Category Archives: Passion Communities

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5 Fictional Destinations You Can Actually Visit

There’s something magical about seeing the real life setting of a beloved fictional world. These destinations draw travelers to places they might not otherwise go for the pleasantly jarring sensation of finding Tatooine in Tunisia or Narnia in Norway. Here are five of our favorite places that serve as intersections of invention and reality, mixing the familiar with the surprising.

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Mdina, Malta: King’s Landing (Game of Thrones)

Westeros may be fictional, but Game of Thrones fans know the series films everywhere from Iceland to Croatia to recreate locations from the books. The medieval walled city of Mdina in Malta acts as King’s Landing in the show, and travelers may recognize the Mdina Gate as the entrance to the fictional capital. Mdina’s dusky stone buildings and mix of Norman and Baroque architecture lend it a mysterious and mythic quality that translates perfectly into the show. It’s known as the “Silent City:” No cars are allowed within the city walls, and only about 300 people live inside.

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Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

Since Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908, children and adults have made the pilgrimage to Canada’s lovely Prince Edward Island, where the book is set. The Green Gables farmhouse that inspired L.M. Montgomery’s classic books still stands in Cavendish (named Avonlea in the books) and can be visited year round. Even Mindy Kaling is desperate to see where Anne grew up. In a recent interview with the LA Times, she said, “The other book world I would like to live in is Anne of Green Gables. Living on Prince Edward Island would be so badass.”

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Petra, Jordan: Canyon of the Crescent Moon (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)

It’s hard to imagine a more imposingly beautiful filming location for a grail quest than the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Although Petra was carved into sandstone 2,000 years ago, it only came to the attention of the Western world in 1812 when Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt disguised himself in Bedouin costume to sneak into the site. The Treasury, Al-Khazneh, was most famously used in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and is still open for visitors.

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Angel Falls in Venezuela: Paradise Falls (Up)

Paradise Falls is the central destination Pixar’s Up. Carl’s beloved Ellie never gets to see it herself, but with the help of about 10,000 balloons, Carl and Russell manage to make the trip. Its real life counterpart is Angel Falls in Venezuela, part of the Auyantepui mountain in Canaima National Park. At a height of over 3,000 feet, it’s the tallest uninterrupted waterfall in the world. The hike to see the falls from the top can be a multi-day journey, but the stunning view is worth the trek.

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Matamata, New Zealand: Hobbiton (The Lord of the Rings)

Perhaps the most famous fictional travel destination is the Hobbiton set of Peter Jackson’s adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. Nestled in the countryside surrounding Matamata in New Zealand, the set features over 30 hobbit dwellings as well as a mill and a double-arched stone bridge. After The Hobbit movies finished filming, the houses were left fully furnished for visitors. Truly devoted fans can even enjoy Second Breakfast at the nearby Shire’s Rest Cafe.

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Who is Using Discourse, and Where?

There are a number of software platforms that have strong communities behind them. The likes of WordPress, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon  (and countless others) all have extremely large local communities that pay the bills for many, many talented individuals all over the globe.

But there are smaller, up and coming communities emerging all the time around various platforms. Every software product is a community, in a sense. Ghost, an open source blogging platform, is one of them. We recently got the first member of the Ghost community (which I blogged about a couple weeks ago), in Patrick Schumann, who is currently in Stuttgart (his website).

discourse-logoAnother open source platform, which I expect will develop quite an active developer ecosystem, is discourse.org. Discourse is the 100% open source, next-generation discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet. I first heard about it from my friend Arjun, and have seen it discussed several times by people in the Dynamite Circle forums.

It’s brought to you by the team at StackExchange, so there is no reason it’s not going to remain a supported discussion platform for quite some time.

I’m a curious fellow when it comes to learning how like minded people are finding each other now. I see that there was a Discourse meetup in San Francisco earlier this year, and they have a meetup group in NYC. But where else are early adopters located? Wow many different countries are accounted for in terms of users? Is there anyone in Bangkok? Ho Chi Minh City? Chile? Seattle (where I am)?

Enter the location aware Discourse community directory. Since I literally just created it, it is, of course, empty. Which is where you come in!

If you are using the platform already – please, join the community page and express your love for Discourse — assuming you like the product, of course! We’ll eventually give you the ability to receive email notifications when others join the community nearby, but that’s not implemented yet.

“Ready for a new discussion platform?” – Discourse

Note: To use the community page, you’ll have to sign into Oh Hey World, check-in to a city, and THEN visit the Discourse community pageWe’re in the middle of pivoting our product offering, and currently working through the UI/UX/Design – we’ll end up with an intuitive flow focused on communities and not the check-in…but we’re not there yet.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Who Is Using Ghost, and Where?

ghostI ‘ve been a WordPress user since 2006 (personal blog here). I’m not ready to switch all my sites over to a new platform, but it does feel incredibly bloated as an editor. Which is, of course, where Ghost entered the picture last yearIt was released publicly for anyone to try on Monday.

It’s promise is, “Just a Blogging Platform”.

There were over 5k backers for their Kickstarter campaign — which means there is clearly demand for a blogging platform without the baggage.

Those who know me, know I’m curious, I got to wondering where all these various early adopters of Ghost are? Based on their meetup group, it looks like London is the core community. But, how many different countries are accounted for in terms of users? Is there anyone in Bangkok? Beijing? Ghana? Chile? Seattle (where I am)?

If Ghost takes off, and early indicators seem good (it’s not easy to get 5k backers for a product that doesn’t exist), you can bet there will be a “Ghost ecosystem” of advocates, developers, trainers, and designers scattered all over the world — just as there is with WordPress. For those of you “in” that community, I imagine you want to know who else is part of the community, in your local area, no?

Enter the location aware Ghost community directory. Since I literally just created it, it is, of course, empty. Which is where you come in!

If you are using the platform already – please, join the community page and express your love for Ghost — assuming you like the product, of course! We’ll eventually give you the ability to receive email notifications when others join the community nearby, but that’s not implemented yet.

Happy connecting!

Note: To use the community page, you’ll have to sign into Oh Hey World, check-in to a city, and THEN visit the Ghost community page. We’re in the middle of pivoting our product offering, and currently working through the UI/UX/Design – we’ll end up with an intuitive flow focused on communities and not the check-in…but we’re not there yet.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterGoogle Plus