May 6, 2012

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Lauren Kilberg of Double Takes

Double Takes is a blog about “destination and design”—two worlds that Lauren Kilberg vigorously explores and shares. With destination, Kilberg blogs about discoveries related to Africa , Cartography (Kilberg collects maps and passport stamps), South America and more. With design, Kilberg explores creative disciplines like Architecture, Fashion and Photography. It was during her trek in Cambodia that Kilberg gave this interview. Her thoughts about web-based publishing may help your entrance into blogging or further inform your current work in it: 

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
I’ve loved the internet since that first free AOL cd showed up in my parent’s mailbox. I’m a tiny bit embarrassed to admit, that as an elementary school student, I started a message board about (of all things) the boy band ’NSYNC. Point being, I developed an interest in interacting and sharing information on the internet at a young age. In 2007, when I created Double Takes, it was really just a progression of that interest. But specifically, I wanted a place to share the things I was finding and put the hours I spent sifting through blogs and websites to practical use.

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
I use Blogger and love it. I’ve played around with Tumblr and WordPress, but have always come back to Blogger. I don’t really have a good reason, except that it just always works really, really well for me.

What is your definition of a good blog and
what are three good blogs that you frequently visit?

The blogs I’m most impressed with usually have a combination of good content, a good voice delivering that content, and good design. I get total blog-envy for well-designed blogs. Some long time and consistent favorites of mine are Brain Pickings, Prêt à Voyager, and Design Work Life.

How do you create content for your blog?
I curate...excessively. I subscribe to hundreds of blogs that I sift through daily while looking for good content that fits the theme of Double Takes. I also follow a lot of people I consider to be wildly inspirational on Twitter, and I find a lot of great content through the links they share. Sometimes an e-mail will land in my inbox from a reader or artist who shares something interesting that I’ll post as well.

How do you stay organized and motivated
to contribute to your blog?

Motivation has never been a problem. I’m so invested in what I do on Double Takes and really, truly love it. When I find something I’m really excited about, that’s great motivation to share it with my readers. Over the years, I’ve developed a system that works for me to keep things organized. My Google Reader has more folders than the average office filing cabinet and I excessively star my reader and twitter for later bookmarking.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed
of regular thoughts and/or images, what is your advice?
Do it, without hesitation. Nothing but great things have come from my years of blogging. I’ve been handed some wonderful writing opportunities and have connected with some really amazing people.

But specifically, I’d say to find your niche and do it well. There are so many blogs out there, make yours stand out with well-crafted content and good design. Also, always give credit where credit is due. Never post photos without citing who took them and give credit to the source of your content. That seems obvious, but there’s not enough of that going on on the internet these days (especially on Tumblr and Pinterest). But really, just go for it!

What is your quest in blogging?

I simply set out to share content about travel and design that inspires people, and encourages them to be curious about the world we live in. I also hope to keep connecting with people, finding inspiration from them and in what they do, and be grateful for the opportunities that have presented themselves to me via my work on Double Takes.

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Photograph, taken on the Mekong in Southeast Asia, courtesy of Lauren Kilberg.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

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