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Site Reviews

Travel the World with DeboHobo.com

As part of my recent quest to increase my RSS I decided to give away a Lewis Empire site review as the prize. Of course, this was supposed to happen at then beginning of November; however, since I am still without a regular computer at home (and I’ve been up to my eyeballs at work) I simply haven’t had the opportunity to get this review completed.

My very first website review is for a fellow blogger who started in June 2007, DeboHobo.com! First, let’s all take a moment to sign up for Deb’s RSS feed. Hey, while you’re at it, let’s sign up for mine as well!

DeboHobo.com is a blog is a travel resource. Her advice to you: Read, Enjoy and Escape…

First Thoughts
The thing I like most about Deb’s site is that it is a great compliment to her travel website at mytravelscenes.com. What a great way to not only generate traffic for your ecommerce site, but also have a place to write about everything that you are passionate about.

I found Deb’s site about 5 months ago through JohnChow.com. I think I was responding to one of her comments and figured I should visit the blog of the person I was agreeing with! Who knew that I would still be reading her blog 5 months later and that she would win my first ever site review! If I’m ever in Dallas, I’ll be sure to buy Deb a coffee (the $5.79 good stuff of course.)

Writing Style
The nice thing about Deb’s blog is that although it is a travel site, she does not feel that all of her articles need to be about travel only. She writes a little about her own life, her favorite drinks (strange elixirs that call to me each Friday) and other blogs she likes. I’m a huge fan of people adding their own flavor to the mix. While I like to travel, it’s the stories and personal thoughts that usually keep you coming back.

A great category for guys
Deb has a ton of great articles about a saving money when travelling, travel destinations and everything else travel related. She also has some great ‘Top 10′ lists of interesting and useful things to do and see.

One excellent series that Deb has written is her Top 10 Guys Only Holidays. If you’re looking for ideas for a guy’s weekend out, this is a great place to start. My two favorites on the list (which happen to be #9 and 10) are Surfing in Sydney and Sport Fishing in Panama.

Check it out if you suddenly find that you’ve got a lot of money in your pocket and the wife or girlfriend have decided to go visit their families for a week! Although my wife isn’t going anywhere until at least the new baby (to be) is a year old AND I don’t have my travel budget up high enough, it looks like I’ll live vicariously through Deb’s site…

Setup
I really like the three panel blog setup. Although I use a two pane look, I have been considering changing for quite a while. The nice thing about Deb’s is that her advertising and links don’t take away from the content as so many others do. Maybe it’s the darker background but everything seems to blend in quite well.

I can’t remember the exact day that Deb switched her ‘look and feel’ but I like the final result. I’ve heard a lot about having white text on black as a negative but I think she’s put together a combination of color (not just black and white) that gives the site a laid-back feeling. The bright orange heading brightens the whole site and the theme is carried through her main body and side pannels.

So far, I haven’t heard what the significance of the butterfly is (other than true long-distance travellers) so I hope to see a comment from Deb about that.

My Recommendations
Since this is a review, I should put in some suggestions as well. Here they are:
1. I would like to see a ‘Recent Articles’ section on her site. Rather than scrolling through a few pages to find the article names, I like to be able to scan the articles and read the ones that appeal to me.
2. I would also like to see Deb add a section that has her favorite articles or those that can help the most. Maybe I’m just biased because I added one myself but I think it allows readers who come across your site to find your best articles first and hopefully become regulars.
3. Add a comments box to the top of the article as well as the bottom. Right now the comment box is a little difficult to find (below the bookmarks) so I would suggest that it be moved up a little as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first site review. I had a great time going back through Deb’s posts over the past six months. As you may know, she started blogging at about the same time I did. Im glad I was able to find her site.

Take my advice and visit DeboHobo.com soon. Of course, add the DeboHobo RSS feed to your account and enjoy her articles each day!

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