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14/09/2006 - par Mark Tungate

Regular readers may have noticed that I'm quite interested in user-generated media. The perfect example of this is MySpace : the media owner provides the framework, and the users supply their own content. Some journalists are unhappy about this evolution, because they fear regular folk - like bloggers- might erode their privileged position as the sole providers of the world's news. But journalism is about information, while blogging is about self-­expression. They are two different animals.

Regular readers may also have noticed that I am a big fan of those black ­Moleskine notebooks used by travel writers and artists (see ­moleskine.com). Pocket-sized, with hard waterproof covers secured by an elastic band, and a black ribbon to mark your place, they are the perfect retro writing tool. Now the talented people at Moleskine have combined my enthusiasms by creating the City Notebook : the first city guide you write yourself.

It's a simple idea. Moleskine provides a book containing all the basic information you need about, say, Barcelona : maps, metro stations, emergency services and so on. But the pages for reviews of restaurants, bars and shops have been left blank. You fill those in yourself, while you're there. Then, next time you visit the city, you have a guide to your favourite places. It's all about being an individual, rather than following the Lonely Planet herd. I can't wait to start my Paris guide. Maybe I should sell advertising in it ?

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