ExWeb opening up the world of news and dispatches
Posted: Feb 14, 2012 10:16 pm EST
(TT Sjogren) When we started Explorersweb almost a decade ago, the biggest chance to get media coverage was to have a well funded, well connected expedition. What you did mattered less, and so someone's hike up Kili could well trump your new route on Manaslu.
We decided to build a stage for all the great explorers, where they could earn recognition and sponsorship for what they did, not for whom they knew.
With a "keep it real" motto we gave faces to the Kazakhs, the Poles, the Basques, the South Koreans, and others previously playing second fiddle to the Brits, the French, and the Americans. We covered the women, the young and the old, all religions and all ethnicities - only requirement was you had to do something out of the ordinary.
One million people visit Explorersweb each year and many of them are journalists. We managed to spread some ripple effects in general media, although much remains to be done.
Our small but skilled team of journalists has been working hard, very hard actually, but our impact would not have been possible without the collaboration of this community. Although Explorersweb is based in the US, our footprint is international, and we have been tight with our friends at national websites in Russia, Italy, France, Spain, Iran, China even, and many other countries.
Times have changed. Where 10 years ago it was hard to find information about expeditions on the internet; today thousands of them update straight to websites and social media. The challenge now is to find relevant information amid all the noise.
With that our editorial task has changed. Content is still king but media itself is transforming and adapting to a stronger voice.
While classic journalism - feature stories, interviews and developing news - will remain central at ExplorersWeb, we have expanded the site with dispatches linked straight to expeditions, mixed with your comments, and news from our media colleagues around the world.
The "keep it real" algorithm
The new system is not an automated feed of aggregated news. It's curated to help relevance and we have also developed an algorithm that values "importance" of the expedition/news site and the "quality" of the updates. An 8000er winter expedition dispatch will rank higher than a Vinson climb.
Other factors will be included as we fine tune in the coming months.
Q: How can I get my dispatches up at Explorersweb?
Exweb: If you use CONTACT software a check box in admin makes activation easy. If you run a different system you need to send us your RSS feed using this link.
Q: Will you post the full dispatch?
Exweb: No. Only the headline with a link to your site. It will drive new visitors to your site - but you provide the content.
Q: Do I need to write in English?
Exweb: No. In collaboration with Google we translate most languages into English. This will come out funny sometimes but the technology is not bad these days and actually fast improving.
Q: How do I include my adventure blog?
Exweb: Email us.
Q: What will you do next?
Exweb: This is just a first step in how we will present the news, so stay tuned!
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