Warning: Your Travel Blog Could be Under Serious Scrutiny

Photo taken by Kmf164 supplied under creative commons licence

Photo taken by Kmf164 supplied under creative commons licence

One of the most popular stories of 2012 was an article about words that will set off the rat-smellers and send alarm bells ringing at Homeland Security.

After being forced to reveal a list of the ‘offending’ words under a freedom of information request, travel bloggers should be aware that the super sleuths could be snooping around your posts right now if you’ve been writing about the white powder sands of your favourite top ten beaches. Even a tropical virus that gave you the trots might attract trouble. Whatever you do, don’t mix up your water sports with body boarding.

There are the obvious usual suspects to avoid such as dirty bomb, terrorism, biological weapon and anthrax. But who would’ve thought that ice, help, hail and snow could put your scribblings under scrutiny.

It’s easily done. This innocent post about being caught up in a storm mentions extreme weather, warning, disaster management and cloud, which are all watch-words.

Fitness and foodie blogs may be attracting attention too with exercise and pork surprisingly on the suspicious hit-list.

Seriously, some people will sell their souls for the sake of stats and do anything to attract some extra trafficking to their travel blog.

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22 Responses to Warning: Your Travel Blog Could be Under Serious Scrutiny

  1. Anita Mac January 10, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    That is hilarious! Will have to add a few “key” words to my blog next time things slow down a little!!! Come to think of it, I had a huge spike in traffic 2 weeks ago that I just couldn’t explain! And I thought my increased FB and twitter use was having an impact! Will have to test it out in the near future!!!! 🙂
    Anita Mac recently posted..Travel RegretsMy Profile

  2. Queen Merino January 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Love it!

  3. Johanna at ZigaZag January 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Ha Ha, very funny! I love it 🙂 Me too, when traffic slows, I’m going to be looking very carefully at adding a few suspect ‘key’ words to my posts 🙂
    Johanna at ZigaZag recently posted..How to lose weight the healthy way. A Quest and a Question from WA.My Profile

  4. Leigh January 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Brilliant idea – as long as they don’t shut you down and then your stats will really be a mess.
    Leigh recently posted..The Search for Alberta’s Snowy OwlsMy Profile

  5. Katie January 12, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    This is hilarious! I seriously shake my head at this world sometimes!
    Katie recently posted..The Bone Church in Kutna Hora, Czech RepublicMy Profile

  6. Life Images by Jill January 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    it certainly makes one wonder how simple words can be suspect. I just hate all the spam comments I get!

  7. Red Nomad OZ January 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    I can’t thank you enough for these ‘killer’ tips – I’d never thought of the possibilities, although the extra traffic I get when I post about Australia’s scenic public toilets should have given the game away. But I wonder are those who search for such things happy or disappointed to find posts with your ‘key’ words so benign??
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..The Cemetery, the Council and the Coffin-shaped Conveniences! Australia’s Scenic Public Toilet #30My Profile

    • Tracey January 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      Disappointed I hope. I can only imagine the sorts of searches which land on your toilet posts. I had some bizarre ones land on a review I wrote about female urination devices. The mind boggles. Anyway, if the spooks do drop in for a look and don’t get the tongue-in-cheek they need to get a life or review their word alert list I guess.
      Tracey recently posted..Safe, Clean Drinking Water AnywhereMy Profile

  8. Bex April 1, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    Oh dear! I really don’t know whether to laugh or be afraid! The name of my blog has ‘Cairo’ in the title and I once wrote a post about the bad weather at home, resulting in a nightmare journey. Am I now being watched too?!

    • DEK May 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

      Bex, The mechanics of blogging — sitting quietly by ourself, typing on our computer, seemingly alone with our thoughts — gives a completely deceptive impression of confidentiality to what we do, but in fact we are shouting from the rooftop and scattering leaflets from low-flying aircraft when we put anything online.

      That State no longer needs maintain a file on us: on the web, nothing is forgotten and we diligently log all the entries ourselves. But of course it is our own choice what we enter.
      DEK recently posted..GaspárMy Profile

  9. Tracey April 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    I think every travel blog on the web is being big brothered based on the ridiculous list Bex.
    Tracey recently posted..Young People Show Their Budgie Power For Young CareMy Profile

  10. DEK May 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Which reminds me of Cardinal Richelieu:

    “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.”

    I suppose it would be possible to write a coherent blog post using every one of the words, but it would be as tedious to read as the list itself. But to be fair to DHS, gathering intel is a tedious business with a lot of searching for patterns in apparently innocuous material and very few smoking guns.

  11. randki August 6, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started
    and create my own. Do you need any coding knowledge to
    make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    randki recently posted..randkiMy Profile

    • Tracey August 12, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      Hi, I use and pay for hosting and Woo themes canvas which is versatile enough for me without being too technical. I find both Woo and WordPress support easy to follow and I don’t know coding.

      I went on a one day local wordpress course to get started. still host blogs with a good range of themes free of charge, but you don’t have as much flexibility and control as hosting it yourself.

      I hope this helps. Good luck with your blogging.

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