Find the best helicopter tour with Helicopter Tour Experts

Hi everyone!

We just wanted to let you know that we’re still hard at work making TravelPod even better, but we’ve also just launched our newest endeavour and we’re really excited to share it with you:

Helicopter Tour Experts

Helicopter Tour Experts is the go-to place on the Internet to find and book the best helicopter tour for you in mere minutes. We’ve crunched all the data we can find to uncover and present the information that’s most important when taking a helicopter tour, so you can find the right tour for you.

We’ve only launched in Las Vegas and the surrounding area (Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, etc.) so far, but we’re hoping to ramp up to other locations quickly.

Have you ever taken a helicopter tour? Drop us a line and let us know what you thought!

Photo credit: iStock.com/Courtney Keating

Travel news TravelPod Features TravelPod Updates

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

Spammers Beware!

We’re always on the lookout for spammers creating fake blogs, comments and forum posts.

There are plenty of evil-doers posing as bloggers and putting up fake content and pasting their advertisements on our site.

We’ve just launched a new system that will allow us to target individual spammers, and block them from posting anything on our site.

Once a spammer has violated our terms of service, they are easily pinpointed and blacklisted, never to be seen again.

It’s just another way we are keeping this site as informative and helpful as possible for you and the rest of the community.

We catch most spam, but we can’t catch it all on our own.

Help us make TravelPod a friendly place to blog.

Let us know if you see any spam on your blog, or anywhere else on the site.

 

TravelPod Team TravelPod Updates

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

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

Sneak preview: TravelPod’s brand new look

travelpodpreview

TravelPod's new look will be revealed in stages

After sifting through feedback from hundreds of TravelPod bloggers, we made TP travel blogs more attractive and easier to navigate, while still keeping with time-honoured TravelPod blogging traditions.

We think you’ll like it.

We’ve worked very hard to maintain all the existing features on TravelPod that you love. We’re sure that you will feel right at home with the new look of your travel blog.

Look for these changes towards the middle of October, 2009.

The main differences between the old and the new look:

(To get this out as soon as possible and start collecting your opinions, we’ll be introducing the new design in phases. Some of these features might not be available on the first day)

  • A cleaner, professionally designed look for your blogs
  • Improved navigation for your visitors
  • An additional world map clearly displaying your trip in the right-hand sidebar
  • An interactive timeline at the top of the screen, making it easier to navigate between entries
  • A larger and more attractive travel map, with bigger map pins and speedy navigation inside the map
  • Blog comments can be left by non-members, and they will have the option to receive email updates of further blog comments
  • A simple “thumbs up” voting system
  • “Embedability” of your interactive travel map. You’ll be able to post your map on other websites like Facebook and Myspace
  • Easier access to the “Support My Travels” option. You’ll collect more donations from visitors

In order to change the site to suit your needs, the TravelPod team has also been ultra-busy behind the scenes updating our website technology. This will allow us to easily change the site, adapting to your demands faster than ever before.

We’re constantly looking for ways to help you blog better and as always, your feedback shapes TravelPod.

Let us know what you think about the new design in the comment section below

  • A cleaner professionally designed look for your blogs
  • Improved navigation for your visitors
  • Add something regarding the fact that the trip map is going back in.
  • TravelPod Updates

    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!
    TravelPod Buzz TravelPod Features TravelPod Updates

    TravelPod’s new look goes live on Monday

    As many of you already know, TravelPod is undergoing an intense redesign at the moment.

    Phase 1 of the plan is already complete. The new design of the “dashboard” system will be in use on Monday, June 1.

    All of our dedicated beta testers have given us incredible amounts of feedback, and we thank them for it for the rest of our days.

    In case you can’t wait for Monday, there is a way to try out the new system right now.

    1. Login to TravelPod as normal.

    2. Click “Try it out right now” in the the bright green banner that looks like this:

    screenshot

    I think you’ll find the new system has faster photo and video upload times, requires less tedious clicking and is easier to navigate in general.

    Not only am I the Community Manager, but I’m also a satisfied blogger. I used it on my great US roadtrip in May, and I loved it.

    Jump onboard, everyone else is enjoying the slick new layout, so should you!

    As always, if there are any questions about anything at all, feel free to contact me at any time.

    TravelPod Updates

    Clearer, sharper pictures on TravelPod

    Everyone knows that a picture is worth a thousand words, but we’re starting to think that a clear, sharp picture is worth at least a couple thousand more. In that spirit our engineers hunkered down this past week and came up with a great combination of fairy dust and brain power to eke out every last drop of quality without increasing the image file size by too much. We tried hundreds of different combinations and we think we got it just right.

    To take advantage of this improvement just keep uploading pictures the same way you always have. We’ll take care of the rest.

    Before

    luc-old

    After

    luc-new1

    Our photo uploader makes it easy for you to upload your pictures straight from your camera so you don’t need to worry about resizing them and ensures speedy uploads. This change carries on from there and significantly improves the quality of the image that ends up on your blog. The new picture quality also looks much better when you’re using our recently updated slideshow viewer.

    We hope you like it!

    TravelPod Updates

    Need Florida info? Local Expert Martin Crossland tells all

    Martin Crossland is one of 20 Local Experts cruising the TravelPod discussion forums lately. He’s volunteered to be the “go to guy” for all your questions about Florida.

    Crossland loves the city he lives in and it shows. He expounds upon the great things about living in the Sunshine State.

    “Miami is such an exciting place to be,” he says, “They call it the Casablanca of North America.”

    He rattles off a list (in his charming British accent) of all the great things about Florida. He loves the weather, the multiculturalism and Florida’s position in North America as a transport hub. According to Crossland, it’s a breeze to get anywhere from Florida, especially the Caribbean and Europe.

    With any upside, comes a downside. Florida is very expensive, especially Miami. Crossland recommends retirees move to central Florida instead, because of high real estate prices. He also admits that Florida gets too hot in the summer, and the danger of hurricanes is everpresent.

    “Unlike a tornado or an earthquake, at least you know they’re coming and you can take precautions,” Crossland says. People living in condominiums almost always have to evacuate their homes and after Hurricane Andrew hit, he had to live without electricity for three weeks.

    Crossland is also a wealth of information about the rest of the world. He ventured around South America as a young backpacker in the sixties. He has slept in a half burnt down hostel in Chile, a drain pipe in Brazil and was followed around the rest of South America by “an enormous woman”.

    “It’s my son’s turn to do that now,” he says with a laugh.

    Most recently, Crossland has made his way around Europe with his family. Now, he leads an idyllic lifestyle, running his own tour guide business in Miami and doling out travel advice to wandering souls in the forums.

    He’s had quite a lot of experience as a travel agent in the past. One of his proudest achievements includes planning a trip around the world on the Concorde with William F. Buckley back in 1989. He even got to travel from London to New York in the aircraft for free.

    Crossland is one of those people who will probably never completely stop moving. His future travel plans include driving to Yellowstone National Park in September.

    “We’re gonna do the whole Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Rocky Mountain National Park thing,” he says , his smile evident, even over the phone.

    Next year, he’s planning on visiting Prague, Budapest and Vienna. So, if you have any questions about these parts of the world, or if you just want to chat with Martin and get some tips about trip planning strategies,
    head over the TravelPod forums and find the nickname mmbcross. He’s more than likely got your answer, and if he doesn’t he’ll probably find out!

    Meet Martin in the TravelPod travel forums.

    See you there!

    Louise Brown

    TravelPod Community Manager

    TravelPod Updates Uncategorized

    Making TravelPod easier to use… More enhancements

    After listening carefully to your feedback, we’ve made some more changes that should help get rid of some of the clutter that’s crept up over the years of adding features to TravelPod.

    We’ve launched a good sized batch of updates to make TravelPod easier to use, one of the most noticable changes for members will be that some of our menus have been “de-cluttered”.

    Here’s what you’ll see now on the “Your Travel Blogs” page:

    Your Travel Blogs

    On this page we’ve moved all but the most important options for each travel blog.

    Menu Changes on ‘Your Travel Blogs’

    Travel Blog Entries Page

    Here we’ve added a new menu for actions you can perform on this travel blog like:

    • Invite Guests – send an email to your friends letting them know about your blog
    • View Guestbook – view your guestbook entries
    • Feature Request – nominate your blog to be featured on www.travelpod.com
    • Your Donations – send a request for donations
    • Print Travel Blog – generate a printable copy of your blog

    New menu in Travel Blog Entries

    Although we plan to continually make TravelPod easier to use for our members, big disruptive changes can be annoying. So, these will most likely be the last big usability changes we make to our menus for a while.

    Cheers!

    Clayton

    TravelPod Updates