Alternatives To Blogging For Sharing & Connecting On The Road
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and hopefully all of you are happily digesting both the food and love from yesterday. For those curious we deep-fried our turkey (Paul’s dad carries a fryer in his RV), and Paul is currently in process of making his own recipe of Spanish/Cuban-style Croquettas from the left-overs. Yes, I’m a lucky woman.
For today’s post, I thought I’d continue with some additional (inspired) thoughts I had from my darker side of blogging post. More specifically I wanted to touch on ideas other than blogging.
You see many folks that go on the road want to be able to have a record of what they’ve seen and/or stay in touch with friends and/or meet people. The “obvious” answer of “just start a blog” may really not be right for everyone. For some it’s a fascinating challenge, but for others it’s a daunting prospect especially if you feel you aren’t the writing type or just don’t want to have that kind of work or online presence. So, what’s an intrepid traveler to do?
Thankfully there are several other avenues for both telling your story and connecting with others, many of which are FAR less work than blogging. Here’s some ideas:
This is not a “new” medium by any means, but for many of us it’s one of the very easiest ways to stay connected to friends and family on the road.
On Facebook it’s effortless to post a comment about something you experienced or upload a few pics and you can do it from every platform (phone, tablet, computer etc.) you own. Friends will know where you are, and can interact with you through the comments. If you don’t want your personal and travel page to be the same, you can set-up a separate page for your travel stories and if you don’t want that page to be public you can simply change the settings to whatever level of privacy you’d like.
The biggest negative to this medium? Facebook has the terrible habit of bringing to the top of your page whatever was commented on last. So, it’s easy to lose the chronological order of things and if someone comments on something you wrote 8 months ago, well then it’s suddenly at the top of your page again. For looking back at your travels (after you’re done) it’s not a great medium. Also you don’t really “own” how your stuff is presented on Facebook. It’s part of their social media platform and you’re constantly at the mercy of what Facebook decides to do (which posts they promote on friends feeds, how they arrange things etc.). This can get frustrating.
On the positive side, in addition to presenting your own travels there are tons of Facebook RV groups (all kinds) which are very social and interactive, so if you’re looking for community this is a super easy place to find it. Many of the RV Facebook groups offer meet-ups and convergences too, so if you want to go to the big show in Quartzsite in January, say and you don’t want to go on your own, you can easily find a like-minded group to join up with. We’ve never had a “Wheelingit” Facebook page, but I keep a personal page (close friends only) and I’m a member of 3 different RV Facebook groups.
I didn’t discover this medium until last year, but I’ve come to looooooove Instagram (IG). Just post a pic and write a line or two and you’re done! If you want to write a story or even a whole blog post underneath the pic you can do that too, but it’s completely up to you. Just shoot, upload, enjoy. If you like photography it’s a drool-worthy outlet, plus Instagram keeps your pics in chronological order so you can always go back and relive the moments from the app. And if you add location to your pics (as you’re doing them) you’ll have them all in map-form too!
The main negative of IG? It’s phone (or pad) only, so you have to manage everything via the IG App thro’ those mediums. If you like doing all your stuff on your phone it’s a snap, but if (like me) you don’t like taking pics with your phone and/or you process on your computer that means you have to get your pics from your camera (or computer) to your phone before you can upload them. It’s not a huge barrier, but it does add an extra step to the process.
This big positive of that this medium is that it’s sooooo easy to use that many of the younger RVers I know use it exclusively for their travels. In fact we’ve connected to a whole sub-group of RVers through IG that we would never had otherwise met. Most of the van-folk and airstream-folk I know are on there as well as the younger solos and traveling families. Almost none of these folks read blogs, but ALL of them are on IG.
If you’re new to the road and really don’t want the work of a blog, but you like photos and want a super-easy (and very social) way to present your travels I really, really recommend IG. Both Paul and I have our own accounts there (wheelingit_paul and wheelingit_nina) so feel free to connect with us if you sign-up.
Maybe you hate writing, but you love filming? If so there’s a whole sub-culture on YouTube that may fit your interests. There’s folks who do Vlogs (video logs) of their travels, folks who create RV repair or tech videos, folks who tell stories and they run the gamut from amateur to professional-style. I’ve used YouTube many times for looking up tech repairs (loooove RV Geeks) and following friends (like Gone With The Wynns and Technomadia), but we’ve never really done much ourselves there.
The advantages of YouTube are that it’s a huge medium (waaaay more potential for subscribers), Google Ads pay waaaay better on video (if that’s of interest to you) and you do keep a chronological order of everything you’ve done. Plus video is king in our modern world and if you want to be part of the biggest growth medium (social-media wise) there is no doubt that THIS is the medium to be in.
The big negatives are that video can be a TON of work (especially if you want to present something polished) and it can gobble up a lot of data (always a potential issue for nomads on data-limited plans). Plus it’s open to the world and it can come with all the downsides of internet trolls (which seem to be even worse on video). You do put yourself “out there” more on video IMHO.
For folks who aren’t interested in blogging, or vlogging, or IGing or any of that stuff but just want a map of where they’ve stayed and to connect with other RVers on the road, I think RVillage is one of the nicest mediums out there.
Once you’ve created an account just “check in” whenever you arrive anywhere new (for boondockers you can “check in” to a town and not give away your exact location if you don’t want to) and you can immediately see who else is in your RV park or area. Then if you want to connect, just send them a message. Since the whole thing is map-based you can even look ahead on your route and connect to people at your next spot before you even arrive.
RVillage keeps a map of everywhere you’ve checked in so you have a kind of travel map (“my places”) of where you’ve been and also offers a bunch of groups where you can connect with like-minded people too. The big negatives is that it doesn’t really provide a means to present your travel story (there is a blog feature on there, but I haven’t found it interesting) and there’s no chronological history on your “my places” map. So, for keeping a memory of your travels it’s really not the best medium. But if you just want to be social and connect with folks without any of the “media” effort, there is no place easier.
There are lots of other platforms out there for sharing and connecting including RV Forums, semi-blogging platforms like Trip Journal, RV travel groups and plain ‘ol e-mail updates, but the above are my absolute favorites. The bottom line is that you don’t HAVE to blog to share your travels and/or be social on the road. And if you just want to “lurk” and follow others that’s perfectly fine too. In our connected world, there’s something for everyone.
Do you have any favorite mediums that I missed? Feel free to share and comment below.SPONSORED LINK:
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this blog post may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. WheelingIt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.