Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why I Fact Check Every Listing

It feels like I've been working on this project forEVER! Best Family Adventures: Santa Barbara County covers a lot more unfamiliar territory than Best Family Adventures: San Luis Obispo County did. It's taken months, miles and some overnight visits to see it all, even briefly. And there are still trails we've not been able to hike due to time restrictions or recent fire damage which caused trail closures.

The research is fun, but more rushed this time. Now it's time to get down to details, and I'll tell you, they're devilishly exhausting! So why not outsource the mundane tasks of checking every phone number, every website, of writing out driving directions for every blessed entry?

David. He's why.

Poor David whose personal phone number is a mere one digit off that of the popular Arlington Theater. HE is among the reasons I've taken in upon myself to call EVERY SINGLE NUMBER listed in the upcoming Best Family Adventures: Santa Barbara County.

I could have hired someone else to do it, but it's a matter of trust, I suppose. I wanted to make sure the Davids of this world aren't inundated by families looking for information, visitors and locals depending upon my work. And whether I hire someone else to do it or complete the work myself, ultimately it's my name on the binding and it is I who will answer for those mistakes.

Sure, numbers will change, and so will web addresses. But I can rest easy knowing I've heard the voices or answering machine messages at the end of every phone number in the book. That I've done my best to ensure the accuracy of the listings.

And, David? I'm sorry about that late night call.

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