Food Bloggers: To Blog Or Not To Blog?

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There's an interesting discussion over at Universal Hub and a related article over at the Atlantic about the state of dining with a focus on the role that restaurant reviewers and food blogs play in the mess. As one commenter noted:

“To get right to the core of it, I believe our dining culture in America to be one of entitlement, mismanaged perceptions and disconnection from our food. Dining attitudes are far too transactional, ‘I'm paying my hard earned money, I deserve the best.’ Before, only the professional critic had a voice that carried. Now, individual diner opinions have been amplified by the internet, and we often develop a false confidence in our own expectations of the dining experience. While there are a significant minority of diners who eat out not to ‘play critic’, but to get to know a restaurant and staff and enjoy what they do, there's little incentive for the diner to put in any effort into the experience. Over time, the diner gains more power over the restaurant. Whether it be our ‘merit-based’ gratuity system, the rise of message boards, food blogs, and aggregated, rated reviews...it seems that there is little recourse for restaurants. And the more we, as diners, squeeze them to our increasingly unreasonable whims, the less restaurants are able to provide their vision of a dining experience. If we only considered ourselves ‘guests’ at restaurants and conducted ourselves as such, I think we'd see a significant improvement in the service that we receive.”

I'd have to agree. You may have noticed I typically only post praise about establishments I visit. I don't see it as my duty to complain about a restaurant or cafe, especially since it is such a difficult business to succeed in. I don't envy someone trying to pay rent in this town by selling cupcakes or muffins. Granted, it is their choice to go into business but I'm not about to use this blog to complain about a business unless the food or service or price or experience is absolutely, positively horrible and you should avoid it at all costs. There are more than enough places online for people to complain and honestly, it gets tiring to read through it all. At the end of the day don't you want to know cool places to check out or great desserts to try? The way I see it, I write this blog to tell you places to check out. Besides, isn't it more fun to chat about what to eat rather than what not to eat? :)

Comments

Anonymous said…
Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!
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Andy Anonymous said…
I feel strongly that this is true not only of the dining experience, but most any topic you can raise. People sometimes seem so enamored of the voice the internet gives them, that they don't trouble themselves terribly much over whether or not they actually have anything of value to say. We're becoming a Rant Culture, and our inflated expectations are blunting our ability to simply enjoy things for what they are. And, um...that's the end of my rant.
Karen Zgoda said…
Well said. :)

Reading your comment and rereading this post makes me think that entitlement is the sworn enemy of enjoyment sometimes. I would hope that folks would realize that yes, the Internet has given you a voice - so in an environment where one can share anything what is WORTH sharing? To what end do you want to contribute that voice?
Andy Anonymous said…
Precisely. When trying to be clever and show off one's wit for the anonymous multitude becomes a habit, it breeds far too much of the type of cynicism that robs one of the ability to simply appreciate things for what they are, and not what they "should be" according to some rigid laundry list of preconceptions.

More people should follow the example of a certain famous television theme song: "Mr. Ed will never speak unless he has something to say." Oh, yeah. I just dropped talking-horse wisdom on you. Ka-chow!

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