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Home » Blogging and Vlogging, Erotica and Relationships, Featured, New Zealand, Social Media Plus, World Travel

Sex, Social Media and New Zealand — (Part 1)

Submitted by on October 11, 2009 – 6:32 pm 8 Comments

Travel writing in the age of blogs, twitter — and when ‘viral’ is desirable. A veteran print journalist and editor — turned online writer, blogger and social media buff — embarks on a real-life travel writing-cum-social media project and invites you along for the ride. Tips, hints, pitfalls to avoid, good practices to aspire to, facts, fallacies and all the write stuff.

 

Students perform the famed New Zealand haka. Photo: James Heremala.

Students perform the famed New Zealand haka. Photo: James Heremala.

By Wanda Hennig

The invitation in my inbox read:

“Dear Wanda
 — Love is in the air at Air New Zealand as the airline prepares for the world’s first Matchmaking Flight. On October 13, an estimated 100 singles will journey from Los Angeles to Auckland, each with the hope of finding a match in air, or on the other side of the Pacific. On behalf of Air New Zealand, I’d love to invite you or another Wandalust blogger on board the flight to bear witness to the matchmaking, successes and disasters alike.”

It went on to say that at 30,000 feet, passengers could expect matchmaking advice from ABC’s The Bachelor, Jason Mesnick, and his girlfriend, Molly Malaney.

It invited me to upload my profile on the dedicated Matchmaking Flight website (where I saw the tagline: How far will you go to find The One?). And it said “additional itineraries” in New Zealand could be arranged, by which I gathered that if I went, I’d be able to write about more than matchmaking.

Of course, New Zealand is also famous for its wine. Photo: Ian Trafford

Of course, New Zealand is also famous for its wine. Photo: Ian Trafford

I may as well reveal this right off. I had never watched The Bachelor and didn’t have a clue who Jason Mesnick was. In the unlikely event that you don’t know who he is, and I say that because most people seem to know and to have strong views on some of his Bachelor escapades, here are some links:

From The Hollywood Gossip

From Wikipedia

From Huffington Post (with video — Jason Mesnick on Jimmy Kimmel in March 2009)

And links to Molly Malaney:

From The Hollywood Gossip

From the Molly Malaney website

From ABC Good Morning America (July 2009 video interview, Jason and Molly)

———————————————————-

Tip 1

It’s a good idea to know something about someone ahead of time if you’re going to write about them. This might seem obvious but I’ve known experienced journalists who don’t bother.

As I say, I hadn’t heard of Mesnick — and neither had I planned to go to New Zealand. But the latter was simply because it seemed so far away. I must know a couple of dozen people who moved to New Zealand from South Africa. My old karate teacher, two or three former journalist colleagues, my ex-boyfriend’s brother — a bunch of folks.

And of course they have all those sheep jokes. [You know? Two New Zealand sheep farmers are flying the flock to a new farm. Suddenly, the engine fails and the plane goes into freefall. Farmer One: “Quick! Grab a parachute and jump!” Farmer Two: “What about the sheep?” Farmer One: “Bugger the sheep.” Farmer Two: (pause) “Do you think we have time?”]

And the Maori haka.

And the Lord of the Rings scenery.

And did you see the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Letterman?

Around 10 days later I was confirmed on the flight along with, I was told, 100 or so singles flying solo and looking for love.

I was going with a commission for a story from a print publication (a newspaper travel section).

But my main commitment, as a veteran print journalist and travel writer who has spent much of 2009 transitioning to the web, doing classes and workshops on blogging and social media, creating this website, taking on two examiner.com online gigs, and recently, moving into social media consulting and coaching, is to use this trip as a hands-on online travel-writing and social-media-in-action learning exercise (I hope useful for others as well as myself).

On this site (WandaLUST), my intention is to continue to a Part 2, 3, 4, 5, etcetera, of Sex, Social Media and New Zealand, giving travel writing tips, hints, pitfalls to avoid, behind-the-scenes background, good practices to aspire to, facts, fallacies and all the write stuff. And where relevant, comparisons between print and online writing. There is a lot that’s transferable.

And meanwhile, I will write about the trip (Food, Play, Love —  New Zealand) on examiner.com.

Questions and comments welcome!

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8 Comments »

  • Don James says:

    I think having a strong journalism and communications background, and taking that to blogging and social media, can only be hugely beneficial. I see so many non-writers calling themselves writers these days and putting things up online. Nothing wrong with it, in theory, but in practice, a person who has paid their dues on newspapers and who knows a story angle — well, to me that gives a lot more cred.

    Well done on making the transition from print to online. I know it’s challenging (for all of us). I believe you when you say a lot of things are transferable. Share more.
    – Don

  • GONONDO says:

    Congratulations on your transition. A good writer will adapt to whatever print medium they choose.

    The secret of enticing anyone to read what you write, is first to capture their attention, second to make it interesting, third, rather make it shorter than too long and finally to finish with the reader wanting more…..

    Wishing you great success in your travels and exploration of the new dimension.

    GONONDO
    “Gonondo is the Zulu ( Indigenous African tribe found in the eastern seaboard of South Africa ) name given to the Inyanga ( medicine person) in a Zulu villiage. This person is deemed to have magical powers to see, understand and remedy all ailments using natural potions and psychology. Feared and revered by friend and foe alike for their uncanny powers of observation.”

  • Steffi says:

    Great idea! It would be of tremendous use to so many people. I will look forward to following your blog.

  • Brigit says:

    Hi Wanda — Thanks for posting this on Facebook. I’ve been to New Zealand. It’s awesome. Also, I’m impressed that you’ve been making these transitions from mags and things to online and blogging. Good on you! You have the background to draw from.

  • Anca says:

    Everyone has to write in the course of their daily life, anymore. But there’s a huge difference between people who write things that are interesting to read, versus merely informative.

    Have a great time on your trip, it seems like a wonderful adventure.

  • meg kiuchi says:

    I am a novice re this social media thing so I looked up definitions. One said, “community information-sharing technologies,” and the other was “marketing communications that reach people as individuals”. It seems to be a “right now, interactive, take charge” way of communication, which allows feedback as to the person’s sense of popularity.

    It seems Ms. Hennig is very capable of doing this, as well as providing a sense of individuality, information, humor, and insight.

    Carry on!!

    A.T.

  • meg kiuchi says:

    A.T. wants to amend “notice” to ‘novice”. OOOps!

  • Debbi Murzyn says:

    This is an incredible new experience (experiment?) in travel and I know you will make it interesting for all us to follow along on your adventure. I can’t wait to read about the Great Matchmaking Ball…and all the sports and sightseeing excursions you’ll be attending. New Zealand is sounding pretty darn good to me right now! Watch out for cupid’s arrow.

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