Global Yodel – Travel, through a local lens

Seems like at the moment Google and Facebook are trying their best to swallow up the internet. However there are still a few websites out there doing something interesting, original and distinctive.

Global Yodel

One of these is Global Yodel. I found the site after Buckcherry guitarist, and keen photographer Stevie D posted a link to his ‘Hollywood Ghost’ Yodel.

I love the site, it’s like FourSquare only written by William Shakespeare and photographed David Bailey. I thought it would be a good idea to speak to the brains behind the outfit, site owner Jesse Weinberg

How long has Global Yodel been going?
The site is still acutally very new and Global Yodel launched just a few weeks ago, on August 8, 2011.

Can you sum up the idea in a sentence?
Travel, through a local lens.

What inspired you to do it?
My inspiration comes from my intense curiosity of our globe and all the slivers of interesting places and cultures. There is nothing in the world I love more than to travel. I want to go everywhere and see places for the first time.

So I decided to create a forum where people could see and learn about all different parts of the world, when they weren’t able to travel. The goal is not to replace the want or need to travel, but to create a way for people to learn and be inspired about the world when they can’t be physically out there exploring, meeting and learning. A way to travel when you can’t.

Global Yodel

I also thought it was a little funny how the travel industry often uses the perspective of an outsider looking in at a place. A travel writer reports on a city and culture foreign to their native roots. I think that is a limited way to learn about the world. With a few exceptions I don’t want to hear about a New Yorker’s take on The Maldives.

I want to hear about cultures and places around the world from locals of that area. It takes years to really get to know a neighborhood, and who knows a place better than a local? I want to hear about The Maldives (and New York for that matter) from a person who has lived there for the last 10 years. They have, ingrained, expert knowledge of the secret spots and happenings. I thought this concept could flip that old tradition around.

Did you develop the site yourself?
I collaborated with the talented programmer/designer Kris Hedstrom. He managed somehow to pull this project off and stay somewhat on deadline, all the while moving cross country and starting a new job. Thanks Kris.

Have you done a Yodel from where you live?
Yes. I live in Anacortes, Washington. A small island town in the Pacific Northwest, USA. I have a bunch of good photos that I want to use as YODEL. But I haven’t put one up yet. I’ve been so busy screening all the submissions from all the amazing contributors from all over the globe. I can’t wait to share the beauty and a few secret spots here. Mine will be coming soon!

global yodel

How many countries have sent you Yodels so far?
I have received about 300 YODELS thus far. They are flowing in from all over the place. There are something like 196 countries in the world. I probably have Yodels from 50 of those so far. My goal is to get submission from every country in the world in the near future. I want complete representation across the planet on the site.

It’s really amazing to see life from all different places. It’s funny how we share one Earth, and we can pretty much access any place on the globe in 48 hours. And although at the core of it all people are very similar, cultures, lifestyles and landscapes are so incredibly different.

Are there any plans to expand the website?
I would love to do an iPhone App, and have some really exciting ideas about it. It is going to promote the contributors work and projects even more than the site does! I also want to do a weekly Global Yodel travel video. It will be really unique!

Do you have any more projects lined up?
I have a lot of projects lined up within Global Yodel. The site will expand. Coming soon is a really exciting “interview” section. It involves snail mail and the good old fashioned pen and pencil. Its kind of like those weird old chain letters. There is also a magazine/photo book in the not so distant future.