One of the first things that you are told when you start a blog is that you need to create a standard blogging schedule. This is true for a couple of reasons. First it allows people to know when to expect to see content from you, but it also provides you with a schedule to follow to help keep you consistent. It is hard enough following the schedule during normal weeks when work and life provide constant interruptions, but when traveling it is even harder, if not impossible at times. The question we often face during our trip is whether we worry about getting posts out or if we should just go quiet for a few days and deal with it when we get back.
There is, of course, a simple answer to this particular dilemma, but it isn’t as easy for us as it might sound. The best solution would be to create posts in advance of our travel plans and then schedule them to publish while we are gone. To do so would double the amount of posts that we need to create in a week. We barely have time to get the posts out that we are already creating, let alone write a bunch of extra ones so that they can be used later. Prior to almost every trip, we make this commitment to get some articles created and ready to go. And every single time we have failed to do so.
The second option, which we do most often, is to be sure that we have what we need to transfer photos and write a quick article with us during our trip. This allows us to take a few minutes at the end of the day to do a quick “here is where we are” post with very little information and a few photographs just to let everyone know what we’re doing and why we aren’t providing more content. The concern is that we don’t whether people appreciate this quick updates or would rather wait to hear about the place where we’re traveling in more detail. Do you find these kind of posts interesting or do you think it would be better if we just waited for our return?
We have had our site for a little over three years at this point and during that time we have obviously traveled as much as possible and shared stories from everyplace that we’ve visited. There are times when we’ve looked back at our early days of blogging and thought to ourselves that we could or should have told that particular story differently. Or we’ve looked at a post from our early days and thought to ourselves that we weren’t engaged with as many people back then and should we re-share that experience with a new audience. Sure, we could simply re-blog the old post, but that doesn’t seem the same as taking a new slant on an older post.
We have, at times, realized that there were specific things that we missed about a place that we previously wrote about and then shared that information, but not gone back and looked at our original post from a place and considered doing a fresh take on it. We have, over the years, posted over 700 posts on our site, so the likelihood of people stumbling over old posts is relatively low, but at the same time, we don’t want to have a bunch of redundant material on our site. We do see some older posts being found through search engines, but there are some that just never get viewed after their original posting.
Obviously we strive to always create new and interesting content for our site and want it always to feel informative and fresh. With that said, we don’t travel to new places every week, so we do have to find ways to create new information about places that we have already visited. We usually do that by going into greater detail about a specific site within a city that perhaps we only touched on briefly in our original post or creating a summary of information where we have broken up the information in multiple posts.
We have mixed feelings on the thought of recycling old material in a new way. And if we do ultimately decide to create a new post on something we’ve previously talked about, should we delete the old post? Whatever we decide, ultimately we want to make sure that we do it in a way that is stimulating and interesting and doesn’t feel like a repeat.
In this digital age, we actually still are fans of owning physical books that we can open and read. Throughout history, the sharing of stories by writing them down has been an important part of preserving knowledge about the cultures that they represent. To some extent, everyone who has a web site and shares their stories is continuing in this same tradition, but obviously on a grander scale in this world where we are all connected electronically. One of the things that we find fascinating is when we come across an ancient text during our travels. Whether it is the Book of Kells in Ireland, papyrus hieroglyphs in Cairo, or just an ancient bible in a church, seeing the care given to these books and manuscripts is an important reminder of how much respect needs to be given to what has been written by our ancestors.