Lakes to Locks website needs local submissions

NORTH CREEK - The Lakes to Locks website needs local businesspeople and citizens to get the word out about their favorite places, said the program manager.

Drew Alberti, who's working to get the site fully launched, wants information on natural, historical and recreational sites. The site also needs posts on local artisans, galleries, producers of goods. "It's about promoting what's authentic and unique."

The website relies on user-generated content, said Alberti, which he will moderate personally.

Local knowledge is highly important, he said, "It comes from you, it doesn't come from me."

Right now they have a nominations website, with no user tools for search, as the site is changing. He said the site got about 12,000 views in march, 20,000 in april, are now consistently at about 10,000 to 15,000 views.

He clarified that views are different from hits, and unique visits from different people are probably about half that.

Lakes to Locks is working with National Geographic, which has very strong brand recognition, said Alberti.

Alberti said he's still fuzzy on the details, but as he understands it, the iconic National Geographic yellow rectangle can be used, with permission, as long as it's to promote the project.

Alberti was also seeking ideas for promotional videos. Several years ago, he met with Stewart's representatives about showing a video in-store, with the hopes that visitors would be interested in the content.

The representative said no one's going to sit in the store and watch a lengthy video, so they decided to make minute to minute-and-a-half long videos to highlight little-known facts about places to get people's attention.

With 2009 quadracentennial funds, said Alberti, 11 videos were made for Warren County alone. Plans are to create many more videos focusing on American Civil War or War of 1812. "They want to explore the stories" of history that took place locally, he said.

One video that Alberti worked on focused on Chestertown, where he saw an old, rotted, wooden sign that commemorated the 1964 national Christmas tree. turned out to be a great story

Mountain Lake PBS produces the videos for Lakes to Locks. Alberti said they have an extensive cache of stock video and give the program a great price. Video production costs about $1000 to produce, said Alberti, but they'll seek the funding to make videos they're interested in.

The site can be contributed to at http://www.lakestolocksgeotourism.com.

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