Greetings to all paying attention to #COP21

Greetings to all those paying attention to the Climate Change Conference #COP21.

We’re asking how well the conference connects with remote participants and we want to know what’s taking place and what’s making news. This is a call for public facing with rewards and kudos forthcoming. Please share suggestions and comments below.

On Twitter, if I want to shed a few followers, all I need to do is write in Spanish or mention about climate change. To the index of followers, such actions are toxic. That said, I’m genuinely curious — what are we doing about the climate? And I want to be able to ask this at a neighbor’s Thanksgiving dinner party or at a Oaxacan market (where Spanish and indigenous languages are a must).

Updates on our wiki
COP 21 Headlines
COP 21: Recommended Listening
COP 21 Buzzwords


Climate Change Conference Hashtag #COP21 (Wheeler Peak Photo @ Paul Jonusaitis)

Posted in 2015, climate, collaboration, conscious, conservation, education, ethics, europe, events, flickr, green, inspire, Web 2.0 in Action | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can I persuade you to take a photo of a tree? = ¿Te puedo persuadir a tomar una foto de un árbol? #OptOutside

Translating: Can I persuade you to take a photo of a tree?
Spanish ¿Te puedo persuadir a tomar una foto de un árbol?

Can I persuade you to take a photo of a tree? = ¿Te puedo persuadir a tomar una foto de un árbol? #optoutside #thanksgiving//

Today I took our dog Penny for a walk, a veritable photo safari to take pictures of trees. This time it’s autumn in Henderson, Nevada and a few of the trees are changing color. If I had moved here direct from Indiana, I might not be so pleasantly amused. But coming from Oaxaca, I have a newfound appreciation for subtleties of change and amazing color variation.

So I offer up via my Flickr account, today’s tree-by-tree journey. Opt outside indeed!

Social Web Tip: If you add your own tree pics online Flickr, you are cordially invited to share in the relevant groups such as …

Las Vegas and Henderson Parks
World Trees
City Parks
Árboles de Oaxaca (Oaxaca Trees)

City Parks
Henderson, Nevada

Translations, comments, suggestions. All welcome.

Posted in 2015, biodiversity, flickr, trees, urban, Web 2.0 in Action | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016: Year of the Monkey

According to the Chinese Calendar, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey (February 8, 2016 – January 27, 2017). To be precise, this will be the year of the Fire Monkey, last celebrated in 1956.

Here’s my fanart poster recycling a photo of a beautiful monkey textile made by Josefina Méndez López from Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, México.

2016: Year of the Monkey (featuring a weaving by Josefina Méndez López from @TeotitlanDValle)

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Is there an event page on Facebook? #roofdog

Translating: Is there an event page on Facebook?
Spanish: ¿Hay una página del evento en Facebook?

Is there an event page on Facebook? = ¿Hay una página del evento en Facebook? #roofdog

event promotion

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Weaving the Web (Tejiendo el web): Luis Lazo Mendoza, Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca

Translating: Can tourism promotion be crowdsourced?

Question: Can tourism promotion be crowdsourced?

My view: tourism promotion is catalyzed by the ever curious crowd. Marketing geniuses and tourism officials know something has changed.

The source for our tips come from good friends AND passionate if not highly opinionated strangers, some knowingly, others not, how their tips and recommendations, their photos and status update from daily life — these views are read by us, good friends and random strangers. We weave our own views and when we’re lucky, we have actual weavers in the mix. Case in point: Luis Lazo Mendoza from Teotitlán del Valle, subject of an evergreen Transitions Abroad story on responsible travel photography.

Luis I met via his mother Angela who sells weavings at the Pochimilco Market. This meeting was back in 2005. Later after a mini crisis, I started taking photos to promote the family in 2006. After the mini crisis was the big crisis in 2006, something which I find hard to believe that 2016 will be the 10 year anniversary. But back to Luis. A fantastic weaver, he had trouble with computers. I was in no hurry and I’m a strong believer in acompañamiento – the accompanying – rather than try to teach ‘workshops’ with zero follow-through. Ten years later and Luis has accounts on Facebook and Google+ and my weaving abilities are still non-existent. On the plus side, the entire Lazo Mendoza family have been wonderful and kind Zapotec language teachers.

I bring up all of this because I would recommend to any world traveler with a fondness for world crafts, make your own fanart for an artisan. Talk our friends up! Learn their languages and tweet and retweet in Zapotec! I will vouch that anyone who visits the Pochote Market today and gets to visit with Angela, Luis, Sergio, Veronica (who am I missing?) will have a splendid conversation. Even better, the Pochote Market has many good friends with candy, pulses, ceramics, weavings, mezcal, mole and chocolate. Did I mention Chocoluchy is available and sold by Señora Lucia? Still even better Pochote has a Facebook page. Visit them, like them.

Tejiendo el web: Obras Nuevas de Luis Lazo Mendoza #worldcrafts #oaxacatoday @STyDE_GobOax @TeotitlanDValle @MiMuseoIndigena @NativeInnovate @alexvillca

Luis Lazo Mendoza and His Very Big Loom (Trali)
Luis y Ron

Weavings @ Luis Lazo Mendoza

World Markets on Facebook: Mercado Pochote Xochimilco - Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico @LeoFuen3 @DulcesTioQuique @Jualjire @SecturOax @OaxacaTurismoCd

Posted in 2015, crafts, local, markets, mexico, tourism, Web 2.0 in Action | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Vaquero: Check out the sculpture by Luis Jimenez in Las Vegas #urbanhikes

Want to get off the beaten path in Las Vegas? Curiously, my top recommendation is to go most visited place of all – the McCarran Airport. See if you can find the fiberglass Vaquero Statue by sculptor Luis Alfonso Jiménez, Jr (whose work can also be seen in Austin, Texas and at the Denver Airport. Airport art fans, head two blocks to the formerly grassy hill (now xeriscaped) opposite the old airport. The brilliant Vaquero is hard to miss and easy to drive on by. Consult the Google map.

Next visit, I’ll stream the video from the place via #periscope.

My personal connecting is fleeting. I first saw this very work at the University of Texas in the late 1980s and fell in love with the unabashed excess of color and motion. Says Handbook of Texas Online: “His sculpture Vaquero pays homage to the fact that Mexican vaqueros were the forerunners of American cowboys.” There are some signs of aging, splotches on the paint. Even in distress, the vaquero is a recommended-visit. Read more about the artist and this work in the Austin Chronicle feature Larger than Life.

Questions for the Airport
Are there guided tours of the airport? Of the airport art?
What’s the most convenient parking to visit El Vaquero?
What’s the history of El Vaquero and why is it here?

Questions for everyone
What are you favorite, must visit places in Las Vegas? (And remember, what you recommend says a lot about you!)
What Las Vegas must-sees would you add to a creative visual treasure hunt?
Have you seen a sculpture by Luis Jimenez?


Vaquero! Las Vegas' Awesome Airport Cowboy
Airport cowboy 2015

Airport cowboys: Visit El Vaquero
Airport cowboy 2015


Exploring Las Vegas

Posted in 2015, cities, fun, inspire, local, nevada, play, tourism, usa, Web 2.0 in Action | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Viva Las Vegas

Happy birthday, me! Many, many thanks for the likes and shares and hearts and heartfelt messages.Thanks everyone for the good will.  I’m celebrating in Las Vegas all week long. I’ll be editing a collection of favorite pics and tweets on this page, so come back for updates. We have big plans for November 14: here and here.

I’ll be honest. I have mixed feelings about Las Vegas, but what it does right few people talk about and what it does wrong locals don’t think visitors need to know about. In 2015 it’s still a challenge to listen to locals downtown. There are attractions, points of interest, downloadable maps, but no regularly scheduled guided walks. Responsible travel as understood and sold elsewhere is unknown here.

There needs to be a way to create more stickiness in the realm of responsible travel, but I say that about every place! What sets Las Vegas apart from most anywhere else is the abundance of short-term visitors. The city draws 40 million+ visits per year, many repeat visitors. I’ll be updating Las Vegas on the Web, a primer for anyone interested in local, responsible travel and hopefully we can begin scheduling some local events for Responsible Travel Week, February 8-14. More about that below.

A good place to live is a good place to visit. What does responsible travel look like in Las Vegas? #rtcities

Online Conversation of the Week
#RTTC is a weekly online Twitter chat focusing on responsible travel in all its wonders. This week the focus turn to responsible tourism in Las Vegas

The online conversation of the week unfolds as a real time tweetchat hosted by RTTC. Here are the questions that will be asked at 6am and pm GMT Wednesday, November 11

6:00 AM & PM GMT: Q1 Is ‘#ResponsibleTourism in #LasVegas’ a contradiction in terms? via @vickysmith #RTTC

A1. Ask a local: ‘what does responsible travel mean to you?’ and you’ll get a blank stare. This is not linguistically embedded in the city parlance. Ask about the specifics – creating city parks or bike lanes, promoting water conservation – and you’ll spark a wide ranging and heated discussion. Responsible travel in Las Vegas in no more contradictory than responsible travel in any place. It’s a matter of degrees and what we could be paying attention are what locals think import. Educate and engage visitors. How? That’s part of this very discussion.

6:10 AM & PM GMT: Q2 What are the biggest sustainability issues that #LasVegas faces? #irresponsibletourism via @vickysmith #RTTC

#RTTC A2 Top issue is education – how does the city manage education, from grade school and universities? There are serious red flags which signal opportunities for those who can connect responsible travel to matters of mutual interest of locals and visitors.

6:20 AM & PM GMT: Q3 Does the excessive #food waste from buffets mean a RT should avoid them even though they’re SO cheap? via @brandyleebell #RTTC

#RTTC A3 Must-Read: The Pigs That Eat at Las Vegas

We need to know more of course behind the scenes in the kitchens. Yes, it means going to more buffets but we’ll go the better ones. Responsible travel shouldn’t mean a yes-no binary response. Grey is the new black.


6:30 AM & PM GMT: Q4 Is the mentality of excess in #LasVegas dangerous for tourists? How so/not so? via @brandyleebell #RTTC

Whose excess? And at some level, isn’t excess part of the local personality? Visitors come to gamble, some better than others. If Las Vegas were a Star Trek planet (and there’s a story) it would be …

6:40 AM & PM GMT: Q5 What solutions do you have to make #LasVegas a more responsible destination? via @WSEtravel #RTTC

#RTTC A5 Pay attention to specific issues over time. Blend grassroots events, responsible travel and education

Listen to locals. And locals listen to Twitter! Someone’s talking about you.

To create and support grassroots events and educational opportunities that are truly world-class and world famous.

6:50 AM & PM GMT: Q6 Is there specific accommodation/tour providers/restaurants you can suggest are more responsible in #Vegas? How so? via @vickysmith #RTTC

#RTTC A6 Bicycle shops!  There are several top-of-the-line stores but local fave is the Bike Shop on 2630 Windmill Parkway. Terry the owner is the must-visit person for anyone keen on cycling and connecting with locals. They just hosted the Chocolate Chase.
Bike Shop

More chocolate, anyone?

Questions for RTTC: Does anyone blog or storify individual #RTTC chats? Is anyone editing a transcript or summary on Google docs? Care to follow up via hangout?

Also: I’m figuring out questions to ask online The World’s Best Responsible Travel Organizations. It would be good to follow-up with Q&A with each of those listed — are your publications open access? — and create our own Responsible Travel Top 10 on the Planeta Wiki. There’s a directory of RT resources on Transitions Abroad. Is there interest in updating that feature?

Finally, let me know if you’d like to help develop this year’s Responsible Travel Week, February 8-14. We are looking for friends to hold local events, create popup museums, host soundwalks and basically show rather than tell people what responsible tourism actually looks and sounds like. Yes, you can access RT Week online but it’s time for action and we’d like to support all the champions of responsible travel making it real around the globe.

Posted in 2015, Announcements, cities, events, innovation, inspire, tourism, Web 2.0 in Action | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment