One of the major website authors in Malaysia is Timothy Tye. He is also one of the few who has been doing it full time for over ten years. Timothy has two main websites. One is called Penang Travel Tips while the other is the eponymous timothytye.com.
Timothy Tye began writing websites seriously in 2003, when he established a site called AsiaExplorers, to support his interest in travel. Shortly after going full-time, he establish Penang Travel Tips, and relocated all the articles about Penang from AsiaExplorers to this new site. He created Penang Travel Tips in order to provide information about his hometown Penang, and since then, Penang Travel Tips has become one of the biggest travel websites in Malaysia.
Timothy continues to write his websites out of his personal enjoyment. Although they were started by him to to satisfy his own curiosity, they are today used not only by tourists, but also by journalists, teachers, students and the general public as a useful resource for information on Penang.
Although many people call Timothy Tye a blogger, he is technically not one. What he writes are not blogposts, but rather “encyclopedia entries”. Every page is an “entry” about a specific item – it can be a street, building, river, shopping mall or something else. Every entry has a number of cross reference links within the articles themselves, to show how one entry relates to another. Every new entry requires the updating of older entries, to add the cross reference links to them. The result is an ever expanding body of knowledge, best described as “Timothy Tye’s own Wikipedia”.
For many years, Timothy wrote only about Penang, because writing about Penang alone has consumed all his time. He has written about other places, but these were left largely untouched until just a few years ago, when he started to update his non-Penang entries. As many of the entries are about places outside Asia, he decided to retire the AsiaExplorers domain, and relocated the rest of his non-Penang entries to a website that has a more general name. After much thought, he decided to call it after himself, and so the non-Penang entries are housed in www.timothytye.com. With this domain name, he can write about any place in the world, although for the moment, he only has time to cover Malaysia and Singapore.
The way his websites are written is a time-consuming process that involves a lot of research. Today, the two website together hold some 24,000 pages of information, of which Penang alone has some 8,000 pages. Both sites have the exact same look and feel. That way, users can go from one website to the other, and back again, without realising that they are moving back and forth.
Timothy Tye himself admits that he enjoys browsing his own websites. But as he spends all his time writing, he actually does not have much time to browse his own websites. It is only during moments when he is away from the computer, perhaps lying on a hotel bed, that he has a chance to read his own websites from the smartphone. He said that enjoys browsing them and being able to go page after page on a virtual journey of discovery. This mermerising experience that his websites provides him is one of the reasons he continue to enjoy writing them, adding more entries and updating existing ones.
If you have never visited Timothy Tye’s websites, browse through Penang Travel Tips (www.penang-traveltips.com) and Timothy Tye (www.timothytye.com) today, and perhaps you too may enjoy them as much as the author had, in writing them.