Help Me Test A New Blog Widget

While I enjoy blogging, I don’t consider myself a technology expert when it comes to the pieces that make this blog “go”.  The folks at Boarding Area are the people behind the scenes making sure all those parts work the way their supposed to.  They recently asked me to test a new widget on my site.

It’s been hanging out for a week or so and doesn’t seem to be causing any technical issues, so I wanted to ask you to let me know if you think it serves any value having it there.  It’s a trip planning/comparison tool you can find located on the right-hand side of my site, and it looks like this:

Blog WidgetFull disclosure, if you book something through this tool, my site would receive a commission.  But, if you just use it to search, there’s no commission.  For the purposes of testing, I didn’t ask what the commission was.  I don’t really want to know what it pays if and until it actually looks like a valuable piece for the casual user.  More money is great, less money isn’t.  But, I don’t show up here to write on a daily basis because of the money.  I also don’t want a million distracting things on the home page, so if it didn’t hold much value it may not stick around.

I tend to book most of my travel directly with airlines and/or hotels, but I know many folks use online travel agencies like Expedia or Orbitz.

Let me know your thoughts if you give it a try by sending me an e-mail or leaving a comment.  I’ll tweet out a coffee or two randomly to individuals who give it a test ride.

About the Author

My goal in life is to fill my family’s passports with stamps, creating buckets of memories along the way. You’ll find me writing about realistic ways for normal people to travel the world, whether you’re on a budget or enjoy luxury. I also enjoy taking us on the occasional detour to explore the inner workings of the travel industry.

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  1. Ed, I’m probably not the target audience for it – but it works bug free for a couple of tests… I’m not familiar with so I’ll have to dig more into that (more out of curiosity). Its so far down that I’m thinking folks might miss this on your shorter posts — but I’m not sure that it detracts value so to speak.

    1. Thanks, Trevor. I don’t really think I want to move it up to the point that people couldn’t see the sign-up for my newsletter. Plus, there’s already two ads above it and I don’t think I want to stack a whole bunch of that sort of content “above the fold”.

  2. Tried it and it works fine, but would never actually use it. GDS systems being what they are, there is no point looking for flights across multiple systems as 99% of the time they are all the same price. So I just buy from the airline or my TA.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Ryan. You’re like me, though I haven’t had a travel agent since Clinton was President. For historical perspective 2 years from now just in case, I mean Bill, not Hilary. 🙂

      1. I’ve got a TA for the random times I need to ticket a 8 leg journey across 4 different fare buckets 🙂 As long as it’ll auto-price in the GDS, she’ll issue it (even it is clear an error) and she send the inevitable debit memo to the GDS due to their price guarantees. It’s a win-win, she gets more revenue towards her volume rebate, I get to ticket things that would otherwise be impossible.

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