Archive for July, 2011

First there was planking. Then came owling.

BowTie July: Day 18Planking became extremely popular in May, sweeping Australia and making its way to the US. It’s the art of lying down flat with yours arms stiff at your side. There’s a Planking Facebook page but I highly suggest checking out these 65 Best Planking Pictures From Around the World.

Owling, first documented on July 11, 2011, is a variation of planking where a person squats like an owl. Of course all the fun is in choosing a unique or strange location for your owling photo. You can find great examples in ‘Owling’ Is The New ‘Planking’ and there’s an Owling Facebook page as well.

Gainesville posted an owling photo on their Facebook wall this week. I think it’s great to see a CVB actually use a trend while it’s still trending. Way to go!

Give some love to my #SoMeT friend John Pricher by following Gainesville on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep your eye out for the next trend and don’t be afraid to jump on it!


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It’s been brought to my attention that some people don’t think I can be mean. And while that’s probably a good thing, sometimes I’ll go out of my way to be nice and end up sacrificing things I want to keep others happy. If you’re also like this, take a vow to change with me. From this point forward, we will be more like the Honey Badger, the most fearless animal in all of the animal kingdom.

Warning: video contains offensive language.

Honey Badger don’t care.

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Tweeting DIYA lot has changed in the social media world since October 2010 but most of the basics in Hashtaggery (how to create a hashtag for your event) have remained the same. Here’s an update:

1. Think: choose a hashtag that can easily correlate to your event

What type of abbreviations can you use? If there will be live-tweeting at your event, make sure you choose something that can be easily typed. Keep it short and sweet but not so short that it becomes confusing.

Should you use the year in it? I’ve seen a lot of hashtags that use “2010″ or just “10″ as a date. Twitter search history lasts only a few days so there’s no need to differentiate your annual events by adding the year to your hashtag. Remember that people will be live-tweeting and it takes an extra step to add numbers on a mobile device.

The thought process behind this hasn’t changed. Since my original post, I’ve upgraded to an Android phone (from a Blackberry) so typing numbers in a hashtag is more difficult now but my keyboard (Swiftkey) auto-suggests words and hashtags so leaving off numbers in a hashtag is not as crucial. Just keep in mind whether you want to use the hashtag year-round or only specifically for the conference.

2. Research: are your choices already being used? (more…)

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It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I started my photography Project 365. Not a day had gone by without me taking a photo, even if it was before I went to bed at 2am. Obviously some of those photos lacked creativity but there are a number of photos that I’m proud of. Here’s a sampling:

The beginning and the end (July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011):

Knot 001/365 Knot 365/365

My series of dog noses (Aug 9, 10, 11):

Chip 040/365 Freckle Face 041/365 Doodle Bug 042/365

One of the best sunsets I’ve ever shot (July 16):Sunset 016/365 (more…)

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If you’re not already familiar with #tourismchat, it’s a biweekly twitter chat (Thursdays at 2pm CST) that focuses on how social media is used in the tourism industry.

Our last chat, July 21, was about Websites/Analytics. You can read through the chat transcript [pdf] but here are some of my favorite tweets from the chat:

  • When it comes to using website analytic software internally or having an agency handle the reporting, most of the chat participants use Google Analytics internally, even if an agency helps measure traffic.
  • Most chat participants optimize their website on a regular basis. Travel 2.0 added: Typically a constant cycle works, try to touch your top 50 pages once every 3 months and repeat. (more…)

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Is there really a need to share EVERYTHING on all your social networks?

  • I do not need to know each time you check in on Foursquare, especially when there’s nothing personal added to your update or you’re checking in at Walmart.
  • I do not need to know each song that you listen to on Spotify.
  • I do know need to know each time you “favorite” a video on YouTube.
  • I do not need to see your same update on Twitter and Facebook and Google+. The networks are different for a reason. Use them differently.

Don’t connect all of your social networks together just to push out information. There’s nothing social about that.

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Geeks like geeky things. I’m also an organizational fanatic so you can only imagine the excitement I had when Katie Cook pointed out this Social Media Directory for The University of Texas at Austin. All of the blogs, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube accounts for various colleges and schools within UT are listed here as well as those accounts for administrative offices, libraries and museums.  It’s massive and it’s beautiful.

Would this be a good for destinations? Of course! In fact, two destinations already have something similar.

Experience Columbus has a page on their blog that links to the twitter accounts for area restaurants, attractions, shops and hotels. They also created twitter lists for these categories so users can follow the entire list while planning their trip.

Visit Mesa also has a Get Social page that features social hotels, transportation, attractions, restaurants as well as twitter accounts for local news, government and sports.

Creating these directories are a great first step but you can take it even further by promoting your partners and CVB members online within the specific network. (more…)

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