Wanderlust: Outline & Digital Strategy

So my outline is completely old school (I do not have access to a scanner right now and don’t feel like illustrating it into a program because I always work with mind maps on paper much better than on technological platforms). It is a really rough outline and I didn’t include quotations, but hopefully you all understand the gist of my project.

Evernote Snapshot 20151028 214421

Digital Strategy:

I have chosen to use Postach.io as my digital platform to present my project on travel blogs. Postach.io transforms your Evernote notebook into a blog or website, therefore I would initially use my “Wanderlust” Evernote notebook which would then automatically transfer its content onto my Postach.io blog. This blog acts as the final destination where my peers will view my final project. I decided to use this platform to present my research because I assumed that a blogging platform would be a fitting tool considering the topic that is to be explored. Through my personal travel blog, I used WordPress to illustrate my thoughts and photos, however I wanted to engage with a challenging and new environment. I have no experience with either Evernote or Postach.io, so felt it would be appropriate to explore this platform in the midst of constructing my final project. Postach.io appears to have a simple layout for its blogs, and dare I say similar to Subtle, while also possessing aesthetic qualities that can be appealing to a wide audience. Links and images are clearly displayed, as I have discovered in the testing of the program, and I believe its simplicity will succeed in getting my message across. This message being that the visuals and the simplicity in the layout of information are the most effective strategies in convincing an audience to travel, which I believe Postach.io will replicate in its presentation of my research.

Wanderlust: Annotated Bibliography & Summary

Works Cited:

Akehurst, Gary. “User Generated Content: The Use of Blogs for Tourism Organisations and Tourism Consumers.” Serv Bus 3 (2008): 51–61. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://journals2.scholarsportal.info.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/pdf/18628516/v03i0001/51_ugctuoftoatc.xml&gt;.

This article refers to the expansion of user generated content on the Internet, specifically travel blogs and their effect on the travel industry. This user generated content is deemed more reliable and trustworthy by consumers, however due to the variability in travel blogs, Akehurst mentions that a system needs to be integrated in order to better organize these blogs. He further explores the debate about whether these blogs can assist the tourism industry or can only be referred to as an informal tool.

Banyai, Maria, and Troy D. Glover. “Evaluating Research Methods on Travel Blogs.” Journal of Travel Research 51.3 (2012): 267–277. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://jtr.sagepub.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/content/51/3/267.full.pdf&gt;.

This article discusses a variety of research methods that can be applied to content found in travel blogs, specifically content and narrative analysis. Banyai and Glover reflect on the strengths, weaknesses, and implications surrounding these analyses and further look into industry and methodological implications related to travel blogs. It is through this research that this article can also be referred to by destination marketers who wish to incorporate travel blogs into their strategic marketing.

Banyai, Maria, and Mark E. Havitz. “Analyzing Travel Blogs Using a Realist Evaluation Approach.” Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management 22 (2013): 229–241. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://www.tandfonline.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/doi/pdf/10.1080/19368623.2012.680239&gt;.

This article argues that a variety of ideologies and methods need to be utilized for the analysis of travel blogs, specifically realist evaluation approach in order for one to understand its subjective and objective components that can then be applied to research and marketing purposes.

Calzati, Stefano. “Power and Representation in Anglo-American Travel Blogs and Travel Books about China.” CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 14.5 (2012): 1–10. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?frbrVersion=6&article=2154&context=clcweb&gt;.

Calzati’s research looks at the comparison of two travel books versus two travel blogs written by American travellers on their trips to China. It is through this analysis that Calzati wishes to discover the similarities and differences between these distinct mediums and how this affects each group’s representations and interpretations of themselves as travellers, as well as China as a country.

Chen, Yu-Chen, Rong-An Shang, and Ming-Jin Li. “The Effects of Perceived Relevance of Travel Blogs’ Content on the Behavioral Intention to Visit a Tourist Destination.” Computers in Human Behavior 30 (2014): 787–799. Web. 7 Oct. 2015. < http://www.sciencedirect.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/science/article/pii/S0747563213001702&gt;.

This article refers to the immense number of travel blogs that exist on the Internet, however some blogs illustrate a higher degree of influence on tourists in comparison to other blogs. Chen et al. identify which characteristics are better at capturing an audience’s attention and how it influences people’s travel decisions. It is through this research that they wish to assist tourism managers in order to better their marketing efforts.

Hsiao, Kuo-Lun, Hsi-Peng Lu, and Wan-Chin Lan. “The Influence of the Components of Storytelling Blogs on Readers’ Travel Intentions.” Internet Research 23.2 (2013): 160–182.  Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://search.proquest.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/docview/1321607960?OpenUrlRefId=info:xri/sid:primo&accountid=11233&gt;.

The purpose of this study is to determine how storytelling blogs affect their audience’s travel consumption. In addition, their findings look at how a reader’s demographics such as gender and age can also affect their travel purchases.

Lin, Yu-Shan, and Jun-Ying Huang. “Internet Blogs as a Tourism Marketing Medium: A Case Study.” Journal of Business Research 59.10-11 (2006): 1201–1205. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://www.sciencedirect.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/science/article/pii/S014829630600097X&gt;.

This article focuses on a specific travel blog by a Taiwanese engineer who went on vacation in Greece, respectively named “I Left My Heart in Aegean Sea”, and how this website is capable of attracting a large audience and convinces many to also travel to Greece. It is through this identification of successful components used by this travel blogger that Lin and Huang wish to assist the tourism industry and its nations to successfully promote their countries to travellers.

Panteli, Niki, Lin Yan, and Petros Chamakiotis. “Writing to the Unknown: Bloggers and the Presence of Backpackers.” Information Technology & People 24.4 (2011): 362–377.  Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://journals1.scholarsportal.info.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/pdf/09593845/v24i0004/362_wttubatpob.xml&gt;.

Panteli et al.’s argue that travel bloggers are unaware of their audience in regards to who specifically reads their blogs, which can be applied to many other social networks, but nonetheless are capable of developing relationships with their readers. They research further into this topic by studying backpackers and how they use their blogs as well as how they create and sustain their presence among these known and unknown audiences.

Pudliner, Betsy A. “Alternative Literature and Tourist Experience: Travel and Tourist Weblogs.” JOURNAL OF TOURISM AND CULTURAL CHANGE 5.1 (2007): 46–59. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://journals2.scholarsportal.info.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/pdf/14766825/v05i0001/46_alatetatw.xml&gt;.

This article refers to the evolution of travel writing and how the emergence of technology has created this “digital storytelling” that many travellers use in their travel blogs. Pudliner intends to analyze this narrative form to discuss tourism as a language, as a place of experience, and its authenticity.

Sigala, Marianna, Evangelos Christou, and Ulrike Gretzel. “Social Media in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality : Theory, Practice and Cases.” Ashgate Publishing Limited (2012): n. pag. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. < http://web.b.ebscohost.com/Legacy/Views/static/html/Error.htm?aspxerrorpath=/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/bmxlYmtfXzQxOTc4M19fQU41&gt;.

A number of chapters will be used from this book to view how blogs reinvent tourism communication, travellers’ use of social media, and users’ attitudes towards these social networks.

Ting, Kuo-Chang, Ping-Ho Ting, and Po-Wen Hsiao. “Why Are Bloggers Willing to Share Their Thoughts via Travel Blogs?” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT · 64.1 (2014): 89–108. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ping-Ho_Ting/publication/264818329_Why_are_bloggers_willing_to_share_their_thoughts_via_travel_blogs/links/54f0599e0cf25f74d725faac.pdf&gt;.

This study focuses on travel blogger’s behaviours, specifically the reasoning behind a blogger’s decision to share their travel experience with others. Therefore, Ting et al. attempt to understand key influence factors shared among travel bloggers.

Vrana, Vasiliki, and Kostas Zafiropoulos. “Locating Central Travelers’ Groups in Travel Blogs’ Social Networks.” Journal of Enterprise Information Management 23.5 (2010): 595–609.  Web. 18 Oct. 2015. < http://www.emeraldinsight.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/17410391011083056&gt;.

This paper integrates Travelpod.com in order to provide a methodology to locate central groups of travellers. In addition, Vrana et al. wish to describe pattern characteristics found among these central travellers.

Summary:

Through my brief analysis of these scholarly articles, many had the intention of researching further into the studies of travel blogs and travel literature in order to assist the tourism industry and improve their marketing skills. This illustrates how travel blogs have taken the interest of many groups of people, including those in involved in tourism, due to its successful promotion and influence to make others travel around the globe. Although many of these journal articles contain marketing implications, some do show genuine interest in this subculture and how bloggers as well as their audience react to social media as a new space for this idea of digital storytelling through the inclusion of photos and videos alongside their narratives. Therefore, I believe the current state of debate regarding the topic of travel blogs is that they are a useful marketing tool among tourism businesses which has influenced this industry to adapt to social networks and the idea of using the internet to reach their consumers. However, it is through this newfound popularity among travel blogs that have encouraged travellers to share their stories with others and to engage in this new form of digital writing. It is through this engagement that has sparked the interest of many researchers into how the travel blogging environment functions among its authors and readers.

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