Travel writing – is it about who you know?

I don't know whether to feel sorry for Max Gogarty or not... A young 19 year old gets the dream commission - a blog about his gap-year travels on the website of one of the UK's biggest national newspapers - The Guardian Only problem is... his dad is a regular writer for the Guardian too... And to be honest, Max's writing is rather cliched (not that surprising for a 19 year old I guess?)

The first post on his blog attracted some of the most withering criticism I've read in ages... (The blog has now been taken down at Max's request). Just one example...

"Here's an idea, Max.

Instead of setting off on yet another inane, identikit trip around
Asia before you take up your place at Oxbridge (or wherever), why don't
you leave your family's Highgate mansion FOR GOOD, cut yourself off
from your father's allowance, move into a council estate in Salford,
STAY THERE, and then consider writing a blog about your experiences.

Why does our society only grant a voice to those with nothing to say?

P.S.  Are you Paul Gogarty's son?"

Antony Mayfield has some interesting points to make about on-line mobbing - where groups of people with an axe to grind gang up on a blogger... The vitriol spewed on Max's blog was quite remarkable.

Adam Tinworth's  revealing analysis is good reading too.

Personally, if I were Max I'd have kept on with it... taken the mick out of myself a bit... played along... and maybe taken a few of those many hundreds of readers along with me... as the old saying goes: 'There's no such thing as bad publicity.'

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