San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 8, 2008
MatadorNetwork.com is the first travel website to optimize a high quality online magazine with the interconnectivity of a social network. Think National Geographic meets Facebook.
"By blending the most dynamic elements of new journalism with our online community, we've created something totally original," says co-founder Ross Borden. "Our professionally-written travel content is published in an interactive blog format that links back to a growing social network. In effect, every article becomes a conversation."
The community includes an increasingly connected group of young, talented freelance travel writers and destination experts who write passionately about the places they know and love.
Their grassroots energy is at the heart of Matador. Editor David Miller explains: "Matador is all about your passion and connection to a place, whether you're a traveler or a local. We've had an outpouring of voices from around the globe, people writing and blogging about hometowns, as well as places they're traveling. These unique voices find their home here at Matador."
Ian MacKenzie, editor of Brave New Traveler, one of the most popular sites on the Matador Network, adds, "There's a huge void for quality publishing on topics relevant to the changing world of travel. The online landscape has long been dominated by websites focused on providing 'cheap travel deals.' They've been missing the whole reason people travel in the first place: to experience and to grow."
Matador seeks to fill this void with a collective of 7 distinct but interconnected sites, which, taken together, form the Matador Network.
Matadortrips.com offers detailed destination guides that, as editor Tim Patterson explains, "start where the guidebooks end, and lead you straight to powder stashes, secret beaches and sacred mountain peaks." The guides here highlight hidden gems like The Mt. Kanchenjunga Circuit in Nepal, and other places far off the beaten path.
Focusing on individual language schools, study abroad programs, as well as ESL and other teaching opportunities abroad, Matadorstudy.com provides prospective students and teachers with inside information and resources gathered by fellow students and teachers. Readers can learn everything from The Best Places To Study In Brazil to tips on learning foreign languages. Similarly, MatadorVolunteer highlights top volunteer opportunities and organizations worldwide, from Volunteer Organizations in Less-Traveled African Nations to profiles of non-profit groups like The Advocacy Project based in the US.
MatadorNights.com explores the world's hottest nightlife, with fresh takes on familiar places such as the Top 10 Nightlife Spots in NYC. It also provides hard-won tips for concert and festival goers such as a First-Timer's Guide to Participating at Burning Man.
Matador's travel tips and practical advice blog, TheTravelersNotebook.com, examines travelers' questions, such as How To Travel to and from Cuba, while promoting greener, more sustainable practices during travels and at home.
Finally, BraveNewTraveler.com features thoughtful essays like Dark Tourism: Bearing Witness or Crass Spectacle and explores what editor Ian Mackenzie describes as "the inner journey through the outer world."
At the end of every Matador article and guide is a section entitled "Community Connection" that links readers to destination experts and like-minded travelers within the Matador community. These resources serve as points of entry into deeper conversations about travel and place, which, in turn, lead to off-line partnerships and real-world connections. Matador member Lyza Hiltner explains: "Through Matador I was able to connect with a young couple living in Bogota, Colombia. When I traveled to Bogota last month, they opened their home to me and showed me a side of Colombia I never would have found in my guidebook. Even though my trip is over I can still keep in touch with them through the Matador website."
Likewise, Matador is an effective platform for aspiring travel writers to showcase their work. "I got my start on Matador," says travel writer Tim Patterson. "When I signed up last year, travel writing was just a dream; now I've published feature articles in major publications and just returned from a guidebook assignment in Patagonia - a gig I found through Matador."
From organizations and volunteer opportunities to travel groups and collaborative media projects, Matador members are creating a growing network of socially and environmentally conscious travelers around the world. Their collective work puts them on track to become the most vibrant travel publication online.