The show is over for another year, and it’s time to get back to the business of publishing great travel stories and developing ways to further monetize each and every page. Our new partnership with Trip Advisor is going to be big…big because TA is so big and at the travel show it was clear to us that to a majority of travelers, this is their go-to site. So instead of lamenting losing traffic to them, we can embrace it.
I got an email from my friend Solmaz who lives in Iran whose photograph graces our logo bar at the top of the new Trip Advisor section. She wrote that she was honored to have been chosen, and every time I open up that page I think of my trip to Iran in November 2008 and the excursion out to the desert when I met Solmaz and her friends.
Despite the crackdown in Iran and the impending sh*&*storm over the developing nuclear plans, she posts often on Facebook and her posts seem happy. When I was there, many young Iranians told me they were depressed about their lot in life, the long hours they had to work and the oppression of expression and constant hassles with the morality police.
To me, Iran’s progress in getting rid of the old Mullahs has been painfully slow. But the passage of time works in favor of that majority of young people under 25, so as time moves forward the old guys will die off, leaving the freedom-loving urban youth to take over. I wish them a quicker transition and hope that we don’t do something stupid over there.