Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Monday 1 July 2013

Interview for the Globetrotter newspaper

There is a first time for everything. Today you can congratulate me for my first interview!

I have taken part in a few interviews before, but never was on this side of a microphone before. This was also the first time for Travel Photo Blogging to appear as the main topic of an interview.

The interview was done for an internet magazine called Globetrotter. It is a monthly newspaper published by the Slovenian branch of Hosteling International. It is being published in both Slovene and English.

I have been in touch with some of organisation's staff members before but this was my first opportunity to meet Anja (a volunteer working for Hostelling International Slovenia) in person. I must say we had a really relaxed discussion about our common love of travel. Since she has also done her share of travel, at some point I had an impression I should be interviewing her. The exchange of useful travel tips was definitely going both ways. It was really fun and I think we both enjoyed sipping a drink in a relaxed atmosphere of one of many cosy bars Ljubljana has to offer. The two photos were taken during a short stroll through the Ljubljana city centre.

The main topic of the interview was obviously travelling. Apart from that I also shared a few blogging tips for everyone thinking about starting their own blog.

Not only Anja but everyone at Hostelling International Slovenia I have been in contact with so far is really nice and they know just what a traveller needs. They really put a lot of effort in finding relevant information for their guests, invest in hospitality and always try to connect with the local environment. They are a part of a global organization you should always consider when looking for accommodation.

If you are wondering what the interview was all about you can check it out directly on the Hostelling International web page.


Tuesday 16 April 2013

The last day of voting at Big Blog Exchange

As you have probably noticed by now, there is a Big Blog Exchange competition going on at the moment. Actually it will end in just a few hours (12pm GMT), which means you still have a chance to vote for me.

I have to take this opportunity to thank you all for voting for me. Thanks to you - my trusty readers, it looks like I will be ranked within the top 100 bloggers from all over the World - I am at #64 at the moment.
Everyone from the top 100 will have a chance to actually become one of the lucky 16 travel bloggers and exchange countries for 10 days. It is all in the hands of organizers of the competition from here on - Hostelling International.

You still can help me get a better ranking in these last few hours of the competition. To give me your vote, you can find all the information in my post about the Big Blog Exchange competition. Thank you all, again!


Thursday 14 March 2013

Big Blog Exchange competition

As you are probably aware there are countless contests going on on the internet each and every day. It you are a regular visitor you might have also noticed that I do not participate all that often (or at least I do not bother you - my faithful readers with it). This time I am going to make an exception.

I recently found out about an amazing contest going on and I filled my application form in straight away! It seems this is a perfect opportunity for me to travel again and also for you to follow me (through my blog) on this great travel adventure. This is where you come in and make it all possible for me.

So prettyprettypretty please, just click on the "VOTE FOR ME" banner above and it will take you to the BBE page where you will have to insert your e-mail and press 'vote'. You will receive an email with confirmation link you have to click, so your vote could be confirmed. You can use multiple e-mail addresses to cast multiple votes!
You have an exclusive chance to make me very happy with just a few clicks. I promise to blog extensively about the travel adventure if I make it to the top 16 finalists.


Wednesday 6 June 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Assisi main square


Tuesday 5 June 2012

Instagram - Sidebar plugin for your blog

If you are an iPhone or an Android phone user, you probably already know Instagram. If not, you really should get to know it now.
For quite some time this app was reserved for iPhone users only but when it also became available for Android it really got popular. Since lately it also has all the cool features on both platforms. Look for it on Google Play - it is free.

Below is a simple example of a photo with one of many available filters applied in Instagram. It is really easy to get great results with this tool.

It is one of my favorite mobile apps. Since it produces really great photos I thought of implementing it into Travel Photo Blogging for a while now. So when I found this SnapWidget that does just that, I simply had to fit it somewhere inside my sidebar.

It is easy to customize and I think it looks great. You can check it out in the bottom part of the right column of this blog under the title Our Instagram Feed.

You can also check out our Instagram feed on this link or search for us under the username travel_pb.


Thursday 31 March 2011

New Blogger dynamic templates look best on blogs filled with photos

As some of you might have noticed already, Google Blogger has introduced a set of new, dynamic templates for all blogs hosted on Blogger platform that have feeds fully enabled.
It might not be all that obvious, but yes - Blogger is also my blogging platform.

This new feature is obviously meant to be used with blogs that contain lots of photos.
I must admit it looks great on mine!

If you would like to try it out yourself, simply add “/view” to the end of the blog URL, e.g.:

There are a few different templates available and you can switch among them by clicking on the blue drop-down list in the top right corner of your screen.
You can also access all these different layouts directly through the blog URL - for example:

This new feature really looks great as it is. However I just can't help wondering if Google has some plans for upgrading it later on. Let us just wait and see.


Tuesday 23 June 2009

A room full of cockroaches (Day 15)

We woke up in Hotel El Kennaria in Marrakech. We didn't sleep too good, but it didn't bother us much, since the plan was to move to another hotel. After a few morning photos of the street bellow from our room's window, we were glad to leave this hotel behind. We checked into the nearby Hotel Mimosa, which was recommended to us by a couple we know back home. This was the single hotel recommendation we got before the trip and accordingly our expectations were high.

The staff at the Hotel Mimosa were extra friendly and we also liked our modest room and also the insides of the hotel. On top of that, everything looked very clean.

After we dropped our backpacks by the bed, we went straight out to get a breakfast and a glass of fresh orange juice. We discovered a really nice café and pastry shop in a street just off the Djemaa el Fna square.
Delicious pastries were flushed down with freshly squeezed juice. This was the one thing we just couldn't get enough of during our three weeks in Morocco.

Once again we were running out of local currency and it was time to find a working ATM machine to withdraw some Dirhams.
We only had Maestro/Cirrus cards that (as we found out) didn't work with all local banks and ATMs. We finally found La Banque Centrale Populaire ATM that was ready to cooperate.
I expected one of many banks with western bank logos on their ATMs would work with our Maestro/Cirrus cards, but no luck. I guess it would help to have a Visa card for backup when going to Morocco. However if you have problems withdrawing money from various ATMs, be sure to look around for La Banque Centrale Populaire logo. It worked for us.

After a visit of a quite interesting nearby palace we decided to take an inside look at a Hammam (a traditional public bath). Not a fancy - touristy one, but a real one. The kind Moroccans go to.

Since this was our first time visit, we didn't know what to expect. A young receptionist from the small hotel we were staying in, tried to prepare us for the visit (you can check out a few tips on public hammam etiquette here). He found this situation at least funny, if not hilarious and was giggling all the time.
He directed us to a corner shop where we got the necessary hammam items we were missing: black soap (savon noir) and two scrubbing mitts. After a short negotiation this added up to 25 dirhams. We already had shampoo and towels.
The receptionist tried to tell us that the price for entering the hammam could not be more then 15 dirhams, we didn't manage to get in for less then 60 dirhams (and we tried - hard).
We entered through two separate doors - one for men and the other for women. I went in dressed only in my underwear. It became hotter and hotter as I went deeper into the hammam and didn't stop until I reached the last room which was really hot. I grabbed a bucket, filled it with hot water and began the routine. There were a couple of locals who pointed me to a thing or two, but unfortunately conversation wise, that was it. None of them spoke any English, not even the guy from the reception who came in after a while and gave me a scrubbing massage of some kind.

It really was a very interesting (sauna like) experience, lasting way over an hour and also included a quick scrub, so I guess even if it was overpaid, the price wasn't all that bad.
M. had a similar experience but got tired of it a bit earlier then I did. So we met at the entrance, where she was occupied talking to a local couple. They seemed disappointed when I showed up - this meant an end to their conversation with a freshly scrubbed and of soap smelling blonde.

We were too exhausted for any further activity. The hammam experience also made us quite hungry, so we went to grab some food from one of the stalls on Djemaa el Fna. It was quite amusing watching two locals repair a light at the food stall next to ours. It was like watching an episode of MacGyver on TV, with a good deal of suicidal tendencies feel to it. The whole time through my meal I was waiting for someone to get electrocuted. Fortunately the Moroccan MacGyver saved the day and there was light again.

After a cup of tea, we went to sleep. Well... that was what we wanted to do.
As we got into our room and switched the light on, everything started moving. There were dozens of cockroaches running around, trying to get away from the light. After squashing a few, I gave up and decided to go to sleep despite the annoyance.
M. just couldn't believe it, but to me it seemed obvious that I couldn't win a battle against the far greater numbers of annoying little creatures.

I zipped myself into my sleeping bag and soon fell to sleep. M. followed after a while but didn't dare to close her eyes for another couple of hours.
That night we slept with the light on - at the only place in Morocco that was recommended to us back home. The only one with cockroaches too!


Friday 20 March 2009

A brand new look for Travel Photo Blogging

I thought it was time for a change. Those of you who visit me more often might have noticed it already... the Travel Photo Blogging 2.0 look.

First time visitors can see the old template on the screenshot bellow.

What do you think? Is this a good change or should I have kept the old one?
I would love some feedback on what you think about it.

I spent quite some time looking for a suitable candidate among many templates on the Web. I tried a few, but none of them was as good as this one.
I had a few requirements, that I think this new template meets perfectly:

  • it had to be a Blogger compatible template

  • it had to be a two column template

  • main column had to be wider compared to the old one (larger photos look better)

  • it had to be a free template

  • it should support a banner at the very top

  • the more customizable it would be, the better

  • and last, but definitely not least, it had to look nice.

I found exactly what I needed in one of many templates at Our Blogger Templates.
They offer a wide range of nicely designed free templates and if you are looking for a new one, it's worth to take a look.
There you can also find some instructions and a few tips on how to do it properly.

I noticed something strange though... since I changed to the new template, my blog seems to be getting substantially fewer hits then before - especially from Google. That's only about 10 percent of the average from a few days ago (judging from the Google Analytics report)!

Does anybody know why this happens? Is this just a temporary thing or what? Is there something I can do about it?


Monday 21 May 2007

Link exchange

I have decided to dedicate some space on this blog to blog links.

If you think you have a blog that is worth linking to... let me know. You can leave your contact info in a comment. I promise to take a look at all of the blogs suggested.

If you like my blog, but don't want to exchange links, you can write it down as well.

As this is a photo blog, I am also posting a photo from my travel-photo-archive. This one was taken on the Marina di Pisa beach during one of my many visits to Tuscany, Italy.
Can't wait to go there again!

I have done it once again! I accidentally disabled comments in this post.
Now the commenting is back on, so you can finally respond to my request.


Tuesday 17 April 2007

A new look for Travel Photo Blogging

Today I made a few changes to the template. I like the layout of the template just the way it is, so I didn't go changing it.

This is the first visual makeover of this blog since its birth. I would dare to say it is not the last.

So how do you like it? Do you have a suggestion for an even better blog?


Thursday 5 April 2007

An example of the worst possible timing

In my previous post I tried to promote BE (BlogExplosion) - it's a great way to boost your blog traffic and have fun in the process.

However - I chose to do that in a worst moment possible. As my blog post was published, at BE they have decided to move to new servers (the very same day!). Of course this meant their homepage was inaccessible for the day and nobody interested could check the BE page.

I am trying to console myself that the reason I haven't given away any credits yet was unavailability of BE webpage.

However, the be webpage is up again and my offer still stands - 50 credits for the first three of you signing up.
You can read more on the subject in this post or go to BE homepage by clicking on the banner below.


Monday 2 April 2007

Explode your blog traffic - join BlogExplosion

Have you heard of BlogExplosion yet?

I believe most of you have. It is one of those blog traffic generating tools.
But it's more than just that. Even if you are using it I am pretty sure, you haven't tried all of what it has to offer (I am also not exploiting all of the traffic generating tools yet). Keep reading this post and you might even get a new idea or two!

Its primary idea is surfing other blogs to earn credits. You can spend those credits for bringing traffic to your blog (1 credit = 1 visit to your blog).

The fact is that BE (BlogExplosion) has much more to offer besides just that:

  • You can battle other member's blogs. And by doing that you can see how good your blog really is (and generate traffic in the process). Do you dare?

  • You can play various games (Sudoku, Scratch Cards, Arcade games etc). Most of them give you a chance to earn credits.

  • There is a vast community of active bloggers. They can help you solve your problems (blog related and others), review your blog and advise you on possible improvements. You can earn credits for helping others in the same way.

  • Another way of drawing traffic to your blog is through banner advertising. Once they are at your blog, you just have to persuade them that it's worth coming back. How hard can that be?

  • You can also listen to a really good BE Radio and earn credits just by doing that. If you use your computer most of the day like I am, you can earn a hundred credits as a daily average.

These are just some of the things BE has to offer. There is much more to explore.

Some sources say that the quality of traffic generated by sources similar to BlogExplosion is really low, but that is not entirely true.
From my own experience I can tell you that unfortunately most of the traffic generated this way doesn't come from future regular readers.
But after a couple of days of not using BlogExplosion, I have noticed, that quite a few BE members are still visiting my blog. Of course a lot depends on the quality of the blog itself. You have a blog worth visiting, right?

Why would you believe me? You shouldn't. You should try it out yourself!
You have nothing to loose. But you can win a lot (of traffic) and have loads of fun in the process. :)

To help you make the right decision, I will transfer 50 credits to the BlogExplosion accounts of the first three of you who decide to join by clicking on the add below.
You have to send me an email so that I can make the transfer. Please include the part of confirmation mail from BE where your username and the date of joining can be seen. Send the email to msinkovec* (replace * with @).


Tuesday 27 February 2007

Web statistics

This is turning out to be another IT related post, but don't go running away just because of that. You might learn something useful.

Like the title suggests I will be writing about web statistics and analytical tools. The free ones that is.

I have been using different kinds of web counters for ages.

Not much time has past since we were all happy with a simple number counter on the entering page of our webpage. Then along came advanced web statistic tools, which unfortunately were available only for a certain monthly fee. One of the most promising ones was Urchin Web Analytics Reporting Service.

On a beautiful sunny day Google has decided to buy them and offer the fully functional web analytics tool to the public for free. Google decided to name this product Google Analytics. Follow the link if you want to find out more about it.

In one of the previous posts I have already posted a screenshot of one of the available statistics - Web browsers used by visitors of this blog.

Google Analytics is also linked to Google AdWords service – together they make a truly powerful tool. Go check it out, it will help you bring targeted traffic to your site.
You can find the link to AdWords at the bottom of the right frame.


Tuesday 6 February 2007

Photo equipment

It seems appropriate to let you know what equipment I am using to publish photos on this blog.

The leading role in this show belongs to Olympus C-5060 WZ. I have purchased it on eBay in June 2004 and it has been a great companion ever since.

The main reason for choosing this kind of camera (a cross between a compact and an SLR) was that I wasn't sure if I was ready for a digital SLR. They are quite expensive and a pain in the ass to carry around. I am afraid that with the next step there will be no alternative. I think now I am ready for an SLR - but not before my Oly bites the dust.

It performs great in almost every situation. The only things that bother me are:

  • only 4x optical zoom,
  • not so great performance in poor lighting,
  • grainy results when using high ISO settings.
Fortunately, there are many great features for every one of the mentioned downsides. Here are just some of them:
  • settings for almost everything you think of,
  • very useful WideZoom (don't believe those who are saying: "You don't need that! Just take a couple of steps backwards and you get the same result."),
  • robust body (comes in handy when your girlfriend drops it on the floor),
  • great battery life,
  • great macro performance,
  • CF and xD memory card slots,
  • etc.
In addition to that I also use various kinds of photo software. For browsing through my photo collection I am usually using Google Picasa. It has replaced ACDSee - my former photo browsing tool.
For editing I prefer Adobe Photoshop. Although I try not to alter the real feel to the images I often use it to give the final touch to the photo.

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