When I first joined Nezasa.com as the burgeoning travel startup’s Community Manager, some people raised their eyebrows. As a 10-year veteran in a traditional media environment that included a 7.5-year stint in the newsroom of the 24 hours commuter daily in Vancouver, Canada, it seemed a stretch to move from being one of the editors for a media house to being one of the content producers for this dynamic travel startup.
In fact: in newsroom terminology, some will even say I moved to the dark side.
The dark side? That’s what many news folks called the work designed to market and promote as opposed to inform. To some in the industry, this is an affront to the sacred art of the fifth estate, which is designed to hold public officials to task, to ensure people are properly informed, to keep the doors wide open to information, and above all, keep evil at bay.
Well, there’s a method to my so-called madness.
Think of Nezasa’s content as that of a magazine rather than a newspaper. As a curator and producer of that content, I deliver information on:
- current trends
- survival tactics
- cultural pursuits
- fascinating one-off experiences
- photo collections
- everything else that relates to travel and tourism
People who visit Nezasa.com are there for a reason: to entertain the possibility of exploring a new country, and to learn about that country before going and once they’re there. That’s where I step in.
What’s more, as Nezasa’s community manager, I have the rare opportunity to combine my talents and skills with my passion for travel. Everywhere I have traveled and lived, I learn something new. I can contribute my broad scope of personal experiences to the work that I do.
I also look at what’s going on out there and package it as a story to tell to the readers. It’s my task to find the Michael Palins and Bill Brysons out there – or even be someone like that myself – and share those stories via Nezasa.com.
Noted British essayist and novelist Pico Iyer put it succinctly:
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed.”
In short, I play a role in Nezasa’s overall vision to accommodate travelers in their desire to explore and discover the many riches of a vast and dynamic world.
In fact, many people use the metaphor of shining a light into the world’s underexposed places. Perhaps, in moving to the dark side, that’s what I’m doing.
After nearly a decade in traditional and grassroots media, and a few years in freelance editing work, Keith MacKenzie became Nezasa’s Community Manager in June. He thinks the road will be weary of him before he ever becomes road-weary.