Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Why ads?

World66 is an open content travel guide. It's free as in speech and free as in beer, so why are there ads on almost every page? It's a question we get every now and then and we think it deserves a response.

The obvious reason is: we get money when people click on them. And although World66 works only because thousands of travelers worldwide write about the place they visit, we have to spend an lot of time keeping the site in shape, we add features, we moderate. We're pretty busy doing that and we have costs. The ads are there to cover these costs.

There are of course other solutions to generate income. We could ask people to support the project and put a paypal button so that they can make donations. Wikipedia does that and for them it seems to work. But I don't see why that solution is better. They ask people who really like the project to pay for everybody else. We do not have to ask for money, but get some income because some of our visitors choose to click on ads.

In the end, we think ads work best. We believe there is a group of users for whom the ads actually add something. We use Adsense and Adsense does a great job putting quite relevant ads next to our travel content. You are likely to find ads from hotels in Stone Town on our Zanzibar pages and in some cases the information displayed in the ads may be just what that visitor is looking for.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Have smartphone, will travel

Back in 1997 when we first started discussing about an open content travel guide, one thing was very clear to us: in the future travel guides would be used on digital devices. So, one of the first services we launched when we set up the site was a Avantgo channel to get travel info. It worked fine, but when Avantgo changed their business model (they wanted us to pay although the channel was for free) we stopped promoting it.

Later with the help of our friends at Plucker, we developed standalone Palm guides, which you could install on your Palm and use while you were away. We still have those, but they're not as fresh as we would like them to be.

Recently, we have been busy working on a version of World66 that can be browsed by phones as well as other devices. The news is: we have a beta version of World66 in XHTML

We would like to invite you to test drive it. You can find it at:

Alternatively, you can use:

Which doesn't contain images.

One of the cool features the XHTML guide has, is that when you start, it looks up your IP number and automatically brings you the travel guide of the country where you are. In most cases, that's what your will be looking for, isn't it?

Since this is in Beta, we would appreciate it very much if you could send us feedback on how you fared. Please include the country you were in when browsing, the phone you used and the browser you had on that phone.

Maybe there are also some people using Avantgo who want to test whether you can use the XHTML-guide as a custom channel. It should work, I think.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Photo feed of World66

With the help of our friends at Flickr we have set up a photo feed that features the best photos uploaded to world66 every day.
It gives a quite good impression of the good quality of the photos our members take and also of the amazing array of places they visit: old towns in Germany, big cities in Asia, and small places somewhere in the jungle of Amazonia. You name it, they've been there, written about it and uploaded the best pics to the site.

To stay updated cope paste the ULR of the feed in your RSS-reader:

Otherwise, you can visit:

Thursday, November 04, 2004

10,000 images on

According to our latest count we now have more than 10,000 travel photos on As they say images are worth more than a 1000 words, that would make over 10 million words. Phew!
When we first launched the possibility for people to upload their travel pics just one year ago we never imagined it would be this big a success. Another 10,000 for the next year?