|New TravelPod Blog
Dec 25, 2007
I just realized that we never posted here about our new TravelPod News blog which has replaced Lucky’s News.
If you somehow landed here, you can find our new blog at blog.travelpod.com
|Small update to photo weaving
Oct 25, 2007
We received several messages from members that disabling the automatic weaving didn’t put the thumbnails back at the top of the entry like it used to be.
We agree that it makes sense that when disabling the new feature it should go back to the old way so we’ve updated TravelPod to do just that.
Now, if you choose to disable automatic weaving, the old-style thumbnails will show up at the top of the entry again.
|Automatically weave photos & videos
Oct 24, 2007
Automatically weave photos into your entries
We’ve had lots of feedback on how difficult it is to weave photos into entries over the last months. To make this easier for everyone, TravelPod now automatically weaves your photos into your entries.
To make sure we don’t mess with many of our member’s great layouts, if you’ve added any photos to your entries, TravelPod won’t weave any photos into it.
If you prefer that TravelPod doesn’t weave photos into your entries, you can disable the new feature by editing your photos for the entry and unselecting “Automatically weave photos & videos in this entry?”
|Embed your TravelPod videos on other sites
Oct 15, 2007
You can now embed your TravelPod videos in others sites.
|Happy 10th Birthday TravelPod!
Oct 12, 2007
TravelPod turns 10 years old (young!) this year.
Drag the timeline below to take a trip down memory lane and have a good laugh at the old TravelPod designs … what was I thinking?
|The Traveler IQ Challenge in USA Today ( Today… )
Oct 12, 2007
The Traveler IQ Challenge in Today’s USA Today
Here’s what they had to say:
“At TravelPod’s addictive Traveler IQ Challenge ( http://apps.facebook.com/travelpod-challenge ), Facebook players are given a world map and told to find a city or landmark, then awarded points on how close they get to the actual location and how quickly they can find it. The 12-round game gets progressively more difficult.”
|September TravelPod meetup in Ottawa
Oct 11, 2007
We had a small TravelPod meetup a few weeks ago…
We had a chance to meet some members and to get some great feedback.
This post is a little late but better late than never right?
Thanks to everyone for coming!
For pics, check out the forum post
Sep 21, 2007
New feature – Your guests can now comment on your photos
Hmm… I think I’ll toss this one in the “It’s about time” category too…
It’s been on the roadmap for a while… now you can finally accept comments on your photos.
So the next time you see a cool pic, post a comment and let the member know. Once you start commenting it gets a little addictive… so watch out.
|Large profile photos
Sep 20, 2007
Now when you upload your profile photo to TravelPod, we’ll keep a large copy of it too rather than just a small thumbnail.
When your guests click on your profile photo from your profile page, they’ll actually see a bigger photo rather than a small one again.
Seems logical that it should work this way, but we avoided this to save disk space in the past.
Delete and upload your new profile photo so that we can show your guests a nice big photo of your mug!
Sep 6, 2007
Check out the August newsletter if you haven’t yet:
|We’ll remember you!
Sep 5, 2007
New feature – We’ll remember you
“It’s about time” would be how I’d describe this new feature…
Oddly we’ve never received a request for this but this year we’re spending a good amount of time looking over TravelPod and making updates to make sure that TravelPod is as easy to use as possible.
So, we’ve added a new “Remember me from this computer” option on our login page. When selected, you’ll stay logged in to TravelPod on your PC so that you don’t need to enter your TravelPod ID and password each time you need to edit your travel blog.
If you’ve got a peave or an idea that would make TravelPod easier to use, please let us know. As always, we’re all ears…
|Plaxo Pulse and TravelPod
Aug 22, 2007
Integrate your Travel Blogs on Plaxo Pulse
You can now integrate your TravelPod travel blogs onto another social network. Plaxo Pulse ( a new social network ) now supports adding TravelPod travel blogs.
|Video and Photo enhancements
Aug 17, 2007
|TravelPod video streaming|
Video Streaming: New TravelPod videos are much more fun to watch now. We’ve made some enhancement so that you no longer need to wait for the video to be downloaded before starting to watch it. We’ve also released a much better video player too.
Videos are in the process of being converted, I’d expect all videos to be taking advantage of this late next week.
New upload option: Based on your feedback, we’ve added a new option to the uploader. Check the new box when uploading to have your uploads added to the bottom of your photos rather than the top.
Thanks for the feedback everyone,
Aug 6, 2007
I’m a little late with this post ( Thanks Carmella for the reminder ).
|Site of the day – TravelPod’s Traveler IQ Challenge
Jul 30, 2007
His posts includes a wise warning that if you have any work to do, avoid playing the challenge! I guess we’re not the only ones who’ve experienced the addictiveness of the challenge.
If you haven’t yet, give it a try
|Press release: TRAVELPOD’S TRAVELER IQ CHALLENGE ON FACEBOOK REVEALS WHY MEN DON’T ASK FOR DIRECTIONS: THEY’RE BETTER AT GEOGRAPHY THAN WOMEN
Jul 30, 2007
We’ve just issued a fun press release that highlights some of the statistics we’ve gathered from over 2M Travel IQ Challenges played.
The press release has some interesting stats and is titled:
TRAVELPOD’S TRAVELER IQ CHALLENGE ON FACEBOOK REVEALS WHY MEN DON’T ASK FOR DIRECTIONS: THEY’RE BETTER AT GEOGRAPHY THAN WOMEN
|New! Photo upload & editing improvements
Jul 23, 2007
The new TravelPod photo editing & upload system is here!
Here are a few of the features:
– Album Editor – you can now edit all your photos for an entry all at once! No more editing one image at a time.
– Photo Sorter – you can sort your photos by dragging and dropping them in place, no more wacky numbered titles.
– Video thumbnails are now created for videos automatically after you upload them.
– Media Player – we have a new player for MP3’s and windows users can now view your videos in an embedded media player instead of downloading the video first.
– Photo Uploader – finally a drag and drop photo uploader that allows you to upload files from your hard drive by dragging and dropping. Photos are automatically previewed, resized and optimized *before* being uploaded for lightening fast uploads. You can even rotate them before you upload. We’ve also improved photo handling so that you should very rarely see any errors with uploads.
– Photos with duplicate titles are now allowed – no more “Ooops you have a dup title” errors
– Now you can upload as many photos as you want, no more “5 at a time limit”
– That’s just a taste of what we’ve released, the upgrade infact includes many more features. Our goal was to make it very easy to use so we took the time to rework everything to make it easy as possible for you to upload and edit photos, videos and mp3s.
We’ve tested it as much as possible but please let us know if you have any problems. You can always switch back to the old uploader if you’re having problems too.
|It’s the little things… More updates that make TravelPod easier to use
Jul 6, 2007
We know that when you’re on the road and updating your travel blog you rather be traveling about than in an Internet Cafe… that’s why we do everything that we can to make TravelPod easy to use.
Today we’ve launched 2 small updates which should help. We’ve added popup calendars so that you can quickly set the dates of your entries. We’ve also added a cool “City Autosuggest” feature that will suggest city names as you type them.
Edit or create an entry to check it out…
|Auto-suggest city names|
|June newsletter is out
Jul 1, 2007
Carmella just sent out the June newsletter … check it out!
|More map enhancements
Jun 29, 2007
We’ve just updated the TravelPod maps. The “Show Trip Route” button on your entries now shows the entire trip route without opening a new window.
You can still view the enlarged map by clicking the “Enlarge Map” button.
This gives your visitors an easy way to see the entire trip route quickly while reading your blogs.
|Challenge! Try our new Traveler’s IQ Challenge on Facebook
Jun 24, 2007
|Try our new Travelers IQ Challenge on Facebook!|
If you’ve traveled a bit ( if you’re reading this you probably have ) you’ve most likely played one of those games where you try to guess the location of a city or where a country is on a map.
Personally, I can remember spending hours waiting for the bus in Bolivia playing “name that city” with other travelers, or killing time on the long bus ride to Palmyra in Syria guessing capital cities as other travelers tossed country names at each other.
That was the inspiration behind this challenge… We thought we’d whip this up to let you compete with other travelers on Facebook.
Try it for yourself to see what your “Traveler IQ” is. Watch out though, it’s a little addictive.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
|Send notifications of new TravelPod entries to your Facebook friends!
Jun 11, 2007
New TravelPod feature: Automatically send entry notifications to your Facebook friends
Since we launched our Facebook application 2 weeks ago, we’ve been busy working on new enhancements. Today we’ve launched a new one we’re sure you’ll like.
Now you can send a notification to your friend’s newsfeed whenever you post a new entry!
It’s simple, just install the TravelPod Facebook application and whenever you send future notifications, you’ll have the option to notify your Facebook friends too.
How cool is that!
|Map enhancements – Another big batch of o’features
Jun 10, 2007
We’ve just launched another big batch of map enhancements. Yes, this is what we do on Sunday mornings …
Here is a quick overview of what we’ve launched:
– The maps now load faster, big time. Thanks to some great work by the team the maps are lightning fast now.
– We’ve updated the maps to be more consistent throughout the site and made it easier to set map pins by changing some of the colors and interface options.
– We’ve updated the maps to make it easier to set the pins in several ways like actually defaulting the pin to the city that you enter when creating an entry.
As always, thanks for the great feedback. I think we’ve addressed almost all of the email requests you’ve sent in but keep them coming.
May 31, 2007
The May Newsletter is out. Check it out!
|Facebook + TravelPod = your next trip!
May 31, 2007
Link your TravelPod and Facebook worlds!
We’ve been working long hours to integrate TravelPod into the new Facebook platform that launched last week and are happy to announce that TravelPod members can now link their TravelPod blogs onto their Facebook profiles!
TravelPod is the first Travel Blogging site to launch on the new Facebook platform and we’re still working hard and rolling out new features. Expect more integration in the next days and weeks.
Here are some links to try it out:
|Major upgrades to TravelPod & a new home in Washinton DC!
May 24, 2007
After several months of planning and prep work, we’ve completed a massive upgrade to TravelPod.
You may notice TP running faster thanks to some seriously beefy hardware in our new data center.
This marks the 9th TravelPod move since we started TP in 1997. This time, our servers are located in Washington DC where we can take advantage of the top-notch facilities that TripAdvisor has setup down there.
Although the upgrade should be transparent to everyone, let us know if you bump into any bugs and we’ll jump right on em’.
|Big batch of site updates…
May 11, 2007
We just launched a batch of site updates that we’re sure you’ll enjoy:
– Many mapping enhancements ( and a few more to come ) which increased the performance & speed of the maps by 300%!
– On member profile pages, you’ll now see how many other travelers have added you as a favorite. Check out your own page to see how many people have added you! I have 25 but Carmella takes the prize with 114!
– On your profile page we now list the total number of favourites that your favourites have.
– We also added the “Bookmark” option to the list of tools for all of your photos.
|TravelPod on FaceBook.com
May 11, 2007
Join the TravelPod FaceBook Group!
If you haven’t yet, join the FaceBook TravelPod Group and find out more info about other TravelPodders…
|TravelPod is now part of the TripAdvisor family!
May 8, 2007
Not only does 2007 mark the 10 year anniversary since TravelPod’s humble beginnings, it’s also a year of big news. Today I have the pleasure of announcing something very exciting. As you may have already heard, TravelPod is now part of the TripAdvisor.com family of websites.
Along with TravelPod, TripAdvisor has added 4 other top notch web properties ( bookingbuddy.com, smartertravel.com, travel-library.com and seatguru.com ) to their family and although all of this excitement started several months ago for us, we’ve been patiently biting our tongues until the official announcement had been made… and it wasn’t easy, believe me!
The TripAdvisor folks, who are based out of Boston, have been great to work with and are excited about helping us make TravelPod better than ever. TripAdvisor already has the largest travel community on the Internet and is a great fit for us.
So, you may be asking yourself, “what does this mean for me”? The good news is that TripAdvisor “gets” travel blogging and is happy to see us continue adding new features to the site to make sure we give everyone better tools for your travel blogging needs… and we have a whole lot coming up.
Myself and Carmella ( aka. Whereshegoes ) aren’t going anywhere and have been busy growing the team. Now that we’ve joined TripAdvisor, we have more resources to help us out so you can expect to see many of those requests you’ve emailed to us added into the site a lot faster.
Be on the lookout for great new enhancements to TravelPod this year.
We couldn’t have made it to where we are today without all of you passionate travelers who’ve been with us along the way. Thanks everyone for your support. As always, if you find yourself traveling through Ottawa, make sure to let us know and we’ll make sure to buy the first round.
Luc Levesque aka. Lucky
|Silent Update for photos
May 7, 2007
A “Silent Update” update option has been added to photos. Now you can choose to quietly update your photos and videos without alerting your guests.
|More map enhancements
May 7, 2007
Your map type preference ( Hybrid, Satellite or Normal mode ) is now used when setting your map pins.
May 1, 2007
|Choose Satellite, Hybrid or Normal default map views
Apr 28, 2007
Choose a default map view for your guests
Thanks to some feedback from our members, we’ve added a new feature that let’s you pick which default map view to show your guests.
Choose between Satellite, Normal and Hybrid mode.
Apr 27, 2007
We just released a batch of site updates based on your feedback.
There are too many to list but major ones include:
– Moving the map to the top of the entry page
– Bigger photo thumbnails on the entry page
– Several enhancements to our mapping system including making the Satellite Maps available for everyone.
|New map enhancements
Apr 13, 2007
Satellite Map Enhancements
First off… thanks everyone for the feedback… several changes were added / fixed today.
1) Searching for map pins in the UK works now! Yep, search throughout the UK without a problem.
2) We made a few enhancements to speed up the Google Maps load time. Should be faster and more detailed now.
|Attract more visitors to your travel blog – New bookmark button on your blogs!
Mar 5, 2007
Attract more visitors to your blogs with the new “Bookmark” button on blog entries.
Encourage your guests to submit your entries to various sites by clicking the “Bookmark” button on your entries to get more exposure and more visitor to your travel blogs!
|“Best Travel Blog” of the Net awarded to TravelPod!
Mar 4, 2007
TravelPod named “Best Travel Blog” of the Net!
TravelPod was crowned the “Best Travel Blog” of the Net!
Here is a snippet from the article:
“Our award: Travelpod.com
This year Travelpod will be 10 years old. It’s great because anyone can join in and it deftly edits such a wealth of contributions.”
Check out the article here:
best Travel Blog of the Net – Guardian Unlimited March 3rd
|“Remember Me” – New feature for protected travel blogs
Mar 1, 2007
We’ve just launched a new feature for our protected travel blogs this morning.
Now, when your guests login, they’ll have the option to save their login for a week or a month so that they don’t need to login each time.
|New TravelPod gear is now available… check it out!
Feb 27, 2007
New swag in the TravelPod shop
If you’re in need of a new travel shirt have a look!
|New photo page layout!
Feb 19, 2007
We’ve just launched a new cleaner layout for the photo page…
The old layout was a little clunky and was in desperate need of an update. We’ll be fixing up some more pages in the coming months too.
You can see what the new layout looks like here.
|Best TravelPod photo of the year calendar!
Feb 15, 2007
Best TravelPod photo of the year
Check it out!
|The January newsletter is out!
Jan 31, 2007
Check out the January Newsletter
|How we select featured photos…
Jan 29, 2007
Ever wonder what we look for when we feature a photo?
|How can your photos be selected as a TravelPod Featured Photo?|
| Every day we select a photo as a feature on our main TravelPod home page. The following guidelines are by no means comprehensive but should give you a general idea of the judging criteria. If you believe your photo is of quality, you can request it go through the selection process.
To request your photo to be featured, use the “Feature Request” link next to the photo you would like submitted in your photo album under the “options” column. Please be careful to submit each selection only once or it may drop from the queue.
Here are some tips on what we look for in a Featured Photo
– DO be in focus. We like sharp clear photos unless there is an intentional, artistic use of blur.
– DO be balanced using the Rule of Thirds when possible.
– DO show pleasing colors using correct exposure.
– DO show an artistic eye making the most of the unique and inspirational
– DO be creative and experimental to show interesting effects. Notice lines, patterns, shapes, forms and colors.
– DO consider the overall clarity of meaning and focus of statement. Show your intention and main subject as obviously clear as you can.
– DON’T submit photos of yourself or your travel buddy waving at the camera.
– DON’T submit photos with morally questionable content.
We have so many amazing photographers among our members. Due to the volume of photos submitted, unfortunately many excellent entries are eliminated. Overall, we are looking for beautiful, truthful, and creative photos.
So, grab your camera, get out there, and give it your best shot.
|Minor enhancements to TP
Jan 28, 2007
A few small tweaks were released recently which you may not know about.
We’ve tweaked new entries to default to the province / state of the last entry which was created. We’ve also launched a new rich text editor for creating entries which included updates based on all of the feedback we’ve received from you since its launch.
Thanks for the feedback everyone!
|Whereshegoes in the Vancouver Sun
Jan 28, 2007
Whereshegoes in the Vancouver Sun
Check it out:
“On the road with the blog at your back
When Carmella Lesiuk set out to travel the globe, little did she realize ‘the entire world’ would go whereshegoes on travelpod.com
Rebecca Osler, Special to The vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007
It used to be a lonesome road for travellers. When homesickness, a rotten day or the creeping “what have I gotten myself into?” feeling struck, a backpacker had a limited arsenal of tools to relieve isolation. A battered journal, a stack of postcards or a coin-gobbling phone booth — that was about it.
But now, an explosion of travel blog websites is enabling travellers to join virtual communities that stay put no matter their physical whereabouts. More than just platforms to showcase trips, these sites enable instant communication with family and friends as well as the opportunity to forge new relationships with like-minded wanderers.
Carmella Lesiuk is well-acquainted with the ups and downs of being on the move. In 2002, the Edmontonian quit her IT job, sold most of her possessions and embarked upon a four-year odyssey to discover not just the world, but her own destiny.
“I realized I didn’t want to become a computer,” says Lesiuk, now 30. “I didn’t know where my fingers ended and the keyboard began.”
Not wanting to assault loved ones with obnoxious group e-mails, Lesiuk joined TravelPod, a free Ottawa-based site that claims to be the Web’s original travel blog.
As she journeyed across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America, Lesiuk posted religiously under the username “whereshegoes.”
She wrote not just of her journey, but of the emotions she met along the way. FOR INSTANCE:
“I’m sitting on my sunny rooftop patio in Riomaggiore. My freshly washed laundry swaying lightly on the line as I nibble on toast with Camembert from France and vine-ripened tomatoes. I look out beyond the terrace dotted with flowerpots spilling over with pink and purple blooms and notice a lemon tree with what seems like hundreds of plump neon yellow lemons.
“In the past, I have been so caught up in trying to anticipate the next moment that I have forgotten to breathe in this one,” she wrote.
At first, Lesiuk assumed only her mom was reading her photo-laden missives.
“Then I started receiving these random e-mails from people … strangers from all over the world commenting on my blog and how they were enjoying it,” she says.
“There were actually people who sent me messages saying: ‘Okay, you’ve inspired me. I’ve quit my job and I’m going to travel around the world now.’ ”
The cheerleading went two ways, especially on those occasions when Lesiuk felt down and very much alone.
“It was almost like having a friend that was always there to listen to me and to be there for me. It was like therapy,” she recalls. “The days that I considered quitting and was having a bad day and just wanted to go home, I would get an e-mail like that and it would just change my whole view.
“It’s probably one of the biggest reasons I stayed out travelling for so long,” she says. “The entire world would encourage me.”
Furthermore, Lesiuk says the blog provided stability when everything around her — location, people, cuisine — was changing daily.
Four years later, Lesiuk is now TravelPod’s top-ranked user, as whereshegoes has garnered more than 400,000 views. TravelPod itself has mushroomed since its inception, having tripled its membership (which currently sits at 65,000) in the past year alone.
And unexpectedly, Lesiuk — who found herself back in Edmonton struggling with reverse culture shock — was offered a job moderating TravelPod’s forums, which she gladly accepted.
Like many sites, TravelPod is not limited to virtual connections. It also enables users to search for specific destinations, allowing members to meet in person if they so desire. Lesiuk says she met 10 to 20 members on her trip, including a guy from Calgary who saw that she was in South Africa and asked to converge.
“We ended up meeting and working in the same hostel for a month or two and becoming really good friends. The guy is one of my best friends now,” she says. …”
|TP in Shape Magazine
Jan 22, 2007
TravelPod in Shape Magazine
|“5 best ways to leave it all behind”
Jan 7, 2007
Two long time members wrote an article titled “5 best ways to leave it all behind” which was published a few weeks ago. The paper describe them as:
“— Gerry and Sharon Channer, who sold their home, farm and business just outside of Ottawa, and who have been travelling throughout Central and South America in an ’87 VW camper van since January, 2004. Travel vicariously with them at www.Travelpod.com/members/thymeoff”
Their #4 tip is to use a travel blog like TravelPod, we couldn’t agree more of course … have a read.
|TravelPod’s Video Bloggers in the Press
Jan 5, 2007
The Michigan Daily posted an article on 2 of our Video Bloggers ( aka Vlogabond ) today as they start their video blogging adventure.
|The Washington Post & TravelPod – December 31, 2006
Jan 3, 2007
TravelPod in The Washington Post
They loved the new text editor but were a little turned off by the long registration page which we’re fixing up as we speak.
Ohh yeah, if you haven’t noticed, we’ve also removed some of the ads on our member’s blog entry pages, we agree, it had one too many.
Here is a small chunk from the article:
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Formed in 1997, Travelpod claims to be a “proud founder of travel blogs on the Web.” It has plenty going for it, but we were turned off by the market research-esque registration process: Personal information such as sex, age, nationality and marital status is requested. The basic service is free; for $39.95 a year, posters can disable ad displays and add a password protection feature.
PROCESS: Once again, our login name was part of the URL. To write a travelogue, we selected a trip ID and a title and wrote a welcoming message. You can choose what sort of guest options you’d like (we opted to let guests leave comments), as well as a map style (classic or satellite) and a photo-by-way-of-mobile-phone option, good for posting on-the-fly snaps.
WHAT WE LIKE: The spell-checker is a top feature, as are the italics, bold and underline options. You can preview your page to catch any typos and create an e-mail list to send updates. It can take a while to go through the process of posting, but there’s an “update express” option that’s great for when the clock’s ticking at an Internet cafe.
|December Newsletter is out!
Jan 1, 2007
Check out the December Newsletter!
Happy New Year!