Skip to content

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.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Grary #

    Hey Krista, long time reader, first time commenter, just wanted to say keep up the good work. I follow you on RSS because I’m old. I think NYC could use a few more food bloggers like Kelvin Ho “HK Epicurus” who has a prolific instagram (epicurushongkong) and a less prolific traditional weblog “Food of Hong Kong and Macau” for more detailed posts. But he has actual expert knowledge of several cuisines, it’s hard to release quality content if you’re just some jerkoff with a breakfast sandwich.

    February 22, 2015
  2. Great post.
    I got back into food blogging again a few months ago as I needed some sort of outlet, but I feel so weird about it given the current landscape. Especially in this city. I know what I don’t want to be, but don’t know how to find my own space or I even need to if it’s just a way for me to write for myself.
    I noticed your absence on the Wednesday round-up too! You deserve a place there much more than some of the others…

    Glad you’ll keep writing. Love your posts.

    February 23, 2015
  3. krista #

    @Grary I am also a lover of RSS, of course. I was being NYC-centric, but I follow a lot of international food bloggers (though fewer than I used to). SE Asia is very much still a hot bed of activity probably because–and I’m stereotyping here–the average person has stronger opinions about food than in the US.

    @Rhianna Knowing what you want your blog to be is tricky. When people ask me what my blog is about, I don’t have a succinct description. It’s whatever I feel like writing about. I think that’s ok, though (as long as you don’t expect any glory). What I forgot to say explicitly above was that I don’t always feel like blogging about restaurants–especially new, hyped ones–but those are the only sorts of posts that get linked to by others, so I keep doing it out of habit. More and more I’m seeing Instagram as the outlet for the visual “here’s what I’m eating” sort of stuff.

    February 23, 2015
    • Okay, when did RSS get uncool?! I’m still in love with it, and isn’t feedly kinda sorta new? Ha.

      Yes, still trying to find that space where I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who must get to the new restaurants ASAP for some sort of glory, but yet I like to go to those places and so it becomes easy material to talk about. I created a blog-only Instagram because I felt like not all my friends were into seeing food on my personal IG, but now I feel too much like I want to get noticed by someone. And what is blog glory anyway? Getting invited to a PR event to provide free advertising seems like the worst thing ever.

      February 23, 2015
  4. krista #

    Sadly, RSS started dying when Google killed off its reader a few years ago. I use feedly now but it’s not the same. Yeah, I have no idea what blog glory means. I guess money and attention (from the right people)? Fame and fortune is always classic.

    February 24, 2015

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS