Have some questions about Discover the Burgh, our mission, and site goals? Check out some of our answers to our frequently asked questions below!
How Do You Pick Where to Visit?
In most cases we pick where we want to visit on the fly, as having a packed schedule months in advance stresses us out. As such, we try to keep our schedules open and decide where to visit based on our interests, events going on, and the weather in any given week.
We do like to plan our weekends around visiting one new attraction, restaurant, and bar in the best case. From there, sometimes we look at our Pittsburgh map and say “we haven’t been anywhere in [neighborhood/region] in a while, we should find something there” but more often than not our thought process is more like “we want [Thai food/beer/cocktails/to go hiking], where haven’t we been that is supposed to be good?”
So if we end up hiking at new parks six weeks in a row in the fall, visiting three bakeries in a single day, checking out five breweries in a weekend, or gorging ourselves on pizza multiple times in a single week do not be surprised- it is just what we want to do. (All things listed have occurred in the past.)
Why Do You Visit Other Towns if You’re a Pittsburgh Blog?
We call ourselves a Pittsburgh blog, but we actually cover anything in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
We’ll go as far as Moraine State Park / McConnells Mill to the north, Somerset County to the east, and the state lines on the west and south. While these areas are not technically Pittsburgh proper, they are Pittsburgh’s greater metro area. Since these are all easy day trips for anyone in the region it is only fitting we put it in our blog’s scope.
For other destinations in Pennsylvania, we highly recommend checking out our friends at UncoveringPA as they cover the entire state in great detail. For other destinations in the USA and abroad, we have a sister travel blog Living the Dream that covers our explorations in 70+ countries from around the world. But as for here, we’ll always be focused on southwestern Pennsylvania.
Are You Associated with Visit Pittsburgh?
No. We know many people at the tourist board but aside from conversations in passing, at conferences/events, or on social media we have no structured relationship with Visit Pittsburgh in any capacity.
Discover the Burgh is a 100% independent site that is solely owned and operated by the two of us.
Are You a News Site?
No. We are an opinion blog that shares reviews of attractions, restaurants, bars, etc. All articles feature our opinions only and your mileage may vary on whether you agree with us. (We’re totally cool with it if you don’t agree!) We do sometimes share 3rd party news on our social media channels.
Do You Take Your Own Photos?
Yes! Virtually every photo on our site (outside of ads) was taken by the two of us when we go explore the region. In the rare event we source images from 3rd parties, such as in the case where we did not receive permission to photograph the spot ourselves, we provide a source credit as close to the image as possible per the photographer’s license requirements.
If you wish to use one of our images on your site, please email email@example.com to discuss our licensing options.
Do You Work With Local Companies?
Yes. We are periodically hosted as guests at restaurants or attractions in order to write a review, and we sometimes sell advertising packages to our partners as well. We should note, however, that the vast majority of places we visit for reviews we pay for out of pocket. Out of 150 or so businesses visited in 2017, we worked with under 10% of those featured.
Our reviews are 100% transparent when noting all discounts or sponsorships we receive (it is required per FCC guidelines), and we try to be objective as possible and not let this influence our review in any way.
Why Do You Not Have More Negative Restaurant Reviews?
To be honest we think many of our Pittsburgh restaurant reviews (and other reviews in general) have a lot of negative components depending on how you read them.
But there are a few reasons we do not have more all out negative reviews when it comes to restaurants in particular:
- We pick restaurants based on what we’re hungry for on any given day and tend to visit restaurants that already have good reviews by others.
- We like to provide focused critiques in our reviews, but generally speaking we can also see when something is “bad” because it is not for us versus something that is truly bad. Most restaurants fall into the former category and we like to highlight who would enjoy something even if it wasn’t for us.
- We are much more critical of expensive restaurants that have $100-$200 bills than we are of mom and pop restaurants where we spend $20 for a meal out.
As we do not expect everyone to have the same tastes as us when it comes to restaurant reviews, all we can do is comment on our opinion and then try and highlight who would like a given spot from there. A truly bad spot is simply one we can’t recommend to anyone at all, and those are few and far between.
Your Taste in Restaurants is Awful, Why Do You Not Like [X, Y, Z]?
As mentioned above, we have the viewpoint that our taste in restaurants is simply that- our own. We do not demand that anyone agrees with us. But we do try to figure out who would enjoy any given spot even if it isn’t for us. Our ultimate goal in reviewing restaurants is for you to know our tastes, and then you can use that relative to your own to know if a spot may be worth a visit to you.
You Say You Want to Do Everything, But Where is Content on [X, Y, Z]?
Our ultimate goal is to do everything in Pittsburgh, but as we are exploring based on our interests some things are, shall we say, very low on our list. If there is a business or attraction type that we have not visited yet (say, a nightclub), odds are good it is because it simply isn’t our style.
We will get there, someday.
Why Don’t You Do Top 10 Lists?
Generally speaking we hate what Top 10 lists have become. Most websites write posts about the Top 10 [X] in [Y] and it amounts to being the only ten places they visited in the city (or worse, ten places they found in a Google search). There is no authority behind the author calling something a “top spot,” and as we’re still working on becoming that authority in Pittsburgh it isn’t our place to do it yet.
That is why we shape our articles either as quests (such as The Quest for the Best Tacos in Pittsburgh) or a simple list of places to visit (such as X Pittsburgh Breweries to Visit). We may rank the places we’ve visited inside these posts, but the businesses featured are just that- the places we’ve visited so far. The more we visit the more we add to the list, and the more we add the better the post gets!
If your favorite spot is not featured it is more likely that we haven’t been there rather than us slighting it in the feature. Don’t worry, we’ll get there. But we’re also happy if you want to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help get us there sooner as we do tend to visit reader recommendations ASAP!
At some point in the future we will publish Top X lists for various categories, but we want you to know that we really mean it when we do.
Aren’t You Going to Run Out of Things to Do?
Probably, but it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
We founded this site thinking we’d have about two years worth of content based on our understanding (at the time) of what Pittsburgh had to offer. Those two years came and went, and we published about 300 posts from everything we did. But as soon as we crossed one item off our list we found five more that took its spot, and as of late 2017 have well over 500 restaurants, attractions, bars, parks, events, hotels, and other spots to hit over the coming years (and that doesn’t even include new places that open seemingly every week).
But even if we did run out of things to do, we can always update our reviews to make them relevant X years down the road- and that is what we plan to do!
Do You Ever Write About Things You Haven’t Done Yet?
We do, but only in very select cases.
Generally speaking it would be easy for us to hire a staff writer from two states over, pay them a nominal fee to pump out articles about local attractions based on what they find in a Google search, and source images from 3rd parties to make the articles look beautiful. This is how most online media operates these days. But to us half the fun of running this site is enjoying all the cool spots around Pittsburgh ourselves (and writing about them after the fact)!
That being said, in some of our broader guides (like our neighborhood guides, weekend guides, things to do in Pittsburgh guide, etc.) we have included a few spots that we haven’t visited yet for the sake of being complete. When we do finally visit these rare spots we update our guides accordingly.
Do You Live in Pittsburgh?
Yes, we live in the city limits and are residents of the North Side! We’ve also lived in Mount Washington and Squirrel Hill over the years.
Are You Pittsburgh Natives?
Nope! Angie moved here in 2008 for graduate school. Jeremy followed shortly thereafter, and aside from a year and half that we took off to travel the world after she graduated we’ve been here ever since. Please don’t hold that against us, as we love this city and do not plan on leaving.
Is This Your Full Time Job?
No, but that’d be awesome if it was! We both work full time during the day, and as we like to keep these two worlds separate that is about all we’ll talk about it here. We keep all our exploring to nights and weekends at this time.
Your Job Sounds So Fun, Can We Work for You?
As much as we’d love to hire a team to work for us, sadly we do not have the budget nor ability to hire anyone (paid or unpaid) outside of one-off assignments at this time. Hopefully we can expand our team in the future!
Can I Come Take Photos from Your Deck?
No. We happily stream our view from our Pittsburgh webcam 24/7, but we are not in the habit of letting strangers into our house. Sorry.
For similar views we recommend checking out Fineview lookout or St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. Check out more Pittsburgh skyline views for places to get photos of the city that are publicly accessible.
If you’re a local photographer and would like to go out shooting, let us know!
I’d Like to Make an [Appointment, Reservation, Booking]…
We are not an official booking outlet for the brands featured on our site. However, we do have links to relevant websites, booking engines, and other associated services at the end of our articles where applicable.
Why Do You Re-share Old Content on Social Media?
When it comes to reaching you on social media we have to fight against algorithms that display our content to only a fraction of our followers (0.1% to 5% in most cases). As such, we share our content in a regular rotation in order to reach all of our followers over time.
We wish there was a better way to do this, but as the algorithms have been decreasing reach for publishers with each passing update it is becoming a necessity to reach you just once!
If you would like to help us out please like, share, and comment on our updates when you see them. It doesn’t sound like much but this truly goes a long way in helping us perform better within the complicated algorithms.
Why Do You Have So Many Ads?
There are a few ways we could talk about this, but the simple answer is that blogging in the manner we do is not cheap.
We receive over 100,000 visitors a month on good months, and that costs a fair bit out of pocket for us to provide a good experience for you. We also pay for advertising, other back-end services, and also pay for almost every thing we do out of pocket. We have no global sponsors, are not affiliated with any company outside of one-off partnerships for reviews, and have no bankroll to prop us up like others do.
Ads are a necessary evil in the world of blogging to help us cover our expenses, and each page view you give us amounts to roughly 2 cents in gross revenue. While that sounds low it is actually one of the highest revenue streams out there, as sad as it is to say!
In a perfect world we’d like to move away from having ads altogether, but we simply do not have other income streams in place to the level we’d like at this time to get rid of ads completely.
[X, Y, Z] Ad is Inappropriate, What Can You Do?
Our ad network displays content based on our site’s theme, your search history, and one-off direct orders. We have little control over what you see specifically as it is targeted mostly to your web usage.
That being said, our ad network is one of the most reputable ad networks out there and we like to maintain high quality placements only. As such, we’ve turned off a number of categories that are questionable to start. If you see something inappropriate please note it (or screenshot it) and send it to email@example.com. We will report it to our ad network and make any internal changes as necessary to prevent the ad from appearing again.
Why Don’t You Get Involved in Local Political Issues?
We don’t believe that Discover the Burgh should express any political leanings whatsoever even though we are an opinion blog. We have no intentions of using our platform to endorse candidates or issues one way or another. We may do this personally outside of this website, but we have no intention to use Discover the Burgh as an outlet of this nature.
If any political content appears within our 3rd party ads, which we have opted out of specifically, please notify us and we will have our media network remove or reclassify them.
As we do not use our platform for political commentary, we ask that you do the same when commenting here or on our social channels. We reserve the right to remove all political oriented comments and ban those we deem being outright offensive.
You Banned Me on Social Media, Why?
Were you being a jagoff? You were probably being a jagoff. The only people we’ve banned to date were, in fact, jagoffs; so we can say this one with a fair degree of certainty.
We have no patience for cursing, threats, yelling, Patriots fans, or incoherent rants on any channels we operate. You can disagree with us on just about anything (we encourage it, actually), but please do so politely using facts and reason.
Calling us fake news, insulting our tastes, slandering the business/attraction in question, going on political rants (on any side), overly promoting your own business, and generally being rude (all things that have occurred on our channels) is grounds for us thinking you’re a jagoff and we will show you the door.
If you were attempting sarcasm and we banned you by mistake, we’re happy to reconsider if you email us an explanation.
*Patriots fans are, in fact, welcomed on Discover the Burgh. Couldn’t help ourselves there.
How Can We Support Discover the Burgh?
If you’d like to support our site further, there are a few things you could do:
- Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram) and sign up for our newsletter. This way you’ll never miss an update.
- Share our content whenever you find something you like, or at a minimum Like, Retweet, or comment on our updates! This helps us grow faster than you may think.
- Buy us a beer by making a donation via PayPal! Click here to contribute!
- If everyone who read our site in a single week donated $1 a month (a round of beer a year), we could turn off our ads completely, quit our jobs, hire a few staff members, and run this website like how we dream it should be.
- Or just simply say hi to us if you see us around. Only one person has ever done this, and we’d love to meet you!
There are many ways you can support us with or without spending money, and every little bit helps us grow.
Have Another Question That Isn’t Answered Here?
For everything else, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to answer any and all questions.