In today's townhall meeting in chat, we discussed sites we could possibly advertise on (since StackExchange may make this possible).

Some usual suggestions came up - like HostelWorld (although they have a pretty active blog), TripAdvisor, Thorn Tree, Airbnb - which may or may not be possible since these are huge sites with a lot of traffic.

What would be nice - and possibly be more realistic - would be to suggest travel blogs and niche websites with small, active, and enthusiastic communities. These need not necessarily be aimed at backpackers; in fact, it would be nice to have some suggestions from currenty under-represented demographics of travellers on our site.

The list from that townhall meeting:

Instead of a scattergun approach, it would be nice to get suggestions from communities / blogs you know / have been following for a while. Add your own suggestions with a description of what makes that site stand out OR if you want one of these in the list above dropped, say why.

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Hope I got all the ones on chat! I just review the transcript, but feel free to add in case I did miss any. –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 31 '13 at 23:36
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You could also submit a community ad on Bicycles. –  neilfein Feb 3 '13 at 20:11
    
If you guys can narrow the list down to say 5ish sites that the community agrees will represent it well, I will start looking into posting some ads. –  abby hairboat Feb 5 '13 at 21:29

2 Answers 2

At Loco2 we'd be really interested in finding a way to point our users to Travel SE.

Our main challenge around this would be working out when to tell users to post in Stack Exchange, and when to post in our own Q&A section. We have recently switched from our own forum software (which was a nightmare to maintain) to an off-the-shelf Q&A product ("Rootbuzz") which has a similar UI to Stack Exchange. We've migrated the data across from the old system so it's a bit of a mess at the moment, but you can see an example of us answering a question here:

http://answers.loco2.com/3bv-thalys-website

Note that we are happy to explain to our users exactly how Loco2 relates to other rail-booking websites, and in that respect there's no difference between us answering a question here on Travel SE versus answering it on our site. But we'd be reluctant to ditch our own Q&A section entirely because sometimes the questions are quite specific about how to use Loco2 etc, and so the SE community might not want all of that activity taking place on SE (plus our customers might get confused).

I'm keen to hear any thoughts on this in terms of specific suggestions around how the 'advertising' could work in practice. I guess an obvious place to start could be us saying "If your question is about train travel in general, ask it on Travel SE; if it is about how to use Loco2 then ask it here".

I've just had an idea about this - we can use http://data.stackexchange.com to pull content tagged "trains" and "europe" (for example) into our site. Our users would then easily be able to see how to get their questions answered on Travel SE. This wouldn't strictly be 'advertising' but it should drive some highly qualified traffic to Travel SE. I'll have a chat about this with my colleagues soon.

(On a slightly different point, I'm quite interested in how Stack Exchange is going to make loads of money for its VC investors! Presumably advertising has something to do with it!)

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Re SE business model: see careers.stackoverflow.com. You will probably find more information in the SE blog or on Meta.SO (look for tag [careers]). –  mindcorrosive Feb 3 '13 at 13:56
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Thanks. I knew about the careers thing but I reckon there will be more to the business model in the long-term –  Jamie Feb 3 '13 at 19:53

I'm a huge fan of Chris Guillebeau, even if most of his blog topics on travel hacking are US-centric, his travels make me want to keep travelling.

48 Hour Adventure we could pick some city-specific questions and make adverts for those on his blog post for that city.

Flyertalk scares me when I go in there :/ Also feels weird postong on a forum about another forum, even if a different target market (same for Lonely Planet/ThornTree)

Seat61 could be good, it's becoming known as "the site" for train travel.

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Flyertalk tends to rmeove posts that mention other sites, especially if they're seen as competition. I don't know if they would accept paid ads or not –  Kate Gregory Feb 4 '13 at 0:24
    
@MarkMayo: Yes but we are not "another forum" we are a question and answer site. So maybe that's the perfect way to tie the two sites into a mutually beneficial relationship. (I've never used the site myself.) –  hippietrail Feb 6 '13 at 8:50

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