It is March and conference season is underway. Everyone is talking about what conferences they are attending this year. And they are deciding if they need new items to fill their laptop bag so they will not be left out or disconnected from the “in crowd”. A while ago I wrote Preparing For Your First (or 50th) Conference. In that post I quickly listed some tips and items needed to make travel successful. This is great for all. But, if you are a blogger, there are certain items that you want to make sure that you have. This is a reminder!
There may have been a time when blogging meant sitting alone in your house locked in a room with snacks and a TV. Everyone thought bloggers were weird people with no lives. 🙂 But, blogging has changed. Bloggers now are very often treated as media, and invited EVERYWHERE. This means we get invited to events and more. Event bloggers need to be connected. Some bloggers even live blog or live tweet events as they happen.
In order to stay connected and blog while on the go you need the right gadgets. Just the old paper and pen don’t cut it anymore. Event bloggers need to have great content, great pictures, and sometimes even great video. Here are my top 5 gadgets that every blogger on the go needs to have in their backpack.
- A Great Smartphone: We do a lot more than just make calls with ours phones these days. We check email, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. Having a great smartphone is awesome for snapping photos, updating Twitter, or even recording video or audio of an event. Of course the iPhone 4s is a great option. If Android is your flavor check out a great phone like the Samsung Galaxy S 2 which is what I have. And I love it!
- A Good Netbook: My current favorite is still the HP DM1z. It is an awesome little laptop with a lot of power. The model that I have has 4gb of RAM so there is plenty of power for running a web browser, Evernote, Word Processor, Tweetdeck and more at the same time. This makes blogging and keeping up with social media easy while traveling. The screen is 11.6 inches and at around 3 lbs it does not break the back. It also has a great webcam which is handy for recording or broadcasting podcasts. The HP DM1z can be found for around $450.
- A Tablet Computer: When you want to attend a session where there might not be space to sit with your netbook, or you just want to take notes, a tablet like the iPad 2 is awesome. The iPad 2 is top dog for a good reason. It is a great design and the massive number of apps available in the app store help you get just about anything done. And, if your blog is based on WordPress there is even an app for that.
- A Good Camera: Unless you have a smartphone with a really awesome camera like the iPhone 4 or 4s, keep a nice pocket camera on you. You want to have great photos for your blog posts. The Samsung SH100 has the added bonus of being Wi-FI capable, so if you have access you can upload your photos right away. It also does HD video, so you can kill 2 birds with one stone and lighten the load in your bag.
- Portable Hotspot: If you travel a lot, you want to make sure that you have network access for blogging and keeping up with social media. Several cellphone and internet providers offer portable MiFi devices that allow you to connect up to 8 devices via Wi-Fi. Or, depending on your smartphone you might opp to add the hotspot plan to your account. I use a MiFi device from Comcast. It works well most places.
- (BONUS) Portable Power: There is nothing worse than running out of power when on the go. An outlet may not always be accessible. Having a gadget like an iGo Charge Anywhere can allow you to charge up to 2 USB devices. It is also a great way to make friends.