London Walks Social Media
 Now about our Blog...
And our Tweets...
There are very good reasons – set out below – for tuning in to them. If only temporarily. I.E. while you're here (if you're a visitor to London).
The "readership" is going to fall into two categories. One category isn't going to need any persuading. It's made up of people who, like ourselves, are obsessed with London. Can't get enough of it. The Daily Constitutional (our Blog) and London Walks Tweets are part of their London "fix".
The other category is people who will probably just tap into one or both of our "social media" while they're here. Or while they're here and maybe the week or so before they get here. I think they can be fairly described as very savvy visitors who want to make the best of their time in London. Want to get the most out of their visit. And who have cottoned on to the qualitative difference our Blog and Tweets can make to their time here.
They can make a qualitative difference because they're both high calibre "publications". The Blog – The Daily Constitutional – has been going for nearly five years now. It's Adam-edited and mostly Adam-written and photographed. Which all by itself is a guarantee of a good read. The guy's a veteran, extremely gifted journalist. Writes like a dream. One measure of the Blog and its Editor – for 50 consecutive weeks Adam wrote – and ran, week in and week out – full-scale, very high quality reviews of London books. They weren't Amazon "witterings" – they were proper reviews that would have graced the literary pages of the Times or Telegraph or Guardian. (For the record, as the series was rolling out, awed, I kept thinking, "is there any book on London that Adam hasn't read?')
Several others of a literary bent on the team – journalists like Ann, Karen and myself, actors Richard and Shaughan, barrister Tom – lend a hand (bang out the occasional "contribution") from time to time.
What it adds up to is we've got ourselves a good little "London daily" going. A daily that runs to two or three editions every day.
Now as for the Tweets... Boy, they're just so valuable, so useful. So important, really. The key to the thing is of course the "real time" factor, the instaneity. Or – for that matter – the "day beforeness". It means we can get important "late breaking" stuff – good and bad – out to our walkers.
A couple of cases in point. Well, our Kensington Walk, for example. Whenever "the roof garden" is open we take our walkers up there. (How could we not? It's the largest and most astonishing roof garden in Europe!) But we never know whether or not we'll have access to it on any given Thursday or Saturday (the days the Old Kensington Walk takes place) until just a few days before. So as we soon as we get the word, if it's a thumbs up, well, you better believe it, that gets Tweeted ('we'll be going up to the Roof Garden on..."). And that single piece of information might well be the "difference maker" for a walker who's trying to decide between the Old Kensington Walk and another one.
Or – this is the big one, the classic example – if there's a pretty good chance that we'll be seeing the Queen on any given walk, well, you can bet your bottom dollar that's a pennant that's going to be run up a Tweet pole.
Sometimes there'll be an annual, ancient London ceremony that we'll "work into the weave" of a given London Walk. We tweet that stuff.
Some outdoor walks are more "weatherable" than others. We're looking at a particularly wet day, we'll put out a Tweet saying, "hey, maybe think about the Somewhere Else London walk today – it's got a lot of protection against the elements".
If it's a clear Saturday evening and we'll be stopping in to the old Observatory on the Old Hampstead Village Pub Walk, that gets Tweeted.
Sue's Old Fulham Walk only takes place one Saturday a year. In the Spring. Takes place when it does because the Wisteria is in bloom. It's a thing of beauty the memory of which is a joy forever. That gets Tweeted.
And, by the same token, we put the (hopefully) rare bit of bad news out on those Tweet feeds as well. Let's say, e.g., that an important part of someone's trip to London is going on Donald Rumbelow's Jack the Ripper Walk. It's a by no means rare phenomenon. Don's the world's leading expert on Jack the Ripper, a lot of people have read his book and they very understandably want to go on the walk with him. Well, doesn't happen very often, but for argument's sake let's say Don comes down with the flu on Friday, rings us and says, "I'm laid up with the flu, I'm not going to be able to do the walk on Sunday night, you'll have to get cover for me, but I should be fighting fit for Monday and Tuesday." Well, we'll Tweet that. And that information will be important to that walker who had planned on going on Sunday night. Providing he's here for another day or two he'll go on the walk on Monday or Tuesday and it's Mission Accomplished. Which it wouldn't have been in the "pre-social media" era.
And there are just other tidbits that are, well, good to know. I put out a Tweet today about the best place in Kensington for some pre-walk nosh. No question about it, it's Ottomezzo, the little Italian deli in Thackeray. I always point it out on the walk. But by then it's of course too late for the lunch that was two hours ago! So, yes, makes sense to make that valuable, "local knowledge" information available to our walkers.
Apparently the trend is for more but shorter visits to London. You're here for for maybe just 72 hours – well, a short visit like that you really don't want to squander time. You want to make the best possible use of what limited time you've got. Good "tight" fits are important. You're going on that walk, well, why shouldn't you get the best sandwich going in that particular neighbourhood – as opposed to something naff in between a couple of cold (and worse) soggy slices of bread. Something factory produced and factory wrapped and factory-tasting.
Anyway, that's where we're coming from. If it makes sense, well, the door's open – we'd love to have you "on board" – and indeed joining in the conversation if you're ever of a mind to do so.
Here's the Blog, The Daily Constitutional.