Embrace or Reject Technology for Travelogue
“Live your own time, sing your own songs.” -from some Bob Dylan movie I watched on an airplane once.
When pondering human behavior it is a conventional habit to look at all people through the lens of yourself. This is automatic, you do not have to try to do it, it just happens.
So, if I want to figure out the whats, where, whys, whens, and hows of travel blog readers, I first look at myself. Why do I read travel blogs? When do I read travel blogs? How do I read travel blogs?
It is true that this lens of reasoning out human behavior is folly – especially if you are a weirdo – but at least it provides a rough bearing in a sea without distinction.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- March 11, 2009
Travelogue —Travel Photos –Travel Guide
Click on map to view route.
I have come to the conclusion that I read blogs when I am suppose to be doing other things. I read travel blogs when I want to take a step back from working and rest for a moment or two. I read travel blogs when I want to relax and ponder easy thoughts.
Perhaps I am not correct, but I think this is the way that travel blogs are read.
I have come to the conclusion that people read blogs when they intend to be doing other things.
“Hmm, what is Andy up to today? What did Craig do two months ago? hmm, Gadtramp is freaking out for what reason this time? Oh, she has cankles.”
Blogs are like magazines: you read a magazine when you are sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office or when you are waiting for your woman to finish putting her makeup on before going out to dinner. Only the exuberant readers will pick up a magazine and read it cover to cover with gusto.
I feel this is the same with travel blog readers. I project that only 1 out of 5 readers has the determination to read every new entry on this travelogue (and this is a hopeful estimate), and this is alright. This is how the travelogue is meant to be read. It is not a book.
Blogs are not books, and should not be read as such.
It is my impression that all travel blog and magazine writers want real readers.
I want real readers. I want people to jump onto my travelogue with gusto and read every stinking word that I have ever written. I want people to read all of the new entries and then go through the right hand side bar archives month by month until they have read my travelogue as if it were a book.
I suspect that some odd individuals have actually done this before (and a few have even emailed me speaking of this great feat of endurance), and a travel blogger can be paid no higher compliment.
But I cannot expect everyone to do this. Travelogue reading should be leisurely. I do not expect people to read every word. I try to format the entries so that they can be easily skimmed. I try to reduce long paragraphs as much grammar will allow, and I sometimes bold the important details. I want readers to sit back and read my travelogue with their morning coffee or in those precious moments of time right before they begin working.
I would love it if I could write something every day that people could read, ponder for a while, and then maybe come back with a comment about what they think. If someone starts a real life conversation that was sparked from something that I have written on this travelogue then I accomplished the goal of the writer.
Travel blogs are not books: they are meant to be browsed, not read word for word.
For a month and a half I published this travelogue on my own platform. I had no RSS feeds, and kept it as simple as it could possibly be. I did this because I wanted readers who would really read, and not just bounce on and off the pages on sporadic whims.
I figured that if I am going to put as much time as I do into writing this travelogue, then readers can take the time to actually come onto the page.
I know now that this notion was folly. I realize now that I was not living my own time and was not singing my own song.
My time is one of RSS feeds and quick content processing. There is an overload of media in this world, and every publisher is vying for attention. This is a game of holding the attention of the attention defunct.
I tried to opt out of this game, and just put up pages without a blogging system.
“If someone wants to read, then they will come to the page the old fashion way,” I told myself with a slight amount of self-righteousness.
I do not use RSS feed readers. If I want to read a blog, I will type in the address and wait for the page to load. But I know that I am not like most people.
“Live your own time, sing your own songs.”
RSS feeds are my time, fly by night readers are my time, writing thousands of words to have them skim through in a moment is my time. So I returned to the blogging platform and am trying to make the most of it.
I have also began making use of sites like Twitter and Facebook, though they do take a good amount of time that could otherwise be put into publishing content.
Blogs are their own medium and should be constructed and read as blogs. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a travel blogger. I have learned this now. If I want readers to read this travelogue like a book, then I should put my time into writing books. Maybe someday I will, but for now I enjoy the two way interaction and daily gratification of publishing a travelogue.
I am living my own time.
Embrace or Reject Technology for Blog