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If you haven’t noticed, Tourism Land has a new look…and name…and URL. While the design is not really finished yet, I wanted to update you on this change.

I finally replaced my FrontPage/hasn’t-been-updated-since-2009 website with WordPress last week. If want to know more about this delightful process, check out How to migrate your blog.

  • If you’re a life-long fan — and really, who isn’t?! (read with sarcasm) — then please follow me at annehornyak.com.
  • If you previously signed up with your Google Reader, the old RSS feed will still work.
  • If you previously signed up via email, please enter your email address again. I don’t believe the old email subscriptions transferred. If you’ve already received an email for my How to migrate your blog post (Sept 2), you don’t need to sign up again.

Thanks for your continued support!

Postcards

I like vintage postcards. Not just for their images but for the stories they tell. And I believe that postcard writing is truly and art form. A lost art at that.

Sheri, a twitter friend, tweeted The lost art of postcard writing earlier this month and we began talking about postcards over twitter. She set up a PO Box so her Facebook friends could send postcards to her kids and I thought that was a wonderful idea!

I asked her for her PO Box address so I could also send them one. Well suburbia isn’t the easiest place to pick up a postcard so it took me a few weeks to find postcards. But I finally found some at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, IN. By the way, if you’re looking for The Christmas Story memorabilia, go to their gift shop.

The plan is to regularly mail postcards to Sheri’s kids. Hopefully I’ll be able to travel more so the postcards won’t all be of Indiana or Chicago but I stocked up at the Welcome Center just in case. If you’re interested in sending them a postcard, please message me for their address. Continue Reading »

#tourismchat is a biweekly twitter chat focusing on Social Media in the Tourism Industry. It’s held on Thursdays at 2pm CST. If you’re not familiar with it, this is your personal invitation to participate, or at least lurk, in the chat!

How?

If you use TweetDeck or HootSuite, set up a search column for #tourismchat. My preference is TweetDeck as it brings in new tweets automatically in real-time.

If you don’t use TweetDeck or can’t keep up with the constant tweets, try TweetChat. This site automatically adds the #tourismchat hashtag at the end of every tweet, which is a great benefit. Tip: sign in with your twitter account and move the refresh speed down to 5 seconds.

Why?

  1. #tourismchat is FREE.
  2. CVBs and others in the tourism industry share their social media knowledge and experience. For free.
  3. It’s like attending specific social media sessions at tourism conferences but better.
  4. And if you needed another reason:

So please join us this Thursday, September 1, at 2pm CST when we chat about the use of multimedia (obtaining and using photos, videos, podcasts, etc) in the tourism social space.

Of course I’m partial to #tourismchat but feel free to check out these other Travel Chats on Twitter too.

Everyday Heroes

Reflections of cloudsThere’s something amazing about twitter. It’s so easy to find and connect with people who share similar interests with you. And every once in a while, you’ll create lifelong friendships and find everyday heroes too. A few new names were added to my list of heroes this weekend.

Betsy Decillis and I went on #geekcation this past weekend. We had our first #geekcation, May 2010, in Chicago when we worked on acquiring Foursquare badges. This #geekcation was a little different as it was based on a visit to AJ Bombers, a mecca for social media geeks. Continue Reading »

The days are getting shorter, kids are going back to school and some trees are beginning to drop leaves…summer is definitely on the way out. Take time in the next few weekends to celebrate the end of summer by doing what we do best – traveling!

Road Trip!1. Be a tourist in your town: We live here but we always travel somewhere else for fun. When’s the last time you explored your town as tourists do? Whether it’s going to the downtown shops, a farmers market or a local restaurant, take time to enjoy what you have right here.

2. Take a road trip: Even if it’s just for part of the day, get in your car and DRIVE! There’s no better way to explore our country than to see it first hand on a road trip.

3. Capture your travels on film: Start creating photo and video memories. If you don’t have a camera, just use your phone. Anything is better than nothing. But don’t just collect the memories – share them on Facebook, Flickr and YouTube!

This weekend I’m taking my own advice with a road trip to Milwaukee. But it’s much more than just a road trip. It’s a #geekcation with Betsy Decillis. Yes, we’re tourism geeks and we use hashtags when we travel. Don’t you??

Google Maps mashups

Maps are an integral part of tourism marketing and creating a custom Google Map is one of the easiest ways to highlight specific parts of a destination. Maps can be made for thematic itineraries, hotels or even for things to see or do around a convention center. They can range from being rather simple with a just an address, website and/or description for each venue to something more complex featuring photos, videos and blog posts.

Tourism Queensland ran a Best Job in the World campaign in 2009 and the winner, Ben Southall, has embarked on another Queensland adventure, The Best Expedition in the World, which started in May and will be completed in September. A Google Map was created to show his 1600km kayak journey from the Town of 1770 to Cooktown, retracing the route of Captain James Cook.

The journey is an incredible feat on its own but the Best Expedition in the World Map is a mashup of Flickr photos, YouTube videos, blog posts and breathtaking 360° views. Continue Reading »

Ever since my #geekcation in Chicago (an excuse to work on Explore Chicago’s Foursquare badges), I’ve said that I would love to see a CVB create a Foursquare guide. Well this is it! Foursquare recently allowed brands to get pages for free and also unveiled a new lists feature on Monday.

What does this mean for you? Get your CVB on Foursquare. Now.

It’s easy to create a page. All you need is a graphic, description and a branded twitter account to get started. Once you’re ready with that, it’s time to add a few tips. You have to add at least 5 tips when you create your page. What’s great about these tips is that they come from your “official” brand and not a personal account.

Lists are an excellent way to group Foursquare venues together into themes, whether it by a list of museums, BBQ restaurants or even neighborhood guides. Three CVBs that have already created Foursquare lists are Visit Savannah, Baltimore and Tuscarawas County CVB. Continue Reading »