TravelBlog.org Sort of Sucks
My Review: 2
I hesitate to even put this in a Web 2.0 category becasue it is patently not Web 2.0. However, it could certainly serve as an example of to avoid in making a modern website. And when creating a blogging tool, a way for people to record their great life events… avoid these mistakes at all cost.
Let me back up a bit. My friend Justin went on a trip to South America for one month. While there he wanted to keep an online journal, a web log (blog for short) to keep a record of his travels and share his adventures with friends and family. Sounds cool right? Well, Justin picked the wrong service (in my opinion.)
First of all, the UI (user interface) is terrible. The tabs are ugly, the font is ugly, the whole site is cluttered and hard to navigate. There are no page updates without a manual refresh of the entire web page (AJAX anyone?), the style is clunky, and nothing seems to flow well. Here is the site’s homepage.
Here is a shot of the screen for adding a new post. This is an excellent example of terrible user interface design and implementation.
But, their concept is still a good one. A blogging site, targeted at non-technical travelers who want to keep an online journal of their travels is a cool idea. Unfortunately, their execution is weak. The site, as mentioned, is clunky. But that’s not all. They cover all their users’ pages with large, high visibility advertisements. The ads are not generally contextual (meaning many are not related to the content displayed on the page, though they might be travel related.) And they are big and super obnoxious.
And lastly, let me explain my final criticism. Data loss and lack of security. As you notice in the screenshot from Justin’s blog, Travel Blog managed to lose the data they were holding for many of their users. What happened to backup? What happened to redundancy. A month’s worth of travel thoughts and written experience is lost. That is way, way not cool.
In my opinion, the triple whammy of poor user interface design, obnoxious advertising, and insecure data backup make this a loser of a site. Hence, a rating of two.
And I know that I said the last criticism was my final criticism, but what’s up with .org? Clearly this company is not a non-profit. Travel Blog.org is a weak, uninspiring offering.
WordPress is way cooler. 🙂