Blogging Comes of Age in the Movies

(Jul 22, 2009) Nora Ephron’s new movie Julie & Julia (opening Aug. 7th) does for blogging what her 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail did for email.  The movie is based on the true stories of two very different women: Julia Child, the first celebrity cooking show host and author of the iconic Mastering the Art of French Cooking (in its 49th printing); and Julie Powell, a would-be writer who decides to spend a year cooking every recipe in that cookbook and blogging about it.  Powell’s blog, “The Julie/Julia Project” debuted in 2002 and her resulting book Julie & Julia was published in 2005.

It is a wonderful story on many levels.  Julie discovers that blogging allows her to be a “writer” without benefit of publisher and she builds a community of readers along the way.  It is the forerunner of what we accept today as the community created by social media platforms.  Those various platforms reach well beyond blogging and into social networking sites such as Facebook and micro-blogging sites like Twitter.

Blogging plays a central role in the movie as the instigator of Julie Powell’s project.  In the parallel story of Julia Child that takes place 50 years earlier, we see the monumental effort that went into manually typing a 700 page cookbook over the course of 8 years and then being at the mercy of  publishing executives to actually bring it to the market.  We’ve come a long way Baby!

This movie and these two women’s stories help us to appreciate what democratizing communication over the Internet has allowed us to do. We have no borders based on geography, time, age, gender, education, race or disability.  Perhaps we are truly more essentially ourselves through this medium than we can be in other types of situations.  Social media brings people together and helps us to connect around things of interest to us – we build communities that are every bit as real and rewarding as those we have “offline.”

I thoroughly enjoyed Julie & Julia and was fortunate to see it at a preview showing.  Meryl Streep gives an electric performance of  Julia Child – a woman who embraced the world with enthusiasm and zest.  Her boundless energy and passion for food is quite infectious on the big screen.  I have a feeling Julia would have made a terrific blogger and an enthusiastic social networker! We have Julie Powell to thank for bringing her life’s work to our attention through her blogging!


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