5 years ago

Oh my goodness – Men of Travel Blogging Calendar for 2013 [women version also available]

Tnooz has covered (often stirred) the various debates about the rise of bloggers as a force within the world of content in online travel.

Lara Dunston’s Entrepreneurial model for travel writers working in an evolving media, for example, remains one of the most popular articles of all time on Tnooz.

We have also featured guest pieces from high profile bloggers such as Matthew Kepnes – aka Nomadic Matt – (Why travel bloggers need to establish their own brand) and Gary Arndt (Why do travel advertisers continue to avoid bloggers?).

Even last week, Martin MacDonald of Expedia Affiliate Network issued a rallying cry for the industry to use bloggers more.

As we have said before, we like travel bloggers – what they’re trying to do, their energy (but not necessarily all of their practices) and enthusiasm.

We do, however, continually wonder whether the navel-gazing that appears to be part of the DNA of the community often does it more harm than good, at least in terms of how the industry perceives it.

Anyway, obviously going against the idea that the community might be slightly self-congratulatory, this little nugget of jaw-dropping madness has been doing the rounds over recent days.

Yep, Men of Travel Blogging 2013 calendar! In the interests of balance, there is a Women of Travel Blogging 2013 Calendar, too.

Nice eye candy and all that, very worthy causes, etc. But really?


Ryanair is famous for its annual calendar of scantily clad cabin crew – but that’s Ryanair. It goes with the brand.

Perhaps we’re being a bit unfair and it’s just a bit of laugh, etc. But some might argue that such an initiative does not fit so well with the aims of what the wider travel blogging community is trying to do (and we think generally that it is slowly getting there).

We continually hear about – to continue the analogy – how bloggers want to be considered in the industry as luxury Middle East airlines rather than low cost carriers.

Something doesn’t chime so well here.

Anyway, if bloggers (and their industry fans, readers, etc) want to really give something back to charities then they can perhaps also look at the two which Tnooz supports: Footprints and Passports with Purpose.

We will, of course, check with the organisers of the Blogger Calendars in the New Year to see how many were sold. We would be genuinely pleased to be proven wrong.

NB: Hat-tips – Grumpy Traveller and Stuart Lodge for bringing this to our attention 🙂

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Kevin May

    Kevin May

    @all – Jeremy Foster of TravelFreak (one of the organisers) has given us an update:


  2. Kevin May

    Kevin May


    as we promised in our original article, following up to get a sense of how many calendars were sold and delivered in the end, and how much was raised for good causes.

    Any feedback people can share would be useful and we will gladly update our original story. Always happy to be proven wrong!

  3. Will Peach

    I bought it. Made me spaff at least.

    Perhaps Kevin May likes the harder stuff.

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @will – thx for, err, sharing that.

      Delighted to have learned a new word today.

  4. Kevin May

    Kevin May

    @all – a good and rationale debate over this has (eventually) also taken place here:


  5. Dani Blanchette

    Thank you for bringing more publicity to our calendar. I find it quite smart and kind of you to ‘attack’ a good hearted project to raise money, thus bringing a lot of notice to it, as well as to yourself. I see from your comments, you do not seem nearly as upset with the calendar as your article leads us to believe.

    Ps:, besides the promotion for the calendar, I would also like to thank you for the links back to our own blogs by way of these comments. I don’t really care if they are do or no follow, its just nice that people can come check out the blogs of the contributors to this calendar and learn more about us.

    Good job!
    Driving up promotion and traffic all around 🙂 Thank you so much for helping us promote our calendar!

    -Dani Blanchette
    Miss November

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @dani – hey, thx for commenting.

      The truth is that it was all a big conspiracy and I’m secretly in cahoots with one of the organisers of the calendar, plotting a canny way of getting it lots of attention on Tnooz and then talked about in social media.

      All the snarky comments from everyone involved were carefully scripted weeks back, and even the weird threats are all part of the plan to raise awareness of the project.

      Guess it worked!


      Seriously, was genuinely never upset about it at all, just thought it a bit daft and dared to voice that as an opinion here.

      Good luck with it, Dani. We can’t wait to hear how it went.

      PS – no need to thank us for the links, all part of the service!

  6. Caroline Eubanks

    I’m in the calendar and very clothed. I thought it would be a fun way to raise money for charity. I don’t take myself too seriously. Just serious enough. I would hope that this shows readers, PRs, anyone else that I’m not just some person who blabs on about herself on the Internet. I’m a real person that cares about making the world I travel in a slightly better place in any way I can. Hope this helps. If you don’t like the calendar, don’t buy one.

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @caroline – thx for the thoughtful and reasoned comment. I wish you luck.

      • Theodora

        I’m in this calendar too, also clothed. Insofar as I thought a great deal about it (I didn’t), I thought it would be a fun thing to do (a bit of a laugh), and, yeah, why not raise some money for charity?

        But, yes, the question — “Who would pay to see a picture of you?” is a very valid one. And, embarrassingly, not one that had crossed my mind…

  7. Laurence

    This post is a fairly depressing read, where folks hiding behind their keyboards spend their time spraying negativity over other folks who tried to do something a little bit positive and fun. If I wanted that, I’d read the daily mail. Although even that publication probably spends more than the ten minutes this author says he spent writing this article. What a lucky readership you have…

    It’s far easier after all to spend ten minutes bashing a lot of hard work than it is to actually do the hard work. Maybe a more positive piece could have been put together, offering some advice, or suggestions, or well, anything else to improve the odds of some cash being raised. The charities could have been approached – maybe their opinions sought as to the whole thing.

    But negativity is the easy road, and controversy gets hits. So well done Kevin. You got a whole bunch of hits and traffic from bashing an attempt at charitable giving. To use the nomenclature of my kind: awesome.

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @laurence – thx for the comment.

      As I said to Bret above, not motivated by getting traffic, it was just an opinion piece, looking at how a project might end up reinforcing some existing opinions in the industry which we cover every day.

      Given the reaction in the comments above and elsewhere, it appears that opinion is, indeed, very split as to whether the project is driven by charity AND vanity, or not.

      And for that, therefore, I am glad that we wrote something that allowed that debate to happen.

      What is depressing for me is unfortunately how some have resorted to threats of violence to me personally (not here, on Twitter) when perhaps their ability to banter over or debate the issue ran out.

      I am not worried (yet) about baying mobs of angry, pitchfork-armed, bikini and speedo-clad bloggers confronting me in the halls of WTM in London next week, but it’s a sorry state of affairs (and perhaps a concern for anyone in the industry mulling over whether to work with such folk) that some will descend so quickly to that behaviour

      One wonders how these people might react if a flight is cancelled at the last minute or they are held up for a few hours at a border crossing.

      • Laurence

        I appreciate the debate – I’m just not sure it has any real value. All kinds of charity calendars are put together from all walks of life all the time. If an industry can’t poke a bit of fun at itself, then it’s a dull place to be.

        I appreciate we are all entitled to our opinion. My opinion would be that it would have helped this piece to have perhaps involved some people actually in the project before writing it off. Otherwise, you are not “looking” at how a project may reinforce an opinion, you are just reinforcing an opinion.

        In terms of being threatened, I agree, violence should never be resorted to. But after a number of twitter users teamed up on one blogger, and did their best to cause a reaction, with quotes pointing out that the enterprise was “vain, foolish, misjudged”, and “it’s all a lot of dreadfully vain dogshit”, then tempers clearly flared, and a reaction was achieved. I do not believe it was right, but I don’t believe blame lies with one party either. Some of the comments I’ve seen on twitter have been frankly depressing.

        Taunting / bullying is schoolyard behaviour, and doesn’t belong in any industry, on any medium. Maybe we can just agree on that.

        • Kevin May

          Kevin May

          @laurence – i agree with you completely on that. seriously.

          Not sure why I was the individual being threatened when I never uttered the phrases “vain, foolish, misjudged”, and “it’s all a lot of dreadfully vain dogshit”.

          • Laurence

            it’s probably the glasses.

            I KID!

            I guess you were merely the er, focal point. But I can’t speak for anyone else. I find these things work themselves out over beer. Ah well. It’s been a popcorn sort of event. Now to try and sell some calendars 😉

      • crazy sexy fun traveler

        I’m afraid u gotta pay to see bloggers in bikini. And u don’t have to be afraid how one of those people would react if a flight was cancelled because that person worked on a plane for 2 years so knows all behind it. You did not do your research here once again.

        And just the thing that you spent a few minutes on this article without checking out the things how they really are while a bunch of bloggers, readers, photographers and charities have spent a few months pulling the calendar together, shows all the professionalism of both sides.

  8. Jeremy Head

    I’m with Pam. If it’s a success then great. So I do hope the guys behind the calendars will share info about how many they sold.

  9. Giulia

    Kevin, I am sorry you’re upset that you were not involved in the project. Come on don’t be so mad 😉

    Also, since you didn’t see the pictures, how do you think you can make assumptions? Do you think we are just showing off in a narcissistic way? Did you see my belly? :)) Every blogger submitted a completely different photo – from sexy to hilarious – and we did it with only one purpose: charity. Yes we are using our influence/traffic/numbers/social media/blah to gather money to help people in need, is this so bad?

    For the ones who asked, I don’t think we will show the final pictures on the website, but you can ‘like’ the Travel Blogging Calendar Facebook page and see nice bloopers 🙂



  10. Turtle

    There seems to have been a bit of anti-Kevin angst about this article.
    Let’s clear the waters. Perhaps you’d like to take the opportunity to clarify these two quotes from your story:
    1) ” this little nugget of jaw-dropping madness has been doing the rounds over recent days.”
    2) “We do, however, continually wonder whether the navel-gazing that appears to be part of the DNA of the community often does it more harm than good, at least in terms of how the industry perceives it.”
    Do you think the second musing has been answered now and do you worry the first may affect how the industry perceives Tnooz?

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @turtle – thx for the comment…

      V happy to clarify:

      1) Just a flowery way of saying it’s a bit of daft project and I had been noticing some of the negative reaction after it first appeared in the middle of last week.

      2) Important point here, first outlined in our article last Christmas about navel-gazing (https://www.tnooz.com/2011/12/23/news/travel-bloggers-time-to-stop-navel-gazing-and-get-on-with-the-job-please/). We talk to countless people around the industry (it’s what we do), such as marketing people, PRs, social media folk, etc, and one of the general comments that came up frequently late-last year was that a *PERCEPTION* of the blogging community is that it is often inward-looking.

      We are, of course, guilty of blogging about blogging, as the saying goes, too – but that’s what business media brands do: they write about process, form, strategy, etc.

      But there was a sense amongst many of the industry people we talk to (those that some bloggers, presumably, would like to have a relationship with) that many bloggers preferred to talk endlessly about their craft rather than do what arguably the industry would like them to do: write content about destinations, services, etc.

      So the comment above about DNA stands: “…wonder whether the navel-gazing that appears to be part of the DNA of the community often does it more harm than good, at least in terms of how the industry perceives it.”

      The calendar project does not dispel that perception, in my opinion. It’s a personal view.

      To answer your final point about how the industry perceives Tnooz as a result of all this – you know, Michael, I have absolutely no idea.

      Would individuals in the industry think less of Tnooz (or me) because I wrote a critical piece about a charity calendar initiative featuring a load of beautiful bloggers trying to give something back to a worthwhile charity? Maybe.

      But really? REALLY?

      I think – and hope – many in the industry have bigger things to worry about and are more likely to object to Tnooz as a brand (through its writers, Nodes, guest contributors) when our often opinionated articles about distribution, search, social commerce or devices anger them.

      In our three years as a media brand we have irked everyone from some of the biggest search engines on the planet to the GDSs, many airlines and hotels, tourism boards and travel agencies.

      But it appears (and our numbers illustrate this) that in the short, medium and long term our readers genuinely like a bit of angst, forgive us for the odd foible, and stick with us for the reporting and analysis of the industry that we have at the heart of our strategy.

      • Bret @ Green Global Travel

        “But it appears (and our numbers illustrate this) that in the short, medium and long term our readers genuinely like a bit of angst…”

        Ah, so as I suspected (and suggested), stirring the pot in the name of traffic really is what all this is about. I’m reminded of the old adage: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t criticize those who do.”

        • Kevin May

          Kevin May

          @bret – yes, angst in the name of highlighting industry issues, not angst in the name of driving traffic.

          But, admittedly, your latest comment inspired me to check out our GA: Not one of the top 100 most popular articles (almost 7,000 in three years) since we started is about bloggers, blogging, travel writing, etc.

  11. Darren

    I get the point that the calendar is to raise money for charity (that’s great) and that the bloggers involved wanted to have a bit of fun but I think the issue is, that it is coming across that bloggers have big egos and the calendar is portraying just that. Why couldn’t it have being a calendar with photos of quirky, odd, unusual things you’ve all seen on your travels, that way you are not only targeting bloggers, but travel consumers too, who surely, if you write a travel blog, are your targeted audience?

    Just a few thoughts..

    • Darren

      Sorry, I forgot to add – why does the calendar have to be about you the travel blogger? Surely, it should be about your travels, your experiences and destinations you are visiting?

    • Bret @ Green Global Travel

      That’s a great idea for a calendar, Darren. Why don’t you do that, find a charity to donate to, and find some other bloggers to participate? Because that would be a helluva lot more productive than sitting around taking others to task for doing SOMETHING.

      • Karen Bryan

        I agree with Darren that there would’ve been a wider potential market for a calendar featuring travel destinations vs travel bloggers.

        In my opinion, it would be a positive thing if travel bloggers focused a lot more on “normal” (by which I mean non-travel blogger) readers. Or has the travel blogging bubble grown to such an extent that it constitutes a large enough internal market?

        • crazy sexy fun traveler

          Sorry if I am wrong in here, but why would other bloggers want to buy the calendar??? They have photos of us and with us because we do meet a lot, but other readers do not have photos of us and they are following our blogs because of the personality behind them, that’s why they are called personal blogs??? In the real life, do you think a photo of a nice tree would be bought by more people than a photo of a person (e.g. famous model, tennis player, actor etc.). Why is then that all these people and their photos are much more worth and likely to be paid for then photos of any place, no matter how beautiful it is??? Ask the great world-known nature photographers how difficult it is to make living selling those amazing nature photos!

      • Darren

        Sorry Bret, I don’t have time for a calendar because I am too busy making money from my travel content..

  12. pam

    I really hope this conversation hasn’t alienated the producers of the calendar so much that there’s no follow up data. Because the premise is, uh, interesting. Enough people want to see a dozen bloggers in their skivvies (or whatever) that they’ll spend money on it. And enough people will spend money on it that it will benefit a charity.

    Aggregated follower statistics are used in all kinds of initiatives as an indicator of value. In this case, it’s kind of a money where your (sorry) mouth is and will be proved out by the financial results, right? It’s not some three degrees removed thing, there’s a direct correlation here. And it would be genuinely interesting to see how that plays out. Perceived celebrity ROI = sales = benefit to the charities.

    Show me the numbers.

  13. Heather Turner

    From a purely marketing perspective, I think the idea of the calendars is fab. From a purely female perspective (in honesty) thus my comment about about only one navel gazing shot, Woman are just like men in the regard that at least can you put thumbnails of the calendar images? We would like to see what we are getting before we buy, the blog profiles are dandy but if you want to actually sell the calendars……

    • crazy sexy fun traveler

      Thanks for your input, Heather. But why would someone pay for something once he can see it already for free first? We had professional photographers to take our photos for the calendar, trust us, or don’t buy it 🙂

  14. crazy sexy fun traveler

    And just one more thing … the photos next to the profiles of the bloggers who are in the calendar (on the calendar website) are NOT the ones in the calendar. These profile photos are those how people know us, but those in the calendar are all NEW and were taken just for the calendars.

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @CSFT – thanks for the clarification. Even more reason to buy it. Exclusive snaps!!!

  15. crazy sexy fun traveler

    Ah, and you probably should rediscuss the marketing ways of Tnooz as getting unliked and unfollowed by some bloggers right after this stupid post is not a good marketing, I guess! Or you want to get famous by bad things rather than bloggers by a good charitable cause???

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @CSFT – saddens me to say it, but you’re probably right.

      In fact, we’re considering changing our name to Crazy Sexy Fun Travel Tech!!

  16. Kevin May

    Kevin May

    One last thing (and finally a serious point to make):

    We’re obsessed with marketing and distribution at tnooz, at least in terms of how the travel industry performs.

    So, what is the target audience for the calendar? Is it friends, families, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers etc of those featured? A smattering of their readers?

    If that’s the case, then perhaps that limits its wider appeal and cash for the charities?

    And therefore a generic calendar of amazing (awesome, even!) photography from the bloggers would generate more sales, possibly?

    I’d buy one of those for my mum. Probably not one of scantily clad dudes and dudettes.

    • crazy sexy fun traveler

      The target audience of the calendar is PEOPLE WITH HEART WILLING TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE WHO NEED IT! Does this sound familiar to you, Kevin? If you don’t consider buying a calendar for you mum, then maybe you don’t belong to our target audience I’d say!

    • Bret @ Green Global Travel

      In addition to being marketed/promoted on all of the 24 blogs included and throughout the blogosphere, we are also sending press releases about the project to more than 500 major media outlets around the world (I’ve been in print media 20 years, so I know a few people).

      Who knows how much coverage we’ll get? Who knows how many calendars we’ll sell? The important point is that we are quite literally putting our asses out there in an effort to something good.

      Oh, and don’t discount yourself so quickly from consideration for next year’s calendar, Kevin: I’m 44 years old, and in nowhere near as good a shape as the 20-something bucks. But you know what? I’d rather put myself out there and at least TRY to do something worthwhile to help people than sit on the sidelines and judge others who have the balls to take action.

  17. Kevin May

    Kevin May

    The rather amusing irony in all this is that Tnooz is often called a blog and I am therefore labelled a blogger.

    Sadly I have a long way to go before hitting the body beautiful heights of the chosen luminaries depicted in the calendars.

    Not that an almost 40-something, opinionated jerk like myself would ever be considered. Still, might see if I can buy a pack of vanity next time I’m at the Duty Free. Reckon there’s been a sale on.

  18. David Whitley

    You know when the office idiot really wants to go skydiving, then goes round the office getting sponsorship for his skydive, and the money raised for charity coincidentally comes to roughly what the skydive costs? That.

    • crazy sexy fun traveler

      Sorry to tell you that professional bloggers like those in the calendar do NOT have an office!

    • Chris

      As there are no costs involved here (printing was provided for free, all work done on the site by Jeremy was free, and the domain registration and hosting was done by me out of pocket) – I’m not sure where you’re worried the money raised will be funneled.

      Literally, the only cost to come out of the $25 will be postage. Everything else is going straight to the charities voted as most worthy by visitors to the site.

  19. Talon

    Part of the reason people follow travel blogs is because of the personalities of the bloggers. Sure, we could do a calendar that shows off our favorite travel photo, but people generally get that from the blogs as well. This was a spur-of-a-moment idea of someone who thought it would be something different and fun and could so some good in the process.

    As a member of the travel blogging community, I’ve personally enjoyed working with my fellow calendar peeps and seeing their personalities emerge in different ways than may be typical for their “brand.” I also appreciated the fact that different niches were welcome. One wouldn’t normally expect to see family travel bloggers being included in a “men and women of” calendar.

    As Bret mentioned above, every penny (other than shipping) is going to the charities. And people had the opportunity to vote on which 2 charities would receive the proceeds. Even the ones who didn’t win the vote are getting publicity and awareness they may not have gotten otherwise, which I think is pretty cool.

    Frankly, I don’t get the need to critique someone else’s charity event. Even if we only manage to raise $200 for charity, I’m proud of my fellow bloggers who were willing to put themselves out there, somewhat literally for some, and do something that wasn’t typical, and I’m proud of how many charities they were personally aware of and connected with. I think THAT says more about the travel blogging community that anything else.

    • crazy sexy fun traveler

      I agree with you Talon, Mel and Bret. Of course there could be only one person on this planet to write this shit, the person who only attacks all the bloggers … jealousy??? Must be!

      Kevin, if you consider yourself a travel writer, not a blogger, than you should NOT write about something you have NO idea about and some of the commenters too.

      From the sales, only some money is spent on shipping around the world, the rest ALL goes to those 2 charities, which readers chose!!!

      When you Kevin and all your friends hating bloggers will personally do something for a charity (NEVER), get a perfect body for that photo (NEVER), spend your time helping other people instead of bitching (NEVER), donate what could be your money to someone who needs it more (NEVER) and do all this just because you have HEART and you are a nice person (NOT HAPPENING), then you can say something!!! Otherwise, like Bret said, it just makes you look all like jerks!

      But at least you did 1 good thing – thanks for the exposure! Will definitely help with the sales!

    • David Whitley

      “Even if we only manage to raise $200 for charity…”

      Therein lies the crux. The criticism isn’t that the proceeds are going to charity – it’s that it’s at best a massively ineffective way of raising money for charity. A cynic would say this is 99% hamfisted self-promotional project and 1% charity initiative that is pretending those percentages are the other way round.

      If it’s about charity, then the best way of getting $200 to it is for the 24 bloggers involved to donate $8.33 each to that charity with the minimum of fuss.

      On a broader level, it is the sort of project that confirms assumptions that many outside of travel blogging have of the industry – namely that it’s a self-absorbed, amateurish world of people with a massively inflated sense of their own influence and importance. Travel companies and organisations with money to spend on marketing and advertising will see it and have their suspicions confirmed. And I know this is true because I found out about the calendar through travel PRs who were basically pointing and laughing at it.

      It’s not about the charity, or the diversity of people featured, or any other point-missing rebuttals. It’s about the perception of travel bloggers as a self-parodic joke. If you ever need a good example of why some people with travel blogs are reluctant to call themselves travel bloggers, this calendar is it.

  20. Stuart McD

    And there you go, thanks to Miss Lai Lai for pointing out, I meant navel-gazing — not the big ship version.

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @Stuart McD – aah, don’t worry. If anything, some of the bods on display are worthy of those cheesy calendars you sometimes see for the armed forces!!! Awesome toning.

  21. Stuart McD

    Argghh on one hand it’s difficult to knock something that is raising moolah for deserving charities, but on the other it just comes across as ego driven naval gazing. I’m not saying it is ego-driven naval gazing of course, just that it comes across that way.

    Why not call it “Travel calendar for charity” or some equally less ego-loaded title.

    All these people travel, I assume to beautiful places, and likewise I assume they are capable of taking pics sans Instagram filter, so why not two-dozen, anonymously contributed pics, with no links and no branding and no link juice lah lah lah? Think of the children!

    Surely that’s a more enticing offer for my Mum than some dude’s spare tire clumsily photoshopped off a pic? She’s not going to travel with any of the 24, but I’m sure she’d love a travel calendar of some great pics from around the world.

    Like I say, and Kevin above, always good to see things that will raise funds for those in need, but think this little gem could have been executed better.

    Next year maybe.

  22. Mel Agustina

    Having spent many years with one of the people in this calendar (my sibling) I feel that this post needs a little more research. I don’t know what the ‘aims’ of the travel blogging community are but I know that the aim of this calendar was to give back to the community that gave so much to him as a traveler. This was a fun/funny way to support those communities which I think is a wonderful thing. This is something I will support this (although may have to miss one month of ‘eye-candy’ and replace my sibling’s picture with one of my husband) as I know that it is all well intentioned. Also, check your information before you post (is one of the aims of the travel blogging community to give out correct and factual information?) as it is titled ‘The TravelBlogging Calendar’ as is not gender biased. I also love the fact that not all the bloggers in this calendar are ‘high profile’ and this is also giving the lesser known bloggers, who also write high quality posts, a wider audience. Oh – in that case I should also thank you for this post as it is also bringing the calendar more publicity which I hope will result in more purchases and therefore more money to the community. Why would you care how many are sold? If one sells then that is a few more dollars for a good cause. It also means that these people can choose the people and places to which the money is donated to rather than just pay up, shut and and hope that the money gets to where they believe it is going. Now may I suggest that you check out some of the blog sites of those in this calendar and get some facts, enjoy their reads and then have a say? Why have a dig at people doing something for good when there are so many other things on which you could focus?

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @mel – interested in how many get sold because that’s what we do, follow-up on stories and initiatives to evaluate there relative success or otherwise. We genuinely wish it all the success in the world.

  23. Bret @ Green Global Travel

    This article is ridiculously trivial and petty. Seems to be aimed at stirring the pot, and little more.

    Just for the record, some bloggers posed for the calendar AND are contributing to Passports With Purpose (our site, for instance, has worked out a donation for a trip for 2 to the Peruvian Amazon) AND have other own pet charities we donate to. I’m a WWF guy myself.

    Acting like Tnooz’s choice of charities is somehow better or more noble than someone else’s is actually pretty douche-y. This calendar is a good deed, done by good people, with good intentions. Slagging the attempt just makes you look like a jerk.

    • Mel Agustina

      Nah – just jealous that the invitation to become a ‘month’ was not given.

      • Kevin May

        Kevin May

        @mel – you’ve rumbled me… very jealous. I’ve seen Bret’s page and I’m nowhere near that level!!!

  24. Stuart L

    Is she definitely a Missus? I was wondering that…that I stopped….not that it could matter less. Hey ho.

  25. Heather Turner

    Sadly for the female population, if you look at the other bloggers (listed) the only navel gazing is on the cover, also apparently they couldn’t find a full dozen male bloggers for the calendar? Mr March is a Mrs

  26. Lewis Shields

    Disappointed to find no competition for ’10 lucky readers’ attached to this post.

  27. Karen Bryan

    A win-win situation; publicity for the travel bloggers portrayed in the calendar and money for charity?

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @karen – yup, our motivation all along was to give the calendar some additional distribution. If it wasn’t for charity, I’d look into some kind of affiliate revenue sharing deal!!

  28. Ovid

    OK, I’m a little lost on this one. I get flack because I include political commentary in my blog (to be fair, it’s a “how to become an expat” blog and not just a travel blog), so I could see *that* causing a bit of frustration for folks, but a calendar to help charities? I just don’t see the problem here.

  29. RobertKCole

    Technically, isn’t the fundamental purpose of producing pin-up style calendars literally navel (and other body parts located within reasonable proximity) gazing?

    Perhaps you are being a bit unfair – it’s all in good fun.

    The travel blogging community should not take itself overly seriously. This does not mean that there should not be a goal for greater professionalism, transparency and education regarding ethical monetization.

    You can’t really compare travel blogging as a whole to a brand like Ryanair. Travel blogging remains more of a mindset or lifestyle as opposed to an industry at this point. It may not ever become a true industry, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

    With nearly 7,300 TBEX members, the travel blogger community runs the gamut from (I’ll choose a hotel analogy) posh 5-star resorts to dilapidated hell holes – with most falling somewhere between. The vast majority will not be financially successful compared to most commercial enterprises, but that may not matter to many who are involved due to their love of travel or the specific subjects they lavish with their attention.

    Given the intensely personal nature of travel inspiration, travel blogging winds up being a relatively low cost and highly scalable method to promote highly niche-oriented travel discovery – an important aspect of the industry that OTAs, DMOs and the vast majority of travel suppliers have miserably failed to develop.

    Expedia seems to have discovered this and is actively exploiting the opportunity – which is a very savvy strategy to create the unique, frequently updated and rich media content search engines now demand.

    On the topic of the calendar, between free source content, digital design and short-run print capability, the production costs must be very low, which is a good thing for the charities.

    If 700 calendars can be sold (less than 1 per every 10 TBEX members – if they are truly as self-absorbed as you describe) the total production costs should be no more than $1,500. Even if they elect to keep 25% for their efforts, that still yields over $10,000 for the charity, not too bad for a bit of a self-indulgent fun.

    It will be interesting to see how many they sell and/or how much the charities receive.

    In the meantime, I already sense a groundswell of demand from loyal Tnooz readers for the debut of the 2013 Men/Women of Travel Tech Journalism Calendars…


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