Yes folks, itís that time again. I think this is my 4th annual ďhow to make MiceChat a better placeĒ thread, although itís been far too long since the last installment. This time I will focus my energy on trip reports.
A trip report should be a thread to show everyone on MiceChat a great day you had at say, Disneyland, or maybe even a trip to London. Perhaps youíd like to share your adventures in Malaysia. Or maybe Bakersfield. What better place to do so than on MiceChat.
First of all, make sure that when you do a TR, include photos. Photos really do make a TR special. In fact, photos MAKE a TR. But thatís not to say that you should put every single photo you took on your trip in your trip report. Nobody really needs to see an up close blurry shot of your half drunk bottle of water. Nobody. And having 7 photos of say, an exit sign, is odd, so donít do that.
Be selective in your photo choices. Fish out the blurry photos. When you put blurry photos in a TR, it makes it look like you are just haphazardly putting a TR together, and not really caring about its content. Because if you cared, you wouldnít have put blurred pictures in a TR now would you?! So stoppit! Take your time, write out everything in a Word document that you want to say (as Iím doing now) and copy and paste it with your photos.
Add captions to photos. If you put captions on 3 photos in a row, then have 7 photos of different people you were with without explaining who these people are, then itís moot. So stoppit! Explain who the guy with the Goofy hat is. We probably wonít care that heís your 3rd cousin once removed, but at least weíll know he isnít just some random guy you took a photo of, Ďcause then youíd appear to be a stalker.
If youíre going to do a TR without photos, you probably ought not to do one at all. MiceChatters attention spans are short. Without visual aides, weíre rendered useless. 14 paragraphs of reading about how you drove to Biloxi from New Orleans and then had dinner at the local Cracker Barrel and then went to the Piggly Wiggly for refreshments, isnít gonna hold a candle to a TR with pictures. Iím sorry if this hurts your feelings, but it is what it is.
Up close pictures of half of your face sitting on the train are expressly forbidden. As are photos of your half eaten bowl of pasta from your TR from Rome. Nobody wants to see half of what you ate of anything. If you want to show food or drinks, do so before your fork even touches the plate, or your lips the glass. But again, food and drink photos should be of say, a nice restaurant you went to that if someone saw your TR theyíd say ďHey maybe weíll go there if I ever get to (insert destination here)Ē. Leave the Chee-tos and Red Bull photos on your camera.
Be selective on writing a TR at all. If you go to EPCOT every Sunday, you probably donít need to do a TR every Sunday night or Monday. Your TRís are gonna look pretty much the same week after week, therefore boring pretty much anyone that sees that you have written yet ANOTHER TR about your day at EPCOT, regardless of there being new and different photos from your past TRís. Take a drive east to Cape Canaveral and take the tour there, then do a TR. Itíll be different, and weíll all appreciate the variety.
Make your captions short and to the point, when possible. If youíre standing in front of the Sydney Opera House, just say something like ďMe in front of the Opera HouseĒ. No need to talk about how you got there and what you did when you walked around the corner and blah blah blah. Again this harkins back to the overly wordy TR without photos and again, youíre gonna lose your audience.
Spell check is your friend and if you canít figure out how to use it, look into an actual dictionary.
Make your TR make sense. Make it like a story, with a beginning, middle and end. Start at the beginning of your trip and end it, well, at the end! TRís with photos all willy nilly are confusing and hurt peoples eyes. So stoppit!
And always remember, donít overdo a TR. Introduce your TR with a short couple of sentences, then start in with the pictures. Donít get carried away with your photos, as Iíve stated before. Chose a few photos that best represent your day to day adventure, caption them, and end your TR with a short wrap-up paragraph.
If you follow these simple guides when posting a trip report, you wonít lose your audience, and you might even open up someoneís eyes to a new and exciting trip someone may have never even thought of before. So, happy trip reporting everyone!!