How can you get featured on ExWeb?
I asked British adventurer, outdoor writer and physical activity scientist Dr Ash Routen to explain what ExWeb is and how you can get your expedition featured on their website.
If you’ve been interested in serious adventure for any length of time, you will no doubt have come across an article from the website ExplorersWeb, or ExWeb for short. The site was founded at the turn of the millennium by Tom and Tina Sjögren. They have summited Everest and skied to both poles via full-length routes. All unguided.
Over the past fifteen years or so the site has grown quite a cult following. Its purpose is to provide updates and editorial on serious adventure and expedition news – think Everest, K2, Polar, Ocean, Desert, Jungle etc. When I say cult following, I mean 100,000 page views in a day (of the Everest rubbernecking kind) type of following. For some adventure fans it is the first website they log onto in the morning, and the last one they visit at night.
In the past six months, Tom and Tina have passed on the reigns to new owner, Rowan, so that they can concentrate their efforts on a DIY Mars space programme. This has kicked off a much-needed revamp and refresh of the site, as well as the writing staff.
As a consequence ‘ExWeb 2.0’, as we call it, was launched in April 2018.
What do I do for ExWeb?
ExWeb relies upon a team of freelance writers and editors spread across the globe. We have Rowan in New Zealand, Piotr in America, Martin in Vietnam, Jerry in Canada, and now myself in the UK. As you can imagine it’s no mean feat to communicate and produce news across that many time zones!
In my first month or so at ExWeb I’ve been hoovering up expedition updates via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and our existing links, to produce timely adventure content. So far I’ve been lucky enough to interview two excellent polar adventurers, have direct contact with climbers at Everest, and cover stories from Norway to Guyana.
Here’s a quick look at some of the things I’ve covered to date:
- Everest-Lhotse Traverse Update
- Tania Noakes Solos the Entire Length of Norway in Winter
- Lou Rudd Announces Plan to Cross Antarctica Alone and Unsupported
- Second Team to try Everest-Lhotse Traverse
- Three British Women Complete Guyana River Paddle
- Sherpa Tenji to target Everest–Lhotse Traverse
- Reboot of the Dark Ice Project
- All Women’s Euro-Arabian Expedition Reach North Pole
The next month will be full on for ExWeb covering the Himalayan climbing season, and for me mainly Everest. It’s an opportunity I’m fully embracing. Much more to come I hope.
Photos by Jon Griffith, who is attempting the Everest-Lhotse traverse via the South Col route, with Sherpa Tenji.
What is the focus for ExWeb 2.0?
The new team surveyed the site community on their feelings about ExWeb and the direction in which it should go. One key message in the findings was that the site was difficult to navigate and slow to load. The focus in the re-launch has therefore been on simplicity and speed.
However, this is only v2.0 and Rowan would like to get various people on-board to develop different sections of the site for v2.1. The original site had a whole bunch of sub-sites with great ‘how to’ guides on Everest, the poles etc., and some of these may be resurrected. Additional features will be introduced incrementally and in response to the demands of the community.
The site will remain dedicated to covering news on, and stimulating discussion about, serious adventure. In the short term we’re rapidly increasing output to ensure we have new content most days. Keep your eyes peeled as we’re covering Everest season at the moment!
What gets featured on ExWeb?
We provide news updates and editorial on what I would call serious adventure. Primarily this encompasses climbing, high altitude mountaineering, polar/arctic, desert, ocean and jungle travel. But we may also start covering the more extreme end of endurance events. Despite the name, the trips reported on don’t have to be exploratory in nature, but of course if they are, then all the better!
We don’t however publish anything related to short hikes, camping, general endurance events, general travel, or heavily commercial/guided expeditions (besides Everest). However we do make exceptions when there is an interesting sub-story. For example we recently published news of a last degree North Pole expedition that brought together women from European and Arab countries to improve cross-cultural understanding.
How can an adventurer best present their project?
Anyone with an account on ExWeb can post basic articles on the site. Such articles will appear in the “Community” section to begin with, but if they garner enough views/upvotes to make it into the “Popular” section, then we may contact the author to work together on the article and move it to the main section. ExWeb is traditionally a climbing site, so articles on high-altitude mountaineering still get the most hits, but this will change with time.
In terms of getting featured on the main section, you will get our attention if you have a press release/trip summary featuring:
- basic facts on the expedition (e.g. aim, route taken, members in the team, style, level of support etc.)
- some supporting quotes
- a few of your best photos
Otherwise we rely on tracking down tidbits from social media and expedition websites (which are often poorly written and scant on key information). From a personal point of view, there’s no good reason for not writing a quick press release/summary. I did my own one recently by copying the structure from others I’d seen on the web. It should only take an hour of your time at most.
Ideally however we do want that something else that cannot be found elsewhere on the internet. Hence we often feature exclusive interviews right from the midst of the action, so to speak.
At the very least we want facts, quotes and photos.
What are you waiting for?! Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Ash Routen is a physical activity scientist at Loughborough University in the UK. Around work Ash writes for Explorers Web and other outdoor publications. Recently he has been going on small independent sledging trips in cold environments, most notably a 630 km walk across Lake Baikal in Siberia - the world’s largest frozen lake.