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More by Maxa on Blogging, plus His Favorite Travel Webs

8 March 2005 No Comment

This is Part 2 of our Q&A with Travel writer/host Rudy Maxa.

Do you see travel blogs becoming a major influencer in how and where people travel? Are travel blogs  impacting your work as a travel writer?

It’s obvious blogs are growing in importance, and I feel certain I’ll eventually launch one.  But so far, blogs haven’t influenced my work, though for all I know, travel blogs are at this very moment helping thousands of folks with travel plans.
What makes a good travel writer/blogger? What does a PR person need to know about using email, blogs, or RSS news feeds to communicate with travel writers.

PR folks have to know EVERY avenue of reaching not just the press but also the public, and obviously blogs are growing in readership and clout.  I don’t know what RSS news feeds are.
What online sources do you use as a travel expert/journalist and what makes them effective and reliable?

Well, online sources come in many shapes and sizes.  For me, for example, the New York Times is an online resource because I don’t get the paper in print version everyday on my doorstep in downtown St. Paul.  So I read Joe Sharkey’s “On the Road” column online all the time.  I love the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the travel industry, especially Laura Landro’s prickly write-ups of visiting hugely expensive hotels and resorts.  Joe Brancatelli is a veteran travel journalist, and his online presence, www.joesentme.com is a marvelous, weekly publication that every business traveler should read.  A buddy who goes by the whimsical name Johnny Jet (www.johnnyjet.com) produces an online travel site that links to everyone in the world, it seems.  Anne Campbell is the best, consumer-friendly cruise expert who writes on www.cruisemate.com.  If you’re a Francophile, check out Karen Fawcett’s Bonjour Paris web site at www.bp.com.  For restaurants, I explore Tim and Nina Zagat’s increasingly sophisticated website, www.zagat.comNational Geographic Traveler magazine, for whom I’m a contributing writer, has stuff that augments the magazine, especially great “A-list” deals, as the site calls ‘em.

But there’s an enormous list of web sites, from Time Out’s sites to www.Expedia.com to www.seatguru.com that I use regularly.  I must say, the Internet has made travel and the price of travel so transparent, that it’s the greatest friend a traveler has.  Whether you’re booking an opera seat in Italy four months before your vacation or trying to secure a guide in Katmandu, the web is open 24/7 for you.

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