Learning to Listen (Again)

Lately I've been involved in a program to help new bloggers get started on the right foot. Our basic idea is that there are two basic skills for successful blogging. They are:

  • Listening – Being aware of the information being shared among bloggers and across the web
  • Writing – Crafting blog posts that are compelling, interesting, insightful, etc.

Lately I’ve had the opportunity to practice what I preach by diving head first into a whole new niche of bloggers and information on the Web related to world travel.

As our trip around the world approaches, I’m devoting my online listening to almost purely travel-related resources. I've made it an objective to find the most efficient way to listen to the online travel world. Below are some of the sites and tools I’m using to listen.

RSS Reader: I’m using Newsgator Online as my RSS reader and it is the funnel through which all the travel information flows. I’ve made all my travel-related subscriptions public via an OPML (a packaged group of feeds that can be imported into a reader).

Personal Travel Blogs: There are many blogs of people doing similar trips to ours. I subscribe via RSS as I find them and often leave comments. Two of my favorites: The Rad Blog(check the videos on the right) and Constanttrek (a couple walking from London to Cape Town, South Africa).

Travel Aggregator Blogs:
These are sites like Gadling and Gridskipper that chronicle places and events around the world on a voluminous and daily basis.

Del.icio.us Tags: The “travel�? tag on del.icio.us has been my best resource for finding new travel resources. You can see all my TwinF bookmarks here. I subscribe to the “travel�? tag via RSS.

Technorati Tags: The “travel�? tag on Technorati is also another good source, but is much spottier in finding useful travel resources. Again, I subscribe to the tag via RSS.

Listening for TwinF:
I’m also keenly interested in what people are saying about the TwinF site. For that, I subscribe to a PubSub query, watch incoming links on Technorati, new bookmarks on del.icio.us and the subscribers on Feedburner.

Altogether I feel pretty darn informed about what happening in the world of travel, at least within the niche I'm watching. I’m never at a loss for things to write about on TwinF and the flow of useful information is growing and growing.