I Lost 3,552 Instagram Followers and I Couldn’t Be Happier

Yesterday has been dubbed the Instagram Rapture. Instagram deleted millions of inactive and spam accounts from their system. The carnage was across the board. The official Instagram, Instagram account lost a whopping 18,880,211 followers!

One account (chiragchirag78) went from 3,660,468 followers to………8! Yes, a 99.9998% drop in followers. (Don’t bother looking for the account now. It has been deleted.)

Mainstream celebrities lost followers in the seven figures as well: Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) lost 3,538,228 (14.8555%), Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) lost 367,924 (7.3475%), and Kim Kardashian lost 1,300,963 (5.5315%). Data from

I lost 3,332 followers, which honestly seems about right. About 2 years ago I had a sudden spike of several thousand Instagram followers with no corresponding increase in engagement. About 3,500 seems right. That was about 9% of my total followers.

The reason I couldn’t be happier is because those 3,500 “followers” weren’t really followers at all. I’m guessing they followed me as camouflage, to make their accounts look more legit.

My engagement levels, of course, weren’t touched. I’m still averaging over 2,200 likes per image in December. The only difference is that now I have a better idea what my true engagement ratio is, because now I have a more accurate denominator.

Social media networks are an ecosystem. Like a forest, occasionally you have to get rid of the underbrush and dead wood.

Twitter is probably the worst offender. I’ve seen estimates that up to 80% of all Twitter accounts are bots, spam accounts or inactive. Were Twitter to do the same thing as Instagram (and I hope they do) I’d bet my follower count would drop by and even larger percentage than Instagram.


Since my Twitter account got verified, I’ve been a magnet for bots and other accounts that have no tweets, profile images or followers; the textbook sort of accounts that are bogus. I see them follow me every day.

I don’t think the problem is as big on Facebook, but the fake accounts damage the ecosystem there even more, because of how their algorithm works. Fake accounts on Facebook also have been known to like ads, which hurt advertisers and engagement rates.

The only reason I can think as to why this hasn’t happened before is that each platform needs to show some big number to their shareholders. If Twitter or Facebook were to eliminate a significant percentage of their accounts, it wouldn’t look good.

In the long run, however, creating a healthy social ecosystem is a huge benefit and will pay off.

I hope this becomes an annual event for Instagram and I hope the other major platforms join in throwing out the dead wood with the new year.


Thoughts on the State of Blogging at the End of 2014

Pam Mandel recently posted on Facebook and her blog about the state of blogging.

I’ve honestly been trying to stay out of discussions of blogging, but I figured I’d write a rambling post giving some of my thoughts rather than writing a long rambling comment addressing some of the issues which were brought up. This isn’t going to be a single coherent article so much as it will be addressing many of the various topic which were brought up.

Most Blogs Suck

Yes, most blogs suck.

Most musicians suck. Most actors suck. Most athletes suck. Most artists suck. Most cooks suck. Most writers suck. Most photographers suck.

Blogging is no different than any other human endeavor. Anyone can pick up an instrument, sing or play sports. The vast, vast majority of people who engage in these activities do so out of enjoyment and for recreation. Of all the people who play guitar, play football, cook or sing, only a small number are able to make a living doing it. Of those, only very small number are able to be truly successful at it.

Even players who make it to the NFL, most only play for 3 years or less and are bankrupt within 3 more years of leaving the league. They have nothing to show for being a pro athlete once it is all over.

Most people who make money playing music are performing at bars or weddings, not selling out stadiums. Most pro travel photographers are shooting weddings, senior portraits or pictures of babies at the mall. They are solid, journeyman professionals who aren’t getting rich, but are making a career in their chosen field.

It shouldn’t come as a shock that blogging follows the same pattern. There is a huge group of people who just have a website for fun or as a hobby. There is a smaller group of people who try to make money at it, and they primarily make money selling links and sponsored posts. They are like the bands who play at weddings and bars. They might make a living, but they aren’t Bruce Springsteen or Madonna either.

When we talk about blogging, we have to put it into the same context as everything else humans do. It really isn’t any different when you look at it in the big picture.

What we don’t know is the denominator for any of the things I listed above, including blogging. How many blogs are there? I dont’ know. How many cooks are there? How many football players are there? It all depends on how you choose define it.

Blogs Are Judged by the Worst, Print is Judged by the Best

There are a lot of hack writers out there. There always have been and there always will be. Yet when discussing journalism, everyone immediately points to Woodward and Bernstein (a 40 year old example) to show what journalism can be.

When talking about blogging, we tend to look at the worst.

Travel writer Paul Theroux said this about blogging:

I loathe blogs when I look at them. Blogs look to me illiterate, they look hasty, like someone babbling. To me writing is a considered act. It’s something which is a great labor of thought and consideration. A blog doesn’t seem to have any literary merit at all.

I wont bother to point out the lack of research and fact checking in a statement like that and just let it lie there like a statement by a drunk, racist uncle at Christmas.

Because there are no gatekeepers, anyone regardless of skill can start a blog. Hence, the quality of the average blogger is going to be much worse than the quality of the average writer who works for a publication. It will be that way forever.

When people criticize bloggers, they tend to do so with a very broad brush. (See Paul Theroux) There is very little recognition that there is good work happening online, or that being successful online requires a very different skill set than being successful working for a company.

Despite the fact that there are now bloggers with audiences larger than major magazines and newspapers, often much larger, we are still more often than not given a seat at the kids table.

Pay for Play

I have several thoughts about this:

1) With respect to free trips, I think most of the blame lies at the feet of the travel industry. They are giving trips to people who have only been blogging for a few months and/or have no real audience. I see this consistently. If someone is giving away free trips, I don’t fault the person who takes it so much as the person who gives it.

If there is a class of travel blogger which exists just to get free trips, it exists because the industry allows it to exist. They don’t do even basic due diligence and are not part of the discussion online. There are a few PR and marketing people out there who really seem to get it, and that is because they are active online and know what is going on. They, however, are a small minority.

2) Paid posts and constant promotion is a trap for bloggers. There are some bloggers who seem to never travel unless someone else is paying for it. Everything they do has an associated promotional hashtag associated with it. (In fact, I think a good litmus test of what travel bloggers to follow is to just look at how interesting they places they visit are) Ultimately, this is self defeating. I don’t think they have very strong followings, even if they do have twitter followers and get a fair amount of traffic from Google. Using my above analogy, they are the cover bands of travel blogging. You can eek out a living doing that, but I don’t think you are even going to make it really big if everything is promotion. No one is interested in it.

I’ve had travel bloggers flat out say that their ‘client’s are the people sending them on trips. That is an attitude that will get you nowhere. Your ‘clients’, if such a thing exists, are you audience. The destination is just helping you get content you can use to serve your audience.

3) I have yet to hear an economic model for travel media that doesn’t involve working for the New York Times or Conde Nast. Travel is unique in that the product is expensive and you can’t return it. Automotive writers don’t buy a new car for every article they write, but they also can give the car back when they’re done. Can’t do that with a trip.

The major outlets for travel writing do not pay anywhere near enough to cover the cost of a trip. Even if you spin trip into multiple articles for different outlets, you are still just barely covering your costs, and that is assuming you can even find those outlets. Given that publications are paying less and there are fewer outlets available, it is becoming harder to do.

It is an open secret that stories from sponsored trips make it into publications that prohibit such trips. It happens all the time. The attitude seems to be “don’t ask, don’t tell”, because if the publications really clamped down, the pool of writers and articles they could select from would be significantly smaller. Their ethics are for show, and not taken seriously.

4) If you look at blogging as part of the world of travel media, I’m not sure they really warrant special scorn. In private discussions I’ve had with veteran members of SATW, almost every person has stories of how advertisers have influenced editorial decisions.

The Blog Is Becoming Less Important

Robert Scoble is pretty influential in technology circles. He has posted on his blog three times this year, most recently to say he isn’t going to publish anything on his blog anymore.

Most of my engagement is now on Facebook and other social media platforms. If I write an article, I’ll get more comments from the link on Facebook than I will in WordPress. The vast majority of the engagement I get on a daily basis does not occur on my website. That isn’t where the people are.

In theory, I could delete my blog and still make a living doing what I’m doing. (not that I’m going to do that).

Too many bloggers can’t think beyond the blog. They are fixated on page views and SEO and ignore the bigger picture.


Here is my litmus test for influence: how many people can you get to come and see you in person if you are in their town? This isn’t really a metric you can track, but there is a lot of truth behind it.

One of the things I’m most proud of is that I always have readers who come out to see me, have a meal or drinks. I’ve had people drive over 100 miles to meet me. I’ve had people take time off work to come see me. I’m really honored when people take the time to do that. I know I’m making some sort of impact.

That being said, I don’t see many other travel bloggers meeting up with readers. The reason is that they don’t have any. Most of the people who actually follow them are other bloggers. Most of their traffic is one-off traffic from Google or StumbleUpon, that will never return again. Some of those people might become your audience, but audience and traffic are not the same thing. (I’m not saying there is no value in search traffic. There can be if your business model is structured around it. Mine isn’t. Nonetheless, if Google wanted to double the traffic they sent my way, I’d gladly take it, I just don’t think it will do much for me.)

We tend to use the term “influencer” for anyone who has a website, and that really isn’t the case. I don’t think there is a black and white definition for influencer, but the term is overused. Influence is on a gradient and is dependent on subject matter. I am not influential about automobiles, but I know some people pay attention to me about travel and photography.

I don’t write a lot about blogging anymore, because I’ve found worrying about the industry as a whole to be a waste of my time. I can’t control what other people do, and most people will never follow my advice. I’ve been focusing more on what I do and pretty much ignoring the blogosphere as an entity.

Things have never been better for me professionally than they are right now, and I know many successful bloggers who say the same thing. The 8 years of work I put into this are paying off.


How Do Travel Bloggers Stack Up Against Traditional Media in Terms of Quality?

During the closing keynote at TBEX Cancun I issued a challenge for travel bloggers to try and reach a point in several years where we are winning half of all Lowell Thomas Awards.

Lowell Thomas Awards are the most prestigious awards in travel journalism and are given out annually by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. They are like the Pulitzer Prizes for travel journalism.

I knew it was still a rarity for bloggers to win Lowell Thomas Awards, but I wanted to know exactly how we have been doing. I sat down and went through the Lowell Thomas Award past winners and came up with a list of every independent online publisher who has won an award.

This list excludes awards for online content from large publications such as magazines and newspapers. It also excludes large corporate sites such as For the purposes of this analysis I excluded which has become a large operation at this point, but I did include, which is still quite small. I also included as they won their award before it was sold to the Travel Channel. I also didn’t include books as I have no way of knowing if a book was self published, and someone can be independent of a large company but still write a book distributed by a publisher.

As of 2014, there have been 27 awards given to independent online publishers. They are:

Edward Hasbrouck, Bronze, Travel News/Investigative Reporting

Tom Brosnahan, Honorable Mention, Internet Publication/Website

Carla King, Gold, Internet Publications/Website
Amy Langfield, Silver, Internet Publications/Website

Amy Langfield, Bronze, Internet Publications/Website
Jim Benning & Michael Yessis, Gold, Internet Publications/Website

Amy Langfield, Silver, Internet Publications/Website

Ed Hewitt, Bronze, Personal Comment 
Chris Gray Faust, Silver, Travel Blog
Kayt Sukel and Jamie Pearson, Bronze, Travel Blog

Brad A. Johnson, Silver, Travel Blog

Gary Arndt, Bronze, Photo Illustration of Travel
Kara Williams/Jennifer Miner/Beth Blair, Gold, Travel Blog

Gary Arndt, Bronze, Photo Illustration of Travel
Nathan Thornburgh and Matt Goulding, Gold, Online Travel Journalism Sites
Tim Leffel et al, Gold, Travel Blog
Larissa and Michael Milne, Silver, Travel Blog
Elizabeth Hansen, Bronze, Travel Blog
David Noyes, Silver, Adventure Travel Article

Karen Catchpole, Honorable Mention, Foreign Travel
Dave Bouskill, Gold, Photo Illustration of Travel
Gary Arndt, Silver, Photo Illustration of Travel
Ken Budd, Gold, Special-Purpose Travel
Chris Christensen, Honorable Mention, Travel Broadcast – Audio
Glen Abbott, Silver, Travel Broadcast – Video
Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil, Gold, Travel Blog
Lanee Lee and Lindsay Taub, Bronze, Travel Blog

What you can see is that, 1) we haven’t won many awards, but 2) things are getting better. Here is a graph to show the trend:

2014 was the best year ever for independent publishers, but we still won fewer than 10% (8 of 90) of the awards given out, and that includes wins in categories specifically for travel blogs and travel websites.

Of the 27 awards won by independent online publishers since 2003, 16 were in the travel blog or website category.

If we are to reach a point where we are winning half the Lowell Thomas Awards, we would have to increase the number of annual awards 5 fold from 2014.

How can this happen?

  1. Bloggers need to enter. Most bloggers have no idea that the Lowell Thomas Awards even exist and few bother to submit entries. This is probably the single biggest thing that can be done. More entries equals more chances to win. I don’t have data about how many independent publishers submitted entries, but I assume that is also very low.
  2. There needs to be a greater emphasis on quality. Bloggers will have to actually work with the goal of winning an award. This means picking articles and topics that they think are very good and giving them special treatment. This means spending more time on a piece and maybe getting an outside editor.
  3. Be aware of who is doing the judging. The awards are judged by journalism schools. They tend to look for a style of writing that would fit in a newspaper or magazine. Even if a blogger creates something great, it has to be a good stylistic fit as well.
  4. The SATW Foundation still needs to make some rule changes. Despite the fact that there are only a handful of full time travel editors left at American newspapers, they still have 2 categories for newspapers based on circulation. The difference between the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle is tiny compared the difference between National Geographic and a single, lone blogger. Yet, they have 2 categories for newspapers and 1 for travel blog. Moreover, most of the winners in the travel blog category since it was created have been blogs for large companies, who have salaried staff. Given who is doing the judging (journalism schools), and in light of the division of newspapers, it really makes no sense. Moreover, there is a separate category for “travel journalism website”, but there is no criteria for what is a blog vs what is a website. This year National Geographic Traveler won an award for Travel Blog, yet most people would probably consider a corporate own, multi-author online publication to be a website. They need to give more clarity to what is a website and what is a blog, or split the travel blog category.

This doesn’t need to take years. If significantly more bloggers submit next March for the 2015 awards, and if they take it seriously and work for it as a goal, there is no reason why the number of independent publishers couldn’t double or more next year.

I think it has been proven that bloggers can compete against the best in travel journalism. Now it is up to everyone to take it to another level.

If we do this, there is no reason we can’t win 50% of the awards in the 2020 Lowell Thomas Awards.


Contests and Spending Social Capital

So, USA Today has been running a series of weekly contests for travel social media people where you vote for the best whatever. This week it was photography and I was put on the list.

Hooray for me. It is nice to be recognized by an outlet as prestigious as USA Today.

I’m here to announce that I’m not going to win. Not that it is that big of a deal. There is no prize money. There isn’t even a certificate to hang on the wall for all I know.

Maybe I could put together some sort of campaign to try to win, but there is no point. Not only is there no point, it is actually positively harmful to try to win these sort of voting contests.

When you have an audience of people who follows you, you only have so much social capital you can spend. If you ask people to do something, you might get a large number of them to do it. They might do it just because they like you and they support you.

The more you ask of them however, the less you are going to get. The goodwill you had developed can be exhausted by asking too much.

The issue is what you should spend your limited social capital on. It could be supporting a cause. It could be buying a product. Whatever it is, it should be something worthwhile.

Clicking contests are not worthwhile.

I mentioned it on Facebook yesterday and that was more of a thank you to USA Today than a call for votes. That is all I will do.

Some of you will remember back several years ago (I think it was 2011) when Lonely Planet ran a blog contest that was based mostly on voting. It became ridiculous the amount of pandering and nagging people were doing online to get votes. Many people totally used up their social capital trying to win a clicking contest.

Lest you think that these clicking contests have merit, just realize that anyone can go to Amazon Mechanical Turk and buy clicks for as little as $0.01 per vote….and it doesn’t violate the rules because there are no rules.

So, to whoever ends up winning this clicking contest, congrats. You are a champion clicker.


7 Concrete Steps Travel Bloggers Can Take To Stand Apart From The Crowd

In my previous post, I spoke at an abstract level about what travel bloggers need to do. Today I’m going to go into more depth about what you can do to set yourself apart and what actions you need to take.

For the record, none of these things are easy. None of these are as simple as adding a widget to your site or flipping a switch. They will take time, effort and thought.

All of these steps have something to do with building your credibility and authority. Unless you have been doing this a very long time, you should start with the assumption that you have zero. It might not be true, but it is helpful from mental standpoint in that it puts you in a struggle mode.

1) Create a Consistent Content Schedule, and Stick To It.

Back in 2007 I decided I was going to post a photo every day on my site. On November 24, 2007 I posted my very first daily photo. You can view it here.

Since that date, I have posted a daily photo on my website for 2,321 consecutive days. There were days I was late, but I have never missed a day in over six years.

Johnny Jet sends out his email newsletter every single Wednesday. He has never missed a week. Doesn’t matter where he is, or how late he is up, he never misses a week. EVER. Not surprisingly, he has a huge audience.

Whatever schedule you pick, you should stick to it. Let people know that on this day, they can expected your next piece of content. It doesn’t have to be daily, but it does have to be consistent.

A good negative example is the podcast a co-host, This Week In Travel. We are extremely inconsistent because it is difficult to get all 3 of us on at the same time, and I’m always traveling so my internet connection usually isn’t very good. Our traffic and audience has certainly suffered as a result.

Most bloggers post inconsistently and eventually die off. If you fanatically stick to your schedule, you’ll never have that problem.

2) Start Freelancing and Guest Posting

Ever notice how when traditional journalists are introduced or provide a bio of themselves, it is usually a list of the largest publications they have written for? That is a form of social proof. Without actually reading anything they’ve written, by associating themselves with big media brands, it is implied that they must be good writers.

There is no reason why you can’t do the same thing. Make a list of the top travel websites and develop a plan for appearing in them. Find out who the editors are and pitch them. (Find out how to pitch them before you pitch them.) This will take a very long time. You might get rejected many times. However, the process of doing this will improve your craft. You will have to think harder about what you are doing when you know more people will be seeing it.

Also, here is an insider pro tip: If you have an option of being in print or being online….always go with being online.

In some circles being in print may be considered more prestigious, but you can’t click on print. Paper doesn’t have links. If you primarily work online (and I assume you do if you are reading this), the benefits of being on the website FAR outweigh the benefits of being in print. Try to share a print article on social media if you doubt it.

If they wont pay you, do it for free. I know that advice will piss off freelance writers, but this is about your marketing budget, not making money. The marketing benefits of being on a big site are worth far more than what they would normally pay you anyhow.

Likewise, appearing on popular blogs can often do much more than being on the website of a big media company. Unlike working with editors, DO NOT blindly email top bloggers. Unsolicited emails for guest posts are usually deleted before they are even read. Get to know them first or get on their radar.

I’m always amazed at how many bloggers at TBEX shy away from me because they think I only hangout with other big bloggers. The most fun I’ve had at the last two TBEX events in Toronto and Dublin were drinking with bloggers who I had never heard of before. Say hello. Buy me a drink! Free beer goes a long way. Don’t just give me a business card, because I’m not going to keep it. The bloggers who regularly comment on my site or retweet me are ones I know to take the time and say “thank you” to when I meet them in person.

I am sure more other bloggers with large followings would say the same thing.

3) Join the Club

If you can meet the requirements, join one of the professional travel journalism organizations. These are not travel blogger organization, but travel media organizations. They’ve been around a lot longer than blogging has and most of the members are not bloggers.

Here is a short list of some:

  • Society of American Travel Writers. The oldest and most prestigious travel journalism organization in North America. It is open to Americans and Canadians. Bloggers need an average of 10,000 unique visitors per month over the course of a year to join.
  • Travel Media Association of Canada. Open to Canadians. Membership is based on a points system. Blogging can only earn you 1/2 the points necessary for membership regardless how successful you are.
  • North American Travel Journalists Association. NATJA isn’t a member based organization like SATW. It is more a business like TBEX. Membership is looser and open to any “legitimate, working, professional writer, photographer, or editor in the travel, food, wine, or hospitality industries.”. You also have to submit 8 examples of your work.
  • International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association. An international organization that covers much more than just travel. To join, bloggers must have a blog that is 1 year old and publishes at least twice a month.
  • British Guild of Travel Writers. Sort of the UK equivalent of SATW. Currently, they don’t let bloggers become members unless you are also doing considerable freelance work.

All of these organizations have annual dues and I know many bloggers question the value of joining. So few bloggers are members, that I think the benefits to a blogger can be greater than for a freelance writer.

The organizations also skew rather…..old. I’m one of the older people at TBEX, but I’m one of the younger people in SATW. That can work to your advantage if you are under 40, or even 50.

4) If You Can’t Join Em, Beat Em.

Publications love awards. I’ve had several newspaper and magazine editors tell me flat out how important it is for them to win prestigious awards every year.

What if you could beat the best travel publications straight up, head-to-head?

What I am talking about are judged travel journalism awards. I am NOT talking about is anything which requires public voting or awards given out by travel companies to bloggers (which are really just SEO schemes to get links. You win and then they give you a badge to put on your site.)

Blogging isn’t just a numbers game. There is a qualitative element to it. The only real way to provide proof of quality are through awards.

There are a handful of travel writing and travel photography awards which are given out each year. The publications in competition for these awards include National Geographic Traveler, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, Afar Magazine and many smaller niche publications.

Can a single blog compete with these big brands? Yes, but it isn’t easy. You have to really be on top of your game and submit the best of your best material. If you can win, it is something you can really be proud of and will take the notice of people in the industry. Even if you don’t win, the act of preparing something for submission will probably make you better.

Here are some of the major awards:

  • Lowell Thomas Awards. I consider these to be the Oscars of North American travel journalism. They are similar to what the James Beard Awards are for food journalism. The contest is run by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. You do NOT have to be a member of SATW to enter. The competition is open to any journalist who lives or works in North America. There are 25 categories ranging from newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, audio, video, individual articles and photography. In each category a gold, sliver, and bronze medal are awarded. There is also a Grand Prize for the Travel Journalist of the Year. The submission period is usually from January to the end of March. SATW members which win an award have their dues waived the next year.
  • Bill Muster Photo Competition. This is a photography competition which is limited to members of SATW. There is an overall prize, the winner of which is declared the SATW Photographer of the Year. There are also prizes for individual subject areas. Submission period is usually during the month of June.
  • NATJA Awards. NATJA has an annual awards competition. There are 52 categories with separate categories for articles which have appeared online vs in print. There are also Grand Prizes given away for the top writer and top photographer. You do not have to be a NATJA member to submit, but you do save money on your entry fees if you are a member.
  • Solas Awards. These are given out by Traveler’s Tales, a travel publishing house. There are over 20 categories and the only categories are for writing. There are no awards for publications or for photography. You can submit entries at any time, but the cutoff for this years competition is September 21.
  • British Travel Press Awards. This is run by a group called Kingley Event Management Solutions. There are 18 awards, most of which either honor overall individuals or publications. I am not sure how the submissions work, but the awards are given out near the end of November.
  • British Guild of Travel Writers Awards. These awards are limited to members of the BGTW. As it is difficult for bloggers to join and the entry rules are located in a password protected part of their website, I have no idea how this works.

To date, very few bloggers have won any of these awards outside of a special travel blog category.

5) Start a Podcast

There are 1,000’s of travel blogs. Staring one is easy to do and the barrier to entry is low.

How many travel podcasts are there? Maybe dozens, depending how you define it. Go look on iTunes. Most of those are are about Disney World or are just specials by Rick Steves.

Creating audio and video content is much harder than writing. That is why so few people do it.

If you can start a podcast, publish it consistently and have a reasonably high production value, you can probably find some success faster than you could with a blog.

6) Take a Class

As I noted in my previous post, you can’t assume the content you produce is good. Especially if you are starting out.

If you don’t have a background in writing, photography or journalism, take a class on the subject. Think about attending the Book Passage Travel Writing Conference outside San Francisco in August. Not only will you learn something, but you’ll make some great contacts.

This is especially true if you really want to try and win an award which I outlined in #4. It isn’t just a matter of knowing how to write well, but also knowing what judges are expecting. The judges tend to be the people who teach at these sort of workshops.

7) Do Something BIG

If you want to grab people’s attention, try to do something big and out of the ordinary. Something which few people have done or are willing to even dare to do.

Walk around the world. Visit every country on Earth. Visit every baseball stadium in North America.

Put a wrapper on what you are doing and you might get the attention of the wider media. At a minimum, you might get a bigger audience as you get people who follow what you are doing.