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Travel and Tourism

Metropolitan Museum’s Chief Digital Officer Shares His Artful Perspective on Social Media

Met Museum Roof Cloud City FinalWhat does New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art have in common with the Broadway musicals Kinky Boots and Jersey Boys, the Frick Collection and the Manhattan skyline? They’re all top five NYC attractions on TripAdvisor.

That’s what Sree Sreenivasan discovered when he checked the popular travel review site. He’s the Met Museum’s first chief digital officer, and formerly worked as Columbia University’s chief digital officer and professor at their journalism school. He spoke at The New York Times Travel Show on Friday about the museum’s digital initiatives.

The Met’s exhibits and collection ranges from modern sculpture (Cloud City 2012, above) to ancient objects (William the Hippo, below). The museum has long been active on digital fronts, like interactive video screens, digital photography and social media. The Met’s digital efforts are especially interesting given its global audience and high-profile art fans, like celebs Bono, Psy and Steve Martin.

Sreenivasan’s goal is to enhance and expand on the museum’s existing digital programs, leaving no masterpiece unturned. He outlined the Met ‘s current social media status and future plans. He also shared tips that can apply as examples beyond the art world.

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Terranea Resort Near L.A. Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Local Brand Influencers and Guests

Terranea Resort Courtesy of“A land unto itself” is how Terranea Resort, an uber-luxury oceanfront property set on a peninsula in southern California, is described on its website. For its guests Terranea serves as a relaxing escape from the hectic pace of Los Angeles, located just 30 miles away.

Yet the resort’s secluded setting was proving to be both a benefit and a challenge. Agnelo Fernandes, Terranea’s SVP of sales and marketing, said the property lacked awareness among SoCal residents. Speaking at HSMAI/Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference in New York on Tuesday, his case study outlined the social media programs the resort pursued to be more SoCal-local.

Before launching its new theme, “Discover a Land, Not Far Away”, the resort targeted the local community, especially lifestyle gurus active on social media. The goal was to offer entrée‎ to Terranea so they could share their experiences, and in the process grow the resort’s fan base.

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Kim Jong Un Keeps North Korea in the Dark, Literally

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Must have something to do with Dennis Rodman or those damn pistachios

See this colorful — or absence thereof, depending on whether you call Pyongyang home — picture from NASA? It’s making the rounds for one particular reason. That black hole in the middle of the Sea of Japan and the Korea Bay, just a smidge off the Yellow Sea.

Yeah, that’s North Korea. Ironic, no?

Kim Jong Un, heir to the family of ‘The Walking Dead (and Heartless), literally keeps a dark cloud over his entire country because he can.

The glamour shot of the forbidden country to everyone but demented basketball players was taken by the Expedition 38 crew aboard the International Space Station on Jan. 30. The only significant dot of anything comes from Pyongyang, its capital city.

Interestingly, and borrowed from several reports, per capita power consumption in South Korea is 10,162 kilowatt hours, vastly more than North Korea’s 739 kilowatt hours, according to figures compiled by the World Bank.

Think about that a little the next time you think our government has too much power, kids.

Amtrak’s New ‘Writers’ Residencies’ Promotion Offers Free Rides to Writers

As writers, we’re all too familiar with the common, seemingly hopeless quest to find a place where we can sit and work for hours at a time without household, office, or coffee shop distractions getting in the way. One place we’ve heard many a fellow writer tout as a fantastic, distraction-free workspace is a train — being alone (and somewhat captive) for an extended period of time seems to help inspire the urge to buckle down and be productive.

But what starving writer can afford to ride around on a train every time they need to meet a deadline?

Enter Amtrak. Thanks to a serendipitous Twitter encounter and a successful trial run, the train company has decided to offer promotional “Writers’ Residencies,” which will allow writers to hop round-trip trains for free.

After reading Alexander Chee’s interview in Pen America, which read in part, “I still like a train best for [writing]. I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers,” New York-based writer Jessica Gross was inspired to tweet her agreement.

Apparently recognizing a unique marketing opportunity, Amtrak responded to Gross, saying: Read more

Desigual Clothing Brand Reflects Barcelona’s Sunny Spirit

desigual-logo-3“Our runway models are dancing and they’re not serious like they’re at a funeral, as are many models from other fashion brands”, said Borja Castresana, director of global marketing and communications at Desigual, a casual clothing line from Spain. His comment cut to the core of the brand’s positioning statement, “La vida es chula”, translated as “Life is cool.”

Castresana spoke during a Museum at FIT/Fashion Institute of Technology panel on Tuesday about Desigual and how the brand serves as an emblem for Barcelona where it’s based. Both the city and the brand convey similarly positive dispositions. As Spanish trends expert and author Gema Requena said, “the city as brand concept is key for competing in global markets.”

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Airbnb Offers Journalists Solutions to Their #SochiProblems

We’ve covered a weighty topic or two today, so we’ll end the week on a lighter note: as Brian Morrissey of Digiday noted this afternoon, the famously responsive Airbnb decided to make the most of the many journalists documenting their terrible experiences with Sochi hotels by doing that thing they do and directing them toward alternatives in the area.

It started last night with this announcement:

The company’s social team followed up by interacting directly with those journos in need of a better place to rest:

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The High Life Atop New York’s Hotels: 16 Rooftop Heated Bars for Winter Celebrations

Monarch Lounge Terrace2Kimberly Hotel Outside2Manhattan’s high life is hotter than that of many major cities, including the home turf of the visiting Super Bowl teams. Denver has a scenic Rocky Mountain backdrop, and Seattle has the famous Space Needle. But the Big Apple has a growing number of hotel rooftop lounges with panoramic skyline views. The heat is on at many of these bars, now winterized with tents, heat lamps, or glass-enclosed with retractable roofs. So revelers can capture the outdoor spirit and sip a “Mad Mojito” without the Arctic chill.

PRNewser compiled a list of rooftop venues where you don’t need to be a hotel guest to enjoy the festive ambiance. Nearly all are open to the general public and can be set up for private events, though a few are for hosting groups only. These bars, located in midtown and downtown, on the east and west sides, range from casual to chic. But be sure to check ahead to see if the space is booked that night, or you may end up back on ground control.

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It’s Hard to Tell Whether Britney Spears’ Vegas Show is Good or Bad for Her Career

brit brit vegasBritney Spears’ Las Vegas stint “Piece of Me” at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino (50 shows in 2014 and 2015) debuted on Friday. And while it’s great that she’s back on stage, the AP starts by calling the gig her “early retirement.” Eek!

The usual Vegas audience for these sorts of shows (typically headlined by artists like Celine Dion) is older than the average Brit Brit fan. And even she’s getting a little older (32… gasp!), with the Associated Press pointing out the nostalgia in the show with “several callbacks to the 1990s and early 2000s, including plaid shirts tied around dancers’ waists and a recap of the skin-tight sparkling bodysuit Spears wore in the ‘Toxic’ music video.” Her songs really speak to a moment in time. There’s only so much audience for that kind of entertainment.

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Here’s a Hotel Group’s Take on Brand Journalism

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SWEET necklace, bro

This morning, amidst all the talk of the FTC and native ads, Rafat of Skift made us aware of a hotel group that’s launched its own branded journalism venture. The post links to a site created by EVEN Hotels, an IHG offshoot which bills itself as the “first wellness hotel brand.”

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So, Smaug (The Dragon) Landed at LAX This Morning. No Big Deal.

smaug-plane-1What’s that in the sky? It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a dragon!

If you were in sight of Los Angeles airport this morning, the latter two answers would both have been correct.

Air New Zealand gets to call itself the official airline of Middle-earth thanks to a partnership with the upcoming film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which was largely filmed in New Zealand. In celebration of tonight’s Hollywood premiere of the film, the airline transformed a Boeing 777-300 aircraft – emblazoning the 177 foot-long Dragon on both sides. The aircraft, which is the only place the film’s Smaug has ever been shown in his entirety, touched down at LAX this morning, just in time for the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy to premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood this evening.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the airline has been in discussions for some time around permission to feature Smaug on the ‘flying billboard’ ahead of the film’s official release. “For our partners to allow Air New Zealand to reveal their star exclusively to the world ahead of the movie premiere and theatrical release in ten days is a huge privilege. We worked with the digital effects company behind The Hobbit Trilogy, Weta Digital, and they designed the graphic for us especially for this purpose.”

And while seeing Smaug himself land on an LAX runway must have been exciting for fans and onlookers, even the director of The Hobbit Trilogy, Sir Peter Jackson, thought seeing his creation on such a massive scale was pretty darn cool. Read more

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