It’s fair to say I started my passion for writing travel reviews from reading, and later writing pieces for tripadvisor. Unfortunately, I’ve brought that to an end…
I’ve been writing about my travel experiences for about 15 years, and started writing for Tripadvisor not long after it came on the scene.
It was a place to air my views, and I suppose for a time I got caught up in the whole “attainment” ego trip, seeking to gain more and more points, win those “badges” for various achievements and climb up the reviewer ladder.
So, many years later, I had attained something like senior contributor, had over 12,000 points – not bad considering you get around 100 points per review, and have achieved over 88 badges, from having over 60,000 readers, to become a level 12 resort expert. and the list goes on.
But what did it actually mean? Well, nothing really. I got a few likes from other readers, and a few random questions that made me feel like a real expert for a time, and to be honest I just enjoyed writing. That’s what its all about for me.
So what changed to make me hit the “close account” link?
Well I’ve just written a review for our latest hotel stay, which I thought was OK as did many of my readers and friends, and I’ve gained a few extra follows on my website which was unexpected. So I’m happy. And although it’s a bit of a duplication, I posted the same review on Tripadvisor like I always do.
Now, I know they have a few rules that you mustn’t transgress, and I got a slight ticking off for trying to mention my blog in one of our reviews, but normally I don’t have any issues. But this time, they said my review needed amending as it mentioned too many other businesses and the review is supposed to be about one single business – in this case the hotel.
Ok, fair comment, but reading it back, the mentions were fairly basis and lacking in detail, because I had already reviewed them at length on Tripadvisor.
So, I chop the review around a bit, remove the name of a couple of places, and basically just mention that the hotel is surrounded by some nice bars and restaurants, mention the beaches etc and adjacent town amenities, like shops, car hire etc.
Now these are things that I think are important when reviewing a location. I’m not just reviewing the accommodation but also its surroundings – because a hotel is more than just a building. It’s a base for your holiday, and you are more than likely going to venture out of it, so I believe its worth knowing a bit about whats outside the lobby doors.
So, having amended my review, I was most amazed to get another message from Tripadvisor stating that I needed to focus on the business and amend my review some more.
Now, two thoughts occur to me. This is MY review, and I feel that it is balanced and gives a good idea of whats on and around the place. After all, when you look at a hotel in a brochure, you want to know more than what the hotel food is like – that’s why even the tour operators mention the local amenities.
I give my reviews for nothing, and expect little in return BUT when you start meddling with my reviews, then its enough to make me rethink the relationship with Tripadvisor.
So, if I can’t write the reviews the way I want them, then I’ll stop posting them.
This blog might not have anywhere near the number of visitors that Tripadvisor gets, but at least they are undoctored and unvetted and share the content that I think is important.
It’s a shame, but they are MY reviews, and frankly I don’t get enough benefit from Tripadvisor to start and let them dictate what my content should be.
So in future, this is the place to be if you want to continue reading my reviews – pass the word.
Robert, World Traveller.