Travelcation, a new start-up that combines social media, booking tools, and unique online travel content, appears to have purchased Pam Mandel’s Nerd’s Eye View blog for .75 million dollars. Naturally, our first response was “Dude, seriously? Another online travel content/booking mash-up? We need that? Really?” but with that out of the way, we’d like to say congratulations to this long time independent blogger for sticking to her narrative driven guns. The deal looks mighty sweet from what we can see. In addition to the cash payout, Mandel has negotiated a three year contract (salary undisclosed) as Travelcation’s “Chief Editorial Officer.” That includes a whopping twelve weeks of dash-cation time so she can still travel and write. Twelve weeks! That makes us think that the whole thing is an elaborate joke, but the site appears to be legit.
According to their site, Travelcation plans to “deliver top quality editorial with reliable, transparent booking services and social media tools that connect you with people who will make your trip shine.” It’s too soon to tell if it’s all that, but the back story is kind of cool. The Bangalore based development team is comprised of graduates of a non-profit program, Rocket Singh, that trains disadvantaged Indian youth to repair computers and partners with the University of Mumbai (Bangalore) to help those same graduates earn computer science degrees. India has a growing domestic travel market — the online travel sector brought in over 800 million dollars last year.
We couldn’t reach Travelcation for comment, but we’re hoping to connect with them soon to get the inside scoop on the deal and what’s coming from Travelcation. We’re also waiting to hear back from Mandel on what it’s like to be an indy blogger who unloads a blog for a cool three quarters of a million dollars. Our money is on “Awesome.” Downside of this whole story? We might have to stop making fun of the dash-cation.