Real Time Blogging

I was thinking that I’d write a post summarizing our month in Europe on the plane back today. But then I realized that I’ve said it all already on this blog. Sure there is value to summarizing and wrapping it up, but I’m not big on the rehash to be honest.

I like to blog in real time. If it happens, I like to talk about it at that moment in time. It’s fresh in my mind and it just comes right out. It takes a lot less work to get it right.

The Gotham Gal used to travel without a laptop. She’d go on these trips, take a ton of photos and a ton of notes. Then she’d spent the first couple of days back home blogging about the trip.

That changed a year or so ago. Now she takes her macbook with her and blogs the trips in real time. Well, maybe not real time, but at the end of the day or start of the next one. It’s made a huge difference. She posted maybe thirty posts during the month we were in Europe. And anyone who wants to travel to London or Paris would be well served to read them. And our family and friends back home were able to follow what we are doing on her blog. One of our daughter’s friends texted her about something we’d done last week. Our daughter asked how he’d heard about it. He said “I read the Gotham Gal.” That gave us all a chuckle.

With my mobile phone, flickr, twitter, tumblr, twitpic, and a host of other services, I sometimes take it a step further and actually blog in real time. I wrote at least five and possibly as many as ten blog posts on my blackberry on the metro or the tube or waiting in line somewhere on the Europe trip. It’s simple. You send TypePad an email and it gets posted. There’s a new super simple blogging service called Posterous that does everything via email. We’ll see more things like this.

If you do all of your blogging on tumblr, then you can actually create a pretty amazing real time blog with almost no work. I like to mix it up, posting some stuff to tumblr, some stuff to twitter, some stuff to this blog via typepad, and some stuff to a few other places. It’s a bit harder to keep everything straight that way and I really think that real time blogging a trip on Tumblr is the way to go. I’d like to try that sometime.

One of the great things about real time blogging is it flows into the real world pretty quickly. The other day the Gotham Gal blogged about a store she liked in London. A person who is involved with the store commented on her blog about the store and made some other suggestions. Which impacted her next day. That wouldn’t work so well if you waited until you got home to blog the trip.

And of course, twitter is huge when you are on the road. I got advice on coffee in Paddington Station, where to get a UK blackberry charger, and a host of suggestions on life in Paris via friends and followers on twitter on this trip. People say that only people with a lot of followers on twitter can use it that way and currently that is mostly true. But with the acquisition and integration of summize, I hope and expect that people will start following locations and keywords in the same way they follow people. Then a person with no folllowers on Twitter can ask where to get a good cup of coffee in Paddington Station and my friend @wilstephens who commutes in and out of Paddington every day and should be following that keyword for a bunch of reasons, can do the same thing for the person with no followers that he did for me.

Blogging has a reputation as an ego centric activity for people who want to be heard. And that is certainly true and a big motivation for many people who do it. But blogging can be valuable in many other ways. Our blogs helped our friends and families keep track of us while we were in Europe. They will be a valuable source of information to travelers in the future (thanks to google and our collective google juice). And they were a valuable way to get information and connect with people in europe while we were there. And blogging in real time makes all of that work a lot better.

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