I’ve entered a new dimension:
“It is a dimension as vast as space and timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge…”
The quote is from Rod Serling, and comes from the opening narration from the first season, in 1959, of the cult television series The Twilight Zone. Fifty-one years after that program’s debut, those words pretty much sum up my feelings about starting a website/travel blog.
It’s not so much the blogging that concerns me. I’m sure I can babble incoherently and put thoughts to screen. And someone might actually read it. What really scares the hell out of me is the technical side: I’m about as computer illiterate as they come. Oh sure, like most of us, I can email, surf the web and all that. But when it comes to designing a website, I really am out of my element, feeling like I’m in a real Twilight Zone, caught in a “…fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man.” At least, beyond that which is known to this man. I face a steep learning curve just getting the “look” of this site the way I want it, as well as posting pictures and video. I just ordered WordPress for Dummies from Amazon, so I’m hoping that will be a start (WordPress is the name of the blogging software/template I’m using).
I recently attended a travel writer’s seminar, sponsored by the American Society of Travel Writers. Speaker after speaker emphasized the importance of using social media (like Twitter and Facebook), having a website, and “branding” yourself. In addition to meeting some great people, it really inspired me to jump on the bandwagon. I am now on Twitter — @travelingringo — although I haven’t really started using it yet; another learning curve to conquer. I’ve started this website — www.travelingringo.com — which I will use to blog as well as post photos and videos of my motorcycle trips, and I will continue to write the magazine articles that I’ve done over the last seven years or so. And I’ve started a Facebook fan page: “The Travelin’ Gringo: tales from the road” which I will try to make interesting also. And of course I’ve come up with my “brand:” “The Travelin’ Gringo.” I’m not sure why; it just seems to fit. Of course, I will continue my other freelance job as a news videographer, working primarily for ABC News, as well as CBS, CNN and others from time to time. That’s what pays the bills; I’ve got nearly 30 years in as a newsie, and it’s usually a lot of fun and interesting too. But with the start of warmer weather (at least here in Orlando where I live), I have begun thinking about where the year’s motorcycle trips may lead me, working on story pitches for magazine editors, and planning how I can integrate travel writing/photography/videography and blogging into an interesting product. I’m open to any and all feedback, ideas and suggestions.
So thanks for joining me on this strange journey.
“That’s the signpost up ahead — your next stop — The Twilight Zone!”