Last Updated on December 5, 2020 by Jeremy
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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 Many Places Have You Visited in Pittsburgh?
As of early 2020, and assuming our math is correct, we've enjoyed more than 1,000 unique experiences in Pittsburgh. This includes visiting museums/attractions, eating at restaurants, enjoying bars and breweries, hiking in parks, taking in events, and seeing shows amongst many others.
Our blog's only goal is for the two of us to do everything in southwest PA, and we're adding new spots every week!
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.
Sometimes we'll pick a spot because we haven't visited the South Hills in a while. Other times its because we haven't had Thai in ages. Or other times we hear about a new spot opening and go right away. Whether this means we go to the Strip District four weeks in a row or head off somewhere new, most of it is all determined based on our whim of the day.
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.
I'm Coming to Pittsburgh for the First Time, What Should I Do?
We're happy to make personal recommendations if you tell us what you like, where you're staying, your budgets, etc.
For a general post, we recommend checking out our weekend in Pittsburgh guide which features some of the top attractions and restaurants first timer's love to hit. For a big list, check out our things to do in Pittsburgh guide with a collection of dozen upon dozens of spots in the area. Or for a broad guide about all things Pittsburgh, click the previous link.
Or if you are looking for hotels in Pittsburgh, check out our reviews database of all the hotels we've stayed in so far!
Are You Associated with Visit Pittsburgh or VisitPA?
No, we have no relationship with Visit Pittsburgh or VisitPA. We do occasionally receive invitations and editorial assistance from other nearby tourist offices and disclose these accordingly.
Going further, we have no investors, are not funded by any government entity, and are not beholden to anyone except you- our readers. This site is 100% independently operated by us under our LLC.
Are You Open to Collaborate With Other Local Media?
Yes, of course! We love getting to know other media in Pittsburgh, grabbing a drink, and working together on projects if we are able!
That being said, we have a few caveats. First, we do not accept guest posts (to date we have not published any, so please don't take this personally). Second, please do not ask us to collaborate if all you are looking for is free advertising for your business/event/product without inviting us to experience said business/event/product per our editorial model.
We get frequent “collaboration” requests that end up being veiled requests for free advertising outside of our standard promotion model. Please don't do that. If you are in the local media scene and want to grab a beer or coffee, we're always down for that.
What is World of Discovery Media LLC?
World of Discovery Media LLC is our official business name. The entity includes Discover the Burgh as well as our sister blog, Living the Dream. We gave it a unique name to cover all of the business ventures done between these two sites while allowing room for any potential new ventures. Jeremy is the official owner, and there are no outside investors or stakeholders. What you see is what you get here!
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 (mostly shows/events), we provide a source credit as close to the image as possible per the photographer's license requirements.
We'd rather host a subpar photo or go without images at all than steal from someone else, as many local organizations have stolen from us over the years and we don't want to be those people.
If you wish to use one of our images on your site, please email [email protected] to discuss our licensing options.
Do You Work With Local Companies?
Yes. We are periodically hosted as guests of a restaurant or attraction in order to write a review, and we sometimes sell paid advertising packages to local businesses as well. We should note, however, that the vast majority of places we visit for reviews we pay for out of pocket, and as of early 2020 only about 10% of our published content was sponsored in any capacity.
Our reviews are 100% transparent when noting all discounts or sponsorships we receive (it is required per FTC guidelines), and we try to be objective as possible and not let this influence our review in any way. Yes, we have had negative reviews of spots that have hosted us.
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.
In most cases, a quest is something that will be neverending. We cannot see a scenario where we will have tried every pizza shop, every barbecue meal, or all of the tacos available in the area- there are simply way too many options. But breweries, wineries, or cocktail bars? There aren't nearly as many of those which makes hitting them all a much more reasonable goal.
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 [email protected] 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 early 2020 still 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/Wikipedia, and source images from 3rd parties to make the articles look beautiful. This is how most online media operates these days.
But to us, the fun of running this site is enjoying all the cool spots around Pittsburgh ourselves before writing about them!
That being said, in some of our broader guides (like our neighborhood guides, weekend guides, things to do in Pittsburgh guide, hotel guides, etc.) we have included a few spots that we haven't visited yet for the sake of being complete. We only do this because, based on our knowledge/experiences in Pittsburgh, they sound like respectable spots you should be aware of ahead of time.
When we do finally visit these spots we update our guides accordingly to include first-hand experiences and links to our full reviews.
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.
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!
Will You Sponsor Our Event?
Much like the above, we are an independent company without financial backers. As such, we operate on a very limited budget and do not have the capacity to sponsor events at this time.
Can I Come Take Photos from Your Deck?
No, sorry. It is nothing personal, but we're not open to letting strangers on our deck. If you would like to grab a beer or shoot photos of the city, we could do that and go from there. But at this time we are not letting anyone into our house without knowing them personally first.
We do happily stream our view from our Pittsburgh webcam 24/7 for all other instances, however.
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 200,000 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 nearly everything 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 from a media conglomerate 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 2-3 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 report it using the report button below the specific ad when you see it. You are also welcome to contact us with these issues as well and we'll pass it along (please provide a screenshot).
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 intention 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.
Periodically, 3rd party display ads may appear on our site that is political in nature. We use a programmatic ad service for our ad displays and do not have direct approval over what is shown on an individual ad basis. Political ads appearing is purely coincidental.
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 politically oriented comments and ban those we deem to be 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.
- Or just simply say hi to us if you see us around. We'd love to thank you in person!
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 [email protected]. We are happy to answer any and all questions.