April 29, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Polldaddy.com is a free service that lets you create and administer polls and surveys by embedding them into a post or article. Sounds like a useful tool for people who want to develop online communities. You can change the appearance of the poll, integrate the poll into your WordPress blog (I didn’t use the WordPress-specific function here), include images and video in your poll, subscribe to the results of the poll in an RSS feed, set survey response paths using conditional branching, create custom start and finish pages, and more.

To see how it works, answer this poll:

wai-naniTravel writer Linda Ballou offers beginning travel writers a free e-book called How to Make Travel Writing Work for You. Linda explains, “My report is written to those who are not going to try to make a living at travel writing, but just want to get around to places they couldn’t get to otherwise.”

Get the free report by providing your name and email address at Linda’s website, after which the PDF download will appear. And while you’re there, check out Linda’s book, Wai-nanai, High Chiefess of Hawai’i.

These three “inexpensive customisable photography sites” are recommended by the British Guild of Travel Writers:

IFP3 Advanced Photo Websites
Create Your Own Website. Be Live in 5 minutes.

* Unlimited Images, Pages and Galleries
* Easily Sell Your Images
* No Credit Card Needed for trial
* No Fees or Commissions on Sales
* Full Search Feature Integrated into Your Site
* No Set Up Fees – & Hosting is Included

Our simple and intuitive interface makes SiteWelder easy-to-use for computer novices and experts alike. with the Site manager it’s easy to upload photos, create galleries, make Flash slideshows, and edit text on pages. No computer programming required!

Thanks to Marc Longwood for this link to the British Guild of Travel Writers site.

Start by logging in to your WordPress site with your username and password.

Remember that the login info is case-sensitive, so you have to be sure to use capital letters in the right places.

  • In this case, I’m logging in to TravelWritersNews.com
  • Be sure you add “/wp-admin” (without quotation marks) to the end of the URL.
  • WordPress updates to a new version from time to time, so it may look a little different than you remembered, but the process of creating a post stays the same.

Flip Video

February 26, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Flip Video Cam

Flip Video Cam

Maybe it’s premature, but I’m flipping for the Flip video camera. Just bought the $150 version a few days ago, then got a notice today from Amazon.com that the $129 version is on sale for $69.99.

It’s small, easy to use (although limited in capability), produces high-quality images … and the built-in USB port makes it easy to upload images. Limited editing capabilities are built in.

For more info, check out the website.

From Alison at V!VA Travel Guides:

“V!VA Travel Guides invites talented and enthusiastic writers to apply for its 2009 Travel Writing Boot Camps.

“The V!VA Boot Camp is a weeklong crash course in which students will gain valuable insight into the world of travel guidebook writing through instruction from seasoned professionals. Attendees will find out what editors want, learn how to work with multimedia outlets and improve writing skills through daily critiques. Students may also have the opportunity to stay “on assignment” in the host country after the course.

“Find out what you need to know to travel, get published and get paid!

After reading this article titled 8 Ways that Twitter can Grow your Freelance Business I’ve started Twittering. Intermittantly. (My Twitter name is LaurieKing; follow me if you can.)

Thanks to Gayle Keck for sending this best rejection slip ever, translated from a Chinese economic journal. (Gayle did not receive the rejection letter; she just read about it.)

“We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity.”

WordPress Lessons

December 28, 2008 | 2 Comments

Here’s a link to the WordPress HELP section that includes lessons o:

  • Introduction to Blogging
  • First Steps with WordPress
  • Design and Layout
  • Creating Individual Pages
  • Using Images
  • and lots more


December 6, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to John Montgomery for sending the link to Ozmo: Ozmo is the easy and convenient way to license content on the web. When you see the Ozmo link on content, users know it’s legal and creators know they’re getting paid for their work. It’s a win-win for buyers and sellers.

By Karsten Weide, posted on Webguild: More than half of U.S. consumers with Internet access use social networking services (SNS), such as Facebook and MySpace, and penetration will continue to grow. According to a new study from IDC, consumers are also spending ever-greater amounts of time on SNS, a fact that has advertisers drooling over the opportunity represented by SNS. IDC found that consumers who use SNS also tend to visit the services often and spend a lot of time per visit. More than three quarters of SNS users visit at least once a week, and no less than 57% visit Read more

November 5 press release:  Washington, DC – Roger Dow, President and CEO of the Travel Industry Association (TIA), today released the following statement on President-elect Barack Obama’s historic victory:

“America’s travel community congratulates President-elect Obama and pledges our support to the new Administration as it tackles two of the most daunting challenges facing America today: improving the U.S. economy and strengthening America’s image in the international community. Travel is uniquely positioned to address both of these challenges.

December 13, 2008
6:00 pmto10:00 pm
Ginny's Farm © Marc Longwood

Fine art photography exhibition by members of Sacramento’s The Focus Group, featuring the diverse photographic imagery of 13 prominent Sacramento photographers: Marc Longwood, Hal Hammond, Dave Brooks, Ron Busselen, Randy Snook, Janine Mapurunga, John Swain, Donald Satterlee, Richard Tolmach, John Palmer, Hope Harris, Gene Kennedy and Mike Powers.

Free reception open to the public on Saturday, December 13, 2008 from 6-10 p.m.

Location: Beatnik Studios
2421 17th Street (17th and Broadway)
Sacramento, CA  95818

Show is up now through December 23, 2008.
Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, 6-9 p.m.

Russia photo books

December 4, 2008 | 1 Comment

Curious about what Russia looks like today, and how her citizens are adapting to a democratic society?  Jim and I visited in September, and filled two 100+ page travel journals with lively photos and commentary. They’re available as free downloads until the end of 2008.

Book #2 (just out), Russia 2, includes photos of Russia’s two magnificent cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg: this volume showcases grand palaces, sprawling museums, city scenes, centuries’ worth of art, modern outdoor sculpture, the Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, GUM department store (converted into an upscale shopping mall), the famous Moscow metro, Peterhof, Tretyakov Gallery, the Park of the Fallen Idols, and more.

Travel Writers Exchange is a great site for beginning travel writers, with Top Ten lists (Top 10 Photography Tips, Top 10 Travel Writing Jobs, etc.), ideas to help you network, get published, and get paid, and lots more. Its tone is a little annoying (“Exclusive! Inside Secrets to Publishing from Editors and Publishers!”), but the content and organization are both excellent.

The Society of Professional Journalists (Improving and protecting journalism since 1909) is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.”

Thanks to Camille Cusumano for forwarding this link to Brave New Travel’s list of more than 50 Travel Magazines that Want to Publish Your Writing. Links included.

List, links, and short description of fifty sites for social and professional networking, bookmarking, job hunting, goal management, gadget networking, wiki building, traffic mapping, tutorial rating, network managing, and more. (But please don’t create a page for yourself on Wikipedia.)

Or do I mean social media *are* like ice cream? At any rate, here’s a fun video explaining: Social Media is like Ice Cream

I love-love-love the format for the Wild Writing Women’s new e-zine about Ireland. It’s a 262-page downloadable, web-based, interactive, multimedia destination guide filled with photos, essays, articles, travel tips, reviews, music, interviews, linked resources, and more. And you can download the whole shebang for just $12.95. WWW Editorial Dominatrix Cathleen Miller edited, WWW Technical Virtuoso Carla King produced, and distribution was handled by AuthorFriendly, “the all-in-one website solution for authors.”

Author Friendly

October 23, 2008 | 1 Comment

And here’s a link to AuthorFriendly, who distributed the Wild Writing Women’s e-zine, Ireland, the Sacred and the Profane.

“AuthorFriendly.com is an easy-to-use tool that lets you market and sell your books and associated products online. It gives you a powerful web presence with many exciting features. We build the website and PayPal-powered bookstore, and then you have control:

  • Modify the words and photos on your site whenever you like
  • Send newsletters to your subscribers
  • Publish a blog
  • Let readers contact you and even review your book
  • Optimize your books search engine placement

From Jay Gifford, owner: “The Victorian Home Walk tour has been showing visitors our world-famous architecture for over ten years. We go where the tour buses are not allowed, into the best Victorian neighborhoods. The tour departs daily (year round) at 11 a.m. from Union Square (corner of Powell & Post streets) and no reservations are required (participants just show up). This is a “green” tour; we use public transportation and walking (no hills).

“We have a standard policy that any travel writer can take the tour for free any day; just give us your business card as payment and identify yourself at the beginning of the tour. Please let us know if you have any questions.”

October 28, 2008
6:00 amto5:00 pm

Check out BlogWell’s upcoming conference: How Big Companies use Social Media–8 great case studies in corporate social media. It’s October 28th at the San Jose Convention Center, from 1-5 p.m. $200.

“Unprecedented insight on social media from Cisco, Intel, Wells Fargo, Walmart, UPS, Kaiser Permanente, Graco, and Home Depot. Measuring ROI, managing teams, dealing with legal issues, working with agencies, BtoB blogging, internal communications, blogging in regulated industries and creating great content. This is the best opportunity available for anyone looking to get started or improve their corporate social media efforts.

Creative Commons

October 23, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Elizabeth Weaver for sending the link to Creative Commons, a free source of content, or a way to distribute your work, or both, depending on your point of view. Creative Commons “provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from ‘All Rights Reserved’ to ‘Some Rights Reserved.'”

« go backkeep looking »
  • Upcoming Events

    March 2015
    M T W T F S S
  • My Book is Now Available …

    Lost Kidnapped Eaten Alive!And it's getting rave reviews! Order your copy of Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive at Book Passage, and I'll be happy to sign it. You can also sign up for my mailing list for occasional updates about readings and events.
  • Google Apps for Your Email (you @ yourdomain.com

    Looking for the best email solution? Look no further, there's really only one player out there worth considering: Google Apps for Your Email.

    Looking to create a new email in Google Apps? Here's how.

  • The San Francisco Waterfront App


    Full of fascinating info and insights— and with a 5-star rating on iTunes— the San Francisco Waterfront mobile app is still just $2.99. It's perfect for visitors, and SF natives love it, too.