The TripWow travel slideshow experience

Remember the days when your Great Aunt Agatha back from her trip, invited everyone over and gathered around the slide projector to show off your photos?

Snore. Boring right?

Your dad could never get the screen set up properly, a lot of times the slides would be out of order and the projector jammed in the middle of it.

Luckily, with digital cameras and the miracle of the internet, we don’t have to deal with that anymore.

Introducing: The TripWow slideshow experience.

Preview Lucky's TripWow experience

Anyone with a Flickr, Facebook, Picasa or TravelPod account can create one.

(TravelPod members can click the top corner of any of their blog entries to create one)

Import your photos from any of these accounts, add some music to match and magically, you’ve created very own, cinematic slideshow experience.

This is not your grandma’s slideshow

TravelPod Buzz TravelPod Features

Connect TravelPod to multiple Facebook accounts

Are you traveling as a group?

Are you traveling as a couple or a family?

You can now log into TravelPod using many different Facebook accounts.

This allows several people to update a single blog.

As an added bonus, when you send an entry notification, it will be sent to the Facebook friends of all the accounts associated with the blog.

Just click the blue “Sign in with Facebook” button and connect your Facebook account to your TravelPod account by following the prompts.

It’s that easy.

TravelPod Features

Sort your entries to suit your needs

The List of Entries is the most used page by our bloggers. Since we launched the redesign last June, the list has been optimized for members that are already on their trip that add new entries as they go. We decided to order the list with your newest entries right at the top, so that you can quickly look over your last 10 entries and complete any drafts you needed to finish off.

However, this week it dawned on us that this ordering doesn’t make sense for someone who has just entered in a big itinerary for an upcoming trip. Clearly, you’re going to want your first entry (relatively the oldest) at the top when you start out on your trip.

Today we’re pleased to announce another small but helpful enhancement to the site: Sort your List of Entries by newest or oldest first!

It works exactly as you’d expect and we save your preference automatically.

TIP: You may like the “Oldest first” option when you first start your trip, but once you’ve crossed the half-way point, you’ll find that “Newest first” will be handy.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

TravelPod Features Uncategorized

Print your blog professionally with Trip Book

You can’t always impress people with a travel blog.

Sometimes having an actual book to display on the coffee table is what you really need.

Today we’re announcing a long awaited feature. Professional blog printing. For cheap.

Inside of your Trip Book

Inside of your Trip Book

Your blog can now be printed in soft or hard cover starting at $13.95 USD.

To get started, just click on “Turn blog into a book” in the side bar of any blog entry.

Alternatively, there is a banner ad that appears under all trips in your Dashboard and a link in the “Tools” drop down menu in your Dashboard.

Your Trip Book cover

Your Trip Book cover

You can customize the cover of your book with any photo, but it looks best with a horizontally oriented picture like this one. There will also be space for an author bio, blog comments, a table of contents and an introduction.

Check it out and then let us know what you think.

TravelPod Buzz TravelPod Features

New photo browsing option

Click on any photo in any blog from today on, and you’ll find a more user-friendly way of browsing and commenting on photos.

New photo viewing option

New photo viewing option

Instead of being taken to the old “photo album” section, photos are now brought to the front of the screen in a snazzy new “interstitial”, in other words, a very non-invasive pop up.

All photo comments will be displayed on the right hand side of the screen, eliminating the need for excessive scrolling.

You’ll always be able to access the old photo album pages, just copy and paste the link at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and it will take you there.

Do you like it or hate it?

Head over to the TP forums and let us know

TravelPod Features TravelPod Updates

Anonymous commenting on all TravelPod blogs

We’ve heard you loud and clear.

Just writing a comment on your friend’s blog doesn’t mean that you’re a blogger.

You shouldn’t have to sign up for a blog account to do keep in touch with your friends on the road.

From now on, it won’t be mandatory to sign up for a new TravelPod account to comment on a blog.


Any reader can click “Add Comment” at the bottom of any blog entry and write back to the author, even if they don’t have a blog on TravelPod.

They simply enter their name, comment and decide whether they want updates.

It’s as simple as that.

We’ve gotten a lot of suggestions on this feature in the past, and we’re happy to change this to accommodate everyone.

We really love getting your feedback on TravelPod features, so please keep them coming.

Let us know what you think

TravelPod Features

TravelPod’s new Trip Timeline Feature

Travel blogs, in general, can sometimes be hard to navigate.

We’ve always tried to think up new ways to make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for when browsing blogs on TravelPod. For example, we’ve created interactive maps with pins and tried different “table of contents” layouts ( just to name a few features ).

Still, there was room for improvement and with our recent redesign we took the opportunity to try something new: The Travel Blog Timeline.

TravelPod's new Trip Timeline tool

Each blog entry on TravelPod now has a timeline built-in that your guests can use to read all of your entries.

Each green dot symbolizes an entry in a travel blog and when clicked, let’s you scan each blog entry in conjunction with the map.

The pins are arranged along the timeline by date and sliding your mouse across the length of the timeline makes it easy for visitors to choose a specific entry. A brief summary of each entry hovers over your mouse as the pointer slides across the screen.

** Power tip: If you mouse over the “Trip Start” or “Trip End” labels, a button is revealed that lets you quickly jump to the next or previous entries.

New trip timeline shown on an entry page

Timeline navigation is something new that we think is pretty innovative and are currently in the process of applying for a patent on the idea. We know it’s not perfect yet and we’ll be tweaking and adjusting it to make it as useful as possible based on your feedback.

Good or bad, we want to hear what you think… please try to be as specific with your feedback as possible so that we can make tweaks to perfect this new feature.

Thanks!

Let us know by leaving a comment below, or speaking up in the TravelPod forums.


TravelPod Features

A Brand New TravelPod

At TravelPod, we want to make your travel blogging experience the best it can be, anywhere on the planet. For 12 years, we’ve been working diligently to reach that goal and today we are launching a brand new look for your blogs.

Say “Adios” to the old:

The old interface one last time

And “Hola” to the new!

Brand new look to for your blog

We’ve listened to all of your feedback and this update is more than just a facelift for your blogs, we’ve also packed in tons of great features you’ve requested.

As of right now, you can look forward to trying out these new features:

  • A cleaner, professionally designed look for your blogs with bigger thumbnails to embed in your entries
  • Improved navigation for your visitors
  • An interactive timeline at the top of the screen and maps, maps and more interactive maps
  • A simple one-click “I like this” voting system on entries and pictures
  • Your guests no longer need to register on TravelPod to post comments on your photos and entries!!!!
  • A hugely improved picture browsing experience with quick previews and the ability to easily jump between albums
  • A single spot on your Dashboard to manage and reply to ALL comments left on your entries and pictures
  • An additional world map clearly displaying your trip in the right-hand sidebar
  • The ability to change your hometown and country with a handy auto-complete feature
  • A new email privacy option for messages and notifications that you send (Thanks for the idea, Woz!)
  • No more popup windows! None. Zip. Zero.
  • A free-form html field for your profile page where you can can add badges, widgets, links to your facebook profile or what ever else you want

It’s this functionality that has kept you coming back year after year, to record and share your travel experiences with the world. To make sure TravelPod is as useful as possible to our bloggers, it is extremely important that each and every one of you tell us what you think of the new look, so please don’t be shy.

The TravelPod community would be nothing without you, and your input literally shapes our future.

Please leave comments at the bottom of this blog post, and let us know what you think.

Happy travels!

TravelPod Buzz TravelPod Features TravelPod Updates

Follow our Twitter list(s)!

Ever since Twitter released their list feature, I’ve been collecting all kinds of delicious travel-centred Twitter accounts to follow.

I’ve put all of my favourites into one gigantic list.

Twitter_logo

I know that this may be information overload for casual travelers. So, I’ve trimmed it down to the best 25, so you can follow the best of the best travel Twitterers on the web.

Add the gigantic list: for travel fanatics

Add the mini list: for casual travelers

TravelPod Features

8 ways TravelPod shows how popular you are

It’s a long awaited development, but we’ve finally released a detailed statistics page.

By clicking on the “stats” link on the right hand side of your Dashboard, you’ll find something that looks like this:

SNAG-0008

From here, there are 8 new ways of finding out how popular your blog is:

1. Total visits this month

Pretty self-explanatory, it’s the total number of people who have read your blog this month

2. Total visits, all time

Again, easy enough to understand. The total number of people who have read your blog since you began blogging

3. Weekly visitor trend

This graph tracks how many people have visited your blog and plots them on a graph through time. Usually you get lots of visitors when you’re actively blogging and traveling

4. Your visitors are from

This world map shows you the proportion of people that visit your blog and which country they are from. The darker the colour, the more visitors come from that country

5. Top Travel Blog Entries this week

It’s easy to tell which of your blog entries is the most popular for the latest week

6. Top Travel Blog Photos & Videos this week

Your most popular photos and videos are shown here every week, with the most popular at the top of the list

7. Top Travel Blog Entries this year

Again, the most popular blog entries from the past year can be found here

8. Top Travel Blog Photos & Videos this year

The most played videos and most clicked photos of the year are shown here, updated every week

View your own stats now

TravelPod Features TravelPod Updates

Your TravelPod blog stats, now available on the Dashboard

For many years now, many members have been asking for more details about the visitors to their travel blogs.

I’m proud to announce that we have listened to your input and finally put together a comprehensive stats page for every member.

A few weeks ago, we launched a feature that allows you to check how many people are visiting your blog.

If you’ve ever wondered which entry was the most popular or which photo people clicked on the most, now you can find out.

stats

One of the coolest features is the visitor map. You can see how many visitors come to your blog and from where.

The numbers are renewed once a week, so the numbers are fresh as a daisy whenever you check on them.

Your stats page can easily be found in your Dashboard by clicking “View your stats” below the green world map on the right hand side.

Take me to my stats page

TravelPod Features

12 ways TravelPod is better than before

In the past few months, the TravelPod team has been working hard at improving the site. Here are twelve improvements that we are extremely proud of.

1. Faster photo editing and uploading

Through some fancy computing footwork, we have greatly improved the general performance of all the picture pages. All of your pictures load at least four times faster than they did before.
photo

2. New drag & drop multimedia uploader

We have upgraded the drag & drop picture uploader which supports all the latest and greatest browsers including IE 8, Firefox, Google Chrome and more. Pictures, videos and MP3s are uploaded with Facebook-like speed.
uploader

3. You can now customize the subject line of your notification emails

No longer will you be sending notifications that go directly into your friends’ trash can! You can now change the subject line of the emails you send out every time you write your blog to entice your friends to actually open that email and read about your adventures.

subjectline

4. Twitter integration

All Twitter addicts will love this addition to the site. You now have the option to automatically tweet your blog location and a link to your blog every time you click publish. While a personal tweet always works best, with this option, you won’t have to log in to Twitter to do it.

twitter

5. Members can now delete subscribers

Did someone start following your blog without your permission? Now you can remove them from your notification list, so that the unsavory character is out of the loop on your travels.subscriber

6. Better map-pin setting

Ever wished you could just fill up your map with hundreds of little dots without writing a blog entry for each one? Well now you can and it’s really easy. Just type the date and the name of the city! How much easier does it get?

mappins

7. Members can now add in pins that don’t match city names in our database when building an itinerary

If you’re off in a place that we don’t know about yet, you’ll be asked to locate this place on a separate map, making it easy to add map pins for off-the-beaten-path destinations.

mountuniacke

8. You can now rotate your videos

If you’ve got a still camera that also takes videos, chances are you’ve had this dilemma. Some of your videos are sideways when you upload them! Until now, there was nothing you can do about it. Now, you can rotate your videos just like your photos. Have patience though, it takes longer to rotate a video than a photo.

video

9. Performance improvements on most pages

10. New login page

The new design of the sign in page is more attractive and it’s now a lot easier to use Update Express, a stripped down version of the site, the option to use it is right in front of your nose!

login

11. Signing in is faster thanks to some performance improvements

12. You can now embed videos that you have uploaded into your entry story

If you have your own personal website, or you’d like to embed a video in your MySpace page, the code to do that is conveniently located to the right of each video.

embed

TravelPod Features

Your feedback shapes TravelPod’s future

We’ve had some great feedback about the new interface over the last month and we just wanted to recap some of the changes we’ve made in response.

Your feedback and input is greatly appreciated and really important for making TravelPod the best it can be. So we thank you all for sharing your ideas with us and taking the time to report bugs.

idea_bulb

Here’s a list of the changes we made because of your feedback:

  • Reordering entries is now as simple as dragging and dropping them on your List of Entries
  • Added city pins to compliment the highlighted countries on the Travel Map on the Dashboard
  • Vastly increased the number of cities available in our database from 65,000 to 2,000,000!
  • Re-added the “Upload to the end of your album” option
  • The List of Entries now remembers the options you set
  • A new and improved Edit Entry Light page that detects when you’re on a slow computer
  • Cleaned up a lot of little bugs thanks to your reports! Thanks!
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