Tourism and travel related email lists and newsgroups; search engines and directories

Big Volcano Ecotourism Resource Centre

Social Media, Web Mastering

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Social Media || Web - Mastering

Since this resource page was last fully updated back in the mid 2000s (yikes!), a lot of changes have taken place, not the least of which is the rise and rise of "UGC" (User Generated Content) and "Social Media" in the form of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other equivalents like Sina Weibo, Renren and Tencent Weibo.  Even YouTube, which predates these, is now considered "social".

So this page is now more a "social networks" introduction page, than the previously Email, Newsgroups, search engines etc. database.

For travellers looking for reliable 3rd party reviews and tips, TripAdvisor, Facebook, YouTube and other "forward facing" networks have become the primary go-to forums for initial searches and advanced advice, with many of the Online Travel Agents (OTA) travel and accommodation booking web sites also providing customer feedback options (or scrambling to include them).

For travel and tourism industry stakeholders and operators; LinkedIn, GooglePlus, Twitter and specialist industry blogs help them keep their fingers on the pulse.

And after much talk of emails' demise when Facebook and Twitter took off, email lists are increasingly popular as the best "opt-in" forum which remain a relatively private and personal way to keep up with the latest industry trends and scuttlebutt.  Email lists are usually attached to the specialist blogs, and can be found along side RSS newfeeds and specialist Facebook, Google and LinkedIn groups.

Newsgroups and discussion lists still survive within some industry associations, groups and educational institutions.  As a result, these are usually closed if you're not already a member, and the best place to start a search for industry networking and research information, is usually the web site.

And while the channels may have changed, the basic courtesies haven't.

If you've not previously participated in communities, newsgroups or email discussion lists, please "lurk" before you leap.  As most are moderated and have rules, read the communities guidelines, "README" or equivelant to check appropropriate behavior.  Don't SPAM (unless it's a channel where self promotion is permitted), and remember; there is *still* such a thing as Netiquette and you ignore it at your peril.

Resources included here are primarily focused on tourism and travel industry groups.  See also Tourism Research Resources

The majority of links below go to external sites. Use your right mouse button to open a new window to these sites, or use your back button to return here. NB Amazon titles will open a new window. NB: Amazon titles will open in a new window.

Social Media New category

Oh, the now not so new darlings of online marketing. There's also now a saying that "if it's free to use - then YOU'RE the product".  Privacy concerns aside (yes, you're being tracked - "Privacy is dead - get over it"), if you're using these networks to help connect with and market to your customer base, they take time.  And if you don't have time, then be prepared to spend money to get results.  (There's a whole new industry that's sprung up over the last 6 years or so, for social media marketers, managers and consultants.)

  • Facebook: Eveyone knows what Facebook is about by now.  A billion people can't be wrong - right?  Personal profiles, Business pages, Photo Albums, and "Communities".  Want to get oodles of "likes" and "intereaction"?  Be prepared to spend time and/or money, share and stay on message inside the ecosystem as much as possible.
  • Sina Weibo, Renren and Tencent Weibo Hootsuite primer on major Chinese social media: "the other billion users".
  • Flickr:  Love photos and video?  This is the place for sharing your best.  Follow other profiles, join, create and manage interest groups. Also provides the option to license your images to Getty.
  • Google Plus.  G+ is dead was the mantra for many commentators over the last 2 years, and I couldn't see their point. They must be visiting the wrong neighbourhoods, I thought.  But back in November 2015 Google changed G+, and now I just don't log in and visit or use it the way I used to, but it's still important for being an "active" business for Google search purposes so ... set a time limit, get in, stay focused, get what you need, share what you planned to, and then get out.
  • LinkedIn.This is where you can handshake online rather than just wave.  Personal profile and resumes, company pages (after you've proved your personal bona fides) groups, and jobs!  And you can keep the page fresh by sharing your Twitter and blog post wisdom.  The oldest social media network (founded 2002), it predates Facebook by two years, and is the most "professional" network, although many people now consider the groups a spam fest so...shrug.
  • Pinterest.  You haven't heard of Pinterest yet?  It has already influenced they presentation style of other networks, and even has look-alike blog themes and web site templates now.  Use public boards to show off your pretty pics, share interesting stuff from other places with the browser app, and get web site referrals from pins that you'd forgotten you posted three years ago!  Drink in the infographic overload, and gather all your inspiration and research in one place, away from prying eyes with private boards.  It's the new internet watercooler for fun, leisure and seriously ageless promotion and web site referral opportunities for travel and hospitality providers.
  • Twitter.  The world is a river in 140 characters or less. The company that made the @ symbol, #hashtags and url shorteners ubiquitous, along with lists. Use it as the airlines do, to keep customers informed of fast changing developments, or pick up quickly on questions, difficulties and gripes that could become potential PR problems. Stay in touch with past, present and future customers. Keep up to date with industry news (many trade publications tweet their latest blog posts, PR, news and web site info to their twitter feed, as do the travel and lifestyle sections of major newspapers), find and follow your own special interests, and if you like, even friends and family!
  • YouTube.  The world's number two search engine, YouTube is more than lolcats and jackassery.  It is now a search engine in its own right, with many people using it for industry presentations, "how to" instructions, PR and marketing, looking for and checking out their next holiday spot, as well as general wasting of time.  Again, many niche and industry markets will have a YouTube presence to augment and enhance other channels.
  • Learn WordPress  "You've got a blog.  Huzzah!   Time to make it the next internet sensation. Whether you want to be a pro or just need to get the hang of the basics, you've come to the right place."  And if you dip your toe in the water with a free account, you'll also have a free plug-in which you can set up to share your blog posts to your primary Facebook, Google + and Twitter accounts.  Publish once - broadcast many.  Huzzah again!

Content Curation Services New category

Now you can be your own Rupert Murdoch!  Curation services allow publishers/broadcasters (that's you if you're using any of the above), to consolidate your work, especially from your twitter accounts and lists, include other publishers and channels, and then publish/reshare it back out to your preferred network/s.  Most also have Wordpress plug-ins, Chrome (or other web browsers) extensions and bookmarklets.

It's also where you can subscribe to other people's publications and stay up to date with all the news that you might miss otherwise.

To go even deeper down the curation rabbit hole, check out these articles:11 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs from Hubspot, which is probably a good place to start if you've never thought about or done curation publishing before. And The Ultimate List of Content Curation Tools and Platforms, which will make your head spin, seeing how many excellent tools are available.

Usually misquoted as "Privacy is dead - get over it"  it's actually "You have zero privacy - get over it". Scott McNealy, CEO Sun Microsystems, 1999.
See also: State of the Web: Who killed privacy? You did.


Web - Mastering

Isn't the world wide web a great place to enjoy and learn? Here are a few of the places where I got to know a bit more about how it all works, got valuable advise, or picked up some free public domain material.

  • Netiquette Guidelines There is such a thing as Netiquette and you ignore it at your peril. This link is to the original RFC (Request For Comment) from 1995. Timeless information for "newbies", veterans and administrators alike.  Also see Internet Basics (Australian Govt - Dept of Communications) and Netiquette: Rules of Behavior on the Internet from
  • Avoiding Plagiarism - The OWL at Purdue. "There are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts. This resource offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work."  Just because it's on the web and in the public domain, doesn't mean it's free for you to use without permission.  Stealing or copying someone else's work and passing it off as your own is not an auspicious way to further your career (or web site!). An excellent resource for students and academics.
  • Spambot Beware: "There are many ways of hiding your email on a web page. Most of the tricks described here can be combined, and all of them will benefit from some CGI tricks as well." Thanks to Greg Sabino Mullane for providing a simple site explaining the many aspects of spam, what to do and as importantly, what not to do in combating it!
  • World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C. The overlords and arbiters of common web language, style and behaviour. If you design/write web pages you should visit occasionally to ensure your code is up to date so we all get to see your pearls of wisdom.  Much technical sysadmin stuff, but also a number of tools to test your code against the current standards.  A good place to get an overview of who, what, where, when, why and how.
    • The Web Design Group "was founded to promote the creation of non-browser specific, non-resolution specific, creative and informative sites that are accessible to all users worldwide. To this end, the WDG offers material on a wide range of HTML related topics." A must visit, and it most likely won't matter which browser you use (yes, there's more than one!) or how slow you connection is, you'll enjoy this site, and get some excellent tips on simple and effective page layout and coding.
    • Celine's Original .GIFs. "All graphics here ... are placed willfully and knowingly in the public domain. ... -- backgrounds, wallpapers, lines/bars/dividers, bullets, arrows/pointers, menubar icons, and misc. icons -- are completely original,   ... Use is granted to personal and professional web pages alike, as well as print newsletters, etc., and you don't need to ask permission before use." If you want a background or other graphics to spruce up the look of your site, a visit here is a must.  There are many beautiful graphics, and they are well and truly in the *free* public domain, so you don't have to ask for permission.  Thanks Celine!
    • Backgrounds Archive - high quality backgrounds! An old favourite, the name says it all. Backgrounds are mostly in the free public domain, and from contributors as well, so check the copyright here..
    • Sitepoint Whether you're a beginner or seasoned pro who wants to learn more, Sitepoint is a great starting point.
    • The Webmaster's Reference Library - Web Authoring Tips & Tutorials for Developers, an site.
    • The Web Robots Pages How to allow or prevent search engines and spiders (the polite ones at least) from indexing pages, directories or whole sites.
  • The Search Engine Report Useful for everyone who uses SEs to find stuff, and and also to stay abreast of SE developments as a webmaster. "... Is a monthly newsletter that covers developments with search engines and changes to the Search Engine Watch web site."
  • WebmasterWorld New category " one of the World's leading educational news and discussion forums for webmasters to discuss topics related to all aspects professional web mastery."