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

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

Get your blog onto Lonely Planet’s website

The folks at LonelyPlanet.com have just released a new feature that will get your blog onto their guide pages.

You can submit your blogs to their “Blog Sherpa” program and once someone has reviewed and categorized it, your blog will be seen by people planning a trip to someplace you’ve already been.

lonelyplanet

Here’s how:

1. Login to your LonelyPlanet.com account here. You can even use your Facebook account if you don’t already have a Lonely Planet account.

2. Click on your profile photo to go to your Lonely Planet profile.

3. Click “My travel blog” on the left hand side

4. Click “New travel blog” and fill in the boxes.

5. Make sure you check the box beside Blog Sherpa that says, “Yes, please consider my blog for “Blogs We Like””

Once someone has approved your blog, it will be displayed on one of Lonely Planet’s main pages.

Good luck, and let me know via the comments below, if your blog was chosen to be part of the program.

Blogging news

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

TravelPod’s new Update Express

We’ve all been in that situation before. You’re sitting at a substandard internet cafe waiting for your favourite website to load (TravelPod, of course). The computer looks like it came from 1982 and you’re using some kind of sketchy dial-up connection.

There’s no way you’ll be able to upload photos, but you just want to input a brief text update to let your friends know where you’re at.

superhero

Update Express to the rescue!

By going to www.travelpod.com/update you can bypass all the fancy stuff that makes TravelPod so cool on faster computers.

You can cut right to the chase and blog away in a stripped down version of the site.

Since we redesigned the dashboard section of the site, we redesigned Update Express while we were at it. We hope you like it.

Check it out

TravelPod Features

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

More Top Travelers

If you’ve been exploring the travel blogs on TravelPod, you’ve probably noticed the “Top Travelers” list. Previously, we ranked only the top 25 in each of the categories.

We’ve expanded our ranking list to include up to 100 bloggers in each category. Now, you can browse even more of the best blogs on our site.

Try it out in the “Our Travelers” section of TravelPod.

Louise Brown

TravelPod Community Manager

TravelPod Features Uncategorized

Old fogeys: TravelPod “ruins” travel

While perusing the internet last week I came upon this article in London’s Times Online. Some travel writers and experts make the bold statement that the internet is ruining travel. Why, you ask?

They say that people are now spending more time blogging and chatting with friends back home at internet cafes when they should be out and about, enjoying the scenery. They single out TravelPod bloggers as some of the worst offenders.

I allowed myself to ruminate over this during the weekend before I made a hasty blog post, so here it is.

Travel blogs do not ruin travel. Period. In fact, writing a blog greatly enriches one’s experience of a place. I’ll give you an example and tell you why:

When I blog my trip online as I go, I tend to write about my travels in a lot more detail than if I was writing with a pen and paper. Computers really do allow you to be more creative and put your thoughts together while you are in the moment, or shortly thereafter. I think this is great.

When I’m old and grey, I’ll have lots more detail which will allow me to remember and look back on my trips, since lately I have been recording my travels a lot more than usual.

Last week, I was going through my old travel journal and I found that reading it over really helped me to remember intriguing little details of my trips that I had completely forgot about. I wished I had written more, and I probably would have if I had access to a blog and a computer at the time. (For example, I wrote about a lightning storm in the Saskatchewan prairies. I had totally forgotten about this wonderful and beautiful experience until I read that page of my travel journal again.)

This was the late 1990s, so writing a blog wasn’t a reality for the mainstream population of course. Right now, I am kind of jealous of all the people who get to grow up with this technology that will help them remember more about their youth than I will.

Anybody that says that the internet is “ruining travel” is simply an old fogey and a laggard when it comes to preserving memories that will allow you to enjoy life to the fullest.

Sites like TravelPod are extremely important because life is short and as soon as your adventures are over, they have disappeared forever, unless you capture them today. To fully appreciate life, you’ll need to remember your past while you still have the capacity to do so. Anything that enriches the memory process is a great benefit.

No matter where people type up their memories, the more people write about their experiences the better. This does not have a benefit for the individual alone, but also for the rest of the world.

What do you think? Are the old fogeys right or wrong? Is TravelPod “ruining” travel?

Let me know what you think by posting your response in the TravelPod travel forums.

See you there!

Louise Brown

TravelPod Community Manager

TravelPod Buzz

Keep your travelblog alive, even when you’re not traveling

Nerd’s Eye View is a pretty cool blog, and in one of her latest posts, she describes ways to keep your travel blog up to date, even if you’re not traveling.

I think she’s got some great ideas.

Here are a few of my favourites (with a few extra tips added in by me):

Seek the exotic at home: Many large cities have multicultural enclaves that celebrate things such as the Highland Games or the Cambodian New Year. Or, take a “trip” to Little Italy or Chinatown, take pictures and write about it like you actually flew across the world to go.

Find the festivals and fairs: Even if you’re going for the day, you can have a lot of fun at a summer fair or local amusement park. Write about it and keep your memories for those days that aren’t so sunny anymore.

Plan your next trip: Just because you’re not out traipsing the globe, doesn’t mean you’re not thinking about traveling. I’ve seen all kinds of interesting blogs about their trip to the outdoors store to buy that perfect backpack. Or the trials and tribulations of booking plane tickets and time off work. It can be quite hilarious at times

Visit local attractions and meet interesting: Just because it’s your hometown, doesn’t mean other people aren’t going to find the local community museum interesting. Take some time to explore the history of your community, take photos with local celebrities like that guy who’s always playing the guitar on the street corner, or the lady you buy bread from every weekend. These things and people always have interesting stories.

If it’s interesting to you, it’s interesting to somebody else. Don’t ever forget that! Go with your gut instincts and blog about what you love, what you loathe and just about anything you find perplexing, funny or just plain weird.

Got any more tips for keeping the writing going after you get back home? Come share them in the travel forums.

Talk to you later,

Louise Brown

TravelPod Community Manager

Blog writing tips

“Backpacker” laptop

I just came across this “Backpacker’s PC” and it looks very enticing to me. I would probably buy one when/if it comes out.

The idea is that it looks like a book, and you can flip the pages, depending on what you want to do. One page is for writing, another page for recording. Another bonus is that it’s got a built in solar panel, so it can charge up anywhere, and you can blog from anywhere!

I’m very impressed.

Diary

TravelPod Buzz