Where shall WE take TropicalPenpals?

I’m heading home in just over a couple of weeks and I’m thinking where shall we take TropicalPenpals. What do you the people that use TP want out of it? Ideas I’m having is currently a rewrite of everything so far and integrating into a much more multi media site which I think may even take a couple of months to get where I want us to be. Consisting of a main page which has 2 main central features the latest articles and below that the latest posts on the forum integrating the two into a merged unit. Down the left hand side the links and integrated search on the right video interviews and related videos to the region. There is one major issue besides all this work and shooting interviews is that should TropicalPenpals move up from just one region that being the Philippines and mainly Cebu to the existing articles etc. being integrated into a Philippines section and TP becoming more international where articles can be added into different countries and regions. This is a major step forward for TP so I really do need peoples feedback on what they want from the site as this will be around my third re-write of the site since it began so want to get it right. Not a complaint as simply the site has evolved over the last couple of years simply because software that wasn’t on the market has appeared and made things more accessible. Aswell as my familiarity of the software has changed over time and improved. If we do go multi region I would like people to take the helm in parts of the world providing unbiast information and more of a RAW review rather than one that for example got a free night in a hotel so the hotel is “great”. I want to know there are bed bugs and prostitutes hanging around outside as much as I want to know the views outside are breath taking and stunning. As its the ability to be unbiast that gives people the opportunity to explore aswell as give the right information to all. Making the next travellers visit an experience to avoid or look forward to.

2 comments for “Where shall WE take TropicalPenpals?

  1. Cemlyn
    July 27, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Hi Matt, I think what you have now is pretty close to what people need. The indexing has helped. I agree with branching out for other areas in the Philippines and I am more than happy to contribute. My biggest disappointment since being in the Philippines is that the expat community does not help itself more. I want to know where there is a mechanic that does a proper job on a maintenance job, a good plumber, bricklayer etc etc. I’m surprised that some filipinos don’t realise how lucrative having a good name with the expats could be and target what it is we want. So for me I would want somehow to target people to find out what they know. Some people are reluctant to just come forward with information but are more than willing to answer questions over a beer. I don’t know the best way of doing that but asking everyone you know to do some simple info gathering from their friends, fill in a very, very simple set of questions listing the best in a number of different things. Where’s the best place to buy a car, a good solicitor for buying land, buying a house, arranging for a will and so on and so on. Where’s the best place to go watch Premier Football, the rugby internationals and so on. Best shop to buy a few of those rare items from home we can’t get in the supermarkets. Let your growing population of readers be your field journalists !!! a little over the top maybe but you get my meaning!!

    I’m going to be doing quite a lot with simple solar and wind products. Home produced and using all the stuff that we find everywhere like plastic bottles. A simple hot water system can be produced in less than a day, costs about 300 – 400 pesos and will heat water to well above 60C and as high as 90C if that is what you want. The problem becomes how do you stop it from getting too hot!! I am very happy to do this as a set of ‘How To’ articles for your site. There are lots of things I could do like that and am more than willing to churn them out on any number of products as well as tips and tricks for different things as well. I could set up my own site but I know I won’t keep it up as well as you keep yours going. I’d rather supply you to be honest.

    So I am happy with what you’re doing mate just a little more information.

    Have a great trip to blighty

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      July 27, 2011 at 3:47 am

      Hi Cemlyn,
      this post is churned from the older stuff may not be going to the UK this year as I’m struggling to get hold of my daughter. But thanks for the support on the site, the indexing will be a pain for a while yet but will get there. Also looking at doing a secondary site just for photo galleries so people can submit theyre own as well as collate all the photos I have into it as well so that its easier to browse. I know some people are just looking for e.g. photo of the Basilica rather than reading about it same as a lot of people have a few holiday snaps they want to share but dont want to write a blog post. I appreciate any input and the “where is?” idea sounds like a great one might even be better as a spin off with a directory bit like Yahoo Q+A’s.
      The important thing is getting everyone to contribute to building it and creating an upto date index with the information as it goes so that its easy to navigate for e.g. “plumber in Cebu city”. I think half the problem is though people aren’t keen on putting theyre name to someone elses work as ok they did a good job for them but the concern being would they be good next time?