Harnessing the Power of the Online Travel Community: Interview with Rove Magazine

by Michelle Salater on December 6, 2010


Created from the vision of three adventure travel lovers, Rove Magazine is an online publication that is “fueled by the support of the online travel community.” All of the magazine’s stories are submitted by amateur writers and photographers who are passionate about sharing their unique travel experiences with others who dream of traveling.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Rove Magazine’s highly talented team—Nick Budden, Andrew McLeod, and Kevin Landry—on the recent creation of Rove Magazine and its successes.

Below is the interview:

1. Tell us a little bit about Rove Magazine.

Rove Magazine is a free online travel magazine for backpackers and adventure travelers. The magazine is released once a month on rovemag.com, as well as on our Facebook page. It’s a community project that’s driven by our readers; at this point we are really not making any money off the project (in fact we spend about $10 for every dollar we make), but it’s something we really enjoy doing, and we hope that someday we can grow and make a living with Rove. All of the magazine’s and the blog’s stories are contributed by our readers, and we really hope that Rove can be an outlet for backpackers and adventure travelers to share their stories and connect with fellow travelers around the world—something they may not have been able to do otherwise.

2. What was your inspiration behind creating a digital magazine?

It really happened by accident, or maybe due to fate. In his last year of school, Rove’s creative director (Nick) was looking for some business experience. He approached Andrew—who is now Rove’s sales director but at the time was Vice President of a local marketing / events agency—for an internship. Nick enjoyed the internship and wanted more experience, which inspired him to start an online magazine called 68 East for Atlantic Canadian action sports. One thing led to another, and about a year later the idea came up to start a travel magazine. Nick got in touch with Andrew, Andrew had a friend named Kevin, and everything just fell into place.

3. How are you using social media to build your Rove Magazine readership?

We actually just finished the beta integration of our magazine into Facebook a few days ago, and you can now read the magazine right on our Facebook page, without ever having to disconnect yourself from your virtual social life. We’re going to continue to improve our Facebook page over the next few months, incorporating our blog and back issues on the page, and we are really hoping that, by bringing the magazine to our readers, we will be able to encourage people to get involved. Although we use a few other platforms, Facebook is really where we focus our attention, and we hope by May of 2010 to have one of the best Facebook pages you’ve ever seen!

Rove Magazine's Facebook page

4. What does this magazine provide to travelers? Specifically, how does it help travelers live their dreams?

Every traveler fantasizes about the endless journey. Rove is a way to continue that indescribable feeling of adventure and discovery while you plan your next trip. Aside from inspiration and grassroots personal experience from the front lines of the world’s frontiers, we provide travelers with an avenue to take the first step in transitioning travel from their lifestyle to their life’s work. As a forum and showcase for the photos and writing of like-minded Rovers, we provide many writers with their first credit in the travel writing genre and light the fuse of what will inevitably be a lifelong, explosive addiction to travel.

Rove offers travelers a chance to follow their passion and take the leap to become travel writers and photographers, as well as full-time workers of the adventure-inspiration industry. Great oaks are grown from humble acorns, and it is our hope that the next Thoreau or Kerouac will sprout from the start given to them at Rove Magazine. If travelers would rather enjoy travel from a passive stance, Rove offers them the most heartfelt experiences and advice that you can’t find in any guidebook.

5. What makes Rove Magazine different from other online travel publications, websites, and blogs?

Rove is different because Rove is our passion. We have real travelers, writing real stories and helping their fellow community—it’s as simple as that. At Rove we put a lot of energy into helping our readers express themselves and connect with the online backpacker and adventure travel communities. There are a few community travel blogs out there where you can write a story and share it online, but we are the only website that seeks to bring the very best stories to the top for our readers.

We spend hours designing our stories and incorporating them into the magazine, and then we incorporate it into our social networks, as well. Rather than bombarding our readers with thousands of stories to sift through, we really want to focus on bringing the best stories to the top with the relationships we make with the Rove community.

At Rove we acknowledge that the journey is what’s worthwhile, not the destination. Our stories are about experiences, things you cannot re-create by following a guidebook. We know every trip is different, even if the locations visited are the same, and we celebrate that. We don’t want people to desire to re-create what they read in our magazine. We want them to be inspired to create their own adventure, and we simply provide them with inspiration to do so. We want every traveler to know that you can never predict the amazing turns your life can take when you open yourself up to new experiences.

6. What are some surprising opportunities that have opened up for you?

The opportunity to produce a travel publication in itself has been one of the most inspiring opportunities for all of us here at Rove. This is something that we had all dreamed of and never realized that some day we would actually be doing it. One of the most surprising things has been the response to the magazine in different parts of the world! People are actually helping us make our dream come true, and it’s really helped us stay focused and keep pushing to be the best. The Rove team is composed of three Atlantic Canadians, so our strongest readership base is in Atlantic Canada, but we’ve found that some of our most supportive readers are from as far away as Indonesia, Libya, and Japan! We really only advertised in North America, but we have no idea what sparked the Rove phenomena in all of the other countries, but we’re just happy that the project is enjoyed by so many people, from so many countries and cultures around the world.

Rove is a labor of love, and we are investing ourselves in the project, hoping that more opportunities come sometime down the road. As for our plan, we are going to build the magazine and really grab readers by adding more functionality and taking the feedback that we have been given and making it a reality.

We really love hearing from our readers because we have made Rove for them. So, if you do have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to email any of us here at Rove, and we’ll try our best to make Rove the best!

About Rove Magazine’s Team:

Nick Budden

Nick Budden is the creative director at Rove Magazine, and his role is to oversee Rove’s website, graphic design, and marketing direction. Nick also enjoys getting behind his desk and writing articles about his vast travel experiences. At only 22, Nick is someone to watch out for in the travel industry, and is currently studying an MBA with la Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Central Mexico in his second language, Spanish, as well as working on several other major projects. You can connect with Nick at www.linkedin.com/in/nickbudden.

Andrew McLeod

Andrew McLeod is the sales director at Rove Magazine, and his role is to take care of ad sales, the Rove community relationships, and develop business worldwide. Andrew has a long history of entrepreneurship, marketing, and relationship managing. After leaving a position with one of Canada’s most respected marketing firms, Andrew is now bringing his experience to the Rove team and is always looking to connect with fellow travelers or industry professionals. Watch out for Andrew in Australia in the New Year as Rove makes a leap across the Pacific! Connect with Andrew at https://ca.linkedin.com/pub/andrew-mcleod/1a/aa/3b3 or email .

Kevin Landry

Kevin Landry is the editor of Rove Magazine, and his role at Rove is to make and manage lasting relationships with Rove’s eyes in the field: the writers, photographers, and travel addicts whose stories grace the pages of Rove Magazine. No stranger to the perils of the open road, Kevin recently toured from Bogota to Buenos Aires by bus after shutting the doors at his document storage company—a life changing decision that eventually led him to the Rove Team. Kevin is constantly developing content and looking for off-the-chart stories written by the most exciting correspondents the world throws at him. Pitch a story, or suggest content to Kevin by email at .

Get personal with the Rove community by following them on Twitter.


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  • https://twitter.com/lilygogo inka piegsa

    Seems to be a very cool magazine although I’m not into backpacking. Adventure yes..within reason for someone my age.

  • https://writtenbysumer.com/blog webcopywriter

    Catherine, Rove does provide some excellent content for adventure travelers and those who dream about traveling! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview :)

  • https://topsy.com/writtenbysumer.com/blog/2010/12/harnessing-the-power-of-the-online-travel-community-interview-with-rove-magazine/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Online Travel Community Success: Interview with Rove Magazine — Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michelle Salater, Michelle Salater. Michelle Salater said: Today's guest post comes from @rovemagazine https://ow.ly/3kMSG #travel [...]

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