Like all the Guides at About.com, we're real people. We would like to hear about any suggestions, ideas, or questions you might have about the site. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I have a correction to make about information in one of your articles - how can I make these changes?
- Just send me (at email@example.com) a link to the page or pages on which you've noticed a factual error or outdated information, along with your correction. Feel free to add links to any relevant websites or articles pertaining to your correction, as this can be helpful when I need to verify information before making changes.
- I'm trying to find out about gay travel in a specific destination, and I'm unable to find any articles about it on your site. Is there a time frame or plan for when you'll be writing about new places?
- First, be sure to go to the search field on the home page, or to the site's destination lists, to make sure I haven't already included information on the destination you're interested in. It is true that geographical coverage on this site is limited to places I've actually visited. I travel about 10 to 15 days a month and try to visit as many new places as possible, but I'm just one guy with a very limited budget and only so much time to travel. I can't get to every place I'd like to, but I welcome suggestions about places you'd like to see written about.
- Coverage on this site seems heavily slanted toward the United States and Canada - is there a reason you don't include more coverage of international destinations?
- For a partial explanation, see my answer to the question above. I'm a bit limited by time and budget on where I can travel (and no, neither About.com nor any of the other outlets I write for cover any of my expenses - that's actually the norm in travel writing, believe it or not). It is true I've written more about U.S. destinations than international ones. This is chiefly because the vast majority of About.com users are in North America, and also because I'm based in Portland, Oregon, and it's more cost- and time-effective for me to focus my travels on the United States and, secondarily, Canada and Mexico. That said, I love traveling internationally and plan to keep adding coverage of non-U.S. destinations.
- I own or work for a bar/hotel/restaurant/tour company/event or other business. How can I get you to write about it on this site?
- I'm happy to add LGBT-relevant events (such as Gay Pride festivals and parties) to the events listings on the site. I also sometimes mention new gay-friendly bars and businesses in my blog, which I update once or twice a week. Any extensive or evaluative coverage of bars, restaurants, hotels, attractions, and other businesses I base on first-hand visits. Definitely feel free to e-mail me (at firstname.lastname@example.org) about your business, but bear in mind that I won't likely be able to write about it until I next visit your area.
- Is the coverage on your site influenced by advertising, barters, or freebies?
- Nope. I have no connection with About.com's ad team and no knowledge of who advertises on the site. As I wrote up above, I cover my own travel expenses. Mostly, I pay for trips out of my own pocket. Additionally, I sometimes work with tourism offices to secure partial assistance with transportation, accommodations, and other travel expenses. Occasionally, I'm invited to visit a museum, restaurant, or bar. In an ideal world, I'd earn enough revenue from my writing (and other freelance endeavors, which include editing and teaching) to cover all of my expenses, but travel is costly, and to some extent, I am dependent on - and very grateful for - assistance from tourism offices and some businesses. However, this occasional assistance has no bearing on whether I write about a particular establishment, or how I evaluate it.
- Oh come on! You're saying you won't write favorably about businesses or places that have assisted you with your travels?
- That's exactly what I'm saying. Look, in the end, readers only trust my coverage if it's honest, carefully researched, and objective. I'd be damaging my credibility and ultimately my career as a travel writer if I let assistance from businesses or destinations influence my coverage. If I couldn't honestly recommend a place or a business to a close friend, I wouldn't recommend it on this site or in any other publication I write for.
- Can I e-mail you for help planning a trip or advice on a particular destination?
- I receive about 20 e-mail requests per week for travel and trip-planning advice. Unfortunately, I haven't the time to answer most of these. My job producing this site for About.com is part-time, and I spend as much of this time as I can adding new content and updating existing articles. It's just not physically possible for me to find the extra few hours it would take each week to respond individually to requests for travel advice. And even if I could find the time, there's not much I could tell you about a particular place that I haven't already written on this site.