Alas for commercialisation

25 Mar

There was a time when a certain travel website had a large cult following for good reason. They were more polite and friendlier than other travel websites, and they were interested in people’s travel stories, the real experiences of backpacking and other forms of independent travel, rather than travel lists. It became more and more successful, but in  the process it has lost a lot of what used to make it such an interesting website to visit.

Lists are of course popular – they are bite sized pieces of writing, easy to digest, and have clearly defined boundaries. But when a website that was known for its genuinely independent feel  has gone the way of all the others, and now seems only to upfront the most popular travel articles, which are almost invariably lists, it is a great, great pity.   Here are  some titles I invented  but these would be absolutely typical of the kind of stuff they are producing now : ‘Ten ways to spend time being a backpacker.  Five out-of the way places in the UK to visit such as Oxford, Cambridge, the Lake District, an obscure monument in London called the Tower of London, and Stonehenge.  Seven exciting Italian dishes to eat such as Spaghetti Bolognese.’ Come on, Bootsnall, who are you kidding. Bring back some of the more personal articles, too. You have the popularity to mix personal with the so called professional.

Whereas before I thought Bootsnall had not lost its soul to success, I now realise it has. The writing may be more professional, but it has the individuality of a flock of sheep waiting to be driven in to their pens at night. In the unlikely event of  Bootsnall  reading this, I would remind them that this is just an opinion, and I wish them continued success.

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