Jeez, how time flies… meanwhile, it’s been over half a year that I started Voyagewizard.de and wrote my first post on this site. I can not exactly say what compelled me then. Somehow I felt like writing texts that are different from what I write in my work. And I wanted to make a mono-thematic blog, different from stefanmey.com – a website created in the year 2007, which is a collection of articles on various subjects. And somehow I was looking for the opportunity to experiment with different technologies and narrative forms. You can see the result here: while stefanmey.com is the place for those people who are looking for the journalist Stefan Mey, VoyageWizard is the portal dedicated exclusively to my favorite pastime: travel.
At this time, I have written not only texts, but worked on concepts and have already implemented some of them – others are already in planning. The following plug-ins and tools are helpful for me.
This blog is bilingual in German and English language. That makes sense for me, since my readership comes from the German and the English-speaking world and my book is available in English as well as in German. In parallel, I use a Plug-In that translates articles automatically – admittedly, it’s not always perfect, but it is better than nothing. Wanna read one of these automatically translated articles? You’re doing it right now.
Maps and elevation profiles
Walking is an essential part of our travels and our leisure activities within Austria – there are thus many contributions which describe hikes in Vienna and in the rest of Austria. I record all walks as a GPX file (E.g. with Runtastic) and then use a plugin that helps to represent of GPX files in the form of height profiles; Another useful tool is Google MyMaps: here, everyone can create his own Google map, including walking tracks, roads and points of interest. Looking for a sample post? Here you go: A posting on our 120-kilometre walk from Vienna to Mariazell.
Slideshows and Instagram integration
It goes without saying that good photos significantly enhance a trip report – after all, everyone wants to see the beautiful place to which he plans to travel soon. In addition, I find it quite handy to feed photos automatically – for example, via a Plug-In that blends with your own Instagram account. At VoyageWizard, the footer is kept up-to-date automatically this way.
In addition to chatbots, virtual reality applications are the latest hype in online journalism. Plug-ins that display 360-degree photos can be integrated in the website; mine shows the photographed landscape also in full screen mode, responds on mobile devices to signals from the the motion sensor (just like it from the 360-degree photos on Facebook) and is even compatible with Google’s VR glasses cardboard. As an example, below, you see a 360 degree photo that I took on Malta.
With the mentioned tools, the possibilities are of course still not maxed out. In the future I could imagine for example, to work more with Google MyMaps and integrate OpenData travel-related information. Or local travel information, such as weather or traffic conditions.
Other thoughts revolve around possible commercial solutions, which are also providing an added value but at the same. How about the integration of a shop where travel books and gadgets can be purchased? Or an affiliate marketing initiative with which the visitor to the site can book his trip immediately? Anyway, one should also keep in mind that monetization of blogs raises new challenges, specifically taxes and other annoying bureaucratic shit.
But I am also interestend in my readers’ feedback: what do you think, what should we offer more on this website? Do you want more pictures, more texts, videos or maps? Are there tools that you would like to see on VoyageWizard? Please leavve me some answers on these issues by using the comment feature below – or come to media camp Vienna on 3. December and discuss with me about what travel blogs these days should be able to do. I’m looking forward to talking to you.
Until then, I wish you safe and exciting travels,