A long time ago, I asked a travel blogger for advice about this site.
After some very helpful guidance, I sensed the electronic equivalent of throat-clearing. Then she wrote:
“You really need a new design STAT!”
Good thing the rest of the world doesn’t run on my idea of “STAT.” It only took me a year and a handful of months, but…
TA DA! A brand new WanderingNotLost!
After a lot of rummaging around on other people’s blogs, I know what features I like and what I use. And here it is, all in one tidy package.
So let’s take a little tour, shall we?:
- The “search” feature. If you look for a term like, oh, say, Skerwink, you should be able find all the posts that mention them. (Go ahead. Try it out.) I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m always looking for stuff I can’t fine on my own blog. (I know it’s in here somewhere…) Now, between the tags and categories (at the bottom of the page) and this search feature, I sure hope you (and I) can find that post on the Skerwink Trail. Or on Harry. Or on Slab City.
- The “Destinations” tab. Since many of my posts (months-worth of them) blather on about a relatively few destinations, I decided to organize them so that if you were interested in New York City or the American West, all those posts would be in one place (sort of). The icons in the right-hand column are similarly organized, with the addition of a “Best of” icon. These are my favs–the unloved posts, the ones that (I think) deserve another look.
- The social media icons. The easiest way to stay up-to-date with the blog, of course, is to subscribe by email (the @ icon). I only post about once a week, so you won’t be annoyed with a bunch of email, but you will receive every juicy morsel of WNL goodness. (If you’re already receiving email notifications, no need to sign up again.)
The Facebook icon now links to my actual wanderingnotlost.org page on Facebook and not to my personal page. I have an embarrassingly few number of “likes” and “friends” on this page, which makes me feel like I’m the same knock-kneed, geeky girl I was back in high school. You can help repair that psychological damage by liking and friending (No pressure. I’m so over high school. Really.) Photo albums from my trips are also on this page.
I also post to Google+ (my personal favorite) and Twitter, and Facebook, so by following me on any of these social media sites (click on the icon), you’ll receive all my succinct social commentary and dryly ironic bon mots. Just like my mother and my 15 other followers.
At some future time (recall my definition of STAT), I plan to write a series of guides geared toward the solo traveler for stuff like choosing an RV, essential gear, boondocking and anything else I can think of.
* * *
I posted my first blog on this site in October 2010. At the time, my approach was post it and they will come. Now I have a more realistic (jaundiced?) view of how much social media ballyhoo is necessary to become a rock star (or even a blip in the blogosphere.) Since I was that girl in high school, maybe you’ll understand why there ain’t much social media chit-chat coming from this quarter.
What has happened in the past three years of travel and blogging is that I’ve virtually “met” a bunch of really cool, likeminded people. I’ve also reconnected with some old friends.
I’ve discovered that, despite the sometimes burdensome discipline involved, this site has become like a friendly ear and a repository for some of the crazy, amazing, unexpected, and beautiful things I’ve experienced on the road. Often, it’s the only record I have.
So I hope the site is easier to use, more engaging, and easier on the eye. Let me know what you think or if anything isn’t working. I have a very capable tech guy–recommended by those travel bloggers I mentioned–who can fix things up for me. If you need a blog guy, contact Chris.
But mostly, come along with me. I may be wandering solo, but it’s really nice to share the adventure.