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In January, the month of my birth and not coincidently that of Albany Kid, I like to look back and reflect on the past year. It’s a transformative period when I apply lessons learned personally and professionally. For Albany Kid, this means that you can expect a few changes.
Albany Kid Family Travel isn’t my baby anymore.
On January 19th, Albany Kid will celebrate its second birthday. In blog years, that means the site is well into adolescence; we’ve grown quite a bit, but we still have a ways to go.
Albany Kid has gone from a hyperlocal blog to a family travel site with a national audience. Two years ago I started out listing weekly events in the Capital Region, and then I began to share fun things to do with kids in Northeast New York that could be done anytime. Now Albany Kid is still all about fun and educational family adventures, but we’re focused on both local and global enriching family travel.
As our coverage has widened, so has our audience. Albany Kid currently receives 15,000 pageviews per month from all over the United States, and these numbers are growing daily. We have about 100 E-mail subscribers, 430 Facebook Fans, and the Albany Kid’s 550 Twitter following is supplemented by my personal Twitter following (now at nearly 3000.)
Now our transmedia platform is expanding into Google+, YouTube, Foursquare, Stumbleupon, and the latest newcomer which is taking the social media scene by storm – Pinterest. (You can find us on any of these sites by clicking on the icon buttons on the top right-hand sidebar.) As our platform grows, readers have more ways to be a part of our community. At Albany Kid, we want you to be entertained and inspired, but we also want you to have a chance to contribute so that we can learn from each other.
You see, the real reason Albany Kid is not my baby anymore is that it’s becoming our community. While my personal focus is on family travel, Albany Kid has become the collaborative effort of various writers – with different voices, different niches, and different homebases.
Early on, I invited readers to share their stories and their specialties. It took a while before the invitation was accepted, but now Albany Kid writers run the gamut from the occasional guest blogger to full-time contributing authors who help shape the site well beyond its content.
We receive articles from both professional writers looking to widen their audience and those who have stories to tell, but who are looking for tips on how to do it. Regular contributors find that we offer the camaraderie of peers, a shared learning base, and yes, pay for freelance articles.
While individual contributors differ in how we participate in the story, we do have one thing in common. We’re on a mission to inspire lifelong learners to travel the world.
And if we can help change the world while we’re at it – even better. One of my first posts on Albany Kid was an article supporting a grassroots campaign to bring Trader Joe’s to the Capital Region; this month it was announced that that dream will soon become a reality.
Who knows what we will accomplish through the power of storytelling? But it almost doesn’t matter because the interesting bits are in the telling.
As the renowned Greek poet C.P. Cavafy expressed in Ithaka, a poem inspired by the Odyssey, we “hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery.”
Happy Birthday, Albany Kid!