Off-the-Rails
       

CrossRoads Beta Program

Become a part of something big!
Have you ever looked at a website and thought "wow, if this site could only do [blank] then it would fit my needs perfectly"? Well, we're giving you the chance to never have to say it again...at least with regard to Off-the-Rails.com!

Enter the CrossRoads Beta Program.

Over the past year we have rounded up an excellent posse of "Friends of Off-the-Rails" that have helped us turn this this web site from its humble beginnings as a "static" information only site, into something truly valuable with over 250 members. We never dreamed that it would get this big, we just planned on it being an online resource for our friends to keep up with each other's travels…but Off-the-Rails has now become a full-time passion for one of it's founders and quickly turning into one of the Bay Area's best kept secrets.

Things may have looked calm on the surface, but like a swan gently floating across a still pond, we've been paddling like crazy underneath—developing the underlying infrastructure of Off-the-Rails.com as we better define the needs of the Travel-Tribe, and what CrossRoads can provide as an online service to support the community. During this time, feedback from our CrossRoads Beta Program has kept us on track and focused—getting us closer and closer to realizing our vision for Off-the-Rails.

With that in mind, I personally want to take this moment to thank each and every one of our existing "Friends of Off-the-Rails" for all of your great input and suggestions! They have been invaluable in developing our roadmap of features and services.

So keep up the good work and tell others that you feel can add value to this awesome community about becoming a "Friend of Off-the-Rails", because we are moving to the next phase of development of CrossRoads. During this phase, we will be looking to create a larger core group of outstanding people with solid travel experience to become actively involved with CrossRoads and help "road test" the new features and services before we launch it to the Off-the-Rails community.


What? You're not already a Friend of Off-the-Rails?


Why should you become a friend of off-the-rails?
Because it will guarantee you a place in heaven, nirvana, paradise, shangri-la, valhalla, or any other form of utopia that you wish to enter after you pass from this earth.

Hmmm... maybe we're over promising a bit here. How about because it will guarantee entrance into a sold-out event at the Fillmore, the Giants or any other event in the Bay Area...

Wait, that's definitely over promising. I think sometimes it may easier to get into heaven...have you ever seen the prices on Craigslist?

OK, how about this? Because we need you.

Or better yet, because by helping us define what features are important and their correct implementation, then CrossRoads will become something even more valuable to you than it already is. Yeah, that's the ticket!

What Are We looking foR?
Every community has it's leaders, and we're no different.

As we start developing some of the new features within the Off-the-Rails website, we are going to be looking for people that want to lead in terms of content creation, advice and reference, photography, trip development, leading trips, philanthropic projects, and organizing local events.

There's really no limit to what you will be able to do once we have the new software in place, but it all depends on developing a core group of leaders within the community that have a passion for travel and their choice to participate within Off-the-Rails' community.

We're not talking about something that takes up all your free time. In fact, it should be something that you enjoy doing. For example, if you have always wanted to be a travel writer then contact us! If you've ever thought that you would like to lead a "photo safari" to anywhere in the world—where all the logistics are planned out for you...contact us! If you know how to cook killer Pad Thai, or Samosa's and want to share it with others...contact us! If you're heading up to Tahoe at the last minute and looking for other daytrippers...well...you get the idea.

It's really up to you how you decide to use CrossRoads. We're just looking for those of you that have something special to offer this exciting new travel community!

Believe it or not, space is limited for this 2nd round of development. So contact us as soon a possible and let us know how you think you can help!

Happy trails...

Dave Douglas,
Executive Director,
Off-the-Rails

And if that wasn't enough, here are some additional benefits of becoming a Friend of Off-the-Rails:

Free Travel Opportunities - From time to time, Off-the-Rails will sponsor a trip to a destination based on feedback from our members. These trips usually have an event or activity as its core and will revolve around the members participating in one form or another. Because these excursions have been developed by Off-the-Rails, there will be at least one Friend of Off-the-Rails that will travel with the group and make sure all the logistics are in place and the itinerary is maintained.

Think of this Friend of Off-the-Rails more as a "travel mentor" as opposed to a "travel guide"...you won't be holding anyone's hand or making sure they can get to the potty. Sometimes we will have "experts" or true "guides" along to provide history, insight and safety to a specific region or event, other times you will be on your own traveling as a small group of friends. But in each case, by becoming a Friend of Off-the-Rails and being chosen to be the trip leader, you will travel for free and have some pocket cash to get you through each day.

Become Famous...or Almost Famous - Have your hidden, or not-so-hidden talents in the spotlight with Off-the-Rails. Although every member of Off-the-Rails will soon have the ability to publish their own personal travel logs, photos, travel stories and recommendations; this information will only be available to their personal network or found in a "global" search which includes every member of Off-the-Rails.

By becoming a Friend of Off-the-Rails, your content/photos/recommendations will be in an approved section of Off-the-Rails as "trusted content" that is guaranteed to be accurate, up-to-date, and in the spirit of Off-the-Rails. This content will have a special highlighted location within the site for members to visit when they are interested finding out the "real scoop" and "hidden travel gems" when doing serious research for a special trip.

By establishing "trusted content", Off-the-Rails' members will enjoy not having to wade though enormous amounts of travel drivel. They will be able to access information and contacts that have enormous value when they arrive so they can hit the ground running.

Become an expert travel counselor - Interact with other travelers and share your insights into a specific country or region or as members of Off-the-Rails tap into the "Power of the Tribe" via email or online chat rooms. Not only will you get the self satisfaction of helping others, but you will automatically be included in the "inner circle" of knowledge as hidden travel gems pop-up through our own internal research and earn Bonus Travel Points that can be redeemed towards Off-the-Rails trips and other travel related offers from organizations such as REI, Amazon, and TravelSmith.

Become a moderator for a Charter Group - Some groups are going to be so obvious, and so huge, that they will need a few trusted moderators to keep them on track. Friends of Off-the-Rails will be the first to be notified about becoming moderators of these groups and provide guidance to their specific charter.

Whether it be philanthropic tribe that works on projects around the world, a surfing tribe that's always in search of the perfect wave during an endless summer, or a tribe of wine enthusiasts that are interested in sampling world-class wines on regional tours in far off lands, we will be searching for Friends of Off-the-Rails to head up these groups and make sure that they are serving the best interest of the entire community and supporting the Off-the-Rails brand.

Are those some awesome benefits or what? But like we said earlier, space for this program is limited. So if you're into travel and like people and want to take advantage of the upcoming benfits of helping Off-the-Rails as we get this project "Off the Ground" then you had better hurry...the early bird gets the worm so to speak. So what are you waiting for?

Click the button below and let us know how you can help!

 

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