Readers of the Saturday Daily Telegraph in Sydney may have noticed the above article written by food editor Grant Jones on "The secret world of culinary bloggers", a somewhat odd title given the very public sphere in which we publish the minutiae of our lives and meals.
The feature makes some analysis of the growing influence of food blogs, including a quote that "one industry identity complains of their unreasonable demands for "exclusives", bloggers interrupting restaurant service to take pictures, suspect credentials, unreliability and generally being a pain in the neck".
I was glad to be interviewed as part of the piece, although giving the last word to Pat Nourse, features editor and restaurant critic for Australian Gourmet Traveller, did seem to undermine much of the preceding content.
Derision and disdain from traditional media is nothing new when it comes to the topic of food blogs, but presuming that food bloggers expect or intend to replace traditional food media misses the whole point of social media and the blogging landscape.
Food blogs give a voice to anyone and everyone who has ever wanted to wax lyrical about a meal, or share the details of a newly discovered fantastic restaurant run by a mum and dad team in the suburbs. It's about personality, having fun, and providing a few minutes of entertainment to countless office workers who have read the blog for so long, they feel a connection to the writer. The food blogging community provides a [edit:] new insight into the dining youth of Australia, and into the mindsets and cultural histories of new Australians, who aren't [edit:] necessarily white Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
I came up with the Larousse Gastronomique (traditional print media) and MasterChef (food bloggers) analogy in a conversation I had with a journalist who could not understand the appeal of food blogs, did not trust them and had no idea about twitter either. The analogy went down well with both parties.
What did you think of the article? I'd especially be curious to hear from readers who aren't food bloggers, on why you read food blogs?
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1/24/2011 02:49:00 a.m.