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Around the net: NASCAR, Colonial Virginia and press trips

In between all the BlogHer blogging conference hullabaloo and tromping over 1500 miles across the Midwest to reach the conference in Chicago, I wanted to take a minute to highlight a few of my recently-published guest posts and a major travel article that may interest you.

** The new online magazine Automotive Traveler is really breaking some new ground in Internet-only publishing; it uses software that allows readers to “turn pages,” but also has links embedded in the magazine, like a Web site.

This month’s issue includes my feature article “Southern Comfort” on NASCAR and North Carolina travel. I wrote about the fun things you’ll find in the Charlotte NC/Cabarrus County area and the Blue Ridge Parkway, plus NASCAR’s All-Star event and Coca-Cola 600 race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. This is the first time that my travel work and motorsports work have cross-pollinated, and I’m thrilled with how everything turned out (I also took a lot of the photos.)

You’ll need to complete the free registration to “open” the magazine, or download it as a PDF (huge files since it’s photo-heavy, so I recommend using the page-turning Olive software rather than PDF.) You may also want to participate in the road trip enthusiast forums; I hope you decide to join the Automotive Traveler community if you like what you see.

** My friend and fellow blogger Jon Rochetti was kind enough to run a Family Travel guest post on the DC Traveler blog about travel with kids to Virginia’s Historic Triangle of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. That part of the state is an easy day or weekend trip for his Washington DC readership.

** Finally, writer and blogger Liz Lewis in New Zealand ran my guest post (on her writing blog) about initial impressions from my first organized press trip.

I mentioned the post on a forum thread on mediabistro, a community site for professional writers and communicators, and was rather nonplussed by the responses. Some commenters said that I would now never be taken seriously as a travel writer, that I was basically an unprofessional mooch, that I should have more fully addressed the ethics of taking such a trip, that I wrote for beginners, etc. The thread then degenerated into a name-calling snotfest between a few of the commenters, each trying to indicate who was the most experienced and savvy and higher in the media world food chain.

Yuck.

The lesson learned here is that if you already know that a forum/BBS tends to be snarky, then don’t be me….the cat who sticks her tail under the rocker and yowls when the tail is squashed. Avoid toxic people and toxic professional organizations; you don’t need them in your life. I thought I had something valuable to say, and still do, but you can be assured that I’ll be pickier in the future about where I say it. I plan another guest post for Liz about working with PR folks when you’re a freelancer, but the snarks will have to come find it on her blog themselves. 🙂

Thanks for listening.

Technorati tags: travel, family travel, blogging, press trip