Archive for October, 2011

occupy powder shots

3 Years of The Resort Marketing Blog

It’s hard to believe, but another year of blogging has flown past, making this blog officially 3 years old as of today. If you dare, take a peak at the first post ever (be warned, it’s a rough one), and Happy Birthday to the Resort Marketing Blog. Keeping it short, here’s my goal for the coming year:

occupy powder shotsHope you’re doing the same and I hope to see you on the slopes and on the pages of this blog – cheers!

Google Analytics

Google Search Changes

It seems like the good folks at Google like to change things up, even in their bread and butter search segment, which they did last week. If you missed it, it’s that some of us signed into our Google accounts are getting redirected to https://www.google.com, note the “s”. Most are certainly in favor of more security, in particular with companies like Google which have a large volume of our preferences even in innocuous things such as search. But what Google has done is taken the step of stripping referer data from links referred to from pages that are search via SSL connection. This just clicked last Tuesday and I can see an appreciable uptick of what Google now call “not provided” keyword searches in a Google Analtyics account report:

Google Analytics

Sorry for all the redacting blurring.

If you want to look for yourself, it’s under traffic sources/search/overview and then select “keyword” in the viewing selector. And if you want a deep dive on all the implications on this switch from the best in the business on search, check out this post on Search Engine Land.

Empty basketball net

NBA Lockout Boon?

Empty basketball netJust a quick thought: “Will the NBA lockout be a benefit to ski resorts?”

I’d say “yes”.

Sure a lot of NBA basketball fans might not be skiers or snowboarders, but if the lockout does extend out over the busy Christmas – New Years time frame, I’m hopeful that more people will be hitting the slopes as opposed to checking out the traditional Christmas triple header basketball game. And that’s just people who live within an easy drive of a ski resort. What about those folks that do buy season tickets? They certainly have discretionary income and will have some of that coming back into their pockets, why not invest it in getting to the slopes and having some fun? I wonder what a package name for these folks would be…

  • Trade the Court for the Slopes
  • NBA – Nothing But Altitude
  • Slamma Jamma in the Mountains
  • 3-pt Shots < Face Shots
  • Backboards for Snowboards

Ok, these might not be quite the grabber they could be, but you get the point, get basketball fans to take some of their hard-earned cash and put it into buying lift tickets as opposed to NBA basketball tickets – why not?

Photo credit: Flickr user j9sk9s

The Facebook News Feed

I heard about this presentation via the Marketing Over Coffee podcast (you’re probably thinking podcasts, who listen to those anymore, but I like to listen to them when I’m on the treadmill, helps to distract me from the monotony of running in place) and it’s a great example of how content gets shared and engaged with on Facebook users’ walls. Enjoy “Feeding the Beast: Maximizing your Facebook Newsfeed Value” from Justin Kistner of Webtrends:

 

Cloudflare dashboard

Keep that Website Humming Along

{EAV_BLOG_VER:ca2a65ca96ad9914}
Amazon is introducing a really neat feature to their nifty Kindle Fire tablet (affiliate link) called the Amazon Silk browser What’s neat about Amazon Silk is that Amazon is using the power of their huge server farms, and using the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to help process the more intensive activities via EC2 instead of on the Kindle thereby speeding the page rendering process and improving battery life. This should make any site that much faster and user loading friendly, but unfortunately the Kindle Fire isn’t out yet and that is the only device with this particular browser at the moment. That said, you can still download Opera’s mobile browser to experience some of the compression elements that Amazon Silk employs, but it sounds like Silk has a some more features that make it a browser to watch.

But a company posting a website isn’t able to control how an end-user accesses their site and not many are visiting with Opera mobile and none with Amazon Silk at the moment. So, in terms of websites there are some optimization techniques that larger sites can use, including the use of web accelerators such as Varnish or Squid. If you’re a developer or have some good coding chops, it should be relatively easy for you to configure and keep up this sort of software on your web server.

If you’re a weekend updater, have a more basic website then perhaps you need something a bit more basic. I heard about CloudFlare a few weeks ago via the Marketing Over Coffee podcast and installed it on the Resort Marketing Blog back towards the end of September. CloudFlare basically does what the fancy software options do, but with an end-user only needing to adjust a few simple DNS settings. Plus, they protect your site from abusive bots and spammers. It’s a really slick concept, that is quite complicated, but as an end-user it seems really simple and it just works, check out this dashboard showing a week’s worth of traffic to this blog:

Cloudflare dashboard

Click image to enlarge

To be clear, I did add CloudFlare to this WordPress self-hosted blog through the W3 EDGE WordPress plugin. CloudFlare also offers their own WordPress plugin, which I don’t have any experience with but does look to be a bit more compact than W3 EDGE.

Good luck and keep that website humming!

And the winner is...

Favorite Ski Resort Digital Presence

And the winner is...All of the “Best of” this that and the other are starting to come out on in magazine’s and across the web, which got me to thinking a bit about which ski resort’s are doing the most interesting, innovative and effective things with their digital efforts – meaning their website, social media and interactive advertising campaigns. I know that I’ve missed some, so please add any resort that you think belongs on this list, and if you think a resort is doing something of particular interest  I’d love it if you described it in the comments. So, without further ado, here’s the list (note that this is for the 10-11 season as many resorts don’t have their 11-12 sites or campaigns fully implemented as of yet):

I haven’t added website or social links, leave a comment if you can’t find any of these online, and yep, I am a bit biased on at least one of the Resorts I included on here, pretty easy if you know me and if not please click here.

Photo credit: Flickr user Snap®

Thanks

My job is interactive marketing.

I use technology constantly.

Steve Jobs envisioned and made possible many of the tools that make my job easier.

It’s been enlightening to read through Steve Jobs’ Commencement Address at Stanford University in June of 2005, here are a few quotes:

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

 

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

A bit further on he noted:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Wonderful advice again. Finally and simply:

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

RIP Steve Jobs, you will be missed, but your legacy, in accomplishments and in wisdom will live on.

Bring on La Niña

Yes, La Niña, the weather pattern that brought many areas of the country more wonderful snow than what they knew what to do with is purportedly back again. To make sure I don’t cause any awful reversal of the weather gods, I’m off to drink a toast to them and do a few special sacrifices to make sure things stay on course. In the meantime, as I posted a clip of a great snowboard movie for the season already, here’s a ski movie, appropriately enough called, “Attack of La Niña” enjoy!:

 

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