Hiring travel writers with a passion for discovering destinations, plenty of travel experience, able to work independently, equipped with computer and digital camera and with sound knowledge of a foreign languageFound on Twitter: Good writing will soon become ubiquitous. Professional writers will soon become rare. (via @scrawledinwax)
What is important to understand is that in the age of "user generated content" everyone feels entitled to write and give an opinion on absolutely everything. Personally I'm not sure how soon GOOD writing will become ubiquitous but if the popular saying is to be trusted it will take about one million words for the average user to become a good writer. At a pace of 100 words per rant and assuming one per day it will take a couple of decades to get there.
However, professional writing and in particular professional travel writing is being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of words that floods the medium, diluting the value of the few words that have been crafted as opposed to just hammered on a keyboard. So how is a good travel writer supposed to make a living?
Someone jokingly said "become an editor". What I'm about to suggest is a variant that those specialized in travel may prefer: become a "destination editor".
Find your little corner of the world, some largely unknown region and assume it as your own. Settle there (even better if you already live there) and get to know the people, their culture, the things that make them proud and figure out why other people need to know this area. Then set up your Travel 2.0 shop, recruit eager locals to do what they already do: write lots of words, take lots of pictures, participate in lots of online forums. Once you get some momentum it's time to do your part. Craft an incredibly unique story that becomes the backbone for all those little snippets of loose content. In a way think of yourself as an anthology editor whose job is to orchestrate the ongoing story of that little, micro region of the world.
In acoustic medium, I had ventured some ideas about what type of medium we were creating through a culture of participation. Somehow I believe a great travel story fits perfectly into this type of medium.
If this sounds like something to get excited about, I may be hiring travel writers after all. Leave a comment. Stay tuned.