Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

amtrak social media residency summer

Have a passion for travel and a knack for telling stories? The new #AmtrakTakeMeThere social media residency program aims to highlight travel experiences from different travelers on Amtrak social media. Amtrak calls the program “an open casting call” to find travelers to share stories from aboard long-distance Amtrak trips.

The program, Amtrak says, isn’t looking for professional social media influencers and bloggers that travel for a living, but travelers with a story — and some photo and writing savvy to share that story. Those selected from the program will share their experience on long-distance train trips with their followers.

The #AmtrakTakeMeThere social media residency program is now accepting applications. The campaign aims to find social community leaders and typical Amtrak riders with the creativity and energy that allows them to connect with followers, Amtrak says. Judges are looking for writing skills, photography and videography skills, social engagement, and online personality. Those selected will have an initial evaluation period before becoming an Amtrak representative online through the program.

“Some of the best travel stories occur on our long-distance trains, and we are looking for travelers to share their real experiences,” said Tim Griffin, Amtrak chief marketing officer. “Adding the social media component allows our audience to connect and relate to each other.”

The applications are open from the #AmtrakTakeMeThere webpage now until January 31 at midnight ET. The application asks for contact and social media account information. Entrants will also answer a series of questions related to social media and Amtrak travel goals.

The program is designed to highlight the stories of real Amtrak travelers, the company says, instead of professional travel bloggers. Applicants are asked to share their social media accounts for Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. 

While brands commonly look for social media influencers to promote their brands, Amtrak opted to run a contest to find nonprofessional influencers. “We’re not looking for glitzy influencers with millions of followers who quit their day job to travel the world,” the residency program page says.

Amtrak says the winners will be announced in the spring of 2019. The contest is open to entries from legal residents of the 48 contiguous states. Applicants also must be at least 18 years old. Applications are available online only.


Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Anker’s micro projectors get an equally small price in time for the holidays

Looking for a great deal on a tiny video projector? Anker has some tiny prices on three of their smallest devices. With features like Android 7.1 and designs as small as a can of soda, these projectors make the perfect travel companions.
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.