Social Bookmarking and Dedicated Websites

Social bookmarking is a way of networking where the users save links to content on the Internet, thinking those to be useful for others, and sharing the same with them. This is one of many activities through which people indulge as a kind of social networking. There are many sites providing services of social bookmarking, some of which are used by active members in large numbers. Numerous bloggers plus other users working online make good use of social bookmarking for promoting and sharing information.

When making out a link that interests them, the users of social bookmarking sites may save or bookmark it on the net. Lots of such sites contain widgets that may be installed in browsers, allowing them to bookmark the page with a single click, rather than going to the social bookmarking site for pasting the link. Generally, when clicking the button, the user gets a few options, allowing them to mark the text to facilitate its location for future references.

When using a social bookmarking site, you’ll find that it contains numerous interesting links, which you may sort out with the help of dates and tags, as well as other factors. You can make the list of links to be viewable by everybody, or some selected friends only. Another person on browsing such a site may follow the user who is inclined to bookmark the content that interests them. As such, individual bookmarks could generate their own pages for discussing the content, while sharing the connected links.

One can also submit some features on a social bookmarking page. For instance, a website covering feminist issues may encourage users to put forward links of feminine interest. This enables the users of the site to bring to the notice of the owners of the site any article that they find interesting and connected to the subject. This way, more opportunities open up for social networking, because other users of that site would see recommended links, and get prompted to look at other links, as well as the profiles of the users recommending them.

Here are few examples of such sites: Digg, Reddit and Delicious. These provide services for bookmarking, including mutual tagging, where the users may contribute their text. Tagging is helpful as it enables the users to search the tags for finding material connected to a specified topic. Another feature of social bookmarking is promoting certain links put forward by various people, thus making them appear on the first page that may be viewed by everybody, whereas the links that fail to become popular get buried over a period of time. It also helps to enhance the site ranking of people who put forward appealing and trendy links.

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Using Travel Guides to Your Benefit

When it comes to travelling; basically there are two kinds of people. The first kind plans their entire vacation right from the time they leave their house to the time they return whereas the others just go to the place, book themselves into a hotel and then decide what to do.

But, if you’re planning on visiting a new city there are plenty of travel guides that would be able to help you plan your vacation; however, there are plenty of people waiting to mint cash from you and therefore make sure that you only buy official travel guides as they’d have everything you need to know.

Use the travel guide to plan

One of the best ways of using the travel guide is by flipping through the pages of the brochure, check out the places you would love to visit and write them down on a separate piece of paper or on your phone.

Once that’s done you could then begin your journey by visiting the places in order based on their proximity to each other. As far as possible hire a professional travel guide so that they would help you reach all those places in the least amount of time – else you’d be travelling in circles.

Also, while you’re travelling from a place to the next, you could use your smartphone or laptop to check out what you could do in the area, usually you’d find a lot of interesting articles on each place you visit.

Find out about dangers using the guide

There are also times when you need to be careful about visiting a few places and your travel guide would point those out as well. You may find a mountain range really beautiful and plan a hiking trip, but the time of the year that you’re visiting could be avalanche season – so, make sure that you read the guide thoroughly before you plan.

Use them to learn about the place

Your travel guide is probably a comprehensive book and it would contain a lot of information on each and every place mentioned. Using the book you would be able to check out the history of the place as well as it’s cultures and traditions.

If you’re lucky, a bit of the ancient culture could still be alive in some parts of the city and if you’re interested you could ask your travel guide to take you to that part of town.

A travel guide isn’t a book, it’s basically just a kind of glossary that gives you information that you would find when you scratch the surface. If you’re looking forward to having a true adventure, you would need to conduct your very own research on the particular heritage site, garden or just about any place you visit within a city.

They prevent you from being cheated

When you use a travel guide, it would also include the fares that you would need to pay your tour guide as well as taxi driver to drive you from one place to the next. Usually when you’re travelling to foreign countries, you would notice that the locals try to loot you as they consider tourists to be rich.

Hence, just by following the tour guide and using government services as outlined in the guide, you would be able to enjoy your visit, whilst at the same time save cash.

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Online Travel Guides Having a Heyday

As Online Travel has caught the fancy of the internet savvy travelers the online travel market is booming. No wonder that the online Travel is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide. India is also not left behind in this race as according to industry Pundits, Online Travel Market in India would be worth around US $ 6 Billion.

As a logical extension to such buoyancy, Travel Guides have shown a steady rising to move online and in the process fulfilling the needs of the niche readers. Both traditional print brands as well as purely cyber entities are slogging it out to grab the attention of this niche segment. The publishers of print brands after their initial reluctance have also started embracing the web and publish all their content online.
Travel Guides

Let’s take a look at what the Travel Guides offer. Travel guides have become a necessary tool for anyone who is thinking of vacation. A Travel Guide is full of helpful advice, precise information, good ideas etc besides being well-written, well laid out as well as well indexed.

These City centric guides provide information on all aspects of travel. You can get good information on How to Reach, Attractions, Excursions, festivals, History along with the various kinds of accommodations available like lodges, hotels, resorts and the bed-and-breakfasts. Convenient maps make it easy for the newcomers to exactly pinpoint any destination.

An ideal Travel guide should also briefly outline the recreational activities coupled with more mundane activities of life that can be done in a particular city. Another important aspect that is generally missed out is the public transport of the cities where a traveler lands up. A genuine Travel Guide is also supposed to give precise information of the state of public transport highlighting bus routes, Cabs and Auto fares.

Another important aspect of a City Guide is to have a semblance of balanced information. This is important because travel can be both for as well as business.

Pros and cons of Online Travel Guides

More and more people are into researching the internet as a result the Online Travel Guides have become quite popular as compared to their print counterparts. However both the two brands have their own set of advantages and limitations.

Online Destination Guides are successful in tapping user-generated reviews and provide the added advantage of E- Commerce options. So surf the web pages of the guide and book flights, hotels and other arrangements at one go directly through the site. Another great feature of the Online Guides is that there is ample scope for value addition. For example Indian railway has planned a new train to connect Amritsar to Kasargod. This information can be easily updated in the Guide for the travelers to see.

As Hotels and rental agencies change their rates according to season and local competition, online travel guides also offer a dynamic lot of packages based on such variances. However coming to the flip side of it is very difficult to find Online Travel guides bereft of commercial influences. It is not uncommon to see many sites that are setup to merely attract the potential customers to a particular establishment, or sites giving reviews by travelers may not be wholly independent.

To conclude Online Travel Guides have become a very good way to gather information about smaller cities of India that has an immense tourism potential but often neglected. For example the whole of North east, Northern Kerala neglected as a tourist spot over the years have seen good tourist influx thanks to the ubiquitous travel guides.

A.K. Roy has covered a wide gamut of issues related to travel for many popular magazines, research publications and websites. This includes IHR a popular travel based portal, Travelers paradise, Travel plus etc. Have to his credit more than 10 books on various destinations in India.

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