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It’s Geek Takeover Week And I’m Posting Whatever I Want

geek takeover week foxnomad

Welcome People of Earth and beings of everywhere else. It is I, Anil Polat, the guy who writes this blog. I also make YouTube videos where I sometimes give away money so you should subscribe. See, this is Geek Takeover Week, an annual tradition on this site. August is when many of you are traveling and I am preparing for the busy tech season of the fall.

Things slow down. Posts are far and few between. But this week, in the middle of every August, is when we go a bit wild and geeky. Still confused? Search for Geek Takeover Week and you’ll see the weirdness myself and guests have come up with. For 2022, I have some fun ones lined up. Stay tuned Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday but for now, enjoy the Season 3 finale of the foXnoMad Podcast.

We’ll return to our regularly schedule travel and tech posts when the site return from hiatus in September for new horizons to explore.

Is Travel Blogging Dead?

r.i.p.

In evolution, there’s no one specific moment in time where you can point to and say, this species split into two different paths. We of course do that in history books but the truth is there’s a big grey area where things overlap. The same is often true of online platforms and trends, travel blogging being a good example.

Travel blogging has been changing but now has changed so much, we can say it’s in a new era. So, travel blogging isn’t dead but not what it once was. Here’s what you need to know about travel blogging if you’re thinking of starting your own or not sure to do with the one you have on life support.

This Was The Plan

Since I began blogging seriously around 2008, I’ve had a weekly schedule. In those days, it was start planning out the site’s posting schedule for the week on Sundays. I’d write 5 posts a week and foXnoMad slowly grew an audience. Many left comments and suggestions as they followed my travels and tech reviews through RSS. A reader where you subscribed to sites to get updates. (It still exists as a weekly foXnoMad email update.) Growth was organic and at the time and I knew pretty much every other travel blogger.

igloo hotel alaska

Social media was in its infancy and timelines were chronological. Introverts rejoice, you could have an online presence without being the face of your own brand. You can still exist on the Internet as travel blogs once did in the early 2010s but what’s changed is your ability and perhaps, desire to monetize.

Everything Everywhere

As Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube became algorithm based – machines preferring content know will get clicks (quality or usefulness be damned) and Google abandoning Reader, travel bloggers shifted. Some jumped completely to YouTube or Vine (rest in peace) while others tried to be on every platform. Without a way to like and subscribe to your favorite blog, blogger audiences became scattered and had to rely on Google searches to get views. Personality based based blogs mostly suffered and those that help you travel smarter, benefited. (Not all though, some have cultivated a very active user base on their blog.)

Gary Arndt has a very good write up on this history and why he’s done travel blogging. We also talked about it in a recent episode of the foXnoMad Podcast. But to me, it comes down to money. Travel blogging isn’t dead but the monetization model isn’t the same.

State Of Blogging Today

See, if you want to make money from travel blogging, that’s a whole other story. Is travel blogging dead? Not if you don’t care about money. Blogs and websites still remain possibly the most independent, free spaces on the Internet. You don’t have to make money from a travel blog and there are other benefits to having your own personal online space. It can be a hub for your merch, tours, or other services.

And, this is a big one, whether you jump to YouTube or start a podcast, writing is an invaluable skill. Videos often need scripts, podcasts a well-thought out plan, and an economy of words online is a skill that takes time to cultivate. How you say stuff – that “voice” everyone keeps talking about requires writing. Having written thousands of posts now and hundreds of YouTube scripts, a blog is a great way to articulate ideas, organize your thoughts, and have one place where everyone can find everywhere else you happen to be posting.

Since I began travel blogging I have said to myself and others, if I didn’t make a cent doing this, I would still be doing it. I love sharing knowledge and writing because they lead to ideas. In my experience, ideas often lead to adventures. Life isn’t the same without them.

Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee has a good analogy that works for any creative endeavor. Don’t start travel blogging unless you love traveling and writing (or photography). You should be happy doing it even if you never make a dime off of it. Otherwise it sounds like you want to start a business. But turning your travel blog into a business, that has evolved into something else completely.

Things Are Changing

snow city cafe anchorage alaska

For the past 10 years, I’ve written two posts a week on this site. Things are changing today though for foXnoMad. Starting from now, there’s only going to be one post a week, on Thursdays, guaranteed. Fewer days but more content, let me explain.

One Post A Week

10 years is a long time on the Internet and posting every Tuesday and Thursday for that long is a small personal accomplishment. Over that time though I started uploading two traveltech videos to YouTube every week. (Subscribe and you could win $100.) The foXnoMad Podcast goes out every other Friday. I’ve also made time to occasionally write for other publications like WIRED and have developed 5 of the top 50 travel apps for iOS and Android.

I’m creating more content but not able to create more time (even if you do travel very fast). I’d also like to be able to share more of this content with you as well as have time for other projects.

Win $100

Yes, well I did mention a giveaway didn’t I? How about 2? To enter the first chance to win a $100 gift card to either Apple or Amazon, all you have to do is be subscribed to my YouTube channel. Want another chance to win a $100 gift card? Subscribe to the foXnoMad Podcast here and leave a review (one hopes it would be 5 stars and all feedback is welcome). There you go, you’re now entered. Keep an eye on both places.

New Schedule

Thursdays you’ll get one new article on how to travel smarter. Some Thursdays there may be two or three posts (or videos!) but one for sure. Occasionally there may be longer gaps when I’m working on different writing projects.

Announcements aside, we’re heading into tech season so buckle up, good luck in the giveaways and let me know if you have any thoughts or just hate change.

The Tech Gear And Gadgets I Travel Around The World With: September 2021

I travel with a lot more electronics than most so fortunately over the past year or two there’s been a narrowing gap between power and portability. Inside my Aer Travel Pack 2 there’s a mobile podcast studio, app development office, and video production house. All of the gear I travel with has a purpose and since I updated this list in 2017, the tech I carry has become a lot smaller.

Here’s all the tech I travel with, which might give you some ideas on durable, useful, or otherwise entertaining gear for your own travels.

Laptop: 16″ Macbook Pro: 2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9, 32GB RAM, 2TB SSD, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8 GB

Camera Gear

Main Video Camera: Sony a7C with Tamron 17-28mm Lens

Action Camera: GoPro HERO9 Black

Tripod: Joby GorillaPod Focus with Joby Ballhead and Neewer Carbon Fiber tripod (66 inch). For locked off shots, I use the Samson MK-10 microphone stand.

An Aputure MC for portable lighting.

Audio Equipment

On top of the Sony a7C, I’m using a Deity D3 Pro for recording audio.

For podcasting, I use the Audio-Technica ART2100x-USB microphone.

Headphones: Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Phone (Daily Driver): iPhone 11 (128 GB)/(Product) Red

I also travel with a Nexus 5X, primarily because it’s stock Android and gets updates from Google before most other phones, making it ideal for testing development versions of my WiFox and DroneMate apps.

Drone

Drone: DJI Mavic Air 2

All of the electronics in this list, including the DJI Mavic drone, fit into one backpack, my Aer Travel Pack 2. I use two SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kits to better organize and stack everything inside my backpack. These are the other bags and non-electronic gear I use.

Luggage: Osprey Packs Sojourn Wheeled Luggage, 60L

Daypack: Osprey Daylite

To keep track of my luggage and gear, I use Apple’s Airtags.

Portable Batteries: Anker PowerCore 13000.

Connectors, Converters, And Other Accessories

For reading books or when I need a larger, mobile screen in general, I use a 64 GB iPad Air 2020 protected by an Apple Smart Folio with an Apple Pencil 2.

If you’re curious, you can see the the gadgets in my backpack way back in 2012 and I keep an updated list the gear I travel with here.

What Is Harry Potter Shifting?

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2021.

Have you ever wished you could visit one of the fantasy worlds you’ve read about or seen in a movie? Well, shifters believe they can do just that and transport their subconsciousness to Hogwarts, specifically. There’s a pretty active community on TikTok #shiftingrealities where shifters explain how you can shift, what the experience is like, and what happens if you die in Hogwarts.

It all sounds a lot like lucid dreaming where you can control your dreams through various techniques to train your mind to recognize that hey, you’re in a dream and take over. Lucid dreams can often fly like Superman or transport anywhere in the world or perhaps, even to Hogwarts.

On a recent Geek Takeover Week episode of the foXoMad Podcast I and two Harry Potter experts shifted into reacting to shifter TikToks. You can watch a clip in the video above or listen to the full episode below. Evanesco!

Geek Takeover Week 2021 Has Landed…

riverside iowa star trek museum

You know the drill, it’s time for Geek Takeover Week! That time of year when you’re traveling and I, with some special guests, take over foXnoMad to post some of the nerdiest things we like to geek out about. Enjoy this annual tradition here on the site with posts from all over the universes all this week.

We’ll return to our regularly schedule travel and tech posts when the site return from hiatus in September. Never give up, never surrender!

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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