When recent college grads Matt "Fiddy" Fidler and Scott MacDonald left New York's Times Square last week on a hitchhiking mission to visit 50 state capitals in 50 days, the weapons in their marketing arsenal included a pocket digital camera and an account on YouTube, the Internet phenomenon that showcases more than 100 million video clips a day.

Ten days and 14 states later, the young Jack Kerouacs had posted 14 short videos documenting their journey - and scored a segment on Yahoo Traveler Buzz, a daily video feature that's part of a new online collaboration with Al Gore's cable channel Current TV.

As the ranks of active home broadband users in the USA climb to an estimated 110 million - up more than a quarter from last year — online travel videos are expanding rapidly, too. Once limited to old-school travelogues and animated brochures, many travel videos are reflecting the promise and pitfalls of user-generated content.

Competition is heating up, thanks to a growing number of travel-specific video sites and outreach efforts by sites such as Lonely Planet. Its new "Less Than Three" competition, which limits entries to travel videos less than three minutes long, earns the winning filmmaker a $7,500 trip around the world.

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