We’re so happy that, thanks to @sndbox, we have another chance to introduce ourselves, after our first introduction when we joined Steemit in December, 2017. Let’s just say, that first intro was a little half-hearted; to be honest, we weren’t all that familiar with Steemit back then, and kept things short. This time we’ll go a bit more into details. It might be long, but I promise, it won’t be boring.
Who Are We?
We’re Jürgen Horn and Michael Powell. We met in Boston in 1999.Jürgen grew up in Germany. After starting a career path towards a business degree, he realized that working in an office was not the path he wanted to go down. So he became an Au Pair and went to United States in 1998 to help to take care of three kids (who are now all grown up). In 1999 he started a program at the New England School of Photography in Boston where he received his Diploma with two honors.
When Jürgen’s visa ran out, we decided to move to Germany together, and landed in Berlin, where we lived for five years. During that time, Mike’s company went under, and so we had time to develop a few of our own internet projects:
Lastminute Auction Our very first website, where we list all the auctions on eBay, which are still at only one dollar with one hour left. This website exploded and has been running for over 14 years, providing us with a good amount of income, even to this day.
Criticker A movie recommendation site based on a very accurate taste prediction algorithm. Over the past 12 years, we’ve grown with a great community of movie buffs and have recently extended the algorithm to TV series and gaming as well.
Working on these websites gave us a lot of freedom, and we were able to support ourselves. After five years in Berlin, we wanted to concentrate on our projects and decided to move to a tiny, tiny town in Western Ireland, with hardly over 100 people (and suddenly, two foreign gay guys!) We ended up living there for one and a half years; it was beautiful and remote, but also very overcast! We felt ourselves becoming more pale and pasty with every passing day, and knew we needed to get somewhere with more sun. A friend of our suggested Valencia, Spain. We booked tickets to go check it out, and knew right away this would be the city for us. We fell in love with the city right away, and it’s a feeling that persists to this day, ten years later.
For 91 Days Travel Blog Was Born
Even though we were enjoying Valencia, we still had itchy feet, and found ourselves switching apartments constantly. One day, while having lunch, we were talking about yet another move, and suddenly had an idea… why not just always be on the move? We could live in a place for a comfortable amount of time, allowing us to continue working on our websites, but also take the time to explore our new home and write about it. We thought visiting four locations a year sounded perfect, so we divided 365 by 4, and For 91 Days was born. I’d also like to note that, when we started, I’d never heard of the term Travel Blog (even though later I found out there were a handful) and Digital Nomads as a tribe didn’t exist at all!In the last 8 years we visited these locations in order:
- Oviedo, Spain
- Savannah, USA
- Buenos Aires
- Palermo, Sicily
- Sri Lanka
- Busan, South Korea
- Idaho, USA
- Yucatan, Mexico
- Valencia (buying an apartment, and making this our permanent home when not traveling)
- South Vietnam
- North Vietnam
How Did You End Up On Steemit?
We were growing more and more frustrated with the conventional social networking platforms. Right from the beginning, we had built a community on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, and later Instagram. At first, everything was great; we used them as aggregators to notify our followers of new posts on our blog. But over the years we noticed a change. Barely anyone ended up on our website (where we had our ads). In fact, Facebook kept bothering us to buy boosts, so that people would actually see the things we were posting. Social platforms grew and began to dominate everyone’s time, until it reached a point that almost nobody ended on our actual blog. After learning about the billions in profit that Facebook was making by injecting ads between other people’s content and harassing creators like us to buy “boosts”, we had enough! It’s our content, so why is all the profit going to you?!
During our last For 91 Days, in Lisbon, we kept reading about @steemfest and @steemit. We missed Steemfest by two weeks. To be honest, at that time we had no idea what the platform was all about, but we were intrigued, so we signed up and started to get a feel for it. We soon realized that Steemit could be the perfect platform for people like us, but recognized that there wasn’t yet an organized community to bring travelers together. So we started the Steemit Traveler discord channel, soon thereafter connecting with @jpphotography, @rimicane, @adonisabril … and the idea of curating travel content through @travelfeed was born.
The current core team consists of @rimicane, @jpphotography, @guchtere and @for91days(and a big thank you to @wanderlass who had to stop being a member of Travelfeed). And we’ve inspired at least one other group, called @cyclefeed which sprung out of our curation project, but focuses on cycling. It’s run by @mrprofessor, @robmolecule and @twowheeledmonkey
Your Future On The Blockchain?
We’re still very new on Steemit and every day we’re learning something about the platform, the blockchain and crytocurrencies in general. We’re eager to learn more about Steemit’s soon to be implemented Smart Media Tokens and would love to integrate them on @critickerand on our travel blog, For 91 Days. Furthermore we want to grow @travelfeed, the TravelFeed WordPress Blog, maybe bringing in more outside of Steemit travel bloggers, digital nomads and writers on board. We want to encourage both new and established users to grow and invest into Steemit. And we’ll always be there to help others with information and support.And most importantly we want to continue to produce great travel content ourselves, and share it on Steemit. We finally found a home here on the platform and are grateful to be able to connect with so many amazing people, something we weren’t able to archive in eight years of using conventional social media platforms.
There are so many people I’d like to thank for their kindness, will power, inspiration and support! You know who you are!
Empower artists, writers, musicians, non-profits and community initiatives – delegate Steem Power to @sndbox (using the links below) or follow our curation trail. Learn more about Sndbox – watch our introduction, here.