Hot! Guidebooks Without Pages

I didn’t have time to research my trip to Colorado or even buy a guidebook. Instead I decided to see what Twitter could do for me. By chance, I’d picked one of the best tweeting cities around for my “guidebook without pages” experiment.

The Denver Tourism Office has an active and informative twitter account that gives regular tweets on hotel specials, events, restaurants and even beer picks. It gave me an instant overview of the city. From there I was able to find other Colorado tweeters to follow. And yes, a theme developed quickly for my tweets and my trip:

  • @iknowdenver
  • @denvermicrobrew
  • @newbelgium
  • @odellbrewing

While @iknowdenver gave me plenty of information about things to do in Denver, I learned a Twitter guidebook takes some work. For those looking to use Twitter for an insider scoop to a city, here are some tips:

Follow Early, Follow Often – It can take a while to find the best to follow, so add potential city tweeters to your list early and check in on them often. See what they recommend and check in on who they RT (re-tweet).

Give Them Props – Start a relationship with your favorite city tweeters by RTing their messages, send them a note asking a “must do” recommendation, or give them a shout out on a #follow friday. Twitter is about making connections and spreading the word about the best. Your support may be rewarded with a locals-only tip.

Go to Tweet Ups – These gatherings of people who twitter are one way to meet locals usually outside of a bar setting. If you’ve started a conversation with some, its a friendly way to meet face to face.

Ultimately, Twitter is like a niche guidebook. It can give some great ideas, but is not a total substitute traditional guides, maps, and more detailed websites.

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