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Aol sells Gadling to Skift

Gadling logo

Based on the emails I receive and this website’s search engine traffic, some visitors here are interested in the travel blog Gadling. (I edited it and contributed to it for a spell after joining Aol and MapQuest in October.)

Today, Aol announced it sold Gadling to Skift. Appropriately, you can get the details on Skift. Or Gadling.

And if you were emailing me via a Gadling account, best to use now. Thanks!

Flashback: That time I reviewed a stay at my parents’ house

My parents' house

A few years ago, I reviewed the accommodations at my parents’ house for the now-defunct UpTake. (Executive summary: I enjoyed my stay, although the barware could have been better.) As I’m staying with my folks again next week, bookending my visit to Boston to research an article for MapQuest, I figured it was time to resurface my review (because evergreen content):

UpTake: “An objective review of the accommodations at my parents’ house”

Heading to Boston next week: suggestions needed

Toro Boston

Of all the cities I’ve been fortunate enough to visit in recent years, I’m probably most excited about my next trip: Boston. I was born there and grew up 15 miles north of the city. I haven’t been back though in more than 18 months—my longest stint away. And while I love seeing my family and friends there, rarely do I get the opportunity to explore the city when I visit.

This visit though, that all changes: my parents are watching my daughters while my wife and I explore the city for three days, researching a feature article for MapQuest’s “99 Summer Travel Quests.” That being said, I could use some suggestions for places to visit, especially restaurants and bars (a return visit to Toro, pictured at top, is highly probable). Please let me know your recommendations in the comments. Thanks!

In which I explain in two sentences how to balance freelancing and family


Earlier this week, The Write Life quoted me about how to balance being a freelancer and a parent:

The Write Life: “Freelancing with a Family: How to Balance Your Work and Your Kids”

Too lazy to click through? Happens to the best of us. Here’s the blurb:

Zach Everson, a father of two-under-four who writes for AOL Travel and Gadling, suggests “blocking off family time like any other project. If a client asks for that time, the answer is always no. It’s non-negotiable.”

(I had almost four years of experience juggling kids and freelancing before joining MapQuest and Aol Travel full-time last fall.)

Should I let a cable TV show use this photo for free?

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope

Last week I received the following message regarding this photo of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope), which I posted on Flickr in 2008:

ABC Studios is seeking permission to use some of your photographs of the Green Bank, WV Radio Telescope as incidental set dressing / props in an episode of “Perception.” The storyline includes scenes that take place in the Green Bank, W. VA area and we’d like to use the images to help establish our location, a local diner.

“Perception” centers on Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack), a neuroscientist who uses his outlook to help the government solve complicated cases. With knowledge of human behavior and an understanding of the mind, the professor uses lessons from his unique and odd perspective on the world.

We typically do not offer payment for images used as set decoration / props. It’s more for the fun of having one of your photos on an episode of Perception.

If you’re still interested, I will connect you with our clearance guy at ABC who will send you a materials release.

Should I let Perception use the photo?

Reasons for

  • It’s not as if I’m likely to make money on the photo any other way.
  • If I say no, rather than offer me money, the studio likely will just find someone else who will let them use his or her photo for free.
  • I have no clue if selling a photo would violate my contract with Aol. And I suspect the money I’d make from doing so wouldn’t even be worth the time spent investigating Aol’s policy.
  • Bragging rights from a swanky photo credit

Reasons against

  • Do I really need bragging rights about a show I’d never even heard of previously?
  • Maybe they will counter with a little money
  • ABC Studios is owned by Disney, which has a market cap of $134 billion and—spoiler alert—is significantly higher than my net work. I shouldn’t give it anything for free.

I’m leaning towards saying no, but am very interested in other people’s thoughts.

(Also, the argument to never do something for free because it hurts other people in the industry doesn’t hold much sway with me. There’s a time and a place where it may be advantageous for a person to work for free—and that’s up to each individual to determine.)

Anyway, please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

‘Inspirato’ magazine just published my final article as a freelancer. That it was about the Kentucky Bourbon Trail will not surprise you. But it will restore your faith in humanity. Or at least good Kentucky bourbon.

Inspirato, Spring 2014

Inspirato magazine’s spring 2014 issue included my final article as a freelancer. Titled, “Kentucky Gold,” fittingly it’s a feature on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Obligatory joke about how fun researching an article on bourbon is goes here ______________________ . Actually, it’s not a joke: it’s damn true.

Anyway, read the article on Inspirato’s website or enjoy the magazine’s hardcopy layout in this .pdf. Or, right now for a limited time, the spring 2014 issue is available for free on Inspirato’s website. The choice is yours.

I also contributed sidebars on Kentucky’s favorite bourbons, bourbon 101, the best pours from the Bluegrass State, and where to enjoy a drink or two in Louisville.

Inspirato with American Express is a private, members-only destination club. Its 180-page glossy magazine is published three times a year. It’s distributed to the club’s members, sold on newsstands, and available for iPads and Android tablets.

And thanks to Chea Beckley and Stephanie Greene at 21c Museum Hotel and Proof on Main for their assistance.

Photo: Courtesy Inspirato