In recent years, the world of blogging has completely exploded! With the likes of Susie Bubble, Rumi Neeley and Dooce standing as some of the first ‘popular’ bloggers, the blogasphere has expanded rapidly over the last three years, resulting in over 170 live blogs on the internet currently, in every continent and every country you could possibly imagine. Sure, all of them don’t have 1,000,000 readers each – but each of them offer something different than a magazine or online media source could possibly offer, they are personal to that specific blogger. They are all about YOU.
So, to capture the essence of the influence of blogs – and turn the global blogging community into one that interacts in real life, the company I currently work for – Hostelling International, have decided to launch a brand new, unique and exciting project that celebrates bloggers!
Entitled ‘The Big Blog Exchange’, the premise of the project is simple – 16 bloggers will exchange blogs, lives, places and cultures for ten days simultaneously. After the launch of the competition site (1st March), bloggers who wish to participate in the project (no matter what you blog about, all are welcome) can sign up, and divulge what their inspiration is for travelling and partaking in the project. Whether it’s just because you want to travel somewhere new, blog live from a different country, or whether it’s a much bigger reason – readers, family and friends can then vote for you to win one of the lucky places.
On the 15th April, the top 100 blogs from around the world will then be reviewed by an international jury, where they will whittle the shortlist down to the final 14. The fifteenth and sixeenth lucky places will be awarded to two wildcard choices, handpicked by Hostelling International to undergo the project, based primarily on the content of their blog – and their inspiration for taking part. This means that however many readers or votes you have (whether it’s 1 or 1,000,000), you are still in with a chance of taking part.
I personally think this project is a really exciting opportunity for bloggers, as it will not only allow them to travel somewhere new and unexplored, blogging live from their exchange destination but it will also provide added exposure and a little boost for your blog! The blogging community (with hashtags such as bbloggers and lbloggers) is such a friendly, diverse and popular one, with participants in different countries all over the world however it is very rare that these bloggers would actually interact in real life, especially not to exchange destinations.
With flights, accommodation and pocket money covered for the entirety of the trip, it’s a fantastic opportunity for aspiring adventurers to kick start their travels – without having to fork out for the pleasure.
So, whether it’s politics you blog about, or travel, or beauty, or fashion or cupcakes (yes, you could even travel to your exchange destination and review what the cupcake differences are in comparison to the ones back at home – if in existence at all!), The Big Blog Exchange is waiting for you to get involved.
You can subscribe for updates via email on the site here, which will notify you once the sign up process is available, however until then – you can share your thoughts on the project on your blog (if there are any response posts, please let me know on Twitter or by leaving a comment below), similarly, you can Tweet your thoughts using the hashtag #BIGBLOGX .