The Labor Party and Lonely Planet
Log on to Lonely Planet’s travel blog, take a look at the sidebar, and scroll down until you see a small section titled Blogs on: Travel Writing. Those five folks are all LP guidebook writers who maintain personal blogs, and there’s me, way down at the bottom. My name, which links to the Labor Party, was just added today.
To be honest, I don’t quite understand why there aren’t more of us listed here. Out of a roster of more than 320 journalists, there must be more than five who blog … right? At any rate, I’m hardly complaining. While LP has never been known for its willingness to promote the extracurricular hobbies of its writers, I’m told that’s about to change. According to a bit of insider info I stumbled upon at the company’s 2006 author conference, which took place at the Oakland office, someone at LP has decided it might make sense to let the world know just how interesting, unusual and well-rounded its writers are. Sounds like a smart move to me.
I don’t have all the details on exactly what the company has up its collective sleeve — aside from promoting the Labor Party, of course, which is certainly something of a plucky move — but during the author conference I did see about a half-dozen writers being interviewed by a film crew in an empty office. Some of these interviews, which apparently focused on the various highs and lows of the travel-writing life, ended up on lp.com. For some reason they’ve been relegated to a random and tough-to-find corner of the website, although the amusement level is high, and assuming you have any interest in travel careers, they’re worth your time. Click here. That’s Alex Leviton on the left; I shadowed her for a week in Italy after I’d been picked up by Lonely Planet, but before I’d secured my first assignment.
LP’s newest project, Lonely Planet TV, is another arena where I can see guidebook writers making a substantial mark. For the time being at least, the project is essentially a budget-backpacker version of YouTube, although I’m holding out hope that it will become something a bit more complicated in the future. I still haven’t figured this one out, but last month I was talking with one of the owners of a guesthouse in Koh Samui known as The Wave, and he told me a bit about the last time an LP author passed through. He said she was travelling with a digital video camera, and was interviewing someone about the island’s dog rescue program. Perhaps this was an lp.tv project in the making?
Lonely Planet Guidebook Writers with Blogs and Webpages …
- Josh Krist: Inside Out Travel
- David Stanley: Cuba-Pictures.com
- Jay Cooke: Outwester
- Jeanne Oliver: Croatia Traveller
- China Williams: Foggy Embrace ~ portfolio
- Joshua Samuel Brown: portfolio ~ lp.tv Taipei video!
- Loretta Chilcoat: portfolio
- Robert Reid: portfolio & free online Vietnam guidebook
- Regis St. Louis: LP Brazil blog
- Simon Sellars: Sleepy Brain ~ Ballardian ~ portfolio
- Tom Brosnahan: All About Travel Writing
- Tim Richards: I, Writer
- Leif Pettersen: Killing Batteries
- Zora O’Neill: Roving Gastronome
- Carolyn McCarthy: Wild Blue Yonder