A big part -- an enormous part -- of the Lawson Trek has nothing to do with Lawson and everything to do with telling stories, and as I read over what I've written and shared so far I feel I've underrepresented that. We'll have more cool stories about Indians and wildlife and such later.
But one thing I have to worry about that Lawson did not have to worry about is what tools to use to document my journey. Lawson had pens, likely made from the quills of the turkeys he and his companions constantly ate, and he had notebooks. And that was it. Eight years later when he got over to England to visit, he published a book about his experiences, and that was about the usual order of things: something happened, and then eight years later a book came out and people got to hear about it.
That's not quite how it is now. Lawson did not, as I commonly suggest, have to make his way from wifi hotspot to wifi hotspot, constantly looking for a decent signal so he could update his blog or his Instagram feed. I do, though. I update Instagram several times most days -- every day when I'm on the trail -- and try to blog once or twice a week. So anybody who wants to know about the Lawson Trek is never more than an internet connection away from what's up, not just lately but right now.
So last night, through the good offices of the Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC) and the UNC Science and Medical Journalism Program I was invited to share my methods, which I did, and here's a video of that.
Another little glitch is that no matter how many times YouTube tells Weebly (my blog editor) that it wants the video to start at 38 seconds, Weebly starts the video at 00, which gives you 38 lovely seconds of blackness to scrub through before you get to watch the video. This is the kind of stuff you find out by doing it -- much the way I learned that Instagram, not Twitter, was my sharing tool of first resort. Using Twitter made sharing with other apps complex, whereas Instagram plays well with everybody -- to say nothing of giving me lots of caption space. One single Instagram post and voila! Instagram, two Twitter feeds, two Facebook pages, and my blog landing page all have a pretty picture. You do and you learn.
We'll figure out YouTube's psychological issues and we'll move forward.
I know for live-streaming I can now use tools like Periscope and Meerkat -- I've tried them and they work. I'm especially interested in Periscope. So if you're a fourth-grade teacher, or a journalism class, or a group from anyplace else that thinks it would be cool to talk to the Lawson Trek from the trail (or a science journalism fellowship at the greatest technical university in the world), drop a line -- we'd love to try it out.
And anyhow, whatever else you do, try out these iPhone lenses. They're amazing.