Newsworthy

Poached obsession

So on a lazy Sunday morning, waking up at the crack of noon, making my lady and I some poached eggs and easing ourselves into the day the way only we can… It was a nice surprise to find this little blog mentioned in an article in The Australian. I’m not sure why I get a buzz out of seeing myself in print, it’s happened a few times now, but I guess it’s nice to get a little recognition, or at least to know that I’m not the only person reading it… which would be sad.

The Australian reads me.

So I had a call from Steve the day before to let me know that he’d come across it, and so we headed out and bought a copy to see just exactly what was there. The article is an interesting piece based on an article in the New York Times, about how food bloggers are having an impact on how restaurants and other establishments market themselves, and under what level of scrutiny they fall. It was critical in particular of US bloggers who interrogate staff on the opening night for all the information they can get, so they get their review out first.

The article then went on to talk about Melbourne food blogger Ed of Tomatom, and how he’s had positive experiences with people finding reviews of restaurants on his site, that have been largely ignored by traditional media reviewers.

So… in short, US bad, Australia good… bloggers, keep your opinions to yourselves. The bit involving me was a link at the end of the article (I tried to click it, but it went nowhere), to a page I put together that lists the top Australian food blogs by querying technorati for rankings. So a nice little spot of publicity, and a bit of excitement on an otherwise yawn worthy weekend… Still, that’s just the way we like them around here.

The excitement over, I went and made myself a coffee and in my rush to drink it, managed to spill it over the paper… from fame to coffee stain in 2 seconds… still, the coffee was great, and my latte art is reaching a stage of sloppy consistency that will no doubt have the real baristas quaking in their boots in no time, as they prepare themselves for the W.A Barista Competition.

Some days are good like that.

morning coffee

17 thoughts on “Newsworthy”

  1. Very interesting. I find this subject totally fascinating. However there is one thing I need to point out – the NYT article specifically centred on NYC food bloggers. I think what they are talking about is very NYC centric behaviour, or perhaps just even the behaviour of a couple of bloggers in particular, (in fact I commented about this last weekend on my own blog), and a journalist certainly could not have written the same article about food bloggers in San Francisco who are a much more community-driven, less competitive bunch and unagressive too, probably not unlike the Australian food bloggers in general. So I don’t think you can generalise US vs Oz, but maybe NYC vs Oz or even just Restaurant Girl vs Oz ;)

  2. Hey Sam,

    To be honest I’d never heard of Restaurant Girl, so I can’t say the reference meant anything to me. Looking her up just now I’d have to put her in a whole other separate category. She doesn’t seem to link to any other food bloggers, and relies on a lot of advertising and self promotion to get her name up… which to me puts her in a class of bloggers along the lines of Benjamin Christie and the other astroturfers out there.

    I know a bunch of great NYC food bloggers who are neither pushy nor obnoxious… well not most of the time :) So I’m not too sure where people get the ideas from. Certainly my summation of the article was firmly tongue in cheek.

    I agree that it’s always fascinating to see what ‘established’ media has to say when it comes to blogging… heaven forbid anyone have an opinion that hasn’t been edited and subedited before being released…

    Still, I’ll take what I can get for now :)

  3. Cheers Andrew, now if I could just shake the rest of those buggers out of the bush I’d be laughing…

    Andy, present company excluded of course :) To be honest, I like a bit of attitude in my reviews, and opinion is what blogs are all about… So while U.S bashing is a popular sport these days, I’ve always ascribed to the notion that generalisations are absolutely always a bad idea.

    At (@) I’m using a Rancilio Silvia, with a Rancilio Rocky as a grinder… feel free to search around here for more tales of it’s exploits.

  4. The last part of the article does seem somewhat defensive. What’s wrong with someone airing their opinions openly – if you don’t like something, you don’t like it and you can say so. That’s not getting carried away. At least it gives people an indication of how restaurants can treat the usual clientele and not someone who is a known reviewer (ala Jamie’s recent excursion to The Argo)

    I’m not a fan of spelling and grammatical errors either but bloggers don’t have the luxury of having editors and subeditors checking through their work. Anyway, I don’t think most of us are claiming to be journalists – it’s just a hobby :)

  5. Good point Cin. Expect more to come from The Oz on Saturday and possible in another paper on Tuesday. Sam I like the term “embelished media’ and may just try and use that myself.

  6. Hey Cin,

    I know what you mean, it is a bit defensive, and personally speaking there shouldn’t be much of an excuse for spelling mistakes these days. Even Firefox has a built in spell checker for any textbox, which is great for properly spelled blog comments flaming :) Grammar and actually being able to form eloquent sentences on the other hand is a whole other kettle of fish. I’m just happy people can vaguely comprehend most of what I write.

    You’ll also have to point me to the reference you made about Jamie (breakfast blog?) going to The Argo.

    Ed: looking forward to rubbing some of the polish of those embellished media types soon… If we can’t join then, then we can at least bring them down to our level.

    Fer: danke :) Feel free to leave longer than 3 word comments as you see fit :)

  7. Asuming you use Firefox for Windows – I’ve no idea how to find this feature for a Mac. Personally, I prefer to live with spelling mistakes rather than a slow overendowered browser.

  8. Yep Firefox for windows, but the feature is available in all versions of Firefox since the latest 2.0 release, which is neither slow nor over endowed unless you add too many extensions to it… Time to upgrade perhaps ?

    Actually, turns out Safari can do it as well… no excuses then :)

    Check this out.
    http://8help.osu.edu/2143.html

  9. Matt,
    I’ll use the Safari one then. I have the latest Firefox and quite honestly I think its dreadful. When I get time I’ll remove some extensions and see. But, hey, what’s the point if I can do it all in Safari.

  10. Wow. Congratulations. Nothing like a free plug in the paper. This food blogging thing’s gaining some momentum if the “real” press are noticing. I like the idea of an anarchic subculture circumventing the usual channels of op ed pieces/food pages. That’s what a real democracy is. Where will it end? Bloggers Anonymous societies? :)

  11. Blogging has changed everything, especially “established” media, and that’s coming from a blogger and freelancer. It’s interesting how blogs have impacted newspeople though. If, in highly specialized realms like politics and technology, laymen can show up the “pros”, imagine how much more impact we could have on a somewhat more subjective field like food critique.

    What I found most interesting about this article was not that the writer was upset by food bloggers, but by how openly she showed her disdain and hurt. Her article, in the guise of journalism, was every bit as opinionated and huffy as the blogs that apparently criticize her. Most (mainstream american) journos paint a veneer of professional, clinical disdain over their fear of the blogger phenomenon.

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