The New World of Travel 2.0: Applications of Social Software in the Travel and Tourism Industry, and in Teaching a Sustainable Tourism Course Alan A. Lew Northern Arizona University http://alanlew.com http://alanalew.com
“… web applications, services, resources, blogs or sites with a focus on next generation web, social software, blogging, Ajax, Ruby on Rails, location mapping, open source, folksonomy, [tagging], design and digital media sharing”
eHub - h ttp:// www.emilychang.com/go/ehub /
Democratizing tools of production
User Generated & Contributed Data / Info.
“ Ideas over Costs”
Online business without venture capital
“ a Billion Niches”
Custom Streams, not mass markets
Enabled by High Speed Internet
Social Software “…lets people rendezvous, connect or collaborate by use of a computer network” “software that supports group interaction” ( wikipedia.org )
Internet Relay Chat
Social Network Services
recommend real world places / services - TripAdvisor
publicly posted favorite lists
Del.icio.us, Google Notebook
Social Reputation Network
Blogs, Podcasts, Vlogs/Videocasts
references for academics
Peer-to-peer Social Networks
file sharing – photos, games
meeting in online worlds
Virtual Worlds & Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs)
25.0% 2 Had created your own Wiki website 25.0% 2 Had contributed to or edited a Wiki website 25.0% 2 Had created an Audio program and made it available on the Internet 37.5% 3 Had heard of term “Web 2.0” 37.5% 3 Had created and contributed to your own Blog 37.5% 3 Had created an Video program and made it available on the Internet 37.5% 3 Watched to Video programs on an mp3 player (like an iPod) 37.5% 3 Listened to Audio programs (news, talk, etc) on an mp3 player 50.0% 4 Had frequently used Instant Messaging (IM) on your computer 50.0% 4 Had created a website using a Social Media/Software website 50.0% 4 Had heard of the terms “Social Media” or “Social Software” 50.0% 4 Had heard of Wikis 50.0% 4 Listened to Audio programs (news, talk, etc) on your computer 62.5% 5 Had used a Wiki website, such as Wikipedia 75.0% 6 Had created a website using an HTML editor 75.0% 6 Had actively participated in a Social Media/Software Website 75.0% 6 Had joined a Social Media/Software Websites 87.5% 7 Had occasionally used Instant Messaging (IM) 87.5% 7 Watched to Video programs on your computer 87.5% 7 Listened to Music on an mp3 player 100% 8 Had heard of Blogs 100% 8 Listened to Music on your computer
Were any of the Social Media/Software tools that you have used prior to this semester part of a class that you took?
It was never mandated to use any of the sites because for the majority of my classes, we could only used scholarly, peer reviewed journals or other writings. Wikis (or any other social media) were not allowed or deemed reliable.
Mostly home-based stuff
All of my experience with social media/software was purely for "social" reasons to communicate with friends.
In a class I took, History of American Music, we were given a cd of mp3 files to listen to (on our computer and on a mp3 player) and study for exams, then we gave the cd back at the end of the class.
I’ve used Wikipedia to conduct research for multiple classes, but never really realized how it worked until Dr. Lew’s class.
I took a FrontPage website development class two years ago.
Which of the Social Media/Software tools used this semester did you think were most effective for use in an online class? (N=8)
Everything we used was really effective...I learned a lot!
I thought that your Podcasts were a particularly effective way of delivering on-line content.
I enjoyed the Podcasts .
I also enjoyed the discussions with other students and peers through Wikispaces . Everything was really effective!
The Blog and the Wikispaces presented us with a specific task and then we heard from peers and were able to view what we had done compared to others and make adjustments. Learning how to communicate and add comments was good.
Designing the Webpage was fun.
Listening to a Podcast made the class more interesting rather than just reading the material. Then having to put a comment ( Innertoob ) in made us pay attention.
The Podcasts we listened to for assignments, whether they be Dr. Lew’s podcasts or someone elses about various issues, were very helpful in understanding topics.
Dr. Lew’s audio recordings ( Elluminate audio only ) where he reviewed the assignments were helpful as well, especially since this is an online course with little other teacher/student interaction.
I was never able to get Elluminate working on my computer; I’m still not sure how to use it, but when audio-only files were uploaded onto vista, I always listened to those and found them helpful ( Elluminate audio only )!ba.
I really liked the Blogs . I feel this is a great way to communicate during this class.
Innertoob was probably the most effective because one could potentially listen a lecture or observation from someone a great distance away.
Blogging was most useful, as I enjoyed the interaction, although I feel the bulletin boards in VISTA are more convenient and work in much the same manner.
Do you have any other comments and suggestions on the use of Social Media/Software tools in this class? (N=5)
I learned a great deal about social media, etc. but not as much as I would have liked to learn about Sustainable Tourism. It just got really frustrating at times....
The Podcasts were particularly useful. I started to wonder about the educational value of some of the other elements such as Wikis for this class.
I think it was difficult to effectively work in this course at the beginning as I am not very computer savvy.
The course definitely taught me a lot, and I feel much more comfortable using the computer, social media software, etc.
Making the podcast was an experience and probably the most difficult for most of us to do.
Other than your self, I am not sure who else will listen [to my podcast] !
I was never able to actually take part in an Elluminate session due to class conflicts and also equipment on my computer.
I did go and listen to the Elluminate podcasts (audio only) for a few of the assignments I was not totally clear on.
I enjoy online classes like this one where the instructors lays out the requirements clearly.
Downloading the software and producing a podcast is not nearly as easy as presented, at least for older, less technologically-savvy students. The telephone podcast option was the easiest, and the only one I succeeded at, but even it presented some challenges.
Perhaps an Elluminate session would have helped. Speaking of which, Elluminate sessions in the morning are virtually impossible for working students to participate in.
I probably struggled with the technology elements more than most of the class. Although I was vaguely aware of them, blogging, wikis and podcasts were new to me.
It’s difficult to straddle the divide between young people who have not only embraced the age of technology, but made it their own. A challenge I and my peers in the “traditional” tourism industry face is finding ways to market to these younger travelers if we want to stay in business.
I still have grave reservations about wikis and their potential for disseminating misinformation on a grand scale, for example Wikipedia-reported “death” of a major entertainer, who was actually hale and hearty. Although this was a fairly harmless incident, imagine the problems posed for researchers relying on the Internet for data.
On the professional level, I’m glad I’m more familiar with them, and I can always hire others to actually develop them as part of an outreach or marketing effort.
Perhaps the most important part of learning, and reinforcing what you’ve learned, is sharing the knowledge. I see the tremendous potential of new methods of communication with travelers. After a conversation with the manager of a regional driving tour, they’ve developed a grant to create a website and podcast of the tour. Until now it was only available on CD in visitor centers and some businesses.
I believe the website, which will be linked with Chamber’s, visitor center’s, tourism and other websites, will help market our region to a whole new audience. One example is the many bicyclists who travel through here and certainly can’t listen to a CD audio tour. But I’ve noticed that more and more of them travel with iPods or mp3s, making a podcast perfect for them.