Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Right Here, Right Now...

How do you keep updated with all the overland travel blogs?  Do you like current information: Right Here, Right Now? Or do you prefer reading historical overland websites? In this blog post, I mention the rise of RSS enabled websites...

Overland travel has certainly gained a lot of popularity in the last 5 years, and with that, the amount of dedicated overland websites have boomed...

I recall spending hours on The Africa Overland Network visiting each BIO page in turn, attempting to find which websites had been updated since my last visit.  I was looking for updates on current overland travel information, current trip reports and current photos.  

Google Reader
Thankfully, with the advances of the blogging websites, RSS feeds were introduced which allowed me to link all the RSS enabled websites into Google Reader.  I now had the ability to quickly glance through my "Overland Live" folder and view all the current updates from these websites. 

Google Reader then allowed me to publish all my subscriptions (currently 237 Overland websites in my RSS folder) to a webpage.
As a result of this, I launched "Overland Live" and started to display the latest blogs, videos, photos and Twitter feeds.
The website has been archived, but the feed is still available:

The Africa Overland Network BIO page has a link to the RSS feed on the original website, making it easy to pull into your RSS reader. If you don't have your own RSS Reader, there is an alternative option:
This ability to pull content from overland websites quickly lead to new and more dynamic websites being launched, all using the RSS feeds.  Here are two websites which pull content from the original website:

Overland Sphere

A note from the website:
© 2013 OverlandSphere.com - Overland Travel, Expedition & Adventure News & Information for 4x4, motorcycle and truck overlanders - All Rights Reserved. Syndicated blog posts remain the property of the originating author and subject to the author's copyright.

Overlanders Today

A note from the website:
Powered by the current Overlanders in the world, brought to you by Landcruising Adventure.

What's the benefit of visiting a website like Overland Sphere and Overlanders Today?
The simple fact that the very latest blog updates are centralised on a single website.  Information is easy to read, filter and search. The text formatting is standardised and the latest information right were you need it: on top!

In my opinion, there is a disadvantage:  The hardwork that goes into creating a blog (that individual creativity) is lost.  I am an avid promoter of independent overland travel, and especially for blogging whilst travel.  As a result, I want to see readers spending time on the original website.

Which sites do you visit the most for your information?

There is an additional advantage of RSS feeds:  Majority of the overland forums use them to display the latest forum posts.

The Hubb

Expedition Portal

ADV Rider - Trip Reports

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