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Top Disney Vacation Experts to Follow on Twitter

Top Disney Vacation Experts to Follow on Twitter

790646_46868782No doubt about it, a trip to any of the amazing Disney theme parks is an event to remember. One might argue, too, that the planning involved in such a vacation is an event in itself. Having spent a long weekend at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando and enjoying all the amenities of a practically inclusive Disney World trip, I can attest to the amount of preparation – the time invested could support a part-time job! Thirty or so years ago, when only the Magic Kingdom reigned over Lake Buena Vista and visitors sought out coveted E-Tickets, one could simply make Disney a spontaneous day of fun. These days, if you want to eat at one particular restaurant, you better make sure you’ve called weeks, maybe months, in advance. It’s a whole new world indeed.

You can be certain that as more people turn to social media content for tips on travel, a multitude of mouse-eared Tweeters are on hand to dispense insider info on where the lines are longest and what specials are available on food and accommodations. Having browsed Twitter search for updated information on the four Orlando parks in particular, I’ve found some helpful advice, lovely pictures, and have developed a yearning to head back to Florida. If you’re thinking of visiting the Mouse and friends this winter, or even next summer, now’s as good a time as any to check out these regular theme park Tweeters.

@DisneyParks: Of course, there is an official Twitter for the Disney destinations. Here you’ll find information on all the resorts, the cruise lines, and non-park vacation properties owned by the company. You’ll find news on in-park events and tips for good prices on packages.

@Rick_Howard: To read Rick’s Twitter feed, one might think he lives at Disney World. Seems everyday he’s tweeting from a different location within the multi-park complex. Actually, Rick maintains a video travel blog of the different sights and sounds of the Orlando attractions, and updates his Twitter feed with breaking news of interest to Disney-philes (for one, WDW no longer sells all-beef hot dogs, remember that around lunch time).

@wdwfan – This very interactive Twitter feed is maintained by Orlando area travel agents who post specials and updated park information for Disney as well as other parks in the region. Newcomers to central Florida can gain a good sense of the entire area reading the tweets on this feed.

@AllEarsDeb – The founder of popular Disney travel site AllEars.net tweets regular updates and ride reviews, Disney news and travel tips.

@MiceChat – Billed as a “different look” at the Disney properties, MiceChat’s Twitter is fed by the site of the same name, offering detailed updates on park events and issues. This is a great, thorough site for the Disney fan and traveler.

Honorable Mentions

@mousemisers – Primarily fed by the Mouse Misers blog, which offers news on discounts for Disney-themed attractions and vacations.

@DatelineDisney – Specifically covers the Disneyland park and Disney-related news.

When you’re ready to plan that unforgettable Disney vacation, don’t forget to check out the more popular Disney tweeters for inside tips and savings, and don’t forget to tweet from the park and let everybody know how much fun you’re having!

Using Facebook Applications to Promote and Socialize

Using Facebook Applications to Promote and Socialize

It’s not uncommon to see how many businesses have an official Facebook page in addition their main website. As this social network grows in popularity, so people are likely to first come upon your Facebook presence before they realize you are set elsewhere on the Web. The more you socialize with friends and fans on the network increases the likelihood of traffic, and conversion of visitors to customers/clients. But can it be done without looking like you are using your profile to spam others?

A client once remarked on the limited capability of the Facebook fan page – one can only customize it so much. If you look at a standard fan page, there are options for sharing photos and links, and one can import an RSS feed for content and maintain a message board for people to chat. Certain applications may be used on a page – a weather gadget for travel related sites, YouTube plugins to display offsite videos – yet page owners run the risk of applications throwing fatal errors or not working correctly. The best method for winning fans to your page remains being social.

Like other social networks, Facebook promotes a viral method of connecting like-minded people. If you have fifty people committed as fans to your page or profile, it’s through these fifty people that you must attract more. Engaging fans in conversation, and sharing informative links and notes with corresponding commentary may ignite the interest you need to compel fans to share your page with others. Note, too, that users of Facebook enjoy the release of entertainment options the network provides. How often do you log on to find friends have taken a multitude of quizzes? You just may be able to use that sort of thing to you advantage.

Say you operate a retail shop or other business. Use the create a quiz application to manage one about your company – pose questions about when you were established, what products or services you provide, how many locations you have, and so forth. Invite friends to take the quiz and watch for a viral reaction.

Do you have friends who like to collect “flair” for their Pieces of Flair board? Create buttons with your logo and URL and send them to friends. Perhaps they will do the same and generate interest in your site. For every application or game making the rounds of Facebook, there just may be a way to incorporate your brand and get noticed. Give it a try and see far your name can go through the social channels.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on search engine optimization and professional SEO writing services.

What to Look for in a Good Content Management System

What to Look for in a Good Content Management System

You’re ready to take your business online, or perhaps you have an existing Web site and realize the need to upgrade the look and feel. While structure and ease of use on the front end is important for catching and keeping the attention of visitors, it’s equally vital to have a content management system (CMS) you can operate with little or no difficulty. You may find as you interview prospective Web designers that customized programs are available for your use. The question is, what should you look for in a good CMS, and what options are available to you?

Choosing the Right CMS for Your Website

Before diving right into the creation or renovation of a site, one must understand what a content management system is and does. The CMS of your website is where you, or your webmaster, handle the maintenance of the site. From adding new pages to editing current ones, setting up contact forms or widgets for social media, everything you do in the back affects what the actual site looks like. Think of the CMS as the fuse box in your home. You tinker with a few wires to make sure the lights are working correctly – so it is with content management.

Examples of Content Management Systems

Do you use Blogger or WordPress to maintain a weblog? If so, you are using a CMS. Every time you log in to write a new post you manage your content through a specialized CMS program. Other programs, like Joomla and Drupal, allow site owners to create and customize sites for a variety of uses. You may find some designers use these systems when working with clients, or they may create a proprietary program for your use. If you go with the latter, it’s recommended to find a system with these features:

Easy Web Access – You want to be certain you can get to your site from anywhere. The backend should have an administrator log in page and dashboard for maintenance 24/7.

Drag and Drop Features – For sites with lengthy menu sidebars and widget capability, it’s nice to have a CMS that let’s you easily position links where you want them to go. A drag and drop feature for positioning modules on a web template is ideal for the novice user.

Ease of Graphic Placement – Photos can be a bear to manage online, so having a good photo editing systems in your CMS can help you upload, resize, and position graphics simply.

HTML and WYSIWYG Editor Options – For those who aren’t very proficient in HTML, an editor designed to work like a regular word processing program can assist site owners in page creation. Having the HTML option as well is a plus, for one can use it to tweak font sizes and colors. When shopping CMS systems, make sure yours works both ways.

Instant Publishing Ability – If you need to get a page launched immediately, you want a CMS system that publishes with the click of a mouse. Consequently, if you need to remove pages, you should be able to quickly.

RSS Publishing – These days RSS feeds can be imported into Twitter and Facebook. If you constantly publish new material, you should be able to syndicate as much as possible, and have a CMS that does it for you.

While there are other bells and whistles one may desire on a Web site, ask about these features when you talk with your site developer. Your Web should be simple to weave.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on SEO writing services and local ppc management.