you for making that possible, and to my webmaster, Steven Glover, for helping right the ship.

Now we’re turning to fixing the comments, both in terms of the way they display and what’s in them. I asked you to vote on which commenting system you wanted to use, and a majority favored staying with Disqus.
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5,000 posts — here are the top 5

5,000 posts.

That’s a remarkable milestone, considering that most of the posts are stories that take days, even months, to research and write.

Here are the five most popular posts that have appeared on this site since it launched in 1996.
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Should I delete this story?

One of the things I love about new media is that there’s a “delete” button. If you screw up a blog post, you can always go back and fix it — or erase the entire thing.

Maybe it’s my journalism school training, but I’ve never removed a whole post.

Today, I just might.
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Who do you think you are?

I-10 bridge in Mobile, Ala., taken yesterday.
Spend a little time driving America’s Interstate highways, and you’ll get to know all the characters that make their homes on the road.
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How to find your adoring travel blogging audience (and keep it)

Editor’s note: This is part five of my series on becoming a successful travel blogger. Here’s the first one, the second one, the third one and the fourth one. I’ll have the final installment tomorrow.

You’re missing a key ingredient to your super-successful travel blog: your audience.

Notice that I said “your” audience. Not “an” audience or “the” audience. When you become a travel blogger, you will make a deep connection with your users that goes beyond anything you had in old media. These aren’t simply readers, viewers or listeners; they are members of your extended family.
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So you wanna be a travel blogger? You can do it — here’s how

Editor’s note: Want to be a travel blogger? Almost every day, someone asks me how it’s done. So I’ve decided to spend the next week answering that question. Comments? Please send ’em along or leave one below.

You can launch a travel blog right now, in the time it takes to read this post.

But not so fast! Just like every house needs a blueprint, you don’t want to build without a plan.

The blogosphere is littered with great sites that started with passion and fanfare and then flamed out. Why? They had no foundation, no plan, and ultimately, no reason for being. You don’t want to become a statistic.

I can help.
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