7 Quick Questions for Parking.com.my in the process of creating the #1 Malaysia Outdoor Activities Directory.
We have the opportunity to have a quick interview with Kevin, the Founder of Xplore.my to share his story on how he had the idea and started to develop a Outdoor Activities Directory to promote outdoor activities such as camping, rock climbing, hiking and jungle trekking in Malaysia.
1. Hi Kevin! It’s good to have you here. Can you tell us more about yourself about your background?
Thanks! My profession is an engineer. Upon graduating from an Australian university with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering in 2006, I came back to Malaysia and joined an American based semi-conductor manufacturing company as process engineer.
2 years later, I joined my family’s company to oversee their production line of automotive parts. At the same time, I also helped out in the factory’s trading company. Few years later, in 2010, I began to have the interest with website building and started to do self learning on building websites. Among the websites I’ve built so far are Straws.my, Malaysia Parking Rate Directory & Explore Outdoor Activity Malaysia.
2. How was the learning process?
The learning was relatively simple thanks to the basic programming knowledge that I got while pursuing my Engineering degree. On top of that, I was also able to find a lot of information related to this on the internet. The process was fairly fun. With the new knowledge gained, I was able to build various websites including blogs, e-commerce site and information websites.
3. So have you mastered the art of website building?
Definitely not. There is a big gap between building a website and building a great website. Knowing the basic allows us to build a website, but in order to build a great website, there is another pandora box to open and it contains the knowledge of SEO, content creation, digital marketing and more. And these are very big fields on their own and there’s no “secret sauce” to master them as the algorithm for them keep evolving, in a good way.
3. So why did you come out the idea of creating a Malaysia Outdoor Activities Directory?
I was very active in outdoor activities such as hiking and camping since my college period when I was single and free. However, I gradually slow down after my first child was born in 2012 and started spending my weekend at home with my family instead.
Fast forward to 2022, after being “locked down” at home for almost 2 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I felt that I had to expose my children to the nature more. So I started bringing them out for hiking and camping together. Since I needed to find locations that are suitable for children, I spent a lot of time searching online for more information and review about outdoor activity locations in Malaysia. That is the time I realized that the information is very limited and scattered around the internet. I wanted to create a platform that allows other outdoor activity enthusiast as well as beginner to obtain information more easily, hence I started the Xplore.my project.
4. How did you start?
I started using my prior knowledge of building a directory website to set up the structure of Xplore.my. Once the infrastructure of the website is ready, then comes the data collection part. I wanted to focus on a certain category first to test the concept and I have chosen camping in Malaysia. I searched the internet for blogs, websites, YouTube videos and social media that introduce or review camping sites in Malaysia and consolidated the information into my site. Later on, I added the functionality that allows the public to submit information directly in the website.
5. How was the public response towards the site?
Since the beginning of the launch of Xplore.my in June 2022, I have promoted the directory in various camping groups on Facebook and have received good response from the group members. The feedback that I’ve gotten was good and they wish that the platform can continue to grow with more information because this enables them to obtain camping site details and review more easily.
As of now we have around 300 camping sites in Malaysia being listed on Xplore.my. Out of these most of them are camping sites in Selangor, camping sites in Perak, camping sites in Johor and camping sites in Pahang.
6. Are you getting any income from the site?
Since the site is free for everyone to use, we don’t generate any income from them. We rely on the income from the Google advertisements that are being displayed on our site for revenue.
7. What is your future plans towards the site?
We are still constantly improving the layout of the website for better user experience. Of course, we are still constantly adding in new camping sites to our platform as well as updating the existing camping site information. Gradually we will also start adding information of other outdoor activities such as rock climbing, jungle trekking, hiking etc.