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Documenting a tour, best platform?

Old 03-15-22, 01:40 PM
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HendersonD
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Documenting a tour, best platform?

On May 5th I start my Transameric bike tour from Yorktown, VA to Astoria, OR. I want to document this trip and let others share and comment. What is a good platform/site to do so? I will be uploading photos, entering some text, and at times uploading videos. I want others to be able to comment. I am not a Facebook user so that is out. What are some other choices?
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Old 03-15-22, 02:00 PM
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Old 03-15-22, 03:15 PM
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I second Crazy Guy. We have 10 years of journals on it. Neil is great. BTW consider a donation to the site!
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Old 03-15-22, 03:38 PM
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Crazy Guy is the oldest and most authoratative bike touring website.
I've posted there for 20 years.
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/

A more recent site is Cycle Blaze - different optics, perhaps newer.
You may prefer one or the other.
https://www.cycleblaze.com/
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Old 03-15-22, 03:59 PM
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Would anyone recommend something general like Google sites, Wix, or Wordpress?
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Old 03-15-22, 04:09 PM
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Those of us who have had run-ins with the proprietor of crazyguy are likely to recommend some other site. I moved my account to wordpress; cycleblaze or blogspot would work as well.

Two comments. First, a good blog/journal is a fair bit of work. Please don't just dump unlabeled pictures out there -- add captions to the pictures, and some description of your experiences to glue them together! Second, cgoab or cycleblaze may find you some readers who don't know you, but it's important to let the people who are likely to follow your trip, friends and family, know where to find your account.

And one warning. Do not express any opinions on the cgoab forum contrary to those of the proprietor. It's not really run to encourage conversations; rather, it's an echo chamber for one highly opinionated person.
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Old 03-15-22, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Would anyone recommend something general like Google sites, Wix, or Wordpress?
WordPress is probably the easiest way to get something going in the blogging form. Wix is more suited for a static site.

Really depends on what you are trying to do. #1 for interaction would be Instagram for a younger crowd. Tiktok is all the rage if you want to upload short form videos. WordPress is probably an interesting platform for a journal form, but obviously not as easy to share (and get comments). CGOAB is popular among experienced tourers, but is a niche platform. If you travel with a drone, a YouTube channel would make lots of sense....

Do you want to monetize ?
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Old 03-15-22, 05:00 PM
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I have created journals in a variety of formats:

1. I used Crazy Guy on a Bike for a few journals. Two nice things about CGOAB (a) is there is a certain structure template that you can use with separate pages, easy to add photos and keep track of overall mileage, etc. (b) There are a lot of journals there, so other people may also find your journals because they go to the site. CGOAB doesn't directly allow the site to be indexed so you might not be found as easily with a random google search but is is well known enough for people to know to look there.

2. I created my own Wordpress sites for my longest trips. I am better able to customize things exactly the way I want things and work with a rich array of generic plugins (not necessarily bike trip related) to connect with other software. It has required more care & feeding on my part - but a lot of this was a labor of love. Prior to Wordpress, I also created my own web sites more directly.

3. What I haven't done, but others have done is use a social media platform including Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to post updates and receive comments. This can work particularly if some of your audience already uses those platforms (alternately there can be some integrations from Wordpress to some of these platforms).

I think it depends some on how much work you want to put into it - and also what communications you want with others. To give some examples (though slightly dated by now); in 2013 I took a bike ride across Africa and kept my own Wordpress blog - A bicycle ride across Africa | with Tour D'Afrique 2013 I was on a group ride and about half the participants started with some form of blog. I indexed all I found under "tda2013" on the right column header. Most started out with intentions of keeping a blog up to date but I was one of just a few that kept regular updates during the trip where others followed. In many of those cases it might have been less work and easier if they had uploaded photos/videos to Instagram and allowed basic comments instead of trying to keep a more formal blog.
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Old 03-15-22, 05:03 PM
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Old 03-15-22, 05:43 PM
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When I am planning a bike tour, I do some searches on Crazy Guy and look at some of the past trip logs for that area for ideas, recommendations and suggestions, etc. I do not search anywhere else for bike touring trip logs.
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Old 03-15-22, 05:47 PM
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Old 03-15-22, 07:27 PM
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I will whatever number we are on for Crazy Guy on A Bike. I should visit their more often but it is always full of cool and inspiring stories and just is a good solid website for touring stuff. I remember reading a bunch of stories before one of my last major tours and it certainly was a great help.

Yeah you could create a Wordpress or OnlyFans but CGOAB is the place for that stuff. Plus the all mighty NeilGunton posted to let folks know he is never gonna give you up or let you down or run around and desert you...LOL!
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Old 03-16-22, 05:31 AM
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I have no desire to make money. I will certainly not be bringing a drone with me. Ever few days I just want to upload a few captioned photos, write some text about my experience, and read comments that family and friends have written.
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Old 03-16-22, 05:33 AM
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Thanks for the heads up. What the opinions on the cgoab forum will likely bring on wrath? Far right? Far left? Political? Religious? Bike related?
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Old 03-16-22, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Thanks for the heads up. What the opinions on the cgoab forum will likely bring on wrath? Far right? Far left? Political? Religious? Bike related?
I suspect that only a very tiny percentage of CGOAB users post on the forums. If you post on the forums and discuss only bicycle touring related subjects, you won't have any problems with anyone. There are thousands of sites where you can discuss everything else.
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Old 03-16-22, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Ever few days I just want to upload a few captioned photos, write some text about my experience, and read comments that family and friends have written.
I'd go with Instagram. Lots of suggestions for CGOAB in this thread but I don't see how it'd fit with your goals - CGOAB is (from my perspective) a collection of journals, useful to those who research a destination, and a decent platform if you want to document your trip, but not at all meant to follow the progress of a friend or a loved one. Social media platforms are the proper tool for this (subscribe, comment, share, etc.)
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Old 03-16-22, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
I'd go with Instagram. Lots of suggestions for CGOAB in this thread but I don't see how it'd fit with your goals - CGOAB is (from my perspective) a collection of journals, useful to those who research a destination, and a decent platform if you want to document your trip, but not at all meant to follow the progress of a friend or a loved one. Social media platforms are the proper tool for this (subscribe, comment, share, etc.)
Yeah, cgoab is well targeted to a touring audience and creating a permanent record of the trip. I would say less so for keeping family and friends posted on your trip, not that it doesn't work for that too, but other tools are may be more specifically suited to that.

I am an old timer who has not experienced instagram. So no comment there.

Personally If I just wanted to keep friends and family up to date on my whereabouts and share some pictures and comments I'd consider Facebook. I might do so even if I hadn't used it in the past and didn't intend to in the future for anything else. It might be a non starter if your family is resistant to using it though. Wordpress might also be a good fit. You really need to look at the options and decide which fits your style and desired audience.
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Old 03-16-22, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I'd consider Facebook..
Would have been my first choice as well, but the OP explicitly excludes that option.
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Old 03-16-22, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Would have been my first choice as well, but the OP explicitly excludes that option.
Yeah, his reason was that he didn't use FB so I figured I float the possibility any way since it could be used on;y for this purpose only and then dropped again.
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Old 03-16-22, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Plus the all mighty NeilGunton posted to let folks know he is never gonna give you up or let you down or run around and desert you...LOL!
Watch it, pal! Rickrolling is grounds for permanent banning!
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Old 03-16-22, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
I have no desire to make money. I will certainly not be bringing a drone with me. Ever few days I just want to upload a few captioned photos, write some text about my experience, and read comments that family and friends have written.
There are 4 of us who fairly regularly do a one week tour together. One of the four likes to send a group email every evening with his thoughts on the day's ride with some captioned photos taken by any of us. The rest of us provide him with any email addresses we would like included. Some recipients reply to all, some only to the sender. I save all that I get and after the tour is over put together a photo book, including the emails and selected responses, using Mimeo which each of the 4 of us gets a copy for about $45 each. Has served us well enough.

I use CGOAB for research. I don't think I have the required dedication to do my own journal there and have some reservations regarding privacy - my own and others, which I suspect I could resolve if I thought I could actually produce anything worth sharing publicly.
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Old 03-16-22, 08:49 AM
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Here is an example of using Instagram to document a bike trip: https://www.instagram.com/mitspokes/

There seems to be a different group of MIT undergraduates that each year make a bike ride across the USA. However, the mitspokes instagram account gets used by different groups in successive years. They also have a basic wix web page (https://www.mitspokes.com/); but the updates come via basic posts to Facebook or Instagram. These posts can be as simple as a photo with a one-line caption or a little more involved. People who want to comment, need to use the appropriate platform (Instagram, Facebook) and depending on permissions may also need to use that platform to see posts. However, these social media platforms are often used for that purpose.

Based on your description:
Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Ever few days I just want to upload a few captioned photos, write some text about my experience, and read comments that family and friends have written.
I think instagram (or Facebook) is something to consider.

You can get there with other platforms like CGOAB or Wordpress - but those probably work better if you want to put in some additional care and feeding and then end up with a more thorough documentation of the trip.

I crossed paths with the 2018 group of mitspokes riders in Hoxie Kansas. I was heading northbound and they were heading westbound. You can compare/contrast the instagram account above with what I used CGOAB to document for that day - https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...&src=page_prev
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Old 03-16-22, 09:24 AM
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The beauty of a site like CGOAB or CycleBlaze is that any day of the trip can be quickly referenced in the future if that is the way it was posted originally. Several times here on BF I've linked back to specific days of our 2009 TransAm tour posted at CGOAB. A member kept an excellent journal with photos organized by the day.

Facebook? On an active page all posts will quickly disappear off the bottom into oblivion. Want to return to day 50 of a 93 day tour? Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll ........!

Instagram? I couldn't view mev's example above without joining.
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Old 03-16-22, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Facebook? On an active page all posts will quickly disappear off the bottom into oblivion. Want to return to day 50 of a 93 day tour? Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll ........!
Actually, if you are looking it with "posts" selected there is something at the top of the list called "filters". You can filter by year, month, day, or a number of other things. It makes things much easier. Maybe not as easy as cgoab, but not so bad. I fairly recently discovered that I didn't need to scroll scroll scroll. It was pretty liberating.
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Old 03-16-22, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Instagram? I couldn't view mev's example above without joining.
I had just joined to explore that possibility. I looked at his example. It was nice in it's own way, but not my cup of tea. Too image centric for my tastes. It looked like they got text in there only by using images of text. Is that actually the case? I can see a use for a platform like that, but it isn't how I'd choose to document my trips to stay in touch with the folks at home or to document the trip.

If the goal was just to highlight my pictures it would be great and indeed I can see wanting to do that.
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