My name is Trip and I am part of the Step Up Travel team.
Planeta, thanks for hosting this forum; the internet (Web 2.0) is an interactive, powerful, increasingly accessible marketing tool for local tourism micro & SME development.
Web 2.0 applications can help local individuals and SMEs increase their internet visibility and connection with travelers, build their credibility through reviews, further develop ICT skills, and reduce dependency on intermediaries.
Using web 2.0 applications to connect travelers and local people for socio-economic exchange is increasingly important, interesting, innovative and possible. Flickr photos sharing/storing, Geocities turn-key webpages, and YouTube video storing/sharing are great ways for local people to build their "profiles" and create materials that express themselves and their values; which travelers are very interested in.
Even with Flickr, Geocities, and YouTube, however, it may be difficult to acheive visibility among travelers. Until this year, there was no Web 2.0 global marketing platform where local people anywhere could post their information, materials and links (text, photos, geocities and youtube links) and be reviewed by travelers. StepUpTravel.org was created to meet his need and I will be talking more about that elsewhere in this forum.
It will also be interesting to discuss the role of travelers in helping local people and small business create their Web 2.0 presence/media archives such that they can then be visible to interest other travelers. Since almost all travelers have digital cameras, many have video cameras, and all have regular access to the internet, they can play a contributory role in helping local people with Web 2.0 materials and processes.
I am also interested in the a usability assessment/discussion, from the local individual/SME perspective, of these different web 2.0 applications.
Looking forward to being part of this forum.