The Tour Egypt Blog System Wants YOU
by Jimmy Dunn
Its true, the Tomb of Nefertari, perhaps the most famous and beautiful of all the tombs on the West Bank at Luxor, is closed at this time and may never reopen to the general public, but this story isn't really about that. Its about how we found out. However, one may read about the tomb's possible permanent closure on the Tour Egypt Luxor News Blog.
This story is really about Tour Egypt's new blog system, which was responsible for the Nefertari news, and we are looking for a few more good bloggers. A blog is basically a journal, often used on the internet to report news or other developments regarding specific topics. A blog is accessible by its operator over the net, allowing him or her to directly write to the blog.
Mamoud Jahlan and Jane Akshar form an Egyptian/English marital team that, together, run a small but high quality tourism business (Flats in Luxor) in Luxor, Egypt specializing in providing flats (apartments), some I believe on a short term basis, and local tours. I can vouch for the company's good reputation, having utilized their services personally. For example, when I took some of my staff to Egypt recently, their company arranged for our Luxor balloon ride and transportation.
They are also people in the know when it comes to Luxor, evidenced by Jane's numerous feature stories published on Tour Egypt. She has good connections with officials in the area, including those in both the tourism and antiquities sectors (It doesn't hurt to have the Chief Antiquities Inspector for Karnak as a neighbor).
But now, Jane Akshar is also the Official Voice of Tour Egypt in Luxor through her Tour Egypt Blog. She's definitely the go-to girl in Luxor if one has an event, news item or other story related to Luxor, because we will only allow one blog on Luxor News, which is hers, and Tour Egypt is the most widely read source on Egypt in the world. In the next couple of days, her blog will be directly linked from Tour Egypt's home page, as each major blog will be. Furthermore, in the short time that she has run her blog, she has definitely proved her abilities by producing outright scoops, such as the Nefertari item.
Jane's blog was actually the first for Tour Egypt, though she will soon be joined by Andie Byrnes who will be operating an Egyptology News blog, and myself, who will operate basically a master Tour Egypt blog (about the blogs, sort of a separate index page). Now, we are looking for a few more good bloggers, though we will not be running any sort of "blog farm" as such. We would like to find well connected bloggers located in each major tourist destination in Egypt, though we will only allow one per location, with the exception of Cairo. There, we will limit bloggers to one specific neighborhood or sector, such as Zamalek or the Giza/Saqqara areas. However, we are also looking for bloggers on specific topics, such as tourism advice, Egyptian music, sports, alternative thought (related to antiquities) or any other subject that might be of interest to our readers. We will allow only one blog per topic, because each one will be monitored, completely supported and I might even add, pampered by the Tour Egypt staff. We want to get to know each blogger and provide them with every resource Tour Egypt has to offer. In fact, we will even be advertising the blog system specifically.
Obviously, this is an excellent opportunity for people such as Jane. Though we will not allow extensive self promotion on these major Tour Egypt blogs and she must work to honestly report the happenings in Luxor, she and her company will nevertheless receive some extensive exposure, as well as enhancing their reputation as a knowledgeable and well connected tourism company. Furthermore, as this article shows, we will also take every opportunity to give a free plug for our bloggers, because we consider this a win/win situation for both our bloggers and our readers.
Hence, running a Tour Egypt blog is advantageous for any tour company or individual guide. However, any Egyptian business owner might also benefit. We will allow on each blog a link to their business site and a short, permanent blurb about their business, though the posts to the blogs themselves must reflect an honest coverage of the specified topic. Of course, we will welcome Egyptologists with digs in Egypt, or who specialize in other topics, to blog. They would be provided with links so that people might contribute to their efforts in order to help provide them with funding.
Other individuals with an interest in a specific topic, such as soccer, Egyptian movie stars, or even alternative theories relating to the pyramids might want to blog just for fun, and we will welcome suggestions for other topics though, for example, we are not much interested in such matters as controversial politics.
So how does one get a Tour Egypt Blog? Simply write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject header, enter only the word, blog. Tell us about yourself, where you live, your qualifications and the topic you wish to cover. Keep in mind that we will only allow one blog per topic, so if you wish to blog about something that might be relatively popular, it might be better to request such a blog sooner rather than later. However, we will by no means accept every topic or every blogger, though we will consider one's enthusiasm a major advantage.
Soon, we will also be using our blogging system for a few other purposes, so look for these in the near future. We will be setting up a specialized system for those who wish to post a travel log.
These will not be limited like the major Tour Egypt blogs, and the process of setting one up will be automated, though they must be used exclusively as a travel log. We will also be providing each of our AETBI members, our association of travel businesses, to have blogs for announcing specials and discounts, so look for this enhancement to Tour Egypt in the very near future as well.
Obviously these efforts, and others I might add, are being made at Tour Egypt for the benefit and use our readers, and we hope all of you take advantage of these resources and enjoy your Tour Egypt experience.