Documenting Your International Experience how to create a dynamic travel blog Arieanna Schweber blogaholics.ca
Go Global Experiences
Unique life experiences for both travel & learning
Time flies - will you remember all you did and saw?
How will you stay in touch with friends & family?
Meet new friends abroad - how a blog can help!
Study, work and international service learning programs for students
Goals for Today
What is a blog?
Why should I blog when traveling?
How do I set up a blog?
What makes a good blog post?
Tips for travel blogging
Tips for taking & using photos on your blog
What is a blog?
Short for “weblog” or “web log”
Defined based on technology or style of updates
A website where updates are posted more often, shown in chronological order (newest at the top)
Other common “blog” traits: posts have their own URLs, each post can be commented on, posts can be subscribed to in various ways, posts are organized by category and/or date, the interface is simple to use and customize
There are many travel blogs…
And people who blog about exchange experiences… http://beibaby.blogspot.com/ A blog set up for travels http://afternoonsun.net/ A blog, with some travel posts vs
Why Blog your Travels?
To document your trip
To share experiences with family, friends & others around the world
To create a virtual memoir
To get on-the-go travel information
Yes, people will read your blog!
Readers can be helpful
Because it’s fun and easy!
Before you Travel…
Choose your URL
Set up your blog & its design
Figure out computer / Internet access
Learn your tools - how to add posts, photos, links
Google for tutorials if you get confused
Decide where to host photos, videos
Share your URL with family & friends, & put it on your Facebook
URLs http://everythingkimchi.blogspot.com/ Making do with a travel-based URL Consider a blog name that doesn’t lock you into your trip http://ajourneyofdiscovery.blogspot.com/ Abandoning your blog vs
Setting up your blog
Set up a design
Free templates vs custom work
Simple is better, keep it readable
What to put in your sidebar(s)
Set up categories
Increased functionality via plugins
Free, hosted :
Free, requires know-how :
Discussion: Can’t I just use MySpace, Livejournal or Facebook?
Example: wordpress.com Most blog platforms have Word-like interfaces that are easy to use
What to write about
Your experiences, not your itinerary
Talk about what you saw at a museum, a road trip you took, who you met & what you ate
Consider it a story
Temper your negative experiences
Travel guide ( to help other travelers ) vs. travel essay ( to chronicle your story )
If you can, do some research
“ good travel writing makes the reader feel like they’re on the trip too. Put me in the car, on the bus, next to you on the plane. I really want to be there, so take me with you.” - vagablogging.net
“ Paris is not the story, it’s the destination”… So what’s your story?
Blog Posts that Look Good
Pretty it up:
make words bold
to hotels you stayed at, places you visited, people you met
Blog Posts that Look Good blogaholics.ca - comparing post styles
Travel Photo Tips
Rule of thirds
Change perspectives - crouch down, lean over
Landscape vs. detail photos
When to use flash
Capture what’s memorable to you
Remember your back-ups (online, CD)
“ Creating a photograph isn't about ‘taking’ the picture as much as ‘creating’ the picture by what you include and exclude from the photograph” - cameraontheroad.com
Choosing photos for your post
Showcase a landscape or scenic of the overall area
Focus in on a specific sign, monument, or element representative of the area
Show a detail shot of some monument or subject
Use a complementary image to add tone - maps, luggage tags, food shots, people in a square, etc
Help your readers “visualize”
Just post what you want
Less likely to upload all the photos once you get back