I have felt, since mid 2006, only six months after launching this website, that the work I've done here was very important. This was fortified along the way by the occasional roses sent to me, saying "Good job, keep up the good work."
Of course, there were those who sent me only the thorns off roses, pointing out way too many typos and sentence structure mistakes that were outside the institutional box.
To me, it is more important to tell the story and get the point across than to go full throttle, obsessive compulsive on improper spacing, tees not crossed and eyes not dotted. (those guys are going to have field day with this paragraph). If they knew that most of the paragraphs and sentence structures on this site were deliberate, it might cause them to have nightmares depicting characters jumping out of a hardcover dictionary, chasing a school teacher around a podium where kids stand up straight and tall, wiping sweat beaded brows, as they try to win an international spelling bee for their school.
I have never claimed to be a journalist, though I have been accused of it. I have never claimed to have a journal for that matter, though I do see the similarities. I have been accused of having a blog however, and given the choice between being labeled a blogger or a journalist, I would prefer blogger.
Personally though, I dislike the term "blogger". People say that word with the same lip curling and nose wrinkling they use when they say term "puppy pooper scooper". I frequently see the similarity between this website and that lip curling term though. I do "scoop" alot of industry "poop" here. If you have ever owned a puppy, you know how difficult scooping runny, slimey puppy poop is. (Quick, look in the mirror. That is the lip curling, nose wrinkling look I am talking about) I have the same problem here.
When I think of journalists, I think of people who are more concerned with their own fame, fortune, and rising within the ranks of worldwide print infamy, than they are in telling important stories masses of people need to know about.
They work in structured environments, where a shirt somewhere in the level above them, more likely a closet full of shirts, make decisions on whether their story is worthy of mass distribution on 'Page One', or at minimum will get pressed into a tidbit the size of a pixel and buried on a page so deep within a newspaper that it will be mostly used to line the bottom of bird cages and cat boxes.
Cruise Bruise is pretty much, just the opposite. Stories are told, because they are important. I do frequently forget to run the spell checker for common typos, those it can correct. Though the spell checker does little to correct those Freudian slips such a using 'by' for 'my', 'you' for 'your' and those really pesky typos where 'can not' becomes 'can' and 'would' becomes 'would not', changing the entire meaning of a sentence. It is nearly impossible to proof your own work for those 'slips', and get it right 100% of the time.
One visitor even called me a moron, because I spell out the contractions instead of using them, such as 'does not' instead of 'doesn't'. The complaint to me was moronic, because I use those words so that international language translator software can read my work. Most are not programmed to understand contractions.
Visitors to Cruise Bruise come viewing in 25 languages, so designing this site has been focused on user friendly content worldwide, not just designed for Americans with too much education, too much time on their hands and not enough life experience to know good user-friendly website design from bad.
Though, I will admit that I gained some personal satisfaction when I was told today that Cruise Bruise has been awarded the distinction of being in the Top 50 Best Travel Websites Of 2007
worldwide by The Times Online. The site was listed #11, with none of those pro-industry sites that bash Cruise Bruise and cruise ship victims in general being found on the list at all. At last, the tide is turning.
The list description says " . . . a recognition of sites that have shown real innovation during 2007 and which have launched or improved their offerings to become truly worthy of being added to a favourites list."
We were also mentioned in the Times Online's top 100 Travel Websites
list published today, under the subcategory of "Road, Rail, Ferry, Cruise"
This has come after being chosen the Site Of The Week July 24, 2007
by The Times Online. It was this summary that prompted me to change our website design this past summer, making the site more user friendly and less "scruffy". This was likely a contributing factor to us making the Top 50 list.
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