‘There was a road ran past our house
Too lovely to explore.
I asked my mother once – she said
That if you followed where it led
It brought you to the milk-man’s door.
(That’s why I have not travelled more)’
–The Unexplorer, Edna St Vincent Millay
I am sure that you are here because of this facebook group, which I had started a few years ago only because I was lazy to go out and read amazing bloggers. You know what they say? If the mountain does not go to Mohammed, Mohammed finds some sneaky way to peek at the mountain!
Over years, this group has expanded to a powerhouse of good travel blogposts by Indians, and I hope you are enjoying it too. Or maybe you are wondering what you can do on the group, or how you can engage there. The below guidelines will give you an idea of what this group is, our vision for it, and how you can contribute to it.
Vision for Indian Travel Bloggers (ITB)
Well, we don’t want to be just another facebook group, with all that spam content, travel package and the L4L/F4F threads. There are plenty of other groups for that, and I will be happy to share them with you myself. I have nothing against such groups (and I even enjoy the occasional F4F thread on some of these groups), but vision for THIS group’s is to be ‘a curated collection of experiential blogposts’.
This can include blogposts from either:
- Indian travel bloggers, writing about the world.
- International travel bloggers, writing about India.
The 2 keywords in the vision are: ‘experiential’ and ‘curated’. ‘Experiential’, because we want you to write your own travel experience, not something copy-pasted, or a wishlist, or an news article. ‘Curated’ means that we want to ensure that there is a high-quality of content available on the group for the benefit of all the members. So, note that it is our prerogative to approve or reject your post if it does not meet the guidelines we have stated below.
What’s in it for you? In most groups, really good blogposts shared by members are rarely read by users, simply because of the clutter of the useless junk that is shared around. In this group, we ensure that we eliminate that clutter, and give your blog more visibility, clicks and overall goodies.
Guidelines for Sharing
- Share a blogpost from your personal site. DO NOT SHARE THE ENTIRE BLOG SITE! Sounds simple, but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who don’t.
- Note that the blogpost itself should be written by the person who shares it. Do not share blogposts from crowdsourced or aggregator sites. So no posts from Tripoto, Thrillophilia, matadornetwork, Tripzilla or any other travel agency sites, unless you have written them yourself!
- The blogpost itself can be shared from your facebook page/profile. However, no sharing your facebook page/profile itself for a follow4follow thread.
- There must be a blogpost link. Which means not just travel pictures, or Instagram pictures. You can use a picture as the cover for the link, but don’t share only the pic alone.
- The blogpost must be about travel, and experiential. Which means you must have visited the place for you to write about it. No posts like ’10 reasons why I want to visit Paris’. Seriously, baguette? Duh!
- No sharing of posts that have been shared previously. Trust me, we will find out. (Pro-tip: bumping is allowed, as long as you know how to do it tactfully and strategically, and not with a comment that says ‘BUMP’! 😉 )
What is not allowed?
- SPAM, obviously! This is the most common reason why people get banned from this group.
- Non-experiential blogposts. Or posts irrelevant to travel.
- Sponsored posts, or reviews of commercial establishments (hotels, travel agencies, airlines etc.)
- News-type blogposts about travel. Like ‘Ukraine to start evisa for Indians’. We have Hindustan Times and TOI for that, no? If you do want to share such news, ensure that you are sharing the news portal itself, and not a blogpost about it.
- Posts with political/religious intent or content, even if they are about travelling.
- No “Like my Instagram/FB/Twitter requests”
- No requests for guest blogposts. If you like the work of any blogger, message his page directly, and ask him/her to collaborate for a blogpost/guestpost.
- Posts not in English. Sorry, we have too many regional languages, and I think this group will become a railway display board if we let all of them be displayed. If you are offended by that, nothing stops you from creating a group called ‘Marathi travel bloggers’, or ‘Tamil travel bloggers’, no? Just saying.
What else MAY be allowed (at the admin’s discretion)
- Asking for advice. Ensure that your question is not generic and vague. For e.g:, if your question is ‘what to do in Kerala?’, I would just message you and say ‘go slap Sreesanth’. Feathers ruffled?
- Contests and competitions. Again, we will check if these are legit.
- If you directly contact people without reason in this group, like sending them a lewd DM or asking for ‘fraaandship’, you will be blocked and you wont have my fraaandship after that.
- We all can take a joke, and we must. But abusive comments, lewd/lecherous remarks, etc, will all get you blocked. No kidding on this.
- If you SPAM, you will most likely be banned.
- For other guidelines that you break, we will message you once to let you know of the guidelines. If you repeat this again, we will have to ban you. Because the admins don’t have all the time in the world to keep deleting your posts.
Phew! If all of that sounds scary, don’t be. Actually, there are plenty of good bloggers who have been contributing quality blogposts on this group for years now. And if you are one of them, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
It’s only if you cross over to the dark side and join the sith lords, that thou shalt feel my wrath!
Happy travels and happy blogging!