Hi, my name is Dave, and I live in and write about Greece. This is my latest newsletter sent to subscribers of Dave's Travel Pages.
I send out a newsletter once a week to Dave's Travel Pages subscribers. This page is a copy of the newsletter to be sent on Sunday 10th December 2023. Sign up to the weekly newsletter here: Latest from Dave's Travel Pages
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Sunday 10th December 2023 Dave's Travel Pages Newsletter
A slightly different newsletter for you today!
If you didn’t know, I’ve been travel blogging since 2005. As I write this, Dave’s Travel Pages is 18 Years 9 Months and 2 Days old!
(By the way, here’s the first blog post I ever wrote).
Over the years, the way people have found this blog has changed dramatically. Additionally, the type of content I've produced has also evolved.
To begin with, I was a pure blogger – writing about my personal experiences with just family and friends reading the blog.
Later, people started finding it on search engines. As a result, I gradually swapped to writing more dedicated guides to destinations, with a heavy focus on Greece.
Lots of things have changed over the years, (Facebook wasn’t even called Facebook when I started!). But, I think the most disruptive period is hitting travel blogging now.
Search Engines and AI
It's a fascinating yet challenging time to be a travel blogger. With Google reshaping how search results are displayed, many of us in the blogging community feel the pinch. It's become harder for our stories, travel guides and experiences to find their way to readers like you.
You’ve probably noticed that over the last 6 months, search results never quite give you the answer you’re looking for. It seems like Google shows two pages of widgets, video shorts, and ads before you even get to anything meaningful.
In my opinion, this is preparing the ground for the introduction of an AI generated answer machine that will be at the top of search results. And then, will original content from blogs like this one be needed at all – how would you even find it?
Of course, that’s saying we are even using search engines a year or two from now.
Perhaps we will all have AI agent apps on our phones. ChatGPT is making headway in this direction.
As a blogger, all I can really do is listen to reader feedback (that recent survey was incredibly useful – thank you everyone who filled it out!), and adapt to the new reality.
I’ll be working with Vanessa on some more guidebooks like this one, starting a brand new YouTube channel dedicated to Greece, getting a decent Facebook group going for readers to ask and answer questions, and introducing a new Design Your Own Trip feature.
In addition, I’m trying to work with ChatGPT rather than against it, and have just released a Greece Travel Planning GPT.
At the moment, this is only available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers (and I don’t expect many if any of my readers to have that!). However, my guess is that OpenAI will want to make the concept of GPT’s open to free users of the platform sometime next year.
Greece Travel Planning GPT
So what is it?
Basically, it will take you through step by step to help you plan a trip to Greece, whether it’s your first time or you’ve visited before.
The GPT will ask you a series of questions, and then consult all the articles I’ve ever written before coming up with an itinerary suggestion.
You can also ask it specific questions about places in Greece as well as travel tips. It’s totally interactive!
Is this a replacement for the travel blog or first-hand knowledge?
At best consider it a brainstorming device that can come up with logical ideas and options you might not have thought of.
It was fun to put together, and if you do use it, I’d love to hear from you.
However, the chances are, 99.99% of my readers won’t use this GPT as this is really first-adopter level stuff.
And that’s totally ok. I prefer that you keep coming back to Dave’s Travel Pages for more Greece travel information! Bookmark the site, use the site search function, and click around to find more blog posts and travel guides to Greece than you ever realised was there!
What I would ask though, is to have this GPT and AI thing in the back of your mind.
I think in a year, or maximum two from now, the way we search for information is going to change as radically as the move from libraries to the internet did – only much faster.
It’s a strange new world we are entering!