The annual TravelBlogCamp took place in London this week as a fringe event to the World Travel Market exhibition.
The event, now in its third year, is organised by Travel Rants editor Darren Cronian. Tnooz is a media partner and helps out on the night.
There are already number of good summaries from the event kicking around on the web, most notably by two of the speakers that participated in the evening.
Over the years the topics have changed but the spirit of the event remains - journalists, bloggers and PRs getting together for a few hours to discuss, debate and network.
In some reasons the event has followed the trends of the day - in year one there was much discussion about the role of bloggers, differences between them and journalists, legal issues.
In 2009, newer channels such as Facebook and Twitter captured the attention, as well as a now infamous and impassioned defence of the agent model and evolution by business travel agent Murray Harold.
But, interestingly, this year kind of saw a return to basics:
Reasons for blogging in the first place; how to build communities around a blog with engaging copy and interaction; the reality of blogging as a business; why quality should hopefully lord over the ordinary; and, inevitably given the presence of two from the UK's Times travel team as speakers, paying for content.
Steven Keenan and Ginny Light, from the Sunday Times and The Times respectively, took a fair amount of heat from the audience after the News Corp-owned titles created a paywall around its online content earlier this year.
While there are many reasons for such ire (trying to entice writers to contribute for the the travel sections without currently paying them, being one example), the paywall concept itself appears to bring many writers (be they bloggers or journalists) to bouts of public anger.
First of all, it would have been interesting to see if the reaction had been the same if the Guardian had spearheaded the paywall drive, given that News Corp's initiative (also at the Wall Street Journal) is believed to be very much a personal ambition by controversial proprietor Rupert Murdoch.
But, secondly, there is actually a certain level of irony around the paywall idea, as one of the last comments from the floor (from Mark Hodson of 101Holidays) indicated.
For much of the evening, there was healthy discussion around earning money from blogging (VelvetEscape's Keith Jenkins was the only person among the 140-odd in the room who earned £1,000 or more from online advertising).
Hodson, himself a former freelance travel writer who worked for The Times, noted that perhaps the Times was simply implementing (admittedly on a wider and more complex scale) the idea that if content is good enough then people may well be moved enough to pay for it.
And, perhaps, this is what many, many travel bloggers eventually want?
Food for thought...
NB: Pic - Tnooz t-shirt winner @travelwithamate and two other attendees.
NB2: HappyHotelier has a vast collection of wonderful photographs from the event.
NB3: This author (and moderator for the night) introduced the evening with a bitesize summary of perhaps where the blogging community is right now, and issues in the wider industry. Repeated here, after a couple of requests...
PRs... hopeful, but moaning
Why can’t we just all get along!!
Social media gurus
THE Social Network
Oh, it’s not really hash...
Geo-for goodness sake I don’t want people to know where I am!
Geo-I’m so popular I need everyone to know where I am! – all the time...
User generated content
PR written content
The elephant in the room
The REAL year of mobile?
But what’s it all about?
Anyone for Olympics 2012?
But why are here?
Because we love to travel