Tag Archive for 'vizzzual.com'

New Year’s Eve 2008

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One year ago we spent New Year’s Eve in Paris. This year we celebrated in Vienna with our friends Karin and Markus. Karin was really into Guitar Hero On Tour and played it like crazy. Every five minutes we heard her screaming “Rock ‘n’ Roll”. ;-)

Guitar Hero On Tour

The leftovers of our fondue:

New Year's Eve

My new business card

Maybe I should start designing business cards for other people. Would you like your business card designed by me? Just contact me.

viZZZual.com - the visual ramblings of ZZZ

How to win a 15000 dollar trip from dodo.com

[Trigami-Review]

Online communities spring up like mushrooms nowadays so it becomes more and more difficult to start one by yourself and compete against the dozens or hundreds of other communities out there.

dodo.com

The clever folks at dodo.com do not (yet) try to compete with big general communities like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster or studiVZ. They try to get their slice of the cake by entering the travelling niche.

dodo.com

Win 15,000 dollars to spend on travelling

The team behind dodo.com is developing their plattform since about nine months and decided that it’s time to go in Open Beta recently. To get the ball rolling and to encourage people to sign up and join the community they are doing a big contest with an incredible value of EUR 10,000 (USD 15,000).

The prize is a trip around the world:

The trip around the world can be organized from us or by yourself, as long as it does not exceed the value of €10,000 ($15,000).

What do have to do to win the contest and start your big trip? It’s pretty easy. Collect lots (“points”) by performing the following activities:

  1. sign up at dodo.com
  2. enter travel tipps
  3. enter travelogues (travel “diary”)
  4. upload your travel photos
  5. upload your travel videos
  6. invite friends
  7. set a link to dodo.com from your website

You get lots for each activity. Signing up for example gets you started with 2 lots, uploading a video earns 1 lot, setting a homepage link to dodo.com is worth 5 lots and so on. The more lots you have, the bigger your chance to win the trip around the world. The contest ends on 31st December 2008. The sooner you start the better. So jump at the chance and enter the contest now!

How does dodo.com work?

dodo.com is an online community specialized in us folks who like to travel and who like to share our experience, photos, videos and so on with likeminded people.

I like the idea. But how does it work? Let’s put it into practice!

Registering at dodo.com is pretty straightforward and shortly after you find yourself in the travelling “cockpit” (“Overview”) where you can enter traveltips, create travelogues (like a diary of your travels), upload photos and videos of your travels and complete your userprofile.

dodo.com Overview Thumbnail

If you are interested in the experiences and travel tips of other people just surf around dodo.com, read articles of others, have a look at their photos and videos and add them to your buddy list. It’s like “friending them” in MySpace-jargon. ;-) If you want to friend me, just visit my profile at dodo.com by clicking here.

There is a small map (powered by GoogleMaps) in the “Overview” which displays your travels as small flags. You and all people who visit your profile see where you’ve been at first glance. It’s a real nice overview. The more flags you have all over the world the cooler it is of course. But don’t cheat, be honest! :twisted:

Register at dodo.com and enter the $ 15,000 contest by clicking HERE now! :-)

Beta

While testing dodo.com for this review, I stumpled on some things which should be improved at any rate. Of course the site is still in Beta and the team is continually working on improvements. So here are the things I noticed. I hope it helps.

Assigning photos to a travelogue

When creating a new travelogue i did not find any option to assign already uploaded photos to this travelogue. It’s possible to upload photos while creating a travelogue which are then assigned to it automatically. This is fine. But it would be nice if there would be a possibility to assign photos that have been already uploaded before. This happened to me while creating my city trip to Venice. I created the travel, uploaded the photos, created a new travelogue and now what? I would have to upload the photos again to assign them to the travelogue. :-(

Photo mass upload

Uploading several photos is a real pain in the ass. I uploaded 21 photos of my Venice trip and had to upload them one by one. A mass uploader is definitely a must have. There’s no way around.

Inviting friends

After clicking “Send” when inviting a friend the form with “Name” and “e-mail” disappears without any further notice. Did it happen? What did happen? How can I invite more friends?

I have to click on “My Friends” again to get the form back and invite another friend. One.

dodo.com Invite Friends

My suggestion: Mass invitation like used in e.g. Flickr. There are several fields for several e-mail-addresses and the option to invite all friends out of your e-mail address-book. And please add a confirmation message like “thanks, your friends have been invited”.

A friend who accepts the invitation and registers for dodo.com should be added to the buddy list automatically. This does not happen at the moment. I got the lots for sucessfully inviting someone and a message “New buddy request from user” but it would be really helpful if the person would be a friend automatically. I would not invite someone if I would not like this person to be my dodo.com-friend. ;-)

Bugs

As dodo.com is in Betaversion there are still some bugs. This is normal and the team behind dodo.com is working hard to fix all errors. This should keep no one from using dodo.com and entering the contest.

dodo.com works and I’m sure it will get even better in the future. So start using it and help them to improve the system further by reporting all bugs you’ve noticed via their Problem box (can be found at the bottom of each page).

This is what I’m going to do with all the bugs I’ve found while doing this review.

Blog

There’s also a blog which introduces the people behind dodo.com, their experiences and some other behind the scenes stuff. This is a great idea to connect with the dodo.com-users.

The blog features a RSS-feed (RSS 2.0, Atom 0.3) which is a great possibility to stay up to date with the content for all tech- and blog-savvy visitors. Not so tech-savvy users won’t use this feature as RSS is not as commonly used (outside the blogosphere) as predicted some years ago.

My suggestions to improve the blog and increase readership:

  1. Add a highly visible RSS-button (Link 1, Link 2) to your blog.
  2. Burn your feed with Feedburner, activate the e-mail-subscription for the feed and implement it into your blog in a highly visible position (e.g. like here on viZZZual.com). Use one of these e-mail-buttons.
  3. Get into a posting frequency. E.g. once a week on monday an article about the current (Beta) status: “Things are going well we have fixed 63 bugs and 3 ants. ;-) Thanks to all who reported them.” Keep people informed what’s going on, that’s the whole purpose of a blog.
  4. Register your blog at Technorati (the “blog search engine”). A lot of people with blogs are there. And some of them already wrote reviews about dodo.com. Connect your Technorati profile with them. Here’s the viZZZual.com Technorati profile for example.
  5. The list could go on … If you are interested in learning how to increase your readership and your users with your blog, subscribe to the godfather of all blogging knowledge: www.problogger.net.

All told I think dodo.com is a great thing for all people interested in travelling. For me personally it’s an additional way to spread the word about viZZZual.com. ;-)

I’m going to use it regularly in the future and will win the $ 15,000 contest, that’s for sure. You don’t stand a chance! :twisted:

But you can try by entering the contest by clicking here.

One picture a day (my project 366): The Rules

The first post

To make a long story as short as possible: Once upon a time while surfing the web I stumbled on a guy who takes a polaroid picture on every single day as a diary of his life. I really liked his project and thought about doing something similar. It never happened. Fast forward some years in which I gained more online experience, created some websites, got different digital cameras, took thousands of pictures and call myself semi-professional by now. But still no picture diary yet.

A vague idea of creating a website about my photography enthusiasm always at the back of my mind I registered vizzzual.com in autumn 2007. A combination of the word ‘visual’ and my (gamer) nickname ‘ZZZ’. The visual ramblings of ZZZ. Looking at the world vizzzually. Everything about photography that gets on my mind can be dumped here.

And finally a place for my picture diary

While searching the web for the guy who originally had this idea, instead of him I found a lot of people who are doing a ‘project 365‘. Taking a picture every day for one year. Sounds good to me to get started. For my first vizzzual project, I decided to take at least one picture on every day of 2008 and publish it. In fact it’s a ‘project 366‘ as 2008 is a leap year.

To call the project a success it must meet the following criteria:

  • Take at least one picture a day in the entire year 2008.
  • Publish the picture within 7 days after it was taken.

So on every day of this year I will take at least one picture and publish it on vizzzual.com. The ideal case would be to write a short story describing the picture and/or to take and publish more than one picture. But this is not a must to meet the project-criteria.

What do I hope will happen during the project?

  • My photography skills will improve. For some personal reasons I didn’t get many chances to live out my photo enthusiasm in 2007. Thereby my skills got a bit rusty. This has to be changed.
  • My english language ability and writing skills will improve. Even though my mother tongue is german (as I am Austrian), I am using english on vizzzual.com to improve my skills on the one hand and to target an international audience on the other hand.
  • Get to know some interesting people from around the world. Hopefully they will like my pictures/stories. But I am open for fair comments and constructive criticism.
  • Learn to use WordPress from an user and an admin point of view. Until now I was used to work with Joomla at my web projects. To broaden my mind, I decided to use WordPress for this site.

So let’s get started with vizzzual.com and see what 2008 will bring. Thanks for being here and I hope you enjoy my posts. Let me know (comments) what you think and feel free to link to your project 365/366, photography website or flickr-account if you have one.

If you want to stay up to date with the project please consider subscribing to my RSS-Feed. So you won’t miss out one of my pictures. Thank you and have fun! :-)