Friday, April 24, 2009

Accessible Travel Groups on the Internet

As part of creating the Spring issue our quarterly (look for it next week!) we began gathering a list of online groups, networks, and people you should hook up with. Today's age is all about networking; so this topic has made our blog today as well. To clarify, this post isn't about social networking, although it might look like it, it's about social networking in a group setting with a specific topic in mind.

Why join a travel group? For us it's a no-brainer to join as many groups as we can to help us cut costs, find information, meet great people and live vicariously on another continenent! For some, keeping up with many networks can cost the precious time you seem to lack, so here are a few great places to start. For those of you looking to start your own group, drop in on some of these first to get ideas, but joining an existing network seemed much better to us than creating our own.


We both held off on really diving in to the LinkedIn network until recently, but what drove us home on the concept of adding yet another social network to our gamut was LinkedIn's groups. You get an email of the ongoing discussions (you pick how often), and you can meet professionals who are in the same field or work at a company you'd like to connect with. In general, it's a much more focused business network than the others you're hearing about like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and the like. LinkedIn's groups are where it's at! You must first join LinkedIn to be in a group, and then you do have to request permission to be in a group once you find one, but so far neither of us have been rejected from a group. We both belong to many groups on various topics, but the only group we've found so far for Accessible Travel on LinkedIn is here. If you do join this network, make sure to network with us as well! [Andy's and Craig's pages]

The best part of Facebook for networking are the fan and causes pages, the second of which you can actually raise money with. These social networks can be daunting, but they're excellent for networking once you get the hang of the concept in general. If you're already on Facebook, check out some of our favorite pages, causes, etc in the world of Accessible Travel: Access Anything, Wounded Warrior Project, Adaptive Adventures, All Mountain Ski Camp, Venture Travel, but there are hundreds more. This is a wonderful social network, don't put off joining us there.

Created by colleague Craig Grimes, Accessible Travel is a NING network (a do-it-yourself social networking tool) is growing exponentially as I type. Unlike some NING networks, Craig's left this one open for all and anyone is invited. Chockfull of blogs, destinations, suggestions, and members with the same thirst for travel that we have, we're excited to help grow this network for sharing information on accessible travel! Within this group there are additional groups like Rail Travel for a more focused forum.

What Else?
We also belong to My Steamboat for fans of this ski area, several Twitter Groups that are focused on various topics of what we do, Disaboom, and The Wheel Life. However, you'll have to dig a little further to find Accessible Travel topics at these locations.

If you have a group you'd like to include, please share it in a comment to this post.