My colleague Janice send this article about a panel of travel bloggers organized by Budget Travel Online. There’s some great content in here about some of the things that are debated internally at Tourism BC these days.
User Generated Content, can we trust it or do we need a voice of authority?
Erik Olsen, editor of Gadling.com hit the mark:
Harnessing collective intelligence is a powerful thing and with an “editorial filter”, harnessing this power can be achieved within creative standards. TurnHere is a good example of this. It’s YouTube for destination videos with an editorial element. It ensures a certain quality standard. For site like YouTube, such standards are not needed. Just like any other development in the early history of the internet, the only successful strategy is to embrace change. Because in a future of user generated content, who will be the official source?
How should Tourism Boards deal with Travel Bloggers?
Mark Johnson from HotelChatter.com about how not to do it:
So what is the right approach? Erik Olsen again:
And an unidentified person from the audience:
But a word of caution from Randy Petersen from flyertalk.
They also share the number of traffic they receive:
No matter how you value a visitor, that’s a lot of exposure. So tourism marketers better take bloggers seriously and play by the rules of the blogosphere. It’s like what Josh and Rob told me the other day; “consumers have taken control and they’re not going to give it back”.
We finally went to see An Inconvenient Truth today, the All Gore documentary/presentation about global warning. There wasn’t a lot of new information for me but it did provide me a powerful reminder of the state of the world and it’s future. And I’m encouraged. Encouraged because of the attention this is finally getting and the number of people who will be exposed to this information. Because only collectively we can do something about this. Maybe people will start basing their votes on important matters such as global warming instead of who’s allowed to marry whom, women’s rights to choose or what a religious leader tells them to do.
Now I’ve heard from people who’ve seen this movie that they don’t know what they can do. Well, Sheri and I been aware of this for a long time. We have been trying to live our lifes based on our believe that the earth can’t sustain the effect people have on the environment. We’re not activists (yet) and we can do a lot more then we do. But we do consider this in our life decisions and we are willing to make sacrifices. And it’s really not that hard. I think that if we can do this, more people can, so here are some examples:
We’re both vegetarians
In the western society I live in, it is not necessary to eat meat. The production of meat cost a lot more land and energy than it takes to grow vegetables and the way the meat industry is industrialized is unethical. Switching to become a vegetarian is very easy. There’s a wide variety of alternatives available.
We don’t own a car
We both walk to work. We choose to live close to where we work to minimize our daily commute. We don’t own a car and try to walk, bike and take public transportation when we can. We do have access to a car through a car cooperation and we occasionally rent a car. We use it to go away from the city and to transport heavy things. As a side effect, we save a ton of money on gas, insurance, maintenance and has reduced our stress levels. The adjustment was surprisingly easy. If driving is not an option, you get creative pretty quickly.
We will have one child maximum.
We don’t have children at the moment and if we do decide to start a family, we will only have one child. Earth is overpopulated. The math is simple. If every couple has less then 2 children on average, population will go down, and so will the demand on it’s resources.
We live in a 600sq/ft (60M2) apartment.
Because that’s all we need. A living room, a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom and a small den. That also means we can’t have a lot of stuff. So whenever we buy anything, it means that something else probably has to go. Perching is awesome, I love it. Our place is also super efficient for energy consumption. Our monthly electricity bill is a joke.
I don’t intent to sound all high and mighty. This is just the way we live our life and we feel good about it. I know people that do a lot more. My sister for example volunteers for every environmental organization she can find, including going to high schools to educate children about environmental issues. And I respect her a lot for it.
So I’m encouraged and hopeful that enough people will clue in on time so we can turn these events around and make the world a place for many generations to come.