When you’re a professional storyteller – be it a journalist, blogger, videographer, or cartoonist – you’re only as good as the tools you use.
This holiday season, there’s a host of new gadgets and gizmos available to aid in the search of the story or combat any issues one may come across in their pursuit.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite gift ideas, so you can keep the journalists, bloggers, and storytellers in your life equipped to catch their next byline.
Blog Like a Pro
If anyone says blogging can’t be a full-time job, they’re just not doing it right.
Just ask The Blogcademy, an online and in-person workshop series taught by real-life, high-profile bloggers Gala Darling (Gala Darling), Kat Williams (Rock n Roll Bride), and Shauna Haider (Nubby Twiglet).
According to The Blogcademy, “Online success = real life success. The only snag? Online success requires strategy, insight, technique and talent. Crossing your fingers and praying for an audience is not a strategy!”
The Blogcademy will teach students how to format blogs, discover audience, utilize social media, become expert networkers and savvy advertisers, and transform their blog into a business.
For $497, students can enroll online and receive six hours of classes, transcripts, worksheets, activities, an exclusive 22-page Blogging Business Plan, and lifetime access to all of these resources and more.
Whether you’re a camera operator recording audio or trying to transcribe your latest interview, a solid pair of headphones is a must.
Apple’s new AirPods are revolutionizing the headphone game with their wireless earbuds that seamlessly integrate into all of your Apple products. With an easy set-up, AirPods automatically are on and always connected, allowing users to stay tuned for up to five hours on a single charge.
The AirPods can sense when they’re in your ears and pause when you take them out. The double-tap feature on either AirPod allows users to activate Siri for voice commands, without having to remove your iPhone from your pocket.
For $159, these earbuds will change the way you interact with your Mac, iPad, and iPhone forever.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
So wearable augmented reality glasses like Google Glass didn’t take off in 2016 like some tech experts thought — proving to be more of a novelty than a must-have accessory.
Snapchat Spectacles embraces being the novelty of camera glasses.
With a fashionable and practical design, unlike Google Glass, these $130 glasses have a camera inside, pairing with the Snapchat app to take photos directly from your face. Now storytellers using Snapchat to connect with their audience can more easily deliver content.
With bold colors and a noticeable circular ring of LEDs that light up when video is being shot, you won’t be accused of doing spy work when recording 10-second video clips. Sporting a 115-degree wide-angle camera, the Spectacles record video that can be viewed either horizontally or vertically in Snapchat, reframing video appropriately. Video uploads to Snapchat via an iPhone or Android phone paired through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The Sky’s the Limit
Drones aren’t just the hottest gadget for photographers this holiday season. They’re for everyone.
For those already using a GoPro to deliver quality, immersive video content, take things to the next level with the GoPro Karma Drone.
The $799 retail price may be intimidating, but the Karma is compatible with the latest GoPro models and is easy to fly for beginners, folds seamlessly into a lightweight, wearable compact case and offers fun add-ons like the GoPro Passenger app, which lets friends view your flight and control your GoPro while you fly.
Everyone knows that to become a better writer, you need to read.
Make sure the writer in your life gorges on books and articles by getting them the new, updated Amazon Kindle. Priced at $79.99, this basic e-reader has a sleeker, lighter design, Wi-Fi capabilities, and added Bluetooth audio options, great for audio books and podcasts.
Speaking of podcasts, we all know that following a good podcast series can be as rewarding as a subscription to your favorite newspaper or magazine. Howl Premium gives users exclusive access to all of the hottest podcasts.
With more than 120 hours of original mini-series and audio documentaries, the $4.99 monthly, ad-free subscription fee will keep even the fiercest of info-hounds satiated.
Every on-the-go reporter has been there: You’re trying to record a crucial piece of audio on your phone when your battery dies without a power outlet in sight.
How about using one of the greatest power sources known to man to get your phone back up and running?
Biolite’s $80 SolarPanel 5+ has an internal battery that harnesses energy directly from the sun! Keep a reserve charge on hand with this solar-powered backup.
Special Stocking Stuffers
These cheaper items are the perfect gifts for your storyteller’s stocking:
- Trying to broadcast to your followers on Facebook Live but don’t have a steady surface for your phone to film on? Try the Square Jellyfish Tripod, a flexible fix small enough to fit in your back pocket for just $10.
- If you’re like us, you’re constantly misplacing the SD card for your camera or your voice recorder. But with the $25 Tile Mate, you’ll never waste time searching for those critical items gone missing in action. Attach Tile Mate to anything, and an app will tell you its location. If it’s hidden in plain sight, you can ping it and a sharp noise will help you find it more easily.
- Journalists constantly are taking down temporary notes. Save paper with the Mini Wipe Notebook. For $25, this spiral-bound, 32-page erasable notebook is like your very own whiteboard for when you’re on the go.
Now, it’s time to start shopping. Remember, you’re on deadline!
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Nick Harley is a Customer Content Specialist at PR Newswire. He also works as an entertainment journalist and assistant print editor for Den of Geek.