Exporting your VT content

Travel Forums System Talk Exporting your VT content

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1. Posted by Peter (Admin 7165 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I would love some feedback from the VTers on Travellerspoint.

I've been looking into creating some code to help you export content from your Virtual Tourist account. While we don't have a like-for-like replacement for the tips format (at the moment), I could still import it into a database for you to have access to it beyond the shutdown of VT. Creating a Tips feature to more closely mirror what VT offered would be interesting anyway and potentially integrate nicely with the Planner tool we have currently. I can imagine travellers planning their trip would love to see tips from members on the destinations on their list.

I'm partially writing this thread to let you know this is in the works and partially to get any feedback from you on things that you consider necessary from an export. The main pages I'm currently looking at are the "Travel pages" and then following the reviews, images, etc. from there to download them. If you are currently exporting your own info from VT, I'd be interested to know your process so I can basically look at automating it for you :)

If you want to be kept updated on progress, please subscribe to this thread either by replying or by clicking the subscribe link at the bottom of the thread.

I realise there is some urgency in achieving this, so it is being prioritised to complete soon.

2. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1388 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

One of the founders of VT (Tilman) and a former manager (Giampiero) are helping members download content using wget. They have created tutorials for Mac and Word, and have set a forum where members who are struggling can discuss and help each other. The main downside to this process is that it only captures the first ten reviews/tips in a category for each location (I assume because only ten appear on the front page). So if a member has 15, 25 or more things to do tips, for example, the software programme will only save the first ten. But it's a relatively quick and painless way of saving a lot of material (having said that, I had the programme running for more than 50 hours and I've heard of at least one member for whom it took 90).

Other members are saving each page one by one, or using VT's Trip PLanner function to save them as PDFs. No method is ideal but most members who want to are, I think, managing to save a significant amount.

Having done that of course there is no shortcut to getting the material on here so maybe that's the end of things you should focus on? The Chile material I've been sharing is an interesting example of the challenges. The first few blogs I based on pages already uploaded on VT, the next few on pages I'd drafted (I always wrote in Word first after about 2009) but not uploaded, and I'm now on material for which I had notes but few complete tips. The challenge with the earlier stuff has been deciding what to include when it was mostly written to a very different "review" format rather than a blog.

When I go away again soon I will be starting from a blank sheet of paper which should be easier, but I have 4340 reviews on VT covering 261 destinations! I know I will never get it all uploaded here but a shortcut to doing so would certainly encourage me to do more than I might otherwise do.

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1961 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I've been copying and pasting here from VT. I saved all my VT files with Giampiero and Tilman's weget suggestion and the extra tips (ToonSarah is right; it only saves the first 10) have been saved on my word processor. I only had 854 Reviews and a little over 4000 photos so it didn't take that long, about 5 or 6 hours.

I'm not sure how the VT format would fit into your web site. It's been a challenge for me because I've never blogged and really have no interest in blogging. I like to write about a destination and then list places to stay, eat, see, etc. I love the interaction on the Travel Forum in VT. There doesn't seem to be the volume here and I miss that. I really enjoy answering travel questions and wish you had more pertaining to Europe because that's the only place I really know well enough to answer. Do you advertise your site?

Still getting used to this but change is good . . .

Thank you for all your help.

4. Posted by Peter (Admin 7165 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Yes, the format of the reviews / tips is not really something that lines up with Travellerspoint.

My goal with the export would be to
1. Extract the content for safekeeping (I know a lot of you already have downloaded using wget, so this is kind of doubling up)
2. Immediately add the photos to a gallery here on Travellerspoint. You could then edit them on here to add location data etc.
3. Work on a new area to actually store tips in a way that's much closer to what was on VT. I think TP'ers would enjoy the same feature and I can see the content being quite useful as an integration into the Planner tool on here as well.

5. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1388 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

The key thing for VT was that the tips were linked to intro pages, so all tips written by the same member about the same place were easily brought together. That meant that once you'd found members whose writing you enjoyed and/or whose travelling style and preferences aligned with your own, you could explore their experiences in depth. It was a sort of 'best of both world' combining the benefits of reading a blog with those of reading detailed practical reviews. If your new area could be integrated into blogs too, that would be a real plus. I know we could do that by putting in links, but something that did that automatically or at least semi-automatically would be good. So say I'm writing about Santiago and have some restaurant and hotel reviews, things to do etc., wouldn't it be good if I could add a single link in my blog entry to a page of all my Santiago reviews?

6. Posted by travelfrosch (Full Member 17 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

To this point, I've been using copy/paste to add to some of the Wiki travel guides. I don't think I'll use wget to archive all of my pages, but anything you can do to help save some of the content (especially photos) would be great. Thank you for your help getting the VT castaways assimilated into the website.

7. Posted by HORSCHECK (Budding Member 8 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I am really interested in reading how things continue here, so I have subscribed to this thread. - I think, Sarah has already described the requirements perfectly.

8. Posted by ExRanger49 (Budding Member 23 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Like Horscheck above I would like to subscribe to this Thread.
I do not have much technological know-how and only managed to use the wget system with help from other VTers ( via the Technical Forum her) and the practical help of my husband.

I have though, by trial and error - converted all my Travel Pages to PDF - Text is all there but photos come at the end instead of being built into the Text.
Not worried about Photos as I have them all on an external hard drive.

9. Posted by king_golo (Respected Member 129 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

"The key thing for VT was that the tips were linked to intro pages, so all tips written by the same member about the same place were easily brought together."

What Sarah said is what made VT for me and all the others special. It's nice to see tips about a place, but for that you could also get yourself a Lonely Planet or the like. What I loved about VT is that it gave writers the possibility to share their own, personal tips. This meant that some of them were not at all in line with one's own travelling style, but it also meant you could discover things new that you would never find in a normal travel guide. I daresay that all my travel tips were somehow personal, and until now I haven't found any means to do something similar - neither here, nor elsewhere. It would be great if an option like that was available on TP, too.

10. Posted by ExRanger49 (Budding Member 23 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

king golo - I think that is exactly why VT was so successful ! -Members really are/ were able to get a fuller picture of the writer by seeing their Profile and detailed descriptions of places visited with their selection of Tips.
And so "tuned in" to the writers whose travel interests and values matched ones own - and often introduced you to new places and interests..

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