THOSE OF US who’ve been part of Matador from the beginning will remember what it was like. Back in 2006 when the original “Matador Travel” was launched, there was no community like ours. It was our little corner online, a kind of “virtual campfire” as co-founder Ben Polansky liked to call it, our place to come back and tell our stories and listen to others’.
As we evolved into a media company, first launching Matador Network and then our education community MatadorU, we’ve always maintained a vision for one day integrating everything together into a single platform. That day has finally arrived. The new Matador community is here! Major features include:
- all of the original Matador Travel community member profiles, blogs, and photos
- full integration with Matador Network channels, topics, and destinations
- ability to search and find travelers based on interests or by destination
- clean and easy to navigate user interface
- beautiful front end look for users’ travel blogs, photo galleries, and activity
There are dozens more minor features as well. Here’s a quick walk through:
The new community was co-designed by Matador CTO Stefan Klopp and Matador Network Architect Ian MacKenzie. When I asked them to describe the community in their own words, they said:
Our goal with the newest version of the Matador Community was to provide a place for travelers to showcase their best work, and to interact with other like-minded travelers. The members’ blog pages are designed to look like magazine articles to encourage the user to write quality content. In addition, we limited galleries to 15 photos so that users are forced to be selective with their work.
We tried to make the new site as easy as possible to navigate, and interact with other travelers, writers, photographers, and Matador editors. We give the community the power to promote the best content through the “Stoke” button, which has also been integrated into the network.
We have only scratched the surface with this re-launch of the community. In the future we will see further integration with the network and MatadorU, increased usability, and more ways for users to promote their content.
From our new tagline: What is travel culture?
We wanted to take this launch as an opportunity to announce Matador’s new tagline: Travel culture worldwide. Over the last decade, the ability to travel quickly almost anywhere, to organize our travels, and to share perceptions and expressions through the internet, has given way to an unprecedented travel culture. We have entered an age where not only being “world travelers,” but feeling very much at home in the culture and native language of multiple countries, has become the everyday reality of thousands of people around the world. We collectively form a nation of permanent travelers.
Travel culture has no borders. It has no official language. It has no age restrictions. You can’t buy it or sell it. But you experience it everywhere you go. It’s there when the bus drops you off on a roadside in Mexico. It’s there when you’re writing in your journal. It’s exchanged when you sleep on other travelers’ couches, or they sleep on yours. It’s there when someone begins teaching you their language.
Matador has always been about sharing travel culture worldwide. We hope you’ll join our community and add to the conversation.