Yesterday afternoon I posted the video I produced, directed, wrote, edited, shot b-roll for, and hosted for MapQuest about Disney Cruise Line’s Halloween on the High Seas celebration. Within 18 hours, it had more than 50,000 views.
Tag Archives | Travel writing
Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island is on a path to destroy the town of Pahoa, home to 950 people. I visited the volcano in 2011 with Photo Safari Hawaii, on assignment for Air Canada’s enRoute. My article explores what it’s like to take a photo lesson on an active volcano. The videos show a little slice of life there—especially the last one, which is of a local resident explaining life on the volcano. At the end of the post is a gallery of photos from my lesson.
Remember when I asked for questions about taking a Disney Cruise? Well, I got some. And I answered them, as you do. My article was just published on MapQuest:
Pappy Van Winkle comes out soon, but my interview with Julian Van Winkle III for MapQuest is probably the closest you’ll get to it. So read the interview.
A belated but heartfelt thank you to Andi Fisher at Misadventures with Andi for featuring me as her Tuesday Traveler a few weeks back:
Last week my family and I went on the Disney Dream for a three-day cruise of the Bahamas. While I was there to research Disney Cruise Line’s Halloween and holiday activities for MapQuest videos, a bunch of friends asked me via social media more generic questions about going on a Disney Cruise. So I’m going to answer them in a Q&A article for MapQuest too.
Have any Disney Cruise questions for me? Add them to the comments or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Remember that article I started live-writing in front of an audience? Last week MapQuest published it:
Thanks to Mike Yessis at MapQuest for editing it, Molly Kravitz at Connelly Partners for helping arrange my stay, my wife for accompanying me on the trip, and—of course—my folks for watching the kids.
It was a fun piece to research, write, and produce. The writing took me a bit longer than usual, in part, I think, because of the live-write. Writing in front of an audience compelled me to take a different approach than I usually do, trying to make the text readable before it was really ready for other sets of eyes. I’ll probably try the live-write stunt again, but more likely for a shorter piece.
My answer (you’ll have to go to the last page of the article to read it): Mount Rushmore. I visited when I was 14 and driving cross-country with my family. Afterwards, I expressed my disappointment to my parents, who weren’t pleased to hear it and, if I remember correctly (I don’t always), made me write a journal entry on why I shouldn’t complain about the wonderful trip I was on.
Journal entry or not, 24 years later, I’m still hating on Mount Rushmore.
Thanks to everyone who watched me start writing my article yesterday for MapQuest about my recent visit to Boston. Overall, I found the experience positive. As for viewers, well, you were promised a video live stream of a guy writing an article and real-time access to the Google document. So hopefully your expectations were low but exceeded.
A few thoughts:
- At first, having an audience influenced my writing, making me feel like I needed to have a readable narrative upfront. As time passed, peer pressure became less of an issue.
- I usually take more breaks than I did today. And spend more time on social media, checking RSS feeds, etc. So thanks for keeping me on track.
- I felt exhausted afterwards, but that might have been because I skipped my morning snack so as to spare viewers the sight of me eating oatmeal.
- I’m probably going to do it again (call it Zach Write Live, or something).
Did you watch? If so, please let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!
“The New York Times” recently launched Times Insider, which “takes readers behind the scenes of the New York Times newsroom to show how its journalists around the globe work and how decisions are made.”
Seeing how the “Times” is this blog’s chief competitor, I’m going to try to one up it.
Today, I’m working on the first draft of an article about my recent visit to Boston (I was born there and grew up 15 miles north of the city, but haven’t had much opportunity to explore the city since). It’s part of MapQuest’s 99 Summer Travel Quests series. While traveling around Boston, I shared the experience in real-time via Tweets, Instagram posts, and Facebook updates. And now I’m letting anyone watch me write the article. Seriously:
- Access the document via Google Drive
- Watch me type, drink, and maybe scratch my ear and other parts of my anatomy live on Ustream (also embedded at the top of this post)
- Listen to the music on Spotify that I’m using to block out other sounds in the office
Those links will be live from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT today. A couple caveats:
- If I’m not there, assume I’m in the restroom and/or getting a snack, and will be back shortly.
- You might see big blocks of text pasted into the document. I’m not cheating. Those are notes and I’m copying them from iA Writer, the app I typically use for writing an article.