When we were preparing our trip, we agreed we needed a blog. The basic idea was to have an easy-to-use platform to give regular news to our friends and families. Telling our adventures and sharing our photos. Between the idea and the realisation, there was a lot of struggle. We were living in a van without internet. We spent plenty of evenings in Chamonix’s various bars working on it. We started by buying the domain name www.smallworldonabike.com without really knowing what we were doing. Our total incompetence led us to a forced abandonment of the .com and we started all over again on www.smallworldonabike.fr. In short, after a month of trouble, our page, although a little wobbly and rough around the edges, was online. A year and a half later, the way we use the blog on the road has, like us, evolved.
Two languages, twice the work
Together, we speak a mixture of Franglais and Englench and we understand each other. For the blog, we decided to avoid discriminating anyone and to have everything in both proper English and proper French. Whether the original is written in English by Adam or in French by Noémie, the translation still takes a long time. We re-read each other, discuss and argue! Google translate is a great help.. It’s been a year we’ve used it to flesh out a rough skeleton. This bare bones then gets corrected and reformulated until it’s (almost) perfect. The last step is the layout of pictures-titles which of course has to be done twice.
Beautiful pictures are better with words
Sharing photos on the blog via a gallery is very pretty. Of course, it’s made for it. On the other hand, as soon as we want to write captions (in two languages), it becomes impossible. After several nervous crises, we decided to publish our photos en masse via our facebook page. It doesn’t look as good but it’s much more functional. We can now prepare the comments offline and everything is automatically integrated in order when we upload it. A real time saver.
Solutions for giving regular news
Our laziness means we don’t write as often as we would like to. Several articles have been in the pipeline for a while (The worst day, Police encounters, Why and how we crossed 3 times the Mangistau desert, Pamir Highway) and several videos. To compensate this lack of regular news, we firstly put a lot of effort in updating our interactive map (Where are we?) at each new camp. The problem is that sometimes we stay in the same place for several weeks or months, especially to climb like at this moment. That’s when Mr. Instagram entered our lives. Easy to use, we can now share photos quickly alongside a few sentences. For those who don’t have Instagram, no problem. We found a “widget” (a magical internet thing) that shares the fresh news on the blog (News in photos). Problem solved!
We are far from being pro bloggers and we still have a lot to learn. A few weeks ago, when sorting photos, we realised we had a few good shots. We then wondered how to highlight them. After a lot of research and tries, we found a different theme (basically a layout). Our blog has a new fancy look with a background photo that changes each time you change pages. Now let’s get motivated to write quality content for a quality setting!