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Tag Archives | My work

MapQuest Commute launches on Apple iOS, Android, and Amazon. Now you go download.

MapQuest commute app

Just released! MapQuest’s latest app—Commute—“personalized alerts deliver real-time traffic and road conditions along your route 15 minutes before you are scheduled to leave home or work. I’ve been using beta versions for a while and am really impressed.

To coincide with the launched, MapQuest’s editorial side published “Your Commute, Made Fun (Seriously).”

Now you go download Commute:

Photo: Courtesy MapQuest Commute

Have any questions about taking a Disney Cruise? Ask me.

Last week my family and I went on the Disney Dream for a three-day cruise of the Bahamas. While I was there to research Disney Cruise Line’s Halloween and holiday activities for MapQuest videos, a bunch of friends asked me via social media more generic questions about going on a Disney Cruise. So I’m going to answer them in a Q&A article for MapQuest too.

Have any Disney Cruise questions for me? Add them to the comments or email them to me at zach@zacheverson.com. Thanks!

I told you Stonehenge would hit the big time in 2014! Again!

Last night on Gizmodo: “Underground Mapping Near Stonehenge Reveals a New “Super Henge”

This January from me on Twitter:

This, on the heels of Stonehenge getting big press from Barack Obama’s visit last week.

Again, I don’t want to brag, but I have no other choice.

MapQuest publishes my feature article on visiting Boston child-free

Boston collage

Remember that article I started live-writing in front of an audience? Last week MapQuest published it:

“Enjoy a child-free visit to your hometown: After a four-year parenting bender, it was time for a daughter-free detox in Boston”

Thanks to Mike Yessis at MapQuest for editing it, Molly Kravitz at Connelly Partners for helping arrange my stay, my wife for accompanying me on the trip, and—of course—my folks for watching the kids.

It was a fun piece to research, write, and produce. The writing took me a bit longer than usual, in part, I think, because of the live-write. Writing in front of an audience compelled me to take a different approach than I usually do, trying to make the text readable before it was really ready for other sets of eyes. I’ll probably try the live-write stunt again, but more likely for a shorter piece.

kentuckyderbyhomerental.com is now louisvillederbyhomerental.com

Louisville Derby Home RentalAfter discussions with Churchill Downs Inc., the URL kentuckyderbyhomerental.com has changed to louisvillederbyhomerental.com. (For six years, I’ve owned and operated Derby Home Rental LLC, which helps Louisville, Kentucky-area homeowners advertise their homes to rent during Derby weekend.)

For the next year, the old site will have a message directing visitors to the new one. It’ll take a little bit for search engines to digest and process this switch. We had record traffic last year—9,840 visits and 41,108 page views—and I will monitor the site’s search engine status and work to continue that growth.

Relatedly, my email address for that business has changed to zach@louisvillederbyhomerental.com.

Also, at no additional cost to advertisers, I’ve added accounts for the site on

Every home will now be advertised on those networks as well as louisvillederbyhomerental.com. Please follow us on those pages. Thanks!

MainStreet quotes me in its article on overrated travel destinations

Main StreetMain Street quoted me in its recent article:

“The Six Most Overrated Tourist Sites on the Planet”

My answer (you’ll have to go to the last page of the article to read it): Mount Rushmore. I visited when I was 14 and driving cross-country with my family. Afterwards, I expressed my disappointment to my parents, who weren’t pleased to hear it and, if I remember correctly (I don’t always), made me write a journal entry on why I shouldn’t complain about the wonderful trip I was on.

Journal entry or not, 24 years later, I’m still hating on Mount Rushmore.

Facebook gives peer pressure to page admins

When a Facebook page’s post attracts a lot of attention, Facebook issues a nice little alert. Like a drug dealer, it encourages the page’s admin to, you know, just give the post a bit of a bump, via a paid ad. Today, for the first time, I noticed Facebook’s message included a little peer pressure:

Facebook peer pressure

 

 

 

 

Screenshot: Courtesy Facebook

About yesterday’s writing live stream

Thanks to everyone who watched me start writing my article yesterday for MapQuest about my recent visit to Boston. Overall, I found the experience positive. As for viewers, well, you were promised a video live stream of a guy writing an article and real-time access to the Google document. So hopefully your expectations were low but exceeded.

A few thoughts:

  • At first, having an audience influenced my writing, making me feel like I needed to have a readable narrative upfront. As time passed, peer pressure became less of an issue.
  • I usually take more breaks than I did today. And spend more time on social media, checking RSS feeds, etc. So thanks for keeping me on track.
  • I felt exhausted afterwards, but that might have been because I skipped my morning snack so as to spare viewers the sight of me eating oatmeal.
  • I’m probably going to do it again (call it Zach Write Live, or something).

Did you watch? If so, please let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!

Get an exclusive inside look at what writers never (rarely?) let you see

“The New York Times” recently launched Times Insider, which “takes readers behind the scenes of the New York Times newsroom to show how its journalists around the globe work and how decisions are made.”

Seeing how the “Times” is this blog’s chief competitor, I’m going to try to one up it.

Today, I’m working on the first draft of an article about my recent visit to Boston (I was born there and grew up 15 miles north of the city, but haven’t had much opportunity to explore the city since). It’s part of MapQuest’s 99 Summer Travel Quests series. While traveling around Boston, I shared the experience in real-time via Tweets, Instagram posts, and Facebook updates. And now I’m letting anyone watch me write the article. Seriously:

Those links will be live from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT today. A couple caveats:

  • If I’m not there, assume I’m in the restroom and/or getting a snack, and will be back shortly.
  • You might see big blocks of text pasted into the document. I’m not cheating. Those are notes and I’m copying them from iA Writer, the app I typically use for writing an article.