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Hi folks,

Most of what you've been reading on the blogs and articles about simonseeks is more or less true, Simon is withdrawing his funding from the website as he feels the current business model is unsustainable as a long term investment.

However, some of the comments I have read are nothing more than hearsay and the ultimate future of simonseeks is still yet to be confirmed.  The current simonseeks team is mostly those who were involved back in 2009 when we first launched and we are all keen to see the site carry on in some form or other.  We are currently discussing ways in which we may be able to continue without Simon's investment and we hope to be able to give an update within the next few weeks.

As a result of the investment being withdrawn, we have had to stop the commissioning of paid content.  However, it is business as usual as far as anything else is concerned - including the community travel guides.

As you can imagine, there is lots for us to discuss and consider and I hope you can bear with us over the next few weeks whilst we come to an agreement on the future of simonseeks.

As always, and perhaps now more than ever, your thoughts and ideas are welcome.

Rick

 

Community comments (13)

Simon went down the route of banner, inline and side-bar advertising, basically burying the content and killing the site. The community spoke out against this but he wasn't listening. A year later, google changed their algorithms, essentially supporting contributors' stance that 'above the fold' content should be, well, content, not advertising. Recently, a Forbes article has said more or less the same.
If Simon had been in less of a hurry, the site could have worked; could have made money, that is. Shame that a great initiative was killed off by greed.

I'd be interested to know what happens to those of us who have never received any payment for our guides as they have yet to achieve the magical sum of £1.00, or is that £5.00?
I may never be paid the 84p I am owed!

I did try to make these comments before but it is worth repeating.

The whole expert recommended sideshow was to me an attempt by print writers to try to preserve their fiefdom in the online context, which is all social media, the wisdom of the crowd, very much tripadvisor comments on anywhere and everywhere, and highly believable for it.

The 'expert' advisers and editors were/are livinng in a different time zone/deeply provincial part of the mind set, most the editorial comments were self justifying their positions.

The whole show needs to be opened up to mass market, it should be rather like the news and views travellers exchange while they are on the road.

But the whole resource of the hotels and booking could be shoehorned into this uninhibited, uncensored and highly informative tripadviser
type format.

Simon might then get back some of what must have been a huge investments in getting all the hotels and travel agents on board. That part of the site now works extremely well, it is rather like Amazon investing in an amazing software system that works out what you like even better than you can yourself.

Over to you Simon or your heirs!

Remiss in following the blog again, sorry, but I have been checking the forum on a regular basis hoping for news. Jon Ryan submitted a comment today that might have better been put here, as was my response.

Common Mate, whats with all the Doom and Gloom?
Simonseeks has been a great experience and we had a ball, all thanks to Simon.
I hope it stays up, but if it doesn't i am sure Travelsupermarket will absorb it one way or the other..
P.S: "Always look on the bright side of life.."
P.p.s: tonite is going to be messy!!
see you later mate..

"Do it, Do it!!"
Adebisiiiiiiiiiiiii

Wish you all the best Rick and i am sure something positive will come out very soon. SS is very dear to me as it gave me an opportunity to get published :)

Cheers
Arif

Hi Rick,

Great news that Simonseeks is still alive. I'll continue to support the site by contributing and reviewing guides, if you still want people to do these things. A few questions spring to mind:

- Will community writers continue to get paid, and if so will it be comparable to recent payments?
- Will the site get a new name?
- Will you keep the "expert" material?

I think you need to publicise the site a bit more to bring new writers to it. I've read some pretty bitter things said about Simonseeks by other travel writers – tt'd be good to get them on-side, too.

Cheers Richard, if we can keep something going we will do. But until we have some agreed plans, I can't really provide any further update.

Hopefully we'll be able to share some news by next week.

Rick

Hi Rick,

Glad that a core of die-hards are working on a survival plan - it would have been a shame if the site had just disappeared. A year ago, before the much debated re-design, things seemed to be taking off, judging by guide counters and revenue...

Impatience, ambition, mistake...? Maybe we'll never know for sure, but I would suggest that Simonseeks aimed too high too soon.

Turning back the clock a year and being patient could reap satisfactory rewards in the long-term. And if the site I originally contributed to were to re-emerge, than I for one would be keen to submit more guides.

Best wishes with making some critical decisions.

Jon

Best wishes Rick - hope it works out for you. I've been spurred at last into setting up my own site, but it is a niche area so I'll still have some content for SS assuming it works out.

I appreciate your update. That's gotta be Stage 1 for the great "Simonseeks comeback" - keep your members informed even if you have nothing to say. We will only make up what's happening otherwise. Will ponder some suggestions in due course.

I've also noticed I've moved up one place in the rankings too - has Cliff also moved on? lol

Paul

Us young ones will always be in the shadows of Cliff ;)

Hi Rick,

Glad to hear you're planning to keep Simonseeks going but perhaps now would be a good time to get some of the original Experts involved in your discussions as to what didn't work and where to take the website next.

Best,

Natasha (Paris Expert)

Much appreciated. As soon as we have some plans we will open them out to a wider audience for feedback.

R