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.
Thanks for the Posterous mention. We’re passionate about blogging and we hope by making posting easier, people will share their thoughts and photos more often than ever before.
Fred, a second-order benefit of asking the coffee at Paddington question via Twitter: as a regular visitor to Paddington I was one of the people who answered your question, and in doing so discovered a better answer from Wil (who, it turns out, had a richer knowledge of the space)….a small example of the hypermimetic process that Mark Pesce described eloquently at the PdF 2008 Conference in New York last month: http://bit.ly/3RkoWD (video), http://bit.ly/3W5YCo (transcript).David
My favorite part of this post is the last paragraph. The part that reads, “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.”I often get in conversations with people as to why i blog. To many it’s viewed as pure a vanity project. I’ve found that putting my ideas and thoughts down for others to read is a great way to stimulate conversation and “talk” with friends of mine but to do so by; 1) allowing them to jump in at their leisure. After they see the movie or read the book that i’ve written about or if they finally get a moment when they’re bored at work. 2) not requiring them to participate. They can read and process but unlike email they don’t have to respond unless they want to. I’ve noticed that many of my friends will read my blog, never comment but will bring it up with me weeks or months later. I love this. We’re talking but in a turn-based way. I’m just always making the first move 3) making the conversation to be public – anyone can join.
“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.”Love that idea and extended to the entire conversation…from traveler perspective, an app on your mobile computer/phone that plugs you into the conversation which revolves around a specific location…photos, blogs, tweets, forums, reviews, news, people, events, videos, etc.
Great post ! I experienced exactly the same…I think that the most amazing point is that you keep a permanent link and conversation with your tribe (who ever you put in it :-)), sharing with them everything that has value for you.Actually, “sharing” is really the killer app 😉
this is how life is now … at least in the modern world … having migrated from ashram to village to city, i had better join up. a blog is the new business card.nice post, i loved your travel tales. you go deep and leave a light footprint.
I used my Tumblr blog to do live posts from a recent trip to San Francisco with my old college buddies – none of whom have blogs and would fit firmly within the category of thinking “blogging is vanity”. Yet by the end of the weekend these found themselves seeing something cool or taking a picture and saying to me “blog it”! And friends and family back home really did love keeping in touch…liveblogging a vacation is one of the best uses of tumblr.
Fred-Question. How unwieldy do you find it to manage a Tumblog and a regular blog concurrently? Do you worry that you lose half your audience at any time by having two sites? Do you prefer the different sites to allow you to create essentially two brands and would you consider integrating your tumblog into your regular blog or do you actually enjoy the distinction and the creativity it facilitates?Just curious.
Its not optimal and I think its the wrong thing to do for most peopleFor me it works because I want the avc blog to be largely ‘serious’ with a taste of funThe tumblog gets the be more of a creative exercise which its very good forAnd because we are investors in tumblr, its very important for me to be actively engaged in the tumblr community
Thanks for the insights. I love Tumblr but will be using WordPress for thelongform blog and will see how to incorporate the tumblr posts into the longform blog.I wonder if Tumblr content SEOs well which is why I don’t want to make theTumblog the ultimate destination.I wonder if there is a business in licensing the Tumblr audio player and/orincorporating text or visuals as a drop down interface below the player.The player itself is wonderfully elegant. If you attached ads to the playerand had people choose from a library of pre-licensed content you couldfunnel revenue to publishers and musicians/labels themselves.
Posterous rocks – it was the only way I could get my Mom to post pictures online.
I can’t type fast enough. I tried to ‘live blog’ or ‘real time blog’ that ‘save the planet’ bullshit concert last year. It was fun, but exhausting.
If you are blogging and otherwise online throughout your vacation, you aren’t really away. A true vacation means turning off the electronic devices and being out of touch. Another issue with real time blogging while on vacation is that you lose a sense of privacy. Everyone who reads that blog knows a lot more information about you and your family then you should probably should be giving out.
That’s your opinion and I respect it but I don’t agree with it.Taking the time to savor the vacation by writing about it in real time addsa lot to the experience.Have you tried it? If not, you ought to.
I don’t mind the loss of privacy but I do think that at some point during the year, it is good to completely disconnect oneself from ones electronic lifelines and just listen to the wind blow, the waves crash, your children play, or your heart beat without fear/anticipation of being interrupted. A lot of people seem unable now to just reflect on their lives and they choose to live their lives in a state of constant conversation with other people by phone, IMing or email unless they are asleep!I realize that it is more difficult for parents to disconnect but we had thousands of years without cell phones and I think their omnipresence affects our ability to just sit in silence and think. I think it is immensely more difficult to have true insight and understanding when we are surrounded by distractions.I know that this is a luxury not everyone can have but I just want to echo Dorothy’s point on the importance of really “getting away” from the busyness of our daily lives, hopefully at some point every day, not just on vacations. It can help us see the bigger picture when we disengage from daily responsibilities if only for 10 minutes a day.
I prefer to do that at the beach than somewhere so stimulating as paris or london
Just curious but you state that blogs can be a valuable source of information to travelers. Which blogs did you consult before you traveled or while you were on the road? I mean, besides official blogs of destinations you were going to.
Gotham gal should do a post on that. But gridskipper is awesome. We used it all the timeThere are a bunch of food blogs the girls read all the time that I don’t know the names of
liz – i forwarded this comment to the gotham gal and she blogged about it todayhttp://www.gothamgal.com/go…
Thanks for the lead..I’ll check out her blog!
I’m a big fan of your site as it’s always nice to hear what folks on your side of the capital equation are seeing and thinking (i’m a banker advising on capital raises to VCs like yourselves. have dealt with your firm in a couple of instances)…Your site inspired me to start up my own blgo actually and while it’s been slow going, i’m steadily making progress… i haven’t taken it ‘real-time’ just yet, but maybe i’ll get there someday…
There’s no question that real-time blogging has a more immediate feel and immersed quality. It transports the reader. Several times throughout your trip I lived vicariously through either you or the Gotham Gal and felt like I was experiencing a European holiday. Thanks for that 🙂
Well its hard to sample the bread and coffee over the wire!
I’ve tasted them before, so it just takes me back. 🙂
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.
Hello I am also interested in real time blogging…. Here is a site I am currently beta testing… more like an instant blog… It has all the necessary hooks to cell phone etc but is not yet complete…. please check it outhttp://sms.pangolin.com/rtb…Thanks