Introducing TravelFeed Beta
Dear Travel Community of the Steem Blockchain, we have some exciting news to share with you: TravelFeed Beta has launched! It’s available now at travelfeed.io for everyone to use.
The new version of TravelFeed marks a huge leap forward in functionality and accessibility, rounding out the platform with new features like an easy-to-use editor, a map, a destination search, a totally redesigned front page and featured articles. It’s going to be an incredible place for travelers to research trips, write about their adventures, and meet other explorers.
We built TravelFeed as the platform that we always wanted to have: a global community of independent travelers, where it’s easy to meet new people and find information, and where bloggers can monetize high-quality posts.
While there are some large, well-established platforms aimed at tourists looking for information on sights, tour packages and hotels, there’s no major platform that provides content created by independent travelers for independent travelers. There’s a huge number of people looking for genuine experiences and off-the-beaten-track destinations, and they need a place where they can find recommendations… and contribute their own.
As a niche market, “Travel” features an unusual abundance of small blogs with high-quality content. These blogs often contain exactly the information that travelers are looking for, but in most cases, they’re hard to find. Independent blogs simply can’t keep up with the search-engine optimization of large sites. And due to the small exposure, travel bloggers struggle to earn the income they deserve. Many turn to large social media networks, which have in the past few years made it easy to gain followers.
The trend, however, is that these large platforms would rather keep readers on their sites, and have been throttling traffic toward the originating blogs. These social media platforms inject their own ads between content that others have created, without sharing the profits. To add insult to injury, they even demand that creators buy ads if they want their followers to see their posts. Also, these social networks are only made to discover new posts, not to research destinations.
At the same time, travel communities are split over several platforms such as groups on Facebook, Couchsurfing, TripAdvisor or smaller forums. Contacting the author of a post is usually done either in the comment area or by email. TravelFeed, on the other hand, is a community of travelers and travel bloggers where readers can easily chat with their favorite authors.
With full-scale manual curation, we make sure that the best posts get the visibility they deserve, often months or even years after they’ve been published. Content is monetized through the Steem Blockchain where creators get rewarded with cryptocurrency. This is the perfect blockchain for travelers: set out on a new adventure, write about it on TravelFeed, and be rewarded with real money. It’s a dream come true, to get on the road, and get paid for doing what you love? At TravelFeed, we’re working hard to make this a reality.
Come and join us to get access to a fast-growing community of like-minded people!
Since we launched TravelFeed Alpha in December to test the concept, we’ve received a lot of feedback and have been working hard to address the most common suggestions with the new version. We’ve streamlined the entire platform to improve usability and performance, with a focus on keeping things simple, which should help to attract users from other platforms, who are perhaps not familiar with Steem or cryptocurrency concepts.
Posts can now be filtered by location. Use the “Destinations” menu to discover popular places, search to find posts related to your next travel destination. You can also view a map of all curated posts, similar to @steemitworldmap. In fact, they’ve assisted us in implementing a feature in which geotagged TravelFeed posts are simultaneously added to the Steemitworldmap, resulting in even more exposure.
The new “Discover” feature on the front page helps you find some of our curation team’s all-time favorites. Also on the front page, hand-picked posts from various destinations around the world will provide inspiration for your next travels.
While still under heavy development, the new editor is much more intuitive, and implements important blogging features such as image uploading. It also integrates a location picker for geotagging. The intuitive tag picker suggests relevant tags that will make it easier for TravelFeed users interested in a specific category (cycling, hiking) to discover new content. Posts are saved as drafts automatically, guaranteeing that you will never lose your hard work, and that you can keep writing where you left off, even from another device. And the new dashboard is loaded with powerful tools and stats.
These are just some of the most important changes. By moving from the Steem API to our own, Hivemind-powered backend, we were able to implement a ton of new features and improve the performance and usability of TravelFeed.
In the next few months, we will keep polishing the TravelFeed platform to ensure a smooth experience. We’ll be focusing on improving mobile support and introducing new community features.
With this, we’re going to reach out to onboard travel bloggers from around the world. We know a large number of travel bloggers personally, whom we’ll invite to join our platform. And we’re planning to attend several travel blogging conferences to draw attention to TravelFeed and encourage writers who haven't yet experimented with blockchain projects. At the same time, we’ll be traveling ourselves, and meeting many other independent adventurers. We’ll discuss with our growing community, the features they’d like to see on TravelFeed, and will be onboarding them to the platform.
We believe in building a functional platform first, and then creating a token economy integrated into every layer, instead of launching a worthless token without a use case, as has sadly become common with many projects in the cryptosphere. Once our platform is more evolved, we’ll release a token on the Steem Blockchain with functionality similar to STEEM, but with a rewards pool exclusively for TravelFeed posts. This could be achieved in the form of a Steem Engine Scot-token or as SMT. On top of the standard incentives for staking SMT/Scot tokens, staking our tokens will give TravelFeed users access to several Premium features and additional revenue streams from advertising.
Independent travelers are the ones who pioneer travel destinations before mass tourism arrives, which helps explain why both governments and businesses are interested in advertising on TravelFeed. We’re working on an advertisement system, that enables advertisers to target users with relevant ads, often in the form of blog posts by TravelFeed authors, without compromising on privacy. We’ll also implement a mechanism that allows authors to be rewarded for posts after the initial payout, based on the popularity of the post. This means an almost-passive income for authors — the more high-quality-posts you publish on TravelFeed, the higher the reward on future posts (without affecting their rank).
Who Is TravelFeed?
Started in January 2018, TravelFeed has become the place for the traveler’s community on Steem. Since February 2018, we have curated over 11,000 travel posts on Steem, rewarding over $100,000 (excluding curation rewards) to authors using the tag #travelfeed.
Julian Peters @jpphotography is a full-stack developer and budget traveler. He is currently pursuing a degree in Business Information Systems (computer science and business administration) at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Whenever he is not developing or working on the token economy, he is traveling and discussing TravelFeed in hostels and meetups around the world.
Jürgen Horn @for91days has been making a living as a travel blogger for over 10 years and knows the industry in and out. He is coordinating the operations of our curation team and is the community manager of TravelFeed.
Manual curation of each post submitted is what makes TravelFeed special, and we could not do this with our amazing curation team, currently consisting of @smeralda and @elsaenroute. We would also like to thank former curation team members: @adonisabril, @wanderlass, @rimicane, @mrprofessor, @guchtere.
The multilingual expansion of TravelFeed is currently spearheaded by @saunter, who manages @pl-travelfeed, the Polish-language travel curation project that will eventually also be integrated into our platform. We are looking forward to expanding to more languages in the future.
How to Get Involved
Join the TravelFeed Community!
We invite anyone who’s interested in travel to check out our TravelFeed dApp and to join our over 700-strong community on Discord. We’re also looking for one more curator to join our team.
We ❤️ Open Source
We are proud to make TravelFeed available fully Open-Source and support other communities on Steem who want to build on our code. Our code is on Github. We are still looking for contributors who want to work with us on the future of TravelFeed.
In cooperation with Utopian, relevant bug reports are rewarded. Please make sure to use the Utopian-template and check that the bug doesn’t exist already in our Github.
During our launch, we plan on rewarding past, current and future TravelFeed users by airdropping tokens. This will also incentivise authoring posts through TravelFeed instead of through third-party dApps using the tag #travelfeed.
We are in the process of registering a company and cannot make any legally binding offers now, so while we officially do not offer compensation to delegators yet, all past, current and future delegators will be fairly compensated for their delegation with tokens once we have launched our token. The airdrop will be based on the amount of SteemPower delegated and when you started to delegate. Based on these numbers we will calculate how many tokens you will receive on the dropping date. Our Steem Power is fully used for manual curation of the best TravelFeed posts.
To delegate to @travelfeed, feel free to use the following links accordingly to the amount you would like to delegate: