In class today, we looked at various blogs that were attached to mainstream media organisations. Our group looked at The Backpacker– a travel blog on the Sydney Morning Herald website by Ben Groundwater.

from smh.com.au

‘The Backpacker’ is not like any Andrew Bolt-type blog, where it aims to start heated debate over various topics. But I suppose that’s part of writing a travel blog –  there aren’t too many people opposed to travelling.

It’s definitely a feelgood blog (I know I’m getting itchy feet after reading about his different travel experiences), but he also writes with a down to earth style, with none of the ‘travel really changed me’ type stuff. Just see his “Does travel really teach you anything” post.

He writes with a very conversational tone, giving anecdotes and advice for travellers. At the end of each post, he poses a question to readers (for example, “Have you ever visited a place that completely defied your expectations?”), which elicits some interesting anecdotes from readers.

Unfortunately, commenting on the Fairfax website can be a little difficult – you have to sign in as a member first, before you can comment. His Twitter account is updated fairly regularly, but it is clear that it is not linked to SMH – has a link to his own website instead: bengroundwater.com There are no links to SMH blog posts at all. And not many to his blog posts on his website either…. He has also only tweeted 167 times, which shows that he is not an avid user of Twitter, but hey, I suppose he’s too busy travelling.

Although he doesn’t seem to converse with his readers so much, it is an enjoyable blog to read. I think I’ll be following it more regularly – building excitement about travel is always one of those healthy and enjoyable things to do 🙂

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