Travel blog posts
The travel blog includes travel highlights and tips as well as occasional anecdotes on the business of running mongabay.com.
Staying connected in the wilderness
(06/17/2013) Gone are the days where I can spend a week trekking in the forest without communication, letting Mongabay.com run itself. But the good news (or bad news, depending on how you see it), is it is easier and cheaper than ever to stay connected when traveling in rural areas thanks to the global proliferation of mobile networks.
Visiting the temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest
(06/01/2013) When most people think of rainforests, the first thing that comes to mind is tropical rainforests like those found in the Amazon, Borneo, and the Congo. But rainforests also exist in temperate regions. Over Memorial Day Weekend I visited one of these non-tropical rainforests: the temperate rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington.
How technology is helping save rainforests
(05/23/2013) Yesterday I gave a talk at Cisco Systems in San Jose on 'How Technology is Helping Save Rainforests'. Here's a brief recap. After giving background on Mongabay, I provided a broad overview of global trends in tropical deforestation, including changing drivers of forest loss. The most significant trend is a shift from poverty-driven to profit-driven deforestation as market-driven commodity production and trade have replaced subsistence agriculture as the dominant driver of deforestation worldwide.
Sweat equity: How to bootstrap your startup
(05/05/2013) I'm commonly asked how I raised startup funding for Mongabay.com. The assumption seems to be that I'm either a trust fund baby or a dotcom millionaire, but the reality is less exotic — I invested time, rather than cash to get the project off the ground.
Social media beating Google as a source of web site traffic
(05/03/2013) Every month I tally the most popular articles on the news section. It should come as no surprise that the most popular articles are usually the ones that have done well on social media. But what I find surprising is the extent to which search engines have declined in terms of referring traffic to news articles. Based on a 12-month moving average, last month was the first time that more traffic to news.mongabay.com came come from social media sources than Google, Bing, and Yahoo. I expect that trend to continue.
Luxurious/upscale orangutan tourism in Borneo
(04/29/2013) On my way back from the visit to the Katingan peat swamp in Central Kalimantan, I stayed a night at the Eco Village that is part of the Rungan Sari complex outside Palangkaraya. The Eco Village is surrounded by an area of kerangas forest that survived and recolonized areas burned during the epic 1997-1998 fires that affected much of Indonesian Borneo. While I only had a brief time to explore the forest, it seemed to have an abundance of insects and small reptiles, as well as macaques and hornbills.
Launching an environmental news site overseas
(04/24/2013) Just over a year ago, the Indonesian-language version of Mongabay went live (the official launch was May 19. 2012, but the site was live before that). Mongabay.co.id was the first project under Mongabay.org, the non-profit arm of Mongabay I launched last year. Mongabay.org has three program areas: special reporting projects for non-Mongabay journalists, our environmental education (K-8) initiative, and non-English reporting.