SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Dec 19, 2014) – LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com), a leading online publishing platform, today unveiled its exciting new digital travel journal feature with the US launch of LiveJournal Maps (http://maps.livejournal.com/). With this global travel tool, LiveJournal users can now explore incredible places all over the world by reading personal stories from other users, and even share their own directly on the Map! Unlike review sites, there are no agendas, no censorship, and no filters. Plus, users can interact directly with one another and discover new friends before, during and after their own travel adventures.
“LiveJournal has grown into a vibrant, worldwide community over the past 15 years, and the new Maps feature aggregates content from users all across the globe, making it easily accessible,” said Katya Akudovich, LiveJournal CEO. “Instead of reading sterile reviews, Maps provides the unique ability to travel the world through the eyes of other LiveJournal users. We’ve always been a community based on passions and interests, and Maps is a natural extension of this. Users can share experiences, interact and plan trips, even follow the routes of famous travelers.”
The impact of social media in the travel space is becoming more pervasive, with approximately one-fifth of leisure travelers worldwide turning to these platforms for inspiration when choosing destinations, activities, attractions, etc.1
LiveJournal Maps (http://maps.livejournal.com/) showcases information about cities, landmarks, national parks, resorts, theme parks and other attractions around the world. Users navigate by clicking on the numbered circles appearing on the map, and corresponding entries and photos from these places appear in the right hand column. Users can also add posts by pasting their personal LiveJournal URL in the upper right corner and attaching a pin to the desired location on the map.
LiveJournal’s long-form blogging structure naturally lends itself to story-telling, transforming Maps into a comprehensive forum for discovering culture, history, war, art, seasonal activities, festivals, food, extreme adventures and more through the eyes of other users, not only travel companies.
Travel discovery through visual communication is another increasingly popular trend fueled by the explosion of information via the Internet.2 With 70 million unique monthly visitors, the images LiveJournal users post garner a worldwide audience, propelling LiveJournal to roll out video hosting in conjunction with Maps for an enhanced experience.
“We have companies approach us all the time requesting permission to use images posted on the site, some of them taken by world-class photographers,” said Akudovich. “Our response is always the same — those are not our images to share, all content belongs to our users. We’ve always given users complete control. LiveJournal is completely user-driven, rather than agenda-driven.”
To celebrate the launch of Maps, LiveJournal is giving away limited time VGifts (http://www.livejournal.com/shop/vgift.bml) to anyone who adds an entry to the Map by January 1, 2015. Entries can be focused on anything, from a story showing a typical day in a user’s hometowns to a post about an exciting trip. To learn more about Maps, visit the FAQ page at http://www.livejournal.com/support/faq/414.html.
Users can also blog-on-the-go during their travels using the new Android (http://bit.ly/1usVbis) and iOS (http://bit.ly/1x70fbJ) apps debuted this summer.
“It’s been a big year for us,” said Akudovich. “LiveJournal is celebrating its 15 year anniversary, and we’re going to continue to roll out new features to bring the platform back to the forefront in the U.S.”
To learn more about LiveJournal, please watch the new promotional video: http://bit.ly/1xLqt70
LiveJournal is a community publishing platform that encourages communal interaction and personal expression by offering a user-friendly interface and a deeply customizable journal. Since 1999, LiveJournal has been home to a wide array of creative individuals looking to share common interests, meet new friends, and express themselves. With more than 80 million journals on topics like politics, entertainment, fashion, literature and design, some key similarities emerge: the overall culture is distinctly open source — not only from a product perspective but from a cultural one. The spirit of volunteerism pervades LiveJournal, crossing all boundaries and propagated via insanely passionate individuals. For more information, please visit http://www.livejournal.com.
1 eMarketer, 2013
2 Getty Images