Whose Blog Is It Anyway? Seeking the Author in the Formal Features of Travel Blogs
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Amateur travel blogs hosted on advertising-sponsored websites are generally viewed as credible sources of information about tourist behaviour and destination image, particularly as the content is user-generated. Little is said, however, about the webhost-created content. It is generally assumed that the content and features of a blog reveal a good deal about its author. In the case of travel blogs, however, this can be problematic as both webhosts and authors create content. This paper examines formal and paratextual features of amateur travel blogs to analyse the extent of the contribution made by the webhost and its influence on authorial voice. In particular, it considers titles, links, and advertising in travel blogs hosted on Travelpod, Travelblog, and Bootsnall. It finds that the webhost plays a significant part in positioning the text as a narrative about a particular destination. Furthermore, not all the features of these blogs transfer a sense of who has authored them.
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