When I first started blogging in May 2002 it was just sort of a way of chronicling my thoughts as I came across deals, learned more about frequent flyer miles, and wanted to share my enthusiasm with a small group of friends.
I used to write something and get 30 hits a day. My ‘big break’ that led to a few HUNDRED views a day was when I started producing IMPEACH NORM MINETA bumper stickers back when he ran the Transportation department (which then had control over airport security).
It was my ‘personal blog’ and I still think of it that way. And I often have the sort of filter that one expects from a blog that isn’t actually being read by anyone.
Back in 2006 a New York Times piece covered me (with a really bad picture of me working in a diner) about how blogs were ‘beginning to feel the power’ and had influence in business travel. Back then I think I had perhaps just 1000 visitors a day or so.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate. More so than I could have ever imagined. I’m not wealthy, I probably never will come even close. Growing up I used to fly a lot, my parents lived on opposite coasts. And I would board the plane, look towards the first class cabin, and wonder who those people were… knowing I would never be one of them. I wouldn’t afford it, and didn’t understand who would pay such a premium to have it.
And here I not only find myself in the forward cabin on domestic hops most of the time, I travel the world in international first class, nearly for free using miles. I stay in high-end villas, looking out at the ocean, with my own pool.
I’ve even gotten to help start a frequent flyer community, and take on a special trust in managing the nominations and voting for the loyalty industry’s most important awards (vote on by the world’s frequent flyers).
And these are all in my extracurricular time.
All around just live an extraordinary life, that I never would have imagined, for which I’m both humbled and extremely grateful.
Along the way, folks here have along come for the ride, some have even benefited along with me, the tips and suggestions I’ve made have proven useful to many readers if the emails I receive are to be believed.
But an interesting thing happened yesterday morning. I wrote a post about using Delta miles on Saudia and as a bit of a throwaway I described how I value other miles more than Skymiles — not just United, US Airways, American, and Alaska miles but also Air Baltic BalticMiles and Ukraine International Panorama Club miles. It was meant as a joke, ‘who wants Ukraine International miles?’ but without any actual analysis of that program (which does have some value). “And yet even that’s better than Skypesos.”
Gee, I’m such a geek, obscure frequent flyer humor, BalticMiles are better than Skypesos! But when the best deal of the week came to us through the Icelandair Saga Club I suppose maybe it’s not that obscure after all.
On a Saturday morning I had a throwaway line about BalticMiles in a post on Delta redemptions. And I get a comment back from the head of… the Air Baltic BalticMiles program.
So on the one hand that’s kinda cool. On the other i actually feel bad for my snarky aside because the BalticMiles program is one that’s actually really popular with its members.
That struck me a whole lot more than when my recent post about confusing breakfast policies at the Andaz Wall Street brought a comment from that hotel’s GM, or when my post a few weeks back about housekeeping and other issues at the Intercontinental Boston last month led a manager there to weigh in as well.
I realize it’s playing on a different stage than when I first started writing under the blog title “More Room Throughout Coach” during my first 7 months or so.
I’m not sure whether that does or should change my approach to posting. For the most part it probably doesn’t. Sometimes I get comments on my blog about what I should or shouldn’t share, what I should or shouldn’t post on (some people love trip reports, enjoy photos of first class cabins, others find it annoying or view it as ‘filler’). I’ve always written what’s interested me at the moment I decided to write. I’ve shared what I think, for better or worse. And taken the attitude that if folks find it useful they’ll read. That I do hope what I have to say is interesting or helpful to some folks. The feedback I do get is really really positive and tremendously appreciated, it’s kept me going for over 10 years when I hear about people earning miles and then redeeming them for honeymoons that they never thought possible, or how much their business travel lives are made easier by things I’ve written about.
But it’s still a good reminder that I also have a responsibility to be fair and accurate, not to get over-excited by the outrage of the moment, that there are consequences to what I post. I do my best already, but I’ll redouble those efforts, and hope that I live up to the trust that readers place in me by continuing to visit.
In the meantime, I appreciate what a great ride it’s been here these past 10 years. And if you do enjoy reading or find value in the postings, you can follow me on twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog at http://viewfromthewing.com/feed/, subscribe to emails (just enter your emails in the box on the left hand side of this page), or Like or Subscribe to me on Facebook.