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Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

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Oregon Tourism Site Launches Unusual and Tech Savvy Features

(Oregon Coast) - Oregon Coast Beach Connection (www.beachconnection.net) has recently launched a host of new and at times unusual features. RSS news feeds, free news feeds for other website publishers, special sections for spring break and romantic coastal adventures with some unique takes on those subjects, and a different angle on blogs are some of the big recent additions.

The site is the other half of the print publication Beach Connection, based out of Toledo, Oregon (just east of Newport), covering the upper half of the coast, from Seaside to Florence. The site is a different animal from the publication, which is monthly, said Beach Connection editor Andre’ Hagestedt. The site, however, boasts travel and entertainment news that is updated daily, and frequently changing content in the new Romancing the Coast and Adventures In Spring Break sections. It also covers Astoria, whereas the printed product does not.

Hagestedt said the new Romancing the Coast contains various stories and features on romantic possibilities on the coast, with hints and tips for couples heading to the coast that are sometimes a little out of the ordinary. Adventures In Spring Break spotlights nature, events and other aspects for the coast for families on break – or just family-oriented vacations in general. There is currently a section for spring breakers of drinking age, covering more “beach secrets” for the over 21 crowd interested in coastal nightlife. After spring break season is over, the section will become the “Family Vacation Fun” section, and the coastal nightlife section will move to its own area.

Hagestedt also added RSS feeds to the website a few months ago, which he says has helped to raise the profile of beachconnection.net’s news section quite a bit. The news feed is at www.beachconnection.net/news/feed.xml, and Hagestedt also added a feed for the Romancing the Coast content, at www.beachconnection.net/romance/romancefeed.xml. There will soon be a feed for the changing content in the family fun section too.

Another interesting and unusual feature is the ability for others to add Beach Connection news content to their own sites for free. There is a page dedicated to adding RSS feeds or the news content to publishers’ own sites, at www.beachconnection.net/addtosite.htm. Web publishers can grab the code from that page, insert it in their own site, and a box containing constantly updated news from Oregon Coast Beach Connection will appear. Several businesses on the coast are already in the middle of adding this to their sites, says Hagestedt. “This helps the host site create a sense of constantly updated content in the eyes of the search engines, thus helping their page rank,” he said. “But this also gives their readers a reason to come back and check their site.”

He stressed this is unique news content, written by Beach Connection staff, not content streamed in from other news sources.

The website also added streaming weather conditions and forecasts recently, at www.beachconnection.net/weather.htm. It features weather reports from 12 different areas within that 160-mile stretch of Seaside to Florence. “We did this because there are places on the coast where weather can be markedly different from just a few miles away,” said Hagestedt. “Like on the Nehalem Bay, in Wheeler, the weather can be much warmer at times and perfectly sunny since it’s slightly inland, while some ten miles south in Rockaway it can be socked in with fog or drizzle.”

Aside from a growing list of places where Beach Connection’s news stories are getting syndicated to, another unique launch is the remodeling of the “Editor’s Adventure Blog,” at www.beachconnection.net/blog.htm. It’s not like the usual blog, as this one is a scrolling box with the latest entry first, with past content still there within the scrolling box and perfectly accessible, without having to click somewhere else.

The adventure blog now also features what is called the “Beach Spot of the Week.” Aside from periodic adventure entries, Hagestedt’s blog will spotlight a different beach access every week, featuring a photo or tour and different kinds of information about the area.

More launches are coming this week: the blog page will finally add the columns from Beach Connection writers Guy DiTorrice and Peg Miller, as well as the real estate section, with content written by Newport real estate agent David Timme. DiTorrice, who is the former head of the Oregon Coast Visitors Association, writes about beach inspiration and light science. Miller, owner of E-Kahni Books in Wheeler, writes about coastal shopping and antiques.


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In Awe of AstoriaASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
Serenity in SeasideSEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
Cavort in Cannon BeachCANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Annihilating  Beauty of Nehalem BayNEHALEM BAY
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Time Trip Around Tillamook BayTILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
Triple the Pleasure in 3 CapesTHREE CAPES LOOP
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
Divine Depoe BayDEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Nature in NewportNEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Staggering Seal RockWALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks
Aargh, there's no alliteration with Yachats - but it IS unbelievableYACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale
Unsurpassable Upper LaneUPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders
Fine Times in FlorenceFLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes