Do you know how many personal blogs there are right now? I don’t. Not a clue. There’s probably so many of them already and yet they keep popping up like baby gremlins, multiplying in the wake of this digital age.
Food blogs, travel blogs, you name it, the Internet has it. There’s probably one out there for every subject or topic. Some of these blogs are actually highly impressive and are even made by published writers, photographers, engineers, doctors, people from all walks of life. I’m personally a huge fan of printed material. According to TheMillions.com, prints contribute less carbon emissions than the creation of e-readers and tablets and that altogether supports the preservation of the ecosystem. But for some reason, people are drawn to blogs. And not just because they’re free.
The great thing about personal blogs is that they’re personal. There are blogs that are sort of contracted by companies to feature products, services, and/or ideas that they manufacture, provide, and/or carry. But a personal blog is made by just another human being who picks his own topic, selects his own subjects, provides his own photos, and supplies his own opinions. This is a human being who doesn’t get paid to ‘go check out that restaurant’ or ‘feature a hip and cool resort’. This is a human being who doesn’t write advertisements in prose and I believe there’s a genuine selling point (not a literal one) in that. This person is not trying convince you to buy or pay. This person is telling you what is and what isn’t. More importantly, this person speaks your language. This writer, this blogger, doesn’t say this movie is ‘poignant’ but instead says its ‘tear-jerking’ or ‘fucking amazing’.
The personal blog has its perks for the blogger as well. My sister writes about restaurants and food for a magazine and she, too, admits that there is a special kind of freedom that blogging permits and that print doesn’t. She said, “I can eat without thinking of how I’m going to write about it,” and I totally get that. She doesn’t have to go to a restaurant and have the owner of the chef stare at her while she eats and she definitely doesn’t have to hand out compliments like they’re Christmas candy canes.
Print can be quite restrictive. Editors require restaurant photos to be clutter free (and by ‘clutter’, they mean ‘people’) and they want to food to have great texture and perfect lighting. That’s ok, really, except as someone who likes to eat out, it doesn’t quite feel real. If there are no people, staff or customer, in a photo, you’re gonna have to wonder if these people really work or if people actually even like eating there. Plus, it raises up the expectation to an unnecessary level. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve heard someone on another table say, ‘This doesn’t look like what I saw in the magazine.’. We all know that feeling.
Personal blogs might not showcase the best grammar or might lack editing or coherence. But at least, you know, that the blogger isn’t trying to sell anything. At least you know that their comments are genuine and that the the subject of their photos wasn’t ‘touched up’. Plus, what they write (or take or create) is free and easily accessible in the comfort of your home.