A friend of mine, Mick, is planning on walking the Camino de Santiago. He will try to raise money for two charities and wants to keep in touch with donors via a blog and possibly video diaries.
When he asked me for help getting things organised this post emerged. Mick does not have experience with some of the technology required, so I hope to be able to make it easy for him to get up and running.
If possible he will have made both written and video posts before heading off using the devices he will carry with him on the journey.
Constraints and Requirements
Since this is a walk of about eight hundred kilometers, the amount of luggage and gear that can be brought along is extremely limited. A laptop is out of the question so all posts need to be written on a small device, probably a mobile phone.
Video posts will also most likely need to be done using the same phone as carrying a separate camera is likely to be too heavy. It doesn’t look like much editing will be possible so there may be a requirement to allow those of us based at home to help with this before posting.
Mick will be relying on his mobile phone for transmitting the data such as posts, photos or videos, rather than trying to find and use wifi spots. The last thing he will want to do after walking all day is to wander through a small town in search of the Internet. Network coverage within towns should be sufficient for most of his needs.
Mick will be carrying a prayer book with him in which donors can have a prayer or message written. As he attends mass or other services over the journey, the book will be placed on the alter to receive a blessing. Most of the messages will be written before hand, but a means to deliver them while en route is also necessary. These messages can be entered in the book as they arrive.
Equipment and Setup
Mick is hoping to have a premium smart phone such as an iPhone or upper end Samsung for the journey. He will need enough storage on the device to take photos or videos throughout the day for uploading later.
Battery life is a key factor in choosing a mobile. It is unclear whether he will find regular charging stations. If we assume there will be one available at each overnight hostel then most smart phones will suffice.
It may be advisable to bring a the European version of the charger to avoid having to bring a separate adapter. Any weight saving will pay huge dividends.
A good quality headset or hands free kit will be necessary to ensure the audio comes through clearly on video. A wired one is probably preferable to a Bluetooth device to cut down on the number of devices that need to be charged, but that is optional.
Before starting the journey all the accounts and access needs to be setup as doing so remotely will be difficult. Mick will be typing on a phones’s keyboard so it would probably make sense to have someone back home act as a proof reader and editor so that he doesn’t have to worry too much about that. Allowing access to the blog is a key here.
I have suggested WordPress as a blogging site. While I prefer using Ghost due to it’s simplicity, I don’t like writing posts from a mobile device. I believe the interface for WordPress, at the moment at least, is easier to use.
The blog is primarily going to be used and read throughout the walk, to keep people updated and interested. Using a free account wordpress.com will be sufficient for our purposes. A unique domain is not required.
Signing up to publish on YouTube is equally easy. Rather than uploading to a personal channel I'd recommend creating and using a Brand Account. This will allow others to access the site and help with any editing that is required.
Another option is to use a shared file store such as Drop Box or Google Drive to upload the videos to. This will allow us at home to edit videos, add intros, add links in the videos to the subscription sites, make montages from photos, and add that ubiquitous subscribe button.
I have little experience with video editing or publishing on YouTube personally, but hope to draw on the experience of others to get this working.
We discussed how best to let people know about new videos or blog posts. I suggested that twitter is probably the easiest way to keep people up to date.
Since he will rely on mobile data for the majority of the journey, I would advise that Mick upgrade his mobile contract or provider to one who allows the most data while in Europe. It may be worthwhile contacting the company before making a switch to see if they will charitably waive the charges for the duration of his pilgrimage.
This is going to be a charity walk and the blog needs to direct readers on how to donate to the chosen charities, the Hospice and Charleville Day Care Centre. A combination of using My Charity and bank transfers will be used. The instructions should be published and disseminated before the walk begins.
I hope to build a small library of articles to give assistance in all the areas mentioned above as I learn how to do them myself. I’ll work with Mick to practice what he needs to gain experience in and we may develop new requirements. For now the basic plan in priority will be as follows (I’ll update this post with the relevant link once available):
- How to set up YouTube including:
- How to grant access to additional people
- Uploading directly from a mobile
- Video editing
- Adding an intro
- Adding music
- Overlaying links and subscribe buttons
- Creating a WordPress account:
- Adding editors
- Posting from a mobile
- Uploading photos to a post
- Creating a Twitter account
- Basic setup and guidelines
- Account sharing options
- Automatically sending a tweet when a new post is published