Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 5 July 2014 • Blog
Travel blogging has become a world on its own. At least that’s what we feel being travel bloggers for half a decade now. There are always more things to do to boost our blog and to reach more readers – 24 hours a day is hardly enough. But it’s also been a lot of fun! So when a few travel bloggers sprang up on a Twitter conversation that led to an idea of starting a workshop, we followed up.
The idea was simple. Each of us wanted to learn something from each other. So we thought we would share what we knew. But why stop there? Why not share it also with travel bloggers out there? It would be a shame to just share so much to so little people. So we open up the session to a few more bloggers. Voila! Along with other Indonesian travel bloggers Arif, Wira, Firsta, and a trip organizer ibupenyu, we created a travel blogging workshop called #TravelNBlog. Because everything has to have a hashtag.
With only 10 days of preparation, support came from friends and acquaintances, without whom we couldn’t possibly make the workshop happen. Achmad Alkatiri from Wego got us a “classroom” in their office. Panorama and Get Lost magazines helped with publication and goodie bags. More goodie bags items and quiz prizes were provided by TravelingID, The Nature Conservancy, and book publishing Gagas Media and Bukune. Last but definitely not least, we thank Kemenparekraf for the great support.
Arif as the first speaker talked about Crafting Your Story. How to start and end your story, how to incorporate all the senses in your travel into your story. What sells, what doesn’t. How to integrate dialogues in your storyline, and so on.
Wira came next. He shared his knowledge on Taking Awesome Pictures without the “auto awesome” feature. What is golden light and when to catch it. How to work your frames, how to take pictures of humans without being offensive, and how a fancy camera is not always what you need to take great pictures.
Next up, Mumun and me. As one of the few Indonesian travel bloggers who blog about Indonesia in English, we share about the challenges in doing so. What the international readers are interested in. What kind of writing do they enjoy? What social media do the Europeans, Americans, Australian, even Malaysians use most? And what about grammar and spelling? As English is not our first language (though Mumun dreams in English), we too need to learn them. Is it ‘who/whom’, ‘which/that’, whether to put an e behind a potato or not. (I suddenly remembered Dan Quayle’s potatoe tragedy when preparing the presentation.)
Firsta closed with Basic SEO topic. It’s like talking in another language! But it’s one of the most important things any blogger should know if they want their stories to be read widely. How to choose keywords, what is a backlink, why choose a paid-domain, how can G+ support your blog, and so on.
To me personally, it has been a great experience to work with great and fun people. The brief preparation (and the live broadcast soccer game just the night before) resulted in panda eyes and Firsta had to finish her presentation slides just before the workshop started. But nonetheless, we’re uber happy to have shared what we know with others and also learn a lot from the other travel bloggers.
Afterwards, participants went home with ‘homework’ to blog about traveling in Indonesia. The posts were to be published in a week. Then a week later, which is today, we are announcing the winners of 3 grand prizes shown below.
16 of 25 participants submitted the posts. Only 13 of them met the requirements (submitting a new post on-time). We hope this doesn’t mean that the others back down on travel blogging and just hit a writer’s block.
Winner #3. Prize: Lonely Planet’s guide book to Travel Writing. Goes to:
Winner #2. Prize: 30L Nature drybag. Goes to:
Winner #1. Prize: 30L Deuter backpack. Goes to:
Congrats, Titi, Yuki and Olive! And to those who didn’t win, you’ve all been great participants. We hope that you keep blogging about your travels and help Indonesian tourism for both domestic and international visitors. Because if not us, who else will do it?
So then, what’s next? Is there going to be the next #TravelNBlog workshop? Well, we’ve received some requests to do it in and out of Jakarta. We’re absolutely psyched about the idea and looking into ways on how to make that happen. Any ideas, guys?
‘Til then, HAPPY BLOGGING!
*Most photos are courtesy of Arif.
Read also about this #TravelNBlog workshop here:
Firsta’s blog: Travel & Blog: Blogging Is So Much Fun!
Wira’s blog (in Indonesian): Dari Workshop #TravelNblog
Arif’s blog: the post is in progress.