I’m inclined to start believing that I am no longer relevant. Take a look at our July issue. Titled “Travel Talk”, it’s our annual interview issue and neither of our two editors thought to call me (okay, find me somewhere in the House of Miles) and conduct an interview with me.
Sure, they reach out to people I know well and would like to chat with – including my good friend Chris McGinnis of TravelSkills.com – but did they ever consider talking to me? I’m going to assume not.
But maybe that’s good. I’m reflecting on this topic of talk because of something that happened this morning. I got a notice of a call for an interview with Nancy Trejos of USA Today regarding how hotel loyalty programs have changed in terms of how points are awarded. Other than the small nuances that ebb and flow with hotel programs, they essentially haven’t changed much, unlike their brethren airline loyalty programs. But this was just a side thought for me this morning. In years gone by, I would have put myself on autopilot and turned into a “talking head” for Nancy – something that has served me well for well more than 20 years. But today, just like yesterday and for a few years now, I found myself talked out. Sure, I can still keep a conversation with the likes of the new age bloggers on topics such as Kate (Walmart specific) and manufactured spending as well as the best ways to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points, but the topics just don’t interest me as much as they used to.
So I suggested others for Nancy to chat with regarding hotel loyalty programs. Maybe my editors already knew that I wouldn’t be interested in chatting with them for the annual interview issue. Regardless, I don’t feel slighted and frankly feel relieved. I’m more interested these days in diagnosing the relevance of mobile devices to your reading habits, trying to foresee how much social impact there is and will be on which blogs you read, and where you will find your next travel tip. Yes, it’s the intersection of technology and the road warrior. I guess I’ve never put much thought into my love for the topic of miles and points nor my depth of knowledge. It’s still there and serves me well in framing the newer topics that occupy my day, but I guess you could say I’ve been shuffled upstairs.
I would like to talk about a few new blogs that I think you’ll enjoy reading in between issues of InsideFlyer. There are many that I peruse on a regular basis for my personal sanity and information but also for entertainment. These tend not to be miles and points specific because while I may have been kicked upstairs, I’m still connected and confident that I know that topic. I’ll mention three this month and maybe share a few more next month.
1) Travel Update. This blog is penned by Barbara Delollis, who for the longest time was the Hotel Check-in blogger for USA Today. Truly one of the best journalists writing today, her “Cocktails with ?” blog posts always are a must read for me as she talks to hotel GMs, restaurateurs and about anything and everything in travel. If there is one “external” blog I love to read, it’s Barbara’s.
2) Another new blog that has become my go-to entertainment blog is called ThreadTripping. Penned by a former employee of the House of Miles, Mikel Bowman’s absolute sense of the perfect post to read is unparalleled. He puts together a collection of the more unusual reads from around the Internet focusing on frequent flyers. His posts recap fabulous exchanges in popular forums, other blogs and even mainstream media. What I find the most entertaining is Mikel’s wit and writing ability. The way he frames the topics he will introduce to his readers is an art form.
3) I just recently started to read and have become hooked on the Miles To Memories blog. There are two reasons I suggest you bookmark this blog: 1) The blogger is an excellent and eclectic storyteller. At one moment he may write about a bonus I need to take advantage of and then the next he’s interviewing Elsie Mendez who is a culinary expert from Mexico. Regardless of the topic, I find his style to be one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever read. 2) Beyond his ability to write is the way he structures his blog posts. Almost without fail he will recap his posts with an “Analysis” and/or “Conclusion”. I find that extremely helpful. I always want a “bottom line” and this blog gives it to me without begging. Very, very, good blog to get in the habit of reading.