Search

Tidbits of things that captivate my attention

What keeps me moving forward

Category

madagascar

A new beginning…

As part of the francophonie summit #SommetMada16, I just came back from an interview with RFI.fr’s radio talkshow “atelier des médias” and just realized that although I haven’t been blogging that much for the last couple of years, my fellow bloggers friend still consider me as a blogger (man, the last post on this one blog goes back to may 2009, even with a delorean, it’s hard to go down memory lane)

So during the first season of this blog (ante 2009), I mainly talked about combining web2.0 and travel (see, “social media” wasn’t as popular back then), this season, I’m going to talk about…about what? Frankly I’m not quite sure yet. 

The very few who read me know that I like showcasing positive things happening in Madagascar. Few years down the lane, I now manage a company called Nelli Studio (www.nelli-studio.com), we’re trying to put Madagascar on the international map when it comes to anime movies, video games while trying to get some piece of the cake when it comes to augmented reality and virtual reality. As the saying goes “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”
So here’s the deal:

– get back to blogging again (checked once I hit the publish button)

– rant about topics that matter to me (as of today, I’m attracted by entrepreneurship, startup and all the related topics, it may change later on)

– nevermind about being consistent on the topics (as of today, blogging just help me get my ideas clear sometimes… While I once used blogging for personal branding before)

For those of you who were patient enough to read up to here, feel free to challenge me on the stands (or questioning) I put here…

Advertisements

I finally jumped into it …www.madafan.com where I (and hopefully others) will share the Madagascar experience

 

two screens
two screens

While saveoursmile.wordpress.com spent almost a year trying to help Madagascar-based tourism operators to get the most of internet, and specifically Web 2.0 and derivatives, apart from some friendly followers (thanks guys, it’s not over yet …) what I advocated for hasn’t been applied …  I can understand it, but this experience also helped me share my views whil practicing. So I’d better apply what I preach for…

 

Hence, a new baby is born: www.madafan.com In case you’re wondering, I will still maintain the two blogs (at least I’ll do my best). While both blogs will deal about tourism, madagascar and internet, there is a huge difference:

– saveoursmile.wordpress.com is geared toward techniques to use online for promoting a destination. Those techniques includes how-to, online tools and brand/identity management

http://www.madafan.com will deal with actual “tourist” experience: places worth discovering, off-the-beaten track tours, culture, people, conservation and biodiversity

You are almost welcome to exchange/contact with madafan, or if you are a facebook addict, become a fan of Madafan on facebook. Finally, you can follow me on twitter. Stumbleupon users, Madafan is here

How to search for “free” madagascar photos to reuse

(cc) by bit ramone on flickr
(cc) by bit ramone on flickr

So far, the most popular post on this blog is the one about finding photos about Madagascar[fr]. In another project, I’ve searched for  ways to tap into those incredible photos already published on the internet and that can be re-used without infringing any licensing terms- and, yes, solutions exists.

In case you are not yet familiar with the “Creative Commons” licensing scheme, I strongly advise you to consider it as this is the key element for distributing electronic materials on the internet.The motto for Creative Commons is “Share, remix, reuse-legally”.

Another key element when talking about photo sharing on the internet is flickr. Although there’s a huge amount of photos related to Madagascar on flickr, finding the right ones that you can republish can sometimes be tough without the right tools. You can always directly contact the photo owner and ask for permission to reuse their photos, but sometimes this solution doesn’t fit.

Back to the point of this posts, here are options you can consider for easing your search:

1- flickr advanced search feature

This is the built-in search feature for flickr. Don’t forget to check the “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content ” tick box at the bottom of the page. You even have the choice for searching photos that can be used commercially for your brochures for example.

2- flickrCC

The good thing with flickrCC is that your search results are nicely arranged in thumbnail mode, giving you a nice overview before selecting- though you don’t have to scroll pages before finding what you’re looking for.An interesting feature is to insert the author/image sources into the image (although I find the texts generated a bit non-aesthetic, but anyway, this is a great tool)

3- for wordpress bloggers: photodropper

If you are a wordpress blogger with your own installation (not on wordpress.com), then you definitely need to have this photodropper plugin that lets you, from inside editing a post, search for creative commons photos to illustrate your posts. I definitely love this feature as you’re only left with finding the right keyword to search for while composing it. Other flickr plugins are available but this is not the topic of this post.

Whatever solution you opt for, be careful to double-check the licensing of the photos you are using as most of the times authors will ask you to quote them as the author.

Any other photo stock images  that you know of where users can search for creative commons photos?

tracking madagascar-related keyword through google in times of success/crisis

Those last months, madagascar  has seen an increased interest through the results of internet search engines if we consider the following result from Google trend on the keyword “madagascar”

madagascar google trend
madagascar google trend

We can note a huge rise of the  interest beginning november 2008, mainly because of the cartoon “Madagascar 2 -escape to africa“. However, we can see from this picture that this interest has drastically  fallen in january 2009 as the movie’s effect also dropped.

Unfortunately, Madagascar (the country) is facing now a huge political crisis since the end of january 2009- and we can see from the graph here that a relatively small (compared to the cartoon effect) interest has risen on the internet mainly due to the crisis that is happening now in the country.

Although the national DMO  will continue to promote madagascar destination, and will keep on participating on international trade shows [fr] in order to reassure tourists we expect tough times for madagascar for the tourism industry for these next months.

I’ll be interested to have readers’s view/input on how to use social media in order to overcome crisis.Feel free to share your experiences/findings …

Madagascar: New York Times 38th recommended place to go in 2009

The well-known New York times has ranked Madagascar as their 38th recommended place to visit in 2009 (out of 44 places in the world). This may go against the previsions I’ ve made stating that 2009 will see less US tourist for Madagascar . This is a well-done job for any entity promoting Madagascar destination.

new york times ranking
new york times ranking

This is an opportunity for me to invite you to “recommend” Madagascar destination to your contacts

ITB Berlin 2009: ideas to leverage Web 2.0 tools for trade show exhibitors

ITB Berlin- March 2009(one of the world’s leading travel trade show):  some lucky bloggers will have a press pass in order to cover the event provided they leverage the major Web 2.0 tools during the event- those tools are mainly:

– blogging often DURING the event – giving their readers insights to this worldwide recognized event for the tourism industry,

– podcast and vidcast: audio/video are encouraged to be published online for people to listen to/watch it from different devices (iPod, multmimedia players, computers, …)

– micro-blogging via twitter: many people  consider Twitter as a waste of time-I was part of this group until I decided to play the game too and become almost addicted to it :-). But considering that Phocuswright (a well-recognized online travel industry research) and the consortium of travel-related bloggers Tips from the T- list (BTW, if you haven’ t done it yet, I highly encourage you to download and read this Tips from the T list book-which is free- but where you can find a “condensé” of advices from recognized travel 2.0 bloggers all over the world) consider it as a requirement for a blogger to be given a pass proves that twitter is  a tool to consider for covering such events.

Now what’s the point for Madagascar (the country)?

For the delegation that will go to ITB Berlin, or for our national DMO (Office National du Tourisme de Madagascar), I’ d  suggest they do the following:

BEFORE THE EVENT

* from now (January 18th): create a twitter account and clearly indicate on your profile that you are from Madagascar preparing Madagascar’s participation to ITB, have people follow you on twitter

* get in touch with potential bloggers/journalists that will come to ITB. Have those people follow you on Twitter and do the effort of updating your tweets regularly. You can give them insights or excerpts of what you’re going to do before as teasing or as a PR efforts in the view of having a wider “media” coverage for the participation to the event, or in the view of attracting more people to Madagascar’s booth during the trade show

* publish on youtube or dailymotion the promotional videos you are planning to bring to the event,

* gather all the brochures of Madagascar’s participants and upload it on scribd (I’ ve already covered this topic on “how to give an online life to your brochure”), then motivate all your participants, as well as your contacts to spread the word about it through every channel (for example through connections on any social networks that they are member of : on facebook, flickr, wayn,…)

DURING THE EVENT

* increase the number/frequency of your tweets that may announce some events that will happen on Madagascar booth,

* take photos/videos  and directly upload it for people to share it

While hints I’ m giving here are not exhaustive, you may consider having a look at “Trade Show insights”, which I particularly find useful for exhibitors to get used to as they deal with actual experiences

I’ ll also be intersted to discover other ways from you (readers of this blog) about how to leverage Web 2.0 tools for trade show exhibitors…

amazing numbers

$63.5 million generated in one week-end from 4065 theaters (7th best bow of all the time) for the movie “Madagascar-escape to Africa”.

As opposed to that impressive figure,for the 2007 season, Madagascar-tourism industry generated 586,7 billion FMG (if $1=8000 FMG) which is around USD 73 million

Unless I made some mistake in my calculation, Dreamworks is generating in one week-end almost what all tourism sector in Madagascar hardly generates in one year.

Todays’ financial turmoil… does it actually affect tourism?

I am actually wondering if tourism in Madagascar will be affected by the current financial turmoil.

In times of general crisis, it is expected that most potential tourists will adopt the  “staycation strategy” (which is staying at home on holiday in a bid to save money),

On the other hand, knowing that most of DMO like the Office National du Tourisme à Madagascar mainly fills its budget gap from donor’s fund (main income is generated by taxes, out of which 50% is shared with regional tourism offices), and since the currently affected countries are also some of the main donor countries, it is expected that their contributions will lower.Does it mean that marketing efforts from our national DMO will also lower for 2009?

What’s your view on this?

What matters most: exposure or targeted customers for Madagascar?

Reading one of the many stories behind the coming out of the second Madagascar cartoon movie [fr] I can’t help but question myself about what Madagascar is really expecting from all those exposures. Is it only about branding and expecting that someone will decide to come, or can we turn it into a more target-oriented marketing effort.

Let’s consider three major events that are expected to drive exposure for Madagascar.

–  Madagascar-escape 2 africa: the soon-to-be a major hit … Every tourism operator is expecting a lot from this movie. But expecting what? Everybody agrees that it will give a huge coverage for Madagascar. Lot of people also think that the cartoon does not depict the actual Madagascar. I am not sure the second cartoon will try to “correct” this. In fact, I am not sure what kind of tourist will be attracted by this cartoon to come to Madagascar: is it the kid who barely wants to explore more about Madagascar than what is depicted in the cartoon (and who will assimilate Madagascar to all the marketing goodies that goes along with the promotion of this cartoon: figurines, playing cards, T-shirts, games, …). Is it about the journalists- and their readers- that will give their critique about the movie? …  Frankly, I’m a bit lost when I want to find a answer that goes beyond “that’s a huge publicity for Madagascar”. I am even tempted to ask, if this cartoon will give a good coverage for the “Madagascar (the name)”, will it reflect what Madagascar tourism operators wants Madagascar (the island) to be perceived as?

South africa 2010- football world cup: yes, that’s a huge opportunity, and Madagascar is only 3 hours flight from Johannesburg. All the aficionados of football will come to support their team and have fun.  At least, this time we have a clear profile of the tourist that will possibly come , we also have a rough estimation of  journalists that will cover this event (2000)… We also know that the national tourism office is negotiating to have South-African tour operators to include Madagascar in the circuits they propose.That seems to be a more target-oriented approach and I personnaly think now is already the time for TO to seduce those probable customers.

– African Union summit 2009 hosted by Madagascar: yet another exposure opportunity for Madagascar. Although this is not about tourism, we expect to have a lot of journalists covering the event, and also making special reports on different aspects of Madagascar- the hosting country. I personally think that Madagascra definitely need to leverage on one part of Web 2.0 (user generated content) in order to give different (or same) point of view of what is going to be reported during this event. But this time again, from the tourism perspective,  do we have a clear idea of who are we targeting? Is it the delegations that are going to come here? Or is it only about brand (Madagascar) management

Now the question is: how to get the most out of those events to attract tourists?

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑