Friday, May 30, 2008

A fellow traveller's guide....

The weather is finally turning warmer and my thoughts, at least, are starting to turn to that all important Canadian institution -- summer vacation!!! The possibilities are endless, festivals abound, the mountains beckon, undiscovered country awaits!! How do you decide? Where will you go? Who will help you discover that undiscovered country? We turn to guide books, websites, friends and family to find the next best place that will fit our family perfectly.

There are problems with this method. Family is great but I doubt the kids will enjoy the Kimberley World Accordian Festival as much as Great-Aunt Phyllis does (or maybe they will -- from experience it is kind of a hoot!). The Enchanted Forest website makes it seem worth the stop but how can you tell if it is just another tourist trap (trust me it's fabulous!)? Which guide do you choose -- are you a Frommer's, Lonely Planet, or Rough guide kind of person? Each is written with a specific traveler in mind. Wouldn't it be great if you could connect with a family just like yours who share your same interests and ideas of what a vacation should be and share your experience, great finds and must see spots?

Now thanks to Social Bookmarking sites such as Diigo and we can come close to creating that experience, and for a lot more than just vacations. Take a look at what Social Bookmarking can do for you :

Diigo takes social bookmarking past just sharing tags and bookmarks. It allows you to highlight passages in a website just as you would in a book and add a sticky note with your thoughts about that passage. When you return to the website days or weeks later it will remind you what you found so interesting. Secondly you can add comments (public or private) to any web page and also read the public comments other's have made. So if you have a Diigo account you will see that I have made a comment regarding the Enchanted Forest when you are on their website. A personal recommendation is worth more than a thousand tour books!

Really great travelers often don't carry guidebooks. They rely on the experiences of those who they meet along the way to guide them and enjoy the thrill of stumbling upon something undiscovered that they in turn can share. Really great Web 2.0 travelers are no different. They move beyond what the "guidebooks" tell them are great sites and rely on their fellow travelers to point them to places that are relevant, peer-reviewed, fantastic resources. So fellow travelers let me know -- where are we off to next?

No comments: