Touting tourism

John
John Gushue
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The Newfoundland and Labrador government's tourism campaign has rightly attracted a lot of attention. I've seen the television spots countless times, and still pause to have a look ... and I live here. My work involves daily contact with people across the country, largely in Toronto, and I can't tell you how many of them have brought up the commercials in conversation.

A bright campaign, and the bucks to buy advertising time and space, are strong. What about the web component?

Surf's up -

The Newfoundland and Labrador government's tourism campaign has rightly attracted a lot of attention. I've seen the television spots countless times, and still pause to have a look ... and I live here. My work involves daily contact with people across the country, largely in Toronto, and I can't tell you how many of them have brought up the commercials in conversation.

A bright campaign, and the bucks to buy advertising time and space, are strong. What about the web component?

To help promote travel within the province, the government launched a new address this month (www.fortheloveofnl.ca), but that will redirect you to the familiar tourism page. Which, to be fair, has had some upgrades lately. I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the social media tools that have been added.

NL Tweets

twitter.com/NLtweets

YouTube channel

www.youtube.com/user/NewfoundlandLabrador

Blog

www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/Blog/

The tourism department jumped on the Twitter bandwagon a little while ago. So far, the uptake has been small, but I can attest that that's how things start out. Tourism department staff have been decent so far at feeding the tweet-meter. Some of the earlier users of Twitter that I know of are in the tourism game; I'm wondering if operators are more interested in keeping in touch with their professional peers, or with connecting with customers? I think it's still early days, and too soon to know.

Setting up a YouTube channel only makes sense for the tourism site.

After all, those commercials have been brilliantly executed. The channel features lots to look at; I only wish there was more. (And yes, that's a hint.)

The blog is a bit on the dry side: many of the posts are drawn from media coverage, and I don't really see a personality - one that would want me to check in regularly - emerging there yet. If we're promoting ourselves as colourful, vibrant and different, shouldn't we have a vibrant blog to match?

Elsewhere this week

eSnips

http://www.esnips.com/

Here's a fast way to add some capacity to your storage resources, without touching your hard drive. Consider eSnips as not just a home away for home for your content, but a community you can join too. You store up to five gigs of material with eSnips, and in return (in Web 2.0 spirit) you join a community. This may seem a bit disconcerting, if you're interested in a virtual version of, say, an off-site storage shed, but you may well be attracted to it if your content includes things like music, videos, etc. You can put privacy restrictions to limit who gets to rifle through your stuff.

Zapping Bugs

http://www.zappingbugs.com/

My meaningless page of the week: Ever had one of those lazy summer evenings when you've just sat and relaxed, watching bugs dancing around a zapper until - ZOINK! - one of them actually touched it? Now you can have that randomly peculiar feeling, without so much as touching a fly, with this harmless page.

Companion Planting

http://tinyurl.com/cm4k88

My goals for this summer are to get a decent harvest of strawberries, lettuce and rhubarb out of my raised beds, and possibly a non-exotic vegetable. I tip my hat, though, to those who try to riddle out some of the larger problems in their gardens. Companion planting is taking off as one means of sustainable gardening. The idea is that you plant species next to each that not only complement one another, but repel another's pests and enemies. A bit too overwhelming for my modest talents, but this page has information and a handy chart.

John Gushue is a news writer for CBCNews.ca in St. John's. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com. Twitter: twitter.com/JohnGushue.

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Toronto, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    My only beef with the Tourism website is that it now relies entirely on Google maps. That's fine if your trip involves travel along the Trans Canada Hwy, but many of the province's most alluring landscapes and communities (and the routes by land and sea which connect them) are deemed insignificant by Google's cartographers. Surely the department could put a decent map of its on on the site.

  • Liz
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    The URL http://tinyurl.com/cm4k88 returns a 404 not found error.

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    If you want to attract tourists, especially those who travel in their RVs, upgrade the highways. The road on the Burin peninsula is downright scary.

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    My only beef with the Tourism website is that it now relies entirely on Google maps. That's fine if your trip involves travel along the Trans Canada Hwy, but many of the province's most alluring landscapes and communities (and the routes by land and sea which connect them) are deemed insignificant by Google's cartographers. Surely the department could put a decent map of its on on the site.

  • Liz
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    The URL http://tinyurl.com/cm4k88 returns a 404 not found error.

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    If you want to attract tourists, especially those who travel in their RVs, upgrade the highways. The road on the Burin peninsula is downright scary.