Social Media in the Jungles of Central America

I was wandering through the jungles of Central America a couple of weeks ago and made the acquaintance of a travel photographer. He was in Costa Rica,  working with an  eco lodge managemnt comany on social media efforts. Basically he stays at the lodges and then places his experiences on travel forums, discussion boards, Facebook, etc, and links to his photos on Flickr. He’s not adding credibility to the posts with his name or the name of a publication, but his incredible photos and real-stories about the employees and guests of the lodges provide personaility and color to their social footprints.

DSC_6659 by Martin van Doorn.
photo by Martin van Doorn

 

I did ask him about his thoughts on whether or not there were any ethical considerations around thsi practice. The FTC requires full discolsure but the FTC doesn’t have any jurisdiction. The one thing he did point out, is that teh properties would still be paying for his stay if he was a freelance travel writer for traditional media.

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2 comments

  1. This is an interesting gray area for the FTC bit. Technically he’s not a blogger (at least not according to your description). But the fact that he’s hired by this company obviously effects his revues. I would say at least he should put a disclosure on his Flickr profile http://www.flickr.com/people/storytraveller/ but a small sentence saying he’s a travel photographer and his travel is paid for by the management company that represents the locations would be ideal.

  2. Nothing is really paid for. It’s not like I come home with money. However, accommodations, foods and tours are all on comp. It’s a great gig but not
    one that will make me rich! :o)
    Any new ideas are more than welcome! And by FTC you mean Federal Trade Commission?
    Nothing to do with me!
    yippee…

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