Bigger than TGO magazine?

If you type “Lightwave Ultrahike” into Google, you will see that blogpackinglight is the third listed site, above TGO Magazine. New media beats old? πŸ™‚

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22 thoughts on “Bigger than TGO magazine?”

  1. LOL Excellent

    I have to say, though – the TGO website might be a let down, but I think the magazine has improved immensely in recent months.

    1. I agree. I think Emily has done a good job in refreshing TGO. The web site is not very good but I guess they don’t have any money to spend. I wish they would be a bit more imaginative with their gear reviews though.

  2. I got the TGO this month for the Challenge application. I will hold fire on saying it is better until I finish reading it all. But based on what I have seen so far I am not convinced much has changed.

  3. Well, since the re-vamp some months ago, I think TGO has become a more all encompassing read. Be it subject matter, features and opinions et al.

    It’s not so Scotland centric and more ‘outdoors for all’ wherever you are centric.

    Granted, it’s not all to my taste but I come away more enlightened, amused, inspired etc than I do with say Trail.

    That magazine has really and truly lost it’s way in the past 12 months.

    TGO seems to have it’s fingers on the pulse with regards to the outdoors more so than Trail.

    It’s a cliche – boy racer mag versus old man’s mag between the two – but TGO has closed the gap a little and I bet their sales could prove it.

    All said and done – as one fellow blogger once suggested, “Blogging is the future – such websites as LFTO and TGO have their place but arguably more sources of information and entertainment can be found on blogs”.

    As time goes by – I’m more inclined to agree, to be honest.

    I’ve followed your blog and Martin’s for some time – in fact a long time! Both are informative, insightful and are a genuine good read. More so than what I can pay for off the shelf!

    And there are more and more blogs to do with the outdoors cropping up every week.

    I think thats great – it’s another online community emerging and I think that says it all really.

    But I digress…..

    1. Thanks, Terry, you make some interesting points. I agree with you on TGO vs. Trail. I think both have struggled with their web presence but Trail’s LFTO is probably better. TGO’s site seems moribund. They should have stayed with the link to OM.

      I think blogs are generally more interesting than magazines because of the variety and immediacy. However, whether they have staying power is another matter. Some early movers are clearly flagging. It does take a lot of time. For me, I can’t keep buying more gear for review. I’ve almost reached saturation point! I will transition to more trip reports.

      I’d also like to have some relationships with gear designers/manufacturers like PTC. The downside is that objectivity could be an issue. At the moment you know that every view is unsullied by any personal or commercial (i.e. free gear) relationship.

      I also think blogs will need to transition into more multi-media like podcasts and video to maintain interest. Another interesting project might be to bring some bloggers together to form a sort loose on-line magazine.

      At the end of the day, I do this for the love of the outdoors and to help others with my experiences, be it where I go or the gear I use. If it helps anyone, then that’s enough for me.

  4. Robin – interesting how the Google search works. A site like yours which has a very high level of hits ( circa 230,000) can be above TGO and commercial sites. I have noticed my relatively new blog ( 8 weeks and 1550 hits) can score high and be on the first or 2nd page of Google on a number search terms.
    My guess is that the frequency and relevance of the posts to the subjects seems to score high in rankings. It does show that keen amateurs can beat the professionals at their game. I still get Trail and TGO for the latest news.
    BUT without a doubt, bloggers can provide in- depth real world gear reviews, with the opportunity to add comments from readers which is invaluable and difficult to achieve in other media forms.
    Mark

  5. Trail 40,000 per month and TGO was 10,000 and lets hope the numbers are up. Blog view per month. Depends on the blog. But assuming five well read blogs a month do between them 6000 to 10,000 page views each they are being read as much as the mags.

    Mark how do you get those numbers for Robins hits?

  6. Martin (Robin – if that’s OK to answer on your blog) If you look it says 230,000 total views. On my blog stats it says a rather more modest 1581 views. Robin has been blogging as far as I can see for nearly 3 years – me 8 weeks. Forgive me if I have got the terms mixed up . When I said hits – meant views. Is there a difference?
    Mark

  7. Markswalkingblog – hits and views are different things.

    For example, you could have a site with several thousand hits but how long did the visitor stay, which page did they read, why and how did they come across your blog.

    All these factors add up.

    My blog could have a million hits for all I care but it’s the people who stay and linger and come back that I note.

    I note gear reviews, Coast to Coast stuff get alot of traffic.

    But for me by far and away the most views, stays, traffic are for my videos. They come from all corners of the globe for them – it totally dumbfounds me, to be honest.

    As Robin mentions – it’s why a visitor comes and stays and plenty of bloggers have something unique to offer where others are just more of the same. And thats not meant to be a negative, far from it, of course.

    I found Blogpackinglilght because of kit reviews and the Laser Comp modifications, for example. As it happens, I enjoy Robins blog anyway – I enjoy reading his thoughts and opinions.

    There are websites where you can join to promote your blog more and sort of club together – but I’ve not personally been inclined to join up. But you do find some very cool blogs on there – from all corners of the globe.

    I’ve been asked to ‘guest post’ for example on a number of blogs. And it’s about a particular subject, too.

    The bloggosphere is a very interesting one and only now do I think to a degree it’s about to take off.

    I think Robin, you’ve been quite prophetic in your previous comment πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  8. Terry thanks for clearing that up for me. In WordPress, the blog stats seem to me to be quite detailed. It tells me what posts are the most popular – gear reviews and trips in my case. It also details what search terms people have used to get to my site and what links on my site they have clicked.

    If manufacturers starting to send news releases to popular blogs, then I think that magazines would be in trouble. They could advertise on a blog at a low cost as well and still reach a highly targeted audience.
    Mark

    1. I agree with you on your last point.

      You’ll see more and more of that I reckon in the next few years – gear companies view certain bloggers as “influencers” – rated as highly as well-known names in magazines who test gear, for example.

      Blogs arguably have a more targeted impact in that respect. Think tents like the Scarp – thanks to bloggers in the main the awareness of that tent.

      I think sites like LFTO and TGO will struggle – their owners will be desperate to keep folk and interest onboard for advertising revenue or source pools of info and trends etc. They are journos after all – but I’d consider many bloggers to be, too.

  9. I personally prefer Blogs when it comes to gear reviews as generally the gear has been bought by the user. I’m less interested in gear reviews where the gear has been supplied, a few items here and there is fine as long as it’s made clear that it was supplied rather than purchased but if someone had a mountain of gear sent them to review they’d only scratch the surface and you might as well just check the manufacturers website. A person who has bought an item generally uses it longer term and the reviews tend to be more detailed.

    As far as advertising is concerned I’d prefer not to see it. Obviously if someone posts a list of links to manufacturers or retailers they personally recommend it’s a different matter entirely. IMO when a Blog tries to become a e-magazine it’s not that far removed from any other commercial publication and as such would be of less interest to me.

    1. I agree on the gear review front, most definitely.

      As far as advertising goes, I agree with you there, too. After re-vamping my blog (and still doing so) I’ve had to consider advertising (of which I’m unable to divulge) but I don’t want it to turn my blog into an e-magazine either.

      So, I hope to keep any adverts relevant to me, my subject matter and audience.

      I can see others out there who wouldn’t agree and perhaps will feel pressured to say and act differently, to be honest.

      But the discerning outdoor enthusiast can see through that anyway – or at least I can.

      Adverts or none – be it for blogs or forums etc etc – it always comes down to the content at the end of the day.

      1. This has been an interesting exchange of views and probably warrants another post. Personally, I’m not going to carry any advertising. I’m not running a business and WordPress is free so I don’t really have any expenses. I’ve only had a couple of bits of free gear over the past three years: a pair of HiTec Boots which didn’t work because they weren’t right for my feet and another small piece of camera gear that didn’t work for my current camera (so I didn’t review it).

        If Fitness Footwear had offered a free pair of Salomon Quests, I would have accepted, because I really wanted them. As it was I got them at a reduced price. I am keen to review only bits of gear that I want or feel would fit in with my backpacking system.

        What would I like? I’d be interested in trialling an Aarn pack (perhaps the tent as well), the TN Solar Photon 2 (when it comes out), a RAB waterproof like the Momentum, the PHD Sigma pullover, some Accapi base layers. All quite specific things that I might buy (if I didn’t have so much gear already!).

  10. It has been an interesting exchange of views and I thought the same how it may warrant a post – ya beat me to it πŸ˜‰

    I’m not supposed to say anything but I’ve got some stuff in the pipeline to test – but they are relevant to me and my activities.

    One in particular I’m really looking forward to.

    Alas, I cannot say anymore and it will have to wait. 😦

  11. Robin,

    As an independent reader who gains a lot of enjoyment from blogs such as yours I definitely have a preference for blogs where the blogger has generally purchased things themselves independently. Once things are provided to the blogger for free, as a reader I get concerned that the bloggers independence could get compromised to some extent. Also, the site can get less focussed, because the blogger might have to review mediocre stuff (that they would not necessarily have bought themselves) as well as the good stuff.

    Having said that, I was interested to see how much interest a ‘commercial’ walking guru such as Chris Townsend generated in the POE Ether Elite 6 sleeping mat just by saying he was going to use it for one of his long walks.

  12. Adds can have a place on a blog. I have allowed them and am trying to get them to be relevant content to those who read the blog. If they annoy me I would stop them. One thing I don’t do is chase numbers. Be yourself and blog your outdoor experience. If folks like it that is great. I follow blogs of folks who as far as I can see or recall don’t comment on or follow mine. I am not bothered in the slightest. I like their blog and if mine does not connect with them I wont worry about it.

    On kit I had one test bit of kit sent to me. I agreed as I fancied a pair of boots to try after so long not using them. I hated the comfort and did not give them any good marks apart from the rather good sole unit. Other companies have asked me to test kit and endorse stuff including Argos. No has been the answer.

    On the Chris Townsend effect. I can say he pointed out a real gem we had missed in the Elite mat. To date apart from one pair boots I did not like all kit on my blog reviewed is bought by me. Like you Robin I want only kit I want to use. If an add pays me money for new kit I would be very happy to take the money.

    1. Martin said, One thing I don’t do is chase numbers. Be yourself and blog your outdoor experience. If folks like it that is great. I follow blogs of folks who as far as I can see or recall don’t comment on or follow mine. I am not bothered in the slightest. I like their blog and if mine does not connect with them I wont worry about it.

      My sentiments exactly Martin but I couldn’t find a way to put it. πŸ™‚

      I haven’t been offered kit myself (apart from Hendriks MSR Reactor Pass-around which ended up costing me money as I had to return the stove and then went out and bought one!! )

      I have been asked to provide links in exchange for discount but as I hadn’t actually used the retailer I declined. I felt that providing a link could have been seen as an endorsment and I could hardly endorse a company with whom I had no personal experience.

      Don’t get me wrong, if a respected company offered me a product that I felt was something I would consider using I would take it but only on the understanding that the review would be published without being cleared by the manufacturer first. It’d not un-common in publishing for reviews to be sent 1st to the manufacturer to allow them to comment or re-issue an item if they feel the original has had a fault prior to the review being published.

      There was an example 2-3 years ago in the photographic field where a respected reviewer tested a camera from a very highly respected company, found a serious image quality issue but was assured by the manufacturer that it would be sorted prior to the general release of the camera. The review was published without mention of the fault but unfortunately the fault was still present once the camera was on general release. The reviewer took a lot of flak initially as people questioned how someone of his experience could have missed it. In the end he had to admit what had happened and that it wasn’t un-common for reviews to be conducted in this way.

      I’m pleased that of the bloggers who’s opinions I respect (even though I may disagree) and who have commented are all of a similar opinion. There’s a noticable air of honesty when commercialism is minimised and people post their thoughts, hopes and disapointments openly, long may it continue to be so

  13. Links for discount is something I would say no to immediately. Wrong in my eyes agree with you action. We wont always see eye to eye and that is the wonder of blogs. We will connect with some and others will hate the blog we write and even us. That is life. Blogging the outdoors is great and all who have commented here have shared much on their blogs and I have gained a lot from it. Long may it continue.

  14. what a great read! good to know that the blogging community and the outdoors community are looking after both with such energy and principled views….as Martin says, long may it continue.

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