TravelPod Blog Archive: All posts from 2006

by Luc Levesque
Feature your photos, even the ones without stories!
Dec 11, 2006

We realize that our members have great photos but just don’t have the time to write stories for all of them.

We’ve heard you loud and clear and have removed the old restriction where members couldn’t have their photos featured unless they had a story.

If you’ve got a great travel photo and want to have it featured, just send us a request ( it’s the “Feature this” button next to the photo when you login ) and we’ll give it a look.

We’re dying to see your great shots,
Request away!

Cool new editor
Dec 7, 2006

Cool new travel blog entry editor

We’ve just released a cool new text editor which should make adding and editing entries much easier.

Login and check it out today!

Give us your feedback!

November newsletter
Nov 29, 2006

Check out the November newsletter!

The Sydney Morning Herald – Article on Travel Blogging
Nov 18, 2006

Check out Today’s Sydney Morning Herald for a cool article on how traveling is so hi-tech these days.

They talk about travel blogging a little and even refer to our very own Whereshegoes as a “travel celebrity” :)

Check out the article

October Newsletter
Oct 31, 2006

Check out our October Newsletter. Cheers!

Cool new way to weave photos into your entries!
Oct 15, 2006

Another great feature was just released this morning! We’re sure you’ll love this one. Now on TravelPod you can add your photos, nicely framed anywhere in your entries. This is an improvement to our previous clunky way of letting you add HTML tags into your entries.

Give us your feedback on this new feature!

Now weaving photos into your entries is easy, really fun, and I have to admit, just looks freaking cool!

Check out one of my entries to see just how cool your entries will look with your photos right in your entries!

You can go edit your entries right now to start adding your photos in right now. Just click the new “Weave photos into your entry” button on your “Edit Entry” page.

Enjoy!

Map Enhancements
Oct 13, 2006

Based on your feedback we’ve enhanced our satellite maps ( aka Google Maps ) to now allow you to set your map pins using those very same maps ( instead of our classic maps ).

Previously, members could choose to view their travel maps on our classic or the satellite maps but could only set their pins using our classic maps. Now, when you set your trip properties to use Satellite maps, you’ll be able to set your pins using those same maps as well.

Why should you care? Setting your map pins on the satellite maps gives you the following benefits:

- Full 100% coverage of the globe ( no problems pinning small islands in the pacific )
- Search for a city, country, or even a street address and we’ll place a pin there for you.
- Better accuracy when placing pins.

Enjoy!

A bigger and badder TravelPod for all!
Sep 30, 2006

Our upgrade of TravelPod went without a glitch today. Thanks for your patience! TravelPod now has over one Terabyte of storage space to hold all of your precious travel memories. Keep em’ coming!

TP Sponsors a member on the “Water for Life” Challenge
Sep 26, 2006

The “Water for Life” Challenge: Cycling from Darwin to Ayers Rock for “Water Aid Australia”.

Aurelien Jondeau, 27, from France is about to set on a 2000 km cycling journey to link Darwin to Ayers Rock through the Stuart Highway. He will ride to raise awareness and money for “Water Aid Australia”, an international charity dedicated to helping some of the world’s poorest people escape the stranglehold of poverty and disease caused by living without safe water and sanitation.

Darwin, Northern Territory, September 26, 2006 – One of our TravelPod nomads is on his way to cycle from Darwin to Ayers Rock to raise awareness and money for “Water Aid Australia”, an international charity who has been working for the past 25 years to help people from under privileged countries to get out of poverty caused by living without safe water and sanitation.

He will start the ride on the 1st of October 2006, cycling on average 100 km a day to follow a regimented schedule, stopping at every town on the way to promote the charity organization and planning to reach Ayers Rock by the 23rd of October.

The wet season starts to build up slowly but surely, so he will cycle under rough conditions, fighting against the elements of Nature, desert heat, heavy rains, sand winds…trying to keep up with a tight schedule to reach safer areas where to sleep at night through the Tanami desert.

If you want to support the challenge by making a donation to “Water Aid Australia”, you can find all the information on their website at www.wateraid.org/australia. Once you’ve made a donation, please send an email with your name, surname, email address and amount donated at thewaterforlifechallenge@hotmail.com so you’ll be among the great supporters of the challenge and will be updated with all the adventures that would have happened during the trip.

Aurelien Jondeau through the “Water for Life” challenge is proud to present the partners and sponsors: Greenspeed Tricycles (www.greenspeed.com.au) TravelpPod, the Web’s Original Travel Blog (www.travelpod.com) Worldnomads Travel Insurance (www.worldnomads.com)

Aurelien is planning to make this “Water for Life” challenge becoming an annual event where people from around the globe would join together and cycle through the same path to raise awareness and money for “Water Aid Australia”.

Should you or your organization be interested in becoming a partner or a participant of an annual “Water for Life” challenge in the future, which would mean a greater exposure and impact, please contact Aurelien at thewaterforlifechallenge@hotmail.com.

P.S. If you want to know more about Aurelien and his adventures, please check his travel stories at www.travelpod.com/members/beyou.

Thanks and wish him Good Luck !

Members in the news!
Sep 23, 2006

This morning, one of our long-time members, uncle_davros was telling his tales in The Guardian, a popular UK based newspaper.

Looking good Dave!

New Feature: More personal info on your profile page
Sep 23, 2006

You asked for it and now it’s here! We’ve added 11 new options in your personal account settings where you can enter:

What’s your profession?
Where were you born?
Which languages do you speak?
What are your interests and hobbies?
What’s your favourite book?
What music do you listen to?
What’s your favourite movie?
What’s your favourite quote?
What’s the most amazing moment in your life so far
What’s one thing you want to do before you die
Your friends would describe you as

We’ll show this info to your guests on your personal profile page. This is one more way to personalize your travel blog for your own unique personality.

Enjoy!

New “Jump to latest entry” link
Sep 13, 2006

Based on your feedback, we’ve added a new link to your travel blog welcome page which will bring your guests right to your latest entry.

Check it out!

Thanks for the feedback!

New city level browsing
Sep 6, 2006

In case you haven’t noticed TP now has a city level search.

See the “Most popular cities:” box on this page for a sample
New city level search

Instead of just getting “Canada” level results, you can drill down to Ottawa.

You could search for this before but now the browsing interface allows you to easily get to content.

This should make getting to our photos, travel blogs and videos much much easier

Enjoy!

Radio spotlight on TravelPodder going from London to Australia by car currently in Iran
Aug 28, 2006

One of our members ( jennykelly ) is currently going from London to Australia by car!

She called into a radio show ( ABC Local Radio – Australia All Over ) in Australia from Iran for an interesting interview about her adventures.

Listen to the interview

Jenny Kelly calls in at 26:18 into the show and speaks until 29:50 at which point there is a break for weather, news etc. She then comes on again at 42:30 and speaks until 48:00.

Here is her blog

She is in Iran now and reports that gas is: 2.4 cents per liter, woa!

Looking forward to her next update next Sunday… stay tuned.

South American Starter Kit
Jul 27, 2006

If you haven’t checked out our South American FAQ yet, check it out:

South American Start Kit

New Feature: Find other travelers!
Jul 27, 2006

After our last feature which showed you which other travelers where NEAR you we had requests for a tool to let you find other travelers in any city.

At your requests, here it is!

Find travelers in any city

Enjoy!

New Feature: TravelPod Friends
Jul 22, 2006

You’ll notice when you login that we’ve added a new information box to the right titled “TravelPod Friends”.

This is where you’ll see all of the other travelers on TravelPod who are registered in your address book.

It’s a great way to see who within the TravelPod community is your friend and gives you eazy access to them!

If you want to add more, simply import your address book from gmail, yahoo, hotmail, outlook and others using our address importing tool.

Cheers!

New Feature: Find other travelers near you!
Jun 19, 2006

Hello, Did you know that because of the very nomadic nature of us TravelPodders, the odds of another TravelPod member being very near you right now is pretty high?

Unfortunately, before today, it would have been very difficult to meet that traveler, well, not anymore!

I’m happy to announce that a long awaited feature has arrived. We’ve added a new “neighbourhood” to TravelPod but this one doesn’t show you other travelers LIKE you ( we show you that ), but rather other travelers NEAR you.

Now, when you login to TravelPod we will show you a list of other travelers near you at this very moment. Many of you asked for this feature as a way to meet other travelers while traveling and also while back home.

We have found that the TravelHood is also good to quickly identify other members and their blog posts which usually contain good info regarding places you are currently traveling in.

So, how does it work? Well it’s pretty simple. Just login and you’ll see a new gray box on the right named “Travelers near you”. In that box you’ll see travelers in and around the city you are currently logged in from. You can also see when they logged in last to see if they are still near you.

If you click the “more” button, you’ll be taken to what we are calling your “TravelHood” for more info on the travelers.

If you rather other people not know that you are near them, you can disable this feature too from your TravelHood.

This is only phase one and much more is coming like mapping and expanded searching.

We did our best to get this right the first time but as always, we are counting on your feedback to guide us to perfecting it so please don’t hesitate to write in via our forums here:

TravelHood Suggestions and Feedback

We would also love to hear about your experiences meeting people using your TravelHood or any other neat ways you have found it useful.

What is the TravelHood?
Have you ever been somewhere and want to meet up, share info or just chat with another TravelPod member who also was traveling where you where right then? With your TravelPod TravelHood, which is sort of a Geographic Neighbourhood, you can do just that!

Your TravelHood lists travelers who are near you which you might want to get in touch with!

How do we do this? When you login we try to determine your geographic location using some snazzy tools we’ve spent a lot of time developing. We then match up your location with the location of other TravelPod members who are geographically close to where you are.

We show you who these travelers are and when they last logged in from that spot.

From there it’s up to you to get in touch with them and take it from there!

What better way to find a travel partner, get travel info or just meet new interesting people with similar interests who might be sitting right next to you.

Give it a try. You’ll be surprised just how many other travelers like you are right around the corner!


Enjoy!

Charlotte to Croatia
Jun 5, 2006

Here’s a cool one. TravelPod Member Chuck Horton, better known as chuckh is featured in a story posted to the Charlotte Observer site today (June 5 2006). Chuck is travelogging from Croatia. Check it out.

Site Upgrade – Single Sign-On
May 24, 2006

Site upgrade and maintenance efforts never end in this business. While there haven’t been any major happenings that you would notice in a while, you can be sure that there’s a team of plumbers hard at work on the pipes nearly every day.

Having said that, there is a change that will impact some Members coming down those pipes in about a week’s time. TravelPod is moving to a new unified login scheme that will mean one ID and password for access to the whole site including the TravelPodium, that is: the TravelPod Forums.

Briefly, this change will require a quick ID and/or password reset for a small group of Members. The notes below explain things and formal email notification, complete with all the details, is forthcoming.

IMPORTANT NOTE: TravelPod.com will be unavailable for approximately 2 hours, between 2 and 4 PM EST on May 31, 2006 while we cut-over to the new unified login system.

Single Sign-On – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is single sign-on?
Single sign-on (SSO), aka “Unified Login”, is the ability for a member to login to TravelPod once, with a single user ID and password, and get access to all the services of TravelPod, including the TravelPodium discussion forums, aka “the Forums”.

So what’s the big deal?
The TravelPodium discussion forums are powered by Invision Power Board. This purchased software comes with its own database and management of members. We were so eager to provide the Forums to our members that we initially took a short cut and did not integrate its members database with the existing TravelPod members database. This means that a TravelPod member had to separately register in the Forums, and also log in twice.

This was confusing and inconvenient. Many members thought the Forums did not work and so did not participate. Quite understandably, many members complained. There are many great topics and active discussions in the Forums, and we don’t want anything to stand in the way of our members from participating. So enough! Lets do the work and unite the members databases!

When does single sign-on take effect?
We will cut-over and unite the members databases on Wednesday, May 31, 2006.

What will change with single sign-on?
Members will notice the following changes:

• You only have to remember one user ID and password for all of TravelPod.

• A new TravelPod member is automatically registered with the TravelPodium forums.

• When you log in, using the Login link in the TravelPod banner, you are automatically logged in to TravelPodium.

• If you were not previously registered in TravelPodium, you are automatically registered when you first log in after the cut-over.

• The Join and Login links, as well as your login status, are now displayed in the TravelPod banner displayed on the Forums pages, just like on other TravelPod pages.

• We have removed the Forums-specific links for Log In, Register, and Log Out; just use the common ones in the TravelPod banner instead.

What stays the same with single sign-on?
You should realize that behind the scenes there are still two members databases, we just make sure you have the same user ID in both. TravelPod and TravelPodium forums still provide separate pages to manage your profile information. If you make a change to your TravelPod profile, say change your e-mail address, it does not affect the TravelPodium profile, and vice versa.

Also, TravelPod and the Forums still use different browser cookies to track your login sessions. Your TravelPod and Forums login sessions expire at different times. If you return to the site after being away for a few hours or days, you may notice that you are r Forums session is still active but not in TravelPod.

Will current members need to change anything when TravelPod cuts over to single sign-on?
Yes, some members will need to make changes to their user ID or email address. We had to make minor changes to the membership rules so that we could bring the two member databases together. We sent e-mails to all members that are affected by these changes, but it is possible that some e-mails did not get delivered.

• You must have the same user ID in both TravelPod and the Forums. So if you registered in the Forums with a different user ID than your TravelPod user ID, your Forums user ID must change. In many cases, we have been able to match your Forums account to your TravelPod account and will change your Forums user ID during the cut-over. After the cut-over, just login with your TravelPod user ID and password.

• In some cases, we were not able to match your Forums account to your TravelPod account. When you first login after the cut-over, you will likely get re-registered in the Forums with your TravelPod user id. However you’ll also have a new profile and posting history. Don’t worry, we can fix things up for you, just send an e-mail to unified@travelpod.com and tell us your TravelPod user ID and your old Forums user user ID.

• TravelPod user IDs must now be at least 3 characters long. If you have a shorter user ID, you will be prompted to change it to a longer user ID when you first log in after the cut-over.

• Each TravelPod account must have an e-mail address. If you have an account with no email address, you will need to add one, using the Personal Settings page.

• Each TravelPod account must now have a unique e-mail address. If you have more than one account with the same email address, you will need to change the e-mail address in the other accounts using the Personal Settings page. It’s OK for you to have multiple accounts, you just need to have a different e-mail address in each one. Alternatively, you can send us e-mail at unified@travelpod.com and ask us to delete an unused account or even merge together the contents of multiple accounts.

I registered in the Forums with a different user ID and password than in TravelPod. Which one do I use?
After the cut-over, only your Travelpod user ID and password are valid. If you had a different Forums user ID and password, they no longer work. We tried very hard to match your Forums account to your TravelPod account so that you can access both after the cut-over.

How did you match my Forums account to my TravelPod account?
Well, it wasn’t always easy, and we weren’t always able to do it. Mostly we tried to match on the e-mail address in your Forums and TravelPod profile. If the e-mails were the same or similar we likely had a match. We were even more certain if the user IDs were the same. However if you had the same user ID but completely different e-mail addresses in the profiles, we didn’t think this was a match. If we made a mistake in your case we apologize, just send us an e-mail at unified@travelpod.com and we will correct it.

I was registered in the Forums but not in TravelPod. How do I log in after the cut-over?
No wonder we couldn’t match your Forums account to your TravelPod account! First, you need to join TravelPod – its free! Then send us an e-mail at unified@travelpod.com with your Forums user ID and your new TravelPod user ID, and we will match the two accounts. You won’t be able to access the Forums until you do this. Note you may not be able to keep the same user ID, it may already be taken in the TravelPod members database. Please ensure you send us e-mail from the same address that appears in your profile so we can verify we are matching the accounts from the same person.

Why does the Login page have a “Login to Forums” check box?
This box is checked by default so that you automatically get logged in to the Forums when you log in to TravelPod. But just in case you cannot or don’t want to be logged in to the Forums, you can uncheck this box before pressing the Login button. If you are having a problem, please let us know at unified@travelpod.com.

Why don’t I see my old Forums profile and posting history when I log in?
Perhaps we were unable to match your Forums account to your TravelPod account. If so, we likely re-registered you in the Forums with your TravelPod user ID the first time you logged in after the cut-over. Don’t worry, we can restore your old Forums profile and posting history. Just email us at unified@travelpod.com and tell us your TravelPod user ID and original Forums user name, and we’ll fix things up for you.

I liked my Forums user ID better than my TravelPod user ID. Why can’t I keep it?
For single sign-on to work, we had to pick one members database to be the master, and that was the original TravelPod members database. However, if you really liked your Forums user ID better, you have two possible options. First, your Forums display name can be different than your user ID, you can change it to whatever you want – as long as that name isn’t already taken. Or you can e-mail us at unified@travelpod.com and ask us to change your TravelPod user ID, as long as it isn’t already taken.

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.
Francis Bacon

Cheers!

Hometown Attention
May 24, 2006

You already know that TravelPod is headquartered in Ottawa ON Canada. We’re pleased to draw your attention to some flattering hometown attention in the form of two stories in the Travel Section of The Citizen (Ottawa’s main daily newspaper) on Saturday, May 20, 2006.

One of those stories is about your very favourite travel blog site. Read it here.

The other story is about a pair of our favourite TravelPod Members, the globe-trotting duo known to you all as thymeoff. Read their story about Leaving It All Behind.

The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality,
and instead of thinking how things may be,
to see them as they are.

Samuel Johnson

Cheers!

BBC, DeKalb Daily
May 12, 2006

TravelPod Members continue to the make news around the world. Last week, Members Ray and Jan Ott were featured in the DeKalb (IL, USA) Daily Chronicle. Seems the footloose Otts have been hankering to return to the Peace Corps for about 25 years, and the time has come. You can read about Ray and Jan’s excellent plan and maybe drop them a line of encouragement at rayandjan.

Meantime, halfway around the world, our own Steve James has achieved yet another moment of fame. Steve’s writing on TravelPod is cited in the current Weblog Watch, a new feature in the BBC’s online Magazine. In a world where there are hundreds of millions of blogs, Steve’s has risen to the top. We say Congratulations! and you can do the same at stevejames.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
Oscar Wilde

Cheers!

DATELINE: INSPIRATION
Apr 10, 2006

Some more media coverage to report, folks. This time it’s the Edmonton Journal in Alberta Canada (which just happens to be home-base for TravelPod Community Manager Carmella aka whereshegoes) and this time, it’s not one but two articles that together consume all of the front page of the Saturday (April 4, 2006) Travel Section and spill over on to page 2.

In the first story, entitled Travel blogs keep wanderers in touch you’ll read the familiar TravelPod.com rags to (maybe… someday…) riches story. As a bit of an aside, I continue to be fascinated with what reporters and editors choose to include in their published pieces. The facts in the article are completely correct (as checked and double-checked by the Journal’s fact-checking department) but it is almost amusing to note that there is always far more discussed in a preparatory interview than makes it to the printed page.

Some of that can be attributed to the finite amount of space available to many competing writers and their stories, but I suspect the same thing happens in longer forms of journalism including magazines, closely managed on-line media outlets, and even book-length travel memoirs. Knowing how many words are enough to get the point across in an engaging, entertaining and informative manner is valuable knowledge, but it always requires that something be left out of the story.

Not so with travel blogs. How many words are enough? Exactly the number you use to have your say your way. Self-editing has a place and we all do it to some extent, but what I find most compelling about TravelPod members’ writing is the serendipity: the almost accidental moments of revelation; the characters and the local colour that are revealed when we just let the words flow into our travelogues. Yes, there will always be newspapers, magazines and books stuffed into my backpack, but nothing compares to the magic of an earnest TravelPod raconteur’s tales from foreign roads, typos and all.

But wait! I haven’t told you about the second story in the Edmonton Journal. TravelPod is mentioned (in passing, more or less) but the real subject is Carmella her very own self! It’s entitled She quit her job and hit the road. This may be the first time (and let me know if I’m wrong) that a TravelPod member has parlayed a passion for travel into a Warholian moment of fame.

We are justifiably proud of Carmella’s tireless efforts to make TravelPod the best travel blogging site on the Web (in addition to being the original and first) but the Journal profile reminded me of one of the very most valuable things about Carmella: she has been and continues to be an inspiration to others. To quote from the paper, Carmella “… has inspired some people around the world to follow her bold move and tread their own path….”

Yes indeed. That is what Carmella and every one of you TravelPod travel bloggers is really all about.

Do read the stories. They’re inspirational in themselves.

Cheers!

Connections That Inspire
Mar 28, 2006

Regular readers of this space know that we like to call attention to any and every mention of TravelPod that we come across in the media: magazines and newspapers, television and radio, and anywhere on World Wide Web.

In the magazine department, one of the latest examples can be found in the March issue of Outside magazine. Here’s a link to the on-line version of the Outside article and that’s one of two points we want to make: there is precious little that appears in the traditional media that isn’t also available in some electronic form. Does that mean we no longer need the good old paper-and-ink version of “the news”? As travellers, we don’t think that to be the case.

Internet access may be what some folks call ubiquitous but as travellers we know that there are many, many, many places on earth where we cannot and may never be able “log on”. And the truth is, much of what we enjoy most about travel comes from not being connected. To some extent, we hope that never changes. No on-line magazine article can ever tell the kinds of stories you’ll hear on a long and dusty bus ride through the Andean foothills.

Our second point? Well, we admit to being just a bit conflicted. Obviously, TravelPod is an on-line medium itself and the internet is essential to our existence. So how do we all strike a balance? We strike a balance by recording the stories we hear on the buses, in the cafes, and on the streets. We post words, photos and videos, share them with the entire TravelPod community and the connected world beyond… and inspire others to climb on board the next bus heading for the hills.

On the topic of media and the connections that inspire, I would be remiss if I didn’t put in a good word for our very own TravelPod Newsletter. Subscribers know that we made some exciting changes in the February issue (check it out) and the feedback has been nothing but positive (and thanks very much for that.) With the March issue of the TravelPod Newsletter, we’re at it again. To get your copy of the TravelPod Newsletter delivered right to your inbox:
1. Visit the TravelPod home page. Look for the frame dubbed “Join our Newsletter” on the left hand side of the page.
2. Type your email address in the spot provided.
3. Click on the button with the arrow and that’s it.

‘Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind
and I like to write standing up.’

Ernest Hemingway

WELCOME FORUM MODERATORS
Mar 13, 2006

The TravelPod Forums have been serving up expert travel guidance for some time. Forum membership gives you a direct connection to fellow members and an easy way to ask pointed questions about specific travel destinations, about the ins-and-outs of TravelPod itself, and about travel in general.

Until recently, staying on top of the Forums was a task that fell to Carmella (whereshegoes) but with both membership and forum activity levels on the rise, your tireless Community Manager sent out a wise call for help… and a few truly dedicated Members have answered that call.

Today, we are pleased to welcome and tip our hats (all the way) to a new slate of TravelPod Forum Moderators. Without further ado, let’s meet them, shall we?

Barrett Barrett
Linda grannytravels2
Jenn Incrediblelife
Kevin & Siankevandsian
Steve stevejames
Ross technotrekker
Scott ScottWoz
and, of course, whereshegoes.

These folks give of their time and wisdom to support the entire TravelPod Community and we can’t say THANK YOU often enough. On the other hand, all of you Members at large can say thank you by dropping in to the TravelPod Forums right now . You’ll discover an ever-expanding body of trusted travel advice. You’ll connect directly with travelers who share your unique interests and concerns. And you’ll find ample opportunity to contribute your own travel wisdom.

Please note that TravelPod.com Membership and TravelPod Forum Membership are not, at present, one and the same. We are redesigning our member registration facility to streamline the process and we appreciate your patience. To register for the TravelPod Forums now, click here.

The travel writer seeks the world we have lost—the lost valleys of the imagination.
- Alexander Cockburn, Harper’s, Aug 1996 -

Millions Of Visitors Can’t Be Wrong
Feb 23, 2006

In 1997, when TravelPod.com was first launched, there was one “member”. That member was me. And I could just about count the number of monthly visitors to the site on two hands and a foot. Truth is, I could even name those visitors, every one being family or friend.

Things have changed… a lot.

It wasn’t that long ago that TravelPod welcomed its millionth visitor (on a cumulative basis, that is.) Today, TravelPod.com is approaching one million visitors every month. While that in itself is a wonderful milestone, the real story is in the timing.

Put it this way: between 1997 and 2004, TravelPod grew at what you’d have to call a leisurely pace. Then, in 2005, a couple of things happened that really opened up the gates.

One was the explosion in interest in blogs of every kind. Looking back, I could have chosen some other technology or format for TravelPod, but I think I made the right decision. There is no doubt that a full-featured blog site is the very best way to capture and share our travel experiences.

The other thing that changed in 2005? The media caught up with the revolution in travel blogging, specifically. Newspapers, radio and television, and on-line information and review outlets all came knocking to find out what it was all about. I bet a good number of you found TravelPod through some of that media buzz. (You can take a look back at all the great coverage TravelPod has enjoyed right here.)

These two developments have had a tremendous impact on TravelPod.com, and not only on the number of visitors. In fact the TravelPod Team is very proud to announce here and now that membership has tripled in only 10 months. Active travelers and armchair travelers, travelogue writers and travel photo bugs and travel videographers: all are joining the TP family at a furious rate!

For the more visually inclined among us, I’ve drawn this little graph to illustrate.

My point? Simply this. Thank you all for elevating TravelPod to a whole new level.

Travel on, friends… a world of wonders awaits.

Zoom In On TP’s Backyard
Feb 16, 2006

Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) is my hometown, and TravelPod’s base of operations. (World Headquarters, we like to say.)

If you’re not familiar with Ottawa, let me just say that for a metro area of close to a million people, we still enjoy a comfortable small-town feel and most Ottawans like to know what’s going on in our own backyard.

One of the ways we keep tabs on things is through the small but nimble newspapers that zoom in on the local stories.

The Ottawa Business Journal (OBJ, for short) is one of those newspapers and I’m pleased to report that our story found its way into last week’s issue.

So, here’s a chance to take a peek over the virtual fence and into TravelPod’s backyard… from a business perspective, that is.

Read the OBJ article here and let us know what you think.

Post-To-Winners Announced
Jan 31, 2006

The winners of December’s Post-To-Win contest have been announced and as you might guess, our panel of experts wanted to reward every member that posted in December but they couldn’t come up with the dosh, so we had to stick with the original plan.

From a random selection of 25 of December’s posts, the judges chose 5 that were particularly meritorious. A tidy $100 Canadian goes to each of…

mr-mrs_pickles for Sherwood forest and Nottingham
stevejames for Big Trouble In Little China
longwalktour for Bulgaria
rich for Canyon Swing
and
the tardifs for What To Do In Siem Reap.

Well done, good friends.
Well done.

Travel With Care
Jan 26, 2006

There are as many reasons to travel the world as there are world travelers. Like many of you, TP member Maggie Cashdollar has found hers in the desire to help others. Yesterday, the Arizona Republic ran a nice story about Maggie and a group of Rotarian friends, traveling India with a splendidly simple objective – caring for children.

Read the Arizona Republic article here.

Follow Maggies’ TravelPod posts at mcashdollar.

TP On The Air
Jan 23, 2006

We’ve just received our copy of the recent radio interview featuring TravelPod Community Manager Extraordinaire Carmella (whereshegoes).

The interview aired on KPAM in Portland OR on December 24, 2005 and Carmella did a great job of summing things up for the uninitiated. Bravo, Carmella.

Grab your copy and give it a listen. Then spread it around among friends, family, and anyone considering a travel adventure.

Happy Trails, to one and all.

Pints with Barrett – TravelPod meets with a member.
Jan 18, 2006

Andrea, Lucky and Carmella meet with a long time member in Ottawa!

We’re always more than happy to meet and have a pint or two with members when ever they’re in town.

So, when we received an email from a long time member telling us he was moving to Ottawa and wanted to hook up for a drink we were more than happy to take him up on the offer.

Luckly, Carmella ( whereshegoes ) was in town too. It was great to get his feedback about his experiences with TravelPod and we got a real kick out of his enthusiasm for TravelPod and traveling in general.

Barrett recently ended a big trip and posted a great blog about it on TP.

Have a read!

Which maps are right for you?
Jan 9, 2006

We’ve been getting some great feedback from our members regarding our new Google satellite maps.

Apparently some of our members prefer our own TravelPod classic maps over the new Google Satellite maps. We’re flattered :).

To accommodate everyone, we now give you the option of selecting which map type is right for you. You can change the map type by going to your trip properties and changing it from there.

Which map type should you choose?


First off, you can always change the default map type at any time so feel free to try one and then to try the other to see which one you like best.

So, which should you pick? To some degree it’s a matter of personal preference but there are some differences you should be aware of before picking a map type.

Detailed Satellite Maps Original Classic Maps

Recommended
• Satellite based maps
• Full global coverage
• Map zooming supported
• Dynamic interface
• More accurate

• TravelPod based maps
• Does not cover all countries
• No map zooming
• Static map
• Less accurate


Your Blog In Ink?
Jan 4, 2006

It’s happening more and more often: Traditional media outlets like newspapers and magazines are discovering that on-line travelogues are a great source of unique material that their readers really enjoy. I couldn’t agree more and here’s an opportunity for you to see if you can get some national “ink”.

Canada’s Globe & Mail newspaper invites you to “Sound off and share your travel tales from the road.” Just copy some of your best travel blog words (200 to 800 maximum) and paste them into an email to the Travel section at the Globe and Mail.

I’ll be watching for it.

TP In The News
Jan 4, 2006

Happy New Year, to one and all… and here’s good start to it with your TravelPod mentioned in the Tuesday (Jan 4) edition of Canada’s Globe & Mail.

Interesting angle: the writer didn’t start with travel in mind, but simply wanted to find some information about far-flung places. I think this underlines the fact that TravelPod is a great source for more than wanderlust inspiring and the thanks go to all you TP members – an extraordinary community of in-country documentarians, if I do say so myself.

Read the story here.


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