Whither the Food Blog?
Recently on Facebook I was asked by a friend’s acquaintance whom I haven’t seen in over a decade for names of food bloggers to invite to what sounded like a cool event. After a few minutes’ thought, though, I was stumped because food bloggers as I think of them are a dying breed.
In 2015 there are online publishers like Serious Eats, Eater, Grub Street, Tasting Table, and all of the myriad offshoots of print publications that mostly digify content like the ever-changing Bon Appétit to recent entrants like Lucky Peach. None of these are really blogs (though Grub Street is maybe the closest).
On the other extreme are the unsung home cooks and amateur restaurant critics who may or may not have the engaged followers that excite PR types. But a lot of the impulse that originally spurred this activity can now be satisfied through Instagram, Pinterest, or Yelp, splintering to social platforms. Others who may have gotten into food blogging as an outlet are now cooking for the public or putting on events. Editorial wasn’t necessarily their endgame but a way to connect.
The middle, and what I imagine this event planner was interested in, consists of people who blog about food, consistently, with a strong point of view and have some sort of readership. It’s more or less the revolving roster included on Eater’s “In the blogs” section of reviews on Wednesday (which I haven’t been included in for the last few months–what gives?) In NYC I would put Chopsticks & Marrow in this category. Immaculate Infatuation, the Infatuation, or whatever those guys are now calling themselves, I would not. Quality of prose or photography doesn’t necessarily define this genre.
Nor does a reliance on the personal, despite that always having been my preference–and the characteristic I’m mourning the loss of here.
It’s high time to bring it back.
I often hesitate to tell acquaintances or coworkers that I’m a food blogger, and usually don’t at all, because then they’ll show up here expecting a bunch of SLR shots of Santina or a breakfast sandwich roundup, neither which are out of the realm of possibility but not what drives me to keep on posting.
This is my segue into saying that if old-school food blogs are dying, then why not go full-on obsessive and nuts? Who needs more lists and service journalism in 2015? Going forward, I hope to do my part in killing blogs dead by writing more about things that only five people have interest in. That may or may not mean casual dining chains in New Jersey, bars for old women, Pizza Hut attempting to reenter Africa, and as always, delicious things in Queens.
See you soon.