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Archive for August, 2010

Convention and Visitors Bureaus know that photos are an important part in selling a destination. Compelling photos can also say much more than 140 characters can on twitter. Part of twitter’s appeal is time-sensitive content and photos should enhance this. I can tweet about the beautiful weather in Chicago but sending a twitpic photo would say even more.

There are several photo posting options on twitter but my preference is twitpic. It seems to load photos faster (for the viewer) than TweetPhoto and it’s easier to navigate through a user’s photostream than yfrog.

You can easily upload photos from twitpic.com but I think the best use of twitpic is the ability to upload photos on the go from your phone. Each user has a special “twitpic email address” that they can email their photos to for instant uploading. (more…)

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I remember coming home from school and watching The Donna Reed Show on Nick at Nite in the 80s. I so wanted to grow up and be just like her. Well the life of a 1950’s housewife is no longer in my future but I am still fascinated with all things retro and antique.

Luckily my parents have great saving habits so I’ve acquired a few antique items that used to belong to my grandma but I have only recently discovered the delightful experience of antiquing. Thanks to Dave Woodson‘s recommendation, I went antiquing in La Porte, IN this past weekend and came back with three great items.

My first find was a pair of gently used ice skates with a red & black houndstooth lining. It’s going to be a perfect Christmas decoration and it only cost $5. How could I pass that up?

My other two items are vintage postcards. I just loved thumbing through stacks of postcards, reading all of their messages and reliving their trips from decades ago. There’s something special about getting in the car and driving across the country. It’s the only way to experience a real road trip.  (more…)

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Creating a custom Google Map is a great way to enhance itineraries, attraction and hotel listings, special events and so much more. Plus Google made it very easy to create and embed these maps.

Go to the “My Maps” tab and create a title and description for your new map. All you have to do now is find, drop or drag placemarks and draw lines. You can customize the icon for the placemark as well as adding live links and images via html.

Flickr is always a great resource for images. Search within the Creative Commons to find images that can be used commercially. You can find the html under the “Share This” tab for each photo. (more…)

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It just got easier for DMO professionals to stay connected. Bill Geist and Terry White have created an incredible portal for destination marketing professionals: DMOpro

Some of the highlights of the DMOpro site are a real-time tourism news feed, a comprehensive listing of tourism job opportunities and an impressive library featuring white papers, funding models and advocacy examples. Some of the videos in the AV Room are also perfect to use as examples of how travel impacts the economy.

Take a few minutes to explore DMOpro now and bookmark it for future visits!

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If you’re not using Foursquare or Gowalla, now is the time to start, especially if you’re in the tourism industry. Both of these sites allow users to “check in” at places via their phone and earn badges or pins for different checkin criteria.

When you sign up for either of these, you have the option to connect your checkins to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. While I feel this is a great feature, I see it overused and abused quite frequently.

Oversharing

Don’t tweet all of your checkins, especially without comments. As a twitter follower, I don’t really need to know when you’re at Walmart.

Do be selective and tweet (or post to Facebook) checkins that are special locations (vacations, festivals, something really cool) or those that have a funny comment. If your comment is something like “I want to be a Walmart greeter when I grow up” then, by all means, tweet it. (more…)

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Flickr rolled out a new design a few weeks ago to 800,000 some users and just made it mainstream today. It’s a lot cleaner and seems to display all the important information “above the fold” on the screen.

Here are my favorite aspects of this new design: (more…)

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When you first started twitter, you may have felt overwhelmed fitting everything in to one little 140-character tweet. Abbreviating where you can, leaving off some of the details and trying your best to just cram it all in and still have room for a link should be considered a skill. Well I hate to burst your bubble but now you have to do it in less characters.

One of your twitter goals should be to get retweets from your followers. In order to make this easy (see How to retweet properly), you need to leave enough characters so retweeters don’t have to edit your content. Specifically, subtract the amount of characters in your twitter name + 5 to save space for “RT @[yourname]” at the least. This doesn’t allow room for the retweeter to add a comment so leaving off a few more characters is even better.

Don’t like doing the math? Just make it a general rule to use a maximum of 120 characters per tweet.

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