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Blogging is ‘Life on a hard drive’

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record Staff
Rich Palatino stands in front of a moose during a hike at Deer Valley, which was documented on his blog.
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At the tip of a finger and a click of a mouse, floodgates of the world’s information can flow to one who knows how to ride the electronic information highway.

"You can find anything, what would we have ever done without the Internet," said Jill Adler, a Deer Valley ski instructor and freelance writer who resides in Park City.

In recent history, technology has formed cultures and subcultures throughout the electronic universe.

One of them is the "blog."

Blogging in Park City is like everywhere else. It’s growing.

"First time I ever heard about a blog was when my friend designed my Web site and asked if I wanted to blog," Adler said. "I hit it before it became the craze."

Adler said she has a library of journals and found blogging a natural fit. Her blogging and her Web site have accumulated about 1,100 emails to her system.

"I’ve done years in radio," Adler said. "It’s kind of a cross between writing in a journal and talking about what’s going on around you."

Adler finds her blog to be a great asset for her personal and professional life. During the ski season, she gives updates on resort ski conditions. Skiers can log onto her Web site and are educated on gear, ski resorts and even the Sundance Film Festival.

"People can check in and get something new," Adler said. "People will go there to find out what conditions are like, what I think of Christmas time, traffic and ski conditions. It’s something that can be interactive for them. Something you are not going to get if you read all the press releases.

"I kind of do more of a Park City vibe," she said.

Park City blogger Rich Palatino began with modest intent and didn’t think his blog would become the entity it is today.

Last January, he came to Park City from Massachusetts only for a little skiing and to volunteer in the Sundance Film Festival. Ten months later, he’s still here.

"I came here with $35 in my pocket," Palatino said.

He struggled to find work but the former Marine landed a job with the U.S. Ski Team working in the information technology department and then found a job with the Park City Performing Arts Foundation.

"My transition to life here in Park City was a bittersweet struggle for sure," Palatino said.

And that’s what his blog consists of. His idea originally was to create a blog to document his experience during Sundance but has since evolved.

"Initially, I wanted to show that crazy weird world called Utah," Palatino said.

Ever since, his blog has evolved to include his experiences in Utah. Now, he’s fallen in love with the city.

"It’s my mecca," he said. "It changed my outlook on life, being here and working with the community."

Palatino updates his blog regularly and found it to be a source of comfort in his transition to living here.

"I never intended it to become what it is today, I thought I’d close it up after 10 days." Palatino said. "It is a living document; it lets me express myself, to try to understand myself. In a way, it’s become my friend."

His blog is filled with tales of his adventures in the Utah outdoors. He has strong political beliefs but he doesn’t rant and rave as other bloggers do.

He likes people to read it, but really, he said, writing the blog has a greater significance for himself.

"It’s more for me, that’s where the satisfaction comes," Palatino said. "It’s an amazing medium. If I go back it reminds me of what I’ve done. Without it, the feeling and emotion of what I went through would be gone."

Adler also uses her blog for personal reasons. Recently she gave birth to a daughter, Sage. Her pregnancy and Sage’s birth is all chronicled through words and pictures.

"I just found it easier to put it on my blog and send people there than having them constantly asking questions. If I just posted on the blog they could just check regularly," Adler said.

Adler is able to portray her independent lifestyle on her blog and express it in a way that can’t be duplicated.

"I love the idea of blogs," she said. "I love shock value, some things I say are kind of edgy. My blog has hurt some people too. I won’t delete stuff, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s more like a journal, these are my opinions. You’re liable to find things in there you don’t want to know." Adler said.

Adler hopes her blogs might help others in similar situations.

"If someone surfed the Web they could come up with my blog," Adler said. "If they are thinking of getting pregnant, and they want to know what it does to you and how to handle things, they can read what I went through. It’s shared for more than just my personal friends."

In similar fashion, Palatino doesn’t hold back when he writes his blog.

"The whole digital revolution lets you be a lot more interesting," Palatino said. "I’ve learned to live my life on my sleeve. So much of it is entered on my blog. I’m very honest, I don’t filter my blog."

Blogging has also become a natural phase of life for Palatino. He’s not sure when, if ever, that he’ll quit.

"It’s so natural to express myself. I’ve always been a writer but never did anything with it," he said. "I do consider stopping but I end up writing another blog when I step to the computer.

"I’ve always been a contemplative person. I’ve always internalized everything. Blogging has helped me take these emotions and evolve. It let’s me do something about it. I’ve always been a provocative thinker," Palatino said.

According to these Park City bloggers, each blogger has a different motivation. Adler said "Some blogs are interesting and some are pretty mundane."

"People blog about everything and anything," Palatino said. "Someday we’ll laugh at blogs; we’ll look back and say, ‘They were crazy people.’"

But for Palatino, that doesn’t matter as much. "You write from your heart," he said. "It’s a good way to capture the human experience. It’s life on a hard drive."

To visit Adler’s and Palatino’s blog go to http://www.jilladler.com and http://digitalpowderhound.blogspot.com. For a list of other Park City bloggers, go to http://www.parkrecord.com/utahblogs.


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