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BOB THE NAVIGATOR Nov 2nd, 2000 05:48 AM

Ed and Julie deserve accolades
Some jerk has been posting, using the email <BR>address for Ed and Julie, and knocking their <BR>wonderful and creative web site. <BR> <BR>Get real ! The fact that you can also buy books via a link on their site merely adds <BR>to the convenience of the process. This site <BR>is comprehensive and creative---the best one <BR>I have found that is not commercial. We all <BR>owe them a debt of gratitude for creating and <BR>maintaining this super resource. You can find it at is a must for <BR>anyone traveling to the Alps or to Rome, and <BR>their general tips and articles are great for <BR>any trip planning to Europe. <BR> <BR>Ignore the jerks--hopefully we will be able to find new cures for mental illness in the <BR>coming years.

Rex Nov 2nd, 2000 06:56 AM

Here, here!

Brian in Atlanta Nov 2nd, 2000 06:56 AM

Not only that, but Ed has been an excellent answerer of questions on this site.

Ed Nov 2nd, 2000 07:41 AM

Thanks! <BR> <BR>Ed

xxxxx Nov 2nd, 2000 07:49 AM

And this isn't a clique? Another wonderful example of the double-standards set for this board. Rules are rules and Ed and Julie aren't following them. Use Foder's search and you'll see that Ed has plugged his website 500+ times in the last year. You don't think he doesn't get a nice little chunk of change when he sells a book through Amazon? The worst examples are when, instead of answering a question posted here he directs people to go to his website and find the answer. Give me a break. If a newcomer would pull a stunt like this you guys would be all over him or her.

troll Nov 2nd, 2000 08:19 AM

Maybe the rest of us should just go away and the dozen or so of you who make the rules can just talk amongst yourselves. I agree with the above poster. Rules are rules. This board has changed and its those of you who complain the most about it who are most responsible.

Tito Nov 2nd, 2000 08:38 AM

I actually think we should do away with the rules and let anybody post a website address here. (For those of you looking to make a buck to sate your traveling appetite, check out how lucrative links can be. You get 15 percent of every book sold plus bonuses for new customers to the site. If you are like Ed and Julie and have had 1,000,000 visits, it's not unlikely that you can reach the second bonus level. To wit: if you get 1,000 new customers you get a $5,000 bonus plus $5 for every additional customer over 1,000. So, if you get, say 3,500 new customers to Amazon in a year (and that's not unlikely with a million hits since industry standards show that you get anywhere from 3 to eight percent response rate on e-commerce, you'd make $17,500 in bonus. And if each of those orders was only $10 each, your commission could be $5,250. You could go on two or three nice European trips a year for that kind of money). Amazon has even written a nice letter signed by the CEO that states that and Amazon has a special relationship. Never seen that on smaller sites with Amazon links. Another thing: Established web site operators are often offered free travel to various places (hotel rooms, rebates on air fare, meals, etc.) With 1 million hits, I'm certain Ed and Julie get their share of offers. We all need to do this. We could travel all the time. Hooray for Ed and Julie! Harold Hill would be proud.

Ed Nov 2nd, 2000 09:17 AM

For the benefit of the gutless jackals who love to post their venom without their true identity: <BR> <BR>Indeed we have a small income from Amazon through the site ... which just barely pays for the operation of the site. As retirees we have little money to spare. Without the income we'd shut the site down. <BR> <BR>I don't know who the idiot is that ran the Amazon calculations, but they're in a dream world. We have generated 4 new customers for AMazon so far this quarter. And we don't get a million visitors a year. <BR> <BR>To the jackals and jackasses ... why not try being constructive instead of destructive? <BR> <BR>

s Nov 2nd, 2000 09:28 AM

<BR>BOB T N, Rex, & Brian are right!! The twenj web site is wonderful, rich, comprehensive, and detailed. I love visiting it, and I feel confident directing others to it for information. And, if any newcomers to this board have similarly comprehensive, evocative, and detailed sites, I surely will welcome their input and links and anything else they have to offer. This board is special because of the breadth of knowledge it offers through travelers like Ed & Julie, Rex, Bob, Brian, et al. We *all* profit from their participation. <BR> <BR>s

No Name Nov 2nd, 2000 09:36 AM

Bob, thanks for clearing this up. I saw a few of the "imposter Ed" posts, and I was starting to wonder what the heck was going on. <BR> <BR>And for what it is worth, Tito's numbers sound grossly inflated. Amazon already has a huge data base of customers. So wouldn't the likelihood that a "new" customer would come through Ed's site be quite small? <BR> <BR>Finally, I haven't seen any commercial promotion from Ed, and if I did, I'd call him on it. <BR> <BR>I'd use my name, but I don't want the imposters to come after me next.

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Nov 2nd, 2000 09:55 AM

It really is a simple rationale. They <BR>have EARNED THE RIGHT to add anything <BR>they want to their site. It is all about <BR>credibility.

Please!Civilized Nov 2nd, 2000 10:30 AM

Copied from Fodor's: "Travel Talk is a place for travelers to talk to travelers -- you can ask questions, get advice, or share great stories from your trips. But please,**no rudeness** (author's asterisks) and no commercial promotion." <BR> <BR>Isn't the height of rudeness the using of someone's email address as though it were your own, to make that person look bad? Or throwing around insults like scattershot? Seems xxxxx or troll or Tito could have commented on those sins, but chose instead to ignore the rule about no rudeness and take this as an opportunity to verbally assault participants of this forum. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

howard Nov 2nd, 2000 10:31 AM

Count me as another solid fan of Ed and Julie. When I started researching our first trip to Italy about two years ago, their website proved invaluable from the start. In that period, my opinion of them, if anything, has gone up even more. Commercial? Until I read this thread, I never even realized they were selling anything!

Tito Nov 2nd, 2000 11:23 AM

Alright, this is my last post on this subject. I used a fake name and web address, probably like xxxx and the other "gutless jackals" when I responded to the original post. I don't agree with xxxx and his methods, but I understand his frustrations with people who get away with something that is clearly against the rules. To quote "Please be civilized" "Travel Talk is a place for travelers to talk to travelers -- you can ask questions, get advice, or share great stories from your trips. But please,**no rudeness**(author's asterisks) and no ***commercial promotion****. (My asterisks)" <BR> <BR>Ed was a bit incredulous when the 1 million figure was used to calculate profits. But 1 million is the figure listed at the top of his web site (Over 1 million visitors). And it's hard to feel a lot of pity for someone who pleads poverty as a defense when he is posting ON THE EUROPE BOARD ABOUT TRAVEL ABROAD. The only time my parents went abroad was when we sent them on vacation. It's not cheap. There are lots of places on the web that offer free space for web sites. A domain name costs $25. What's the big expense that he talks about. No name says he's never seen a commercial post from Ed. It's slick but go back and look at any of his posts. The first time he hasn't included the address for his web site was when he responded to Bob the Navigator's sloppy kiss. And to say "they earned the right" to post their web address defies rationale. How do you earn the right to do something that is AGAINST THE RULES. I like this site, too. But I want it to remain pure and I think it's frustrating that. 1.) A few people get away with breaking the rules. 2.) This Sikh-like class system exists that makes them untouchable. xxxxx is right. This is a clique. You are completely out of line Ed and Bob and you know it.

xxx Nov 2nd, 2000 11:58 AM

I hope Ed doesn't stop answering questions here!!!! I for one am always glad to read Ed's advice. I think when he directs people to the website, its because he has already answered someone's question there. Why type again.?? In fact, between this forum, and Ed and Julies website, I don't even need to buy stupid books. (I admit I cheat a little and read them for free at Borders!!) But I have gotten my best advice from reading this forum and <BR> <BR>Ed--please don't stop helping those of us who truly appreciate your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <BR> <BR>Thanks!!!!

pat Nov 2nd, 2000 12:15 PM

Ed posts here to plug his web site, and that's commercial promotion. If he doesn't suggest outright that you visit it, he always makes sure to include the URL at the bottom of his posts. And since he is conducting some for-profit business on that site, his attempts to attract visitors there are, in fact, advertising. I noticed that the supporters of this type of promotion are those who advertise their business here as well, like Rex the tour guide, who always wants you to email him to see what he can do for you (shades of MauiHeidi) or will repeatedly top his own posts about his upcoming tours in order to keep them on the front page. <BR> <BR>Rules are being violated here, and if you are going to pick and choose who is allowed to advertise and who isn't, then you've opened the floodgates for this place to become one giant glossy brochure for travel promoters.

Porky Nov 2nd, 2000 12:30 PM

Interesting point. Bob the Navigator is also a travel agent, which explains his interest in standing up for Ed. (Could it be that the only people on this board who use their real names and addresses are the people who have something to gain?)

Buyer Nov 2nd, 2000 12:34 PM

You know, I am as much a part of the clique as anyone but I have to weigh in on the rules is rules thing. By the same logic that says Ed and Julie give great responses, so they are aloud to drum up business on their site, couldn't you justify allowing travelocity to post here if they gave informative responses? The bottom line is, Ed and Julie DO have a product to sell, how many of us would have heard of them if not for this "not for profit" message board. It's fine if they want to participate in posting, or if they want to create an informative website that has nothing to sell, fine. But that is not the case and if we bag on Margot and others we should bag on them.

Walter Nov 2nd, 2000 12:36 PM

Ed and Julie's website is non-commercial, so what if they have a "link" to It is just a link! <BR>If you really want to get anal about Fodor's "Commercial Promotion" rule, then *no one* should post hotel, airline, package tour, hotel booking websites, restaurant, etc. etc. advice. Because they are *all* commercial for profit enterprises so therefore a "Commercial Promotion". <BR> If someone asks a specfic question say about Rome and Ed points them too his website for the answer. I'm sure they will find that answer plus answers to *many* other questions they might have or haven't even thought about. <BR> I would guess the vast majority of posters and lurkers here plus Fodor's itself doesn't have a problem with a *link* on a non-commercial website, why would you? Regards, Walter <BR>

Cindy Nov 2nd, 2000 12:51 PM

I must say I am quite surprised by all of this. I use this board to plan trips and dream about trips. Ed answered several Italy questions on this board for me over the last year. He never tried to sell me anything, and in fact, he displayed the patience of a saint for acknowledging my naive inquires at all. <BR> <BR>What we need is a bright line. In my opinion, a post that is improper commercial promotion would be something like "Come to my web site and buy travel books." A legitimate post is something like "Here's a quick answer to your question, and if you want to know more, come to my web site." To the best of my knowledge, Ed never encourages anyone to buy anything, so I believe he has never come close to violating the rules.

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