Discover new places, meet new people, write and share your experience on TravelFeed.

in #utopian-io2 years ago (edited)

One of the things I said I was going to do at the beginning of this year was; Travel. I have always yearned to travel to new locations, meet-up with new people, and learn about different cultures. Sadly, I've not been able to go on any leisure-oriented trip. I made a promise to myself to change that narrative this year. Unfortunately, I've not been able to make any tangible plans. I'm stuck in a mandatory national service program that doesn't permit random travels. I'll be rounding up that service this month though, and I'll start making plans for a trip.

Travelling is really an amazing thing. I talked a lot about the benefits of travelling in one of the articles I published early this year. I was inspired to write that article after I discovered a Steem-based dApp associated with travelling; Dtrip. It's been 6 months since I published that article, but I haven't been able to use the platform. Well, the app has become sort of obsolete now. I tried to access the website, but it wouldn't open. I get an error every time. I think the developer has abandoned the project, and I don't know what his reasons are. I had hoped to share my first travelling[for leisure] experience there(on Dtrip). Well, the absence of Dtrip wouldn't pose a problem when I eventually go on a travelling spree. A few days ago, precisely 11 days ago, I read an article about a project(still on Steem Blockchain), that offer the same services as Dtrip. Apparently, the project has been in existence for a long time. However, the project received an update. And I'm glad I caught wind of the project. I have spent ample time going through the app, and I can tell that it's amazing. But don't just take my word for it. Read this article and tell me what you think about the project. You can do that by leaving a comment in the "comments" section.

In this article, I'll be reviewing the project. I'll also be doing comparisons here-and-there with Dtrip.

TravelFeed; Discover new places, meet new people, share your experience, and earn rewards.

source

The project I'll be talking about in this article is TravelFeed. And as I already stated in my introduction, it is a project designed for travellers. Before I delve into my review, here's an excerpt from the project's official annoucnement;

We built TravelFeed as the platform that we always wanted to have: a global community of independent travellers, 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 travellers for independent travellers. 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.

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 first two paragraphs in the excerpt talk about why TravelFeed was created. While the last paragraph talks about how TravelFeed works.

After reading that announcement, I already had good impressions about the project. And to be honest, I had accepted that it was superior to Dtrip. But, that's my opinion.

Review of TravelFeed

Like I said earlier, TravelFeed is a Steem-based project. So it is expected to have similar features as some other Steem-based projects. However, there are certain significant features that will constitute the talking points of this article.
Here are the features I'll be talking about in this article;

  • TravelFeed's UI
  • Dashboard
  • Post editor
  • Drafts
  • Wallet
  • More

Without further ado, let's delve into my review of TravelFeed.

TravelFeed's User Interface (UI).

UI.png

TravelFeed is a Steem-based app, and almost all the Steem-based apps I've used are designed almost the same way. Significant differences you will see in different Steem-based apps are; the landing page and the colour schemes. Well, TravelFeed feed looks a lot different from the pack(of steem-based apps I've used). I opened the website for the first time and it didn't look anything like a Steem-based project. In fact, I had to go back to the announcement post to confirm if the project was actually built on Steem(blockchain).

The UI of TravelFeed is amazing. I'm in awe of the way the menus are organized. Virtually all the menus(pages) you'll find on a typical Steem-based are available on TravelFeed. All these menus(headers) are neatly arranged in a left-sliding menu(it is not exactly a drop-down menu).

When I reviewed Dtrip, my opinion of its UI wasn't exactly positive. In fact, I ranked it among the least of Steem-based apps with respect to their UIs. However, it had this on-screen map that I liked. But that was before I knew better. TravelFeed doesn't have a fixed map on display. And I think I like this level or organization more. The UI of TravelFeed looks more professional. When you look at it, you'll know that a reasonable amount of time was put into the design. It isn't the best UI among all Steem-based projects though. But I like it(especially for the organization).

Overall, the UI of TravelFeed is cool. However, it lacked night-mode; which I really like. And aside from just looking nice, I think night-mode is quite essential in this platform. A huge portion of the platform's UI is white, and at night, it is a pain to stare at. And I'm pretty sure you know why a white screen isn't good at night. If you don't, you can read this article.

Dashboard

dashboard.png

So there are all the typical Steem-based menus on TravelFeed, but there's a dashboard. The content on the dashboard is quite interesting. The information on the dashboard is like an overview of your activities on Travelfeed. In as much as it makes Travelfeed look more classy, it is quite important, and I wish every other Steem-based dApp would copy the idea.
These are the stats that are displayed on the Dashboard;

  • Total posts
  • Total earnings
  • Featured posts
  • Quality score
  • A Welcome board
  • Recent posts
  • Monthly earnings
  • Notification.

All the information on the Dashboard are important. But the ones that are more important to me are; Total earnings, monthly earnings and notification.

Post Editor.

post.png

TravelFeed is a platform to share travel experiences. So the presence of a post editor shouldn't come off as a surprise. And I wouldn't be talking about this feature if I had no relevant information to pass.

In my review of TravelFeed's UI, I already stated that it doesn't look like a typical Steem-based app. And it doesn't just stop there. The post editor on TravelFeed is quite different, and looks cool. However, I don't like it so much.

There are two text-input options on the editor. There's the normal editor, and then there's the HTML editor. I expected that, and liked it. What I didn't like was the location of the preview pane; when I'm using the editor. It's like literally beneath the textbox and the demarcation wasn't so legible. So while I'm typing it is as though I'm on the same box. It was really distracting, to be honest. Recently, I've become a fan of having preview panes by the side. And having a large display even makes the side-by-side post editor more interesting. Well, you can say it's a trivial issue, but it is quite a big deal for me. It's even one of the criteria on my list when looking out for a post editor. I'll suggest the implementation of the side-by-side display to the project owner. I hope he buys the idea.

Aside from the issue with the preview pane, I noticed that the option to set post-payout was unavailable. But, I don't think it is really a post editor problem though. But the option is always available on the post editor. Furthermore, I noticed that there's an imposed minimum word length. To publish a post successfully, you need to write an article that has a minimum of 250 words. I totally understand why that limit was imposed. But I'm not a fan of being constrained to a particular set of rules. I like to be in charge. Well, as I said, I understand why the minimum word length was imposed. And I doubt if anyone would share about his/her travel experiences in less than 250 words.

Moving onto positives about TravelFeed's post editor, there's an option to set the featured image of an article. That is; the image that will be showed on the article's preview. By default, the first image in an article is used as the preview image. I joined Steemit and met it that way. And I've since gotten used to things being that way. But seeing the possibility of being able to set an image as my preview image irrespective of its position on the article, I'm impressed. And I think this is another thing that developers of other Steem-based apps should look into.

Dtrip's post editor wasn't so great. It wasn't bad either. It had the side-by-side post editor display. However, as at the time I reviewed the project, the post editor was a little bit faulty. The developer rectified it though. And it looked cool after that. I can't say if Dtrip's post editor is better. Neither can I say that about TravelFeed's post editor.

Drafts.

drafts.png

I've said a lot about TravelFeed's post editor, and I wouldn't want to dwell so long talking about the drafts feature. Drafts are necessary for virtually every project that receives text input. And I'm glad TravelFeed has the "drafts" feature. It's even better on TravelFeed because it has a dedicated page. So whatever unfinished entry you make on the post editor, you'll find it on the drafts page. It would have been great if the last entry was also retained on the editor. It isn't a problem though.

Wallet.

ice_screenshot_20190709-051231.png

There's a dedicated wallet page on TravelFeed, however, TravelFeed still depends on Steemit's wallet. The wallet on TravelFeed shows only the earnings you've earned from your travel blog. And stats of your monthly earning. I really don't like the dependency on Steemit's wallet though.

More

In this section, I'm going to be talking about some other cool stuff that you'll enjoy on TravelFeed.

Check-out destinations.

ogbudu.png

The developer(s) really ticked all the boxes in this project. And the ability to check out locations of interest is something I really like. And aside from checking out locations, it is possible to read travel blogs of several other people that have visited that location.
I'm currently in Uyo, Nigeria. And I checked out the location, but there was no post about it. Uyo is an amazing place. There are lots of beautiful sights and tourist attractions. But the place I've always wanted to visit, right here in Nigeria is; Obudu Cattle Ranch. It's been on my mind since I became knowledgeable about the place. It's literally among the Top 5 tourist attractions in Nigeria. I also checked-out the destination and sadly, no one's written about it. Maybe I'll be the first.

Manual curation

TravelFeed is built on Steem blockchain. This means that travel blogs that are published on the platform can be monetized( by the Steem community). However, TravelFeed still engages in manual curation. There's a team dedicated to sorting and curating quality posts. And according to what I read on the official announcement, the aim is to;

make sure that the best posts get the visibility they deserve, often months or even years after they’ve been published.

Own token soon.

source

In the official announcement, there's a hint that TravelFeed might have its own token in the future. I'll really like to see a token created. Travelling is a big thing right now. And so is blockchain technology and cryptos. I'm not certain, but I think there should be a crypto project associated with travelling. But if there isn't one at the moment, I think this is a good time for TravelFeed to seize this opportunity. I honestly can't wait to see how all these plans pan out. I'm quite optimistic about it though.

There you have it. My review of TravelFeed.

Summary.

TravelFeed is an amazing project, and I'm sure you must have seen how amazing it is going through my review. The project owner in the announcement said that there's more to come, and I can't wait to see what comes in the next update.

Thanks for reading!

Links

Project repository: https://github.com/travelfeed-io/travelfeed-io

Project link: https://travelfeed.io

Resources:

The content of this post was created based on my knowledge of the project, and mostly from my experience. The images used are screenshots of the platform on my device. Other images gotten elsewhere have their source links provided just below them.

Series backlinks:

Github profile:

https://github.com/HarryHeights

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Thank you for your contribution to Travelfeed. I love Travelfeed, and it is nice to see folks writing about it.

This is a comprehensive and a well-structured post. I appreciate the good thoughts on how the project could be better. Moreover, I like your sincerity in this review because it will help to improve the project. There isn’t much to say about this post as I believe you touched every aspect. Kudos!

However, the writing could have a rework. As I used to say, it is difficult to write thousands of texts with no issue, but it is possible. You only need to check thoroughly and carefully. This post had minor issues but not to where they hurt its readability. To conclude, this is a job well done!

Your contribution has been evaluated according to Utopian policies and guidelines, as well as a predefined set of questions pertaining to the category.

To view those questions and the relevant answers related to your post, click here.


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[utopian-moderator]

Thank you for your review, @tykee! Keep up the good work!

Thanks so much for this extended review and your feedback and ideas, that helps us a lot!

  • A night mode is planned eventually, but currently doesn't have the highest priority. It shouldn't be that difficult to implement where we use Material UI components/colours, but we will probably have to replace all the colours that are currently set by bootstrap classes with dynamic classes. Thanks for the suggestion though, that just reminded us to add it to the roadmap.
  • We have a map as well actually, but it's quite basic at the moment https://travelfeed.io/map. A search function, clickable clusters, filter options, author- and location-maps are on the roadmap.
  • We are not happy with the current editor ourselves. We want our users to have a modern "Medium-like" experience, but it actually is pretty hard to implement a really good WYSIWYG editor, since none of the existing solutions is perfect.. At an earlier pre-release version we were using https://editorjs.io/ which is pretty awesome, but it is a young project with a few severe bugs, so we decided to not use it (yet).
  • Since the "Easy Editor", which currently is default for new posts, is a WYSIWYG editor, it would actually not need a preview. Would you still prefer a preview next to the post, or would seeing a preview before publishing the post (like on Medium) be enough?
  • We are looking for a replacement for the markdown/html editor. So far, we like this one the most, and it has side-by-side preview. What do you think? https://harrychen0506.github.io/react-markdown-editor-lite/
  • The 250 word minimum is a quality requirement, posts with less than 250 words don't appear on TravelFeed at all. This automatically filters out short and spammy posts in favour of higher-quality content, since, as you say, it is basically impossible to write a high-quality travel post with less than 250 words and users generally prefer not seeing these post at all.
  • We don't offer Steem-specific options such as payout options to make our app easier for non-Steem users to understand. We think about offering these options as optional advanced/expert options in a future release, what do you think?
  • We will add a "real" wallet as soon as we launch our token, the current wallet page basically only is a placeholder

We would love to see your TravelFeed posts about Nigeria! And if you have more ideas or would like to contribute to the development of TravelFeed, please don't hesitate to reach out to us!
~ @jpphotography, lead developer

We are looking for a replacement for the markdown/html editor. So far, we like this one the most, and it has side-by-side preview. What do you think? https://harrychen0506.github.io/react-markdown-editor-lite/

This markdown editor looks great.

We don't offer Steem-specific options such as payout options to make our app easier for non-Steem users to understand. We think about offering these options as optional advanced/expert options in a future release, what do you think?

Yea, I was about to write a detailed suggestion about implementing the payout options on the settings page. I think that option is highly necessary. Sometimes, I prefer to power up my payout 100%.

We will add a "real" wallet as soon as we launch our token, the current wallet page basically only is a placeholder

I can't wait for the token launch. I'm pretty optimistic it would be a huge thing if it is promoted the right way.

Once again, TravelFeed is an amazing project. And Yes, I'll try to share TravelFeed posts about Nigeria. I'm in Uyo currently, and it is an amazing place. I just need to activate my documentary photography chakra.

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Thank you for the informative and well written article.
You have whetted my appetite and I'm going to explore this travel writing opportunity.

You are welcome. I'm glad I could inspire someone to explore this project.