Saturday, June 1, 2013

Leave the Money, Take the Cannoli

So, I am bastardizing a movie quote. What the hell does that mean in the context of a food blog? Well, two articles came out this week that got me thinking about why I am food blogging. The first is an article that I loved from the New York Observer that talked about food blogging in New York for cash and how it has driven food culture into an ADHD like scene.

The argument boils down to the idea that you have to add more and more content to drive eyeballs to your site in order to get advertisement revenue. The amount that is written then creates a demand for new content when even in New York, it would be hard to write twelve stories a day on something new. In a way, this model rewards novelty. It also leads to stories that are more shallow due to time restraints. There is a pressure from the public to try that one thing that everyone is looking at on (name your favourite site) and get their first. Then comes the bust.

The interesting thing is that there are many neighbourhood restaurants and old standards and classics that continue to go on. These places are sometimes walking dead but most likely surviving because they know their clientele and give them good customer service and decent food at the price the client wants to pay.

It is worth the few minutes it takes to read the article. The other article is not so much an article but a bunch of links that have showed up in my twitter feeds toward the end of the month. Several food bloggers are making a commitment to blogging every day in the month of June. Ostensibly, it is to make them more focused and increase traffic to their blogs.

These two things taken together got me thinking to what am I trying to do by blogging. I started this blog halfassedly in October 2010 and only started posting "regularly" in spring of 2011. In the last few months, I have been averaging 1000 hits a month. I have not put google ads or any other sponsorship on my site. So, not an incredibly successful blog but something of which I am proud.

Why do I do this?

  1. I like writing and want to get my writing muscles up to speed and maybe do something in my dotage.
  2. I love food and food culture and have things that I want to understand and work out. Writing helps.
  3. My wife is bored of hearing me talk about food and this is a good outlet.
  4. It amuses me and some of my friends.
  5. It acts as an archive and journal of crap that I am trying out.

So, do I bother with writing every day or not? Well, I've been wanting to write a bunch of stuff around food blogs and culture as an outsider but I am still working through my own understanding. Maybe this writing daily thing is a good excuse to do it. However, I am not a pro. I will always take the cannoli over the money.

One of the things stopping me is that food blogging is that it is a little like masturbation. Sitting alone in a dark basement in front of a lit computer screen may feel good when doing it but sometimes you are left with a deep shame and slight guilt afterwards. Funny, last month was Masturbation month.

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