Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Friday, May 27, 2005
At the time of writing, our Food Blog S'cool is ranked at 93,518. My own blog is higher, I imagine the ranking is based on links coming in and number of sources. Thought some of you might be interested in checking youselves out.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
They may slow down the loading of this page. Please be patient and let me know what you think.
I think I would prefer them above the recent posts, but not sure if that is possible with the hack. Tonight I only had time to quickly throw it in and see if it works. Seems to so far.
Dear Food Blog S'cool,
I have just visited http://foodblogscool.blogspot.com and wondered if
you would you be interested in swapping links to my Australian Food &
Chef blog site www.benjaminchristie.com ?
www.benjaminchristie.com has information about our new TV cooking show
Dining Downunder, Chef Articles, Bush Tucker as well as Australian
Also my latest cookbook is now out and available. If you are interested
in selling the book from your site, email me as I pay USD$8.75 per book
sold via your site.
Please send me your link information if you are interested in swapping
or selling my cookbook. My Link information is below and my links page
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I found the sheer volume of literature on food and recipe writing surprising as I just tend to write, without thinking about how I'm writing or the reason I'm writing in a certain way.
In order to get everyone thinking about why we write the way that we do and share what works for us ....
1) Does anyone particularly recommend food and recipe (or general) writing resources that might help your fellow bloggers to improve their writing skills and the content of their sites?
2) Do you just type (like I do) without thinking so much about how and why you are writing the way that you do?
3) Do you have any particular tips and tricks or conventions or style rules that you use when you write your posts: for example, do you provide a headnote (brief summary or catchy story) under the title of a recipe as a matter of course? Do you always list liquid ingredients first? Do you split out sub-recipes (i.e. how to toast coconut) out of the main recipe (i.e. toasted coconut flan) or do you include it in the method for the main recipe?
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Where do you stand in terms of traditonal journalists--are they your colleagues, do you want to be a journalist, do you already think of yourself as a journalist, do you see a huge difference between "us" and "them", what would the ideal relationship between bloggers and journalists be?
Finally if you are a local Bay Area blogger, would you want to meet up with the local newsmedia? (I have an invitation on my site if you do) invite here.
Monday, May 23, 2005
i received an email over the weekend specifically asking me to make mention of their product on my blog. i'm not sure how to respond becasue 1) i actually do use their main product, 2) but the new product has nothing to do with l.a. right now, and 3) i've never even seen/read the product.
in fact, i'm pretty certain that if i actually DID see the product, i wouldn't like it, just based on the main product that i use (but i still "use" it anyway - lol!), so i guess i could make mention of it, like - here's something new, but i also feel a bit *hmmmm* about them asking me in the first place.
Friday, May 20, 2005
I'd been thinking about this since your first entry on "Be Careful What You Wish For..." because I thought you brought up some good points about what people who enter should provide. On the flip side (and you've addressed one point in the Etiquette post) maybe it would help if we had a set of minimum information that the host provides when they announce.
What do you all think of this? This looks a little long but that's because of my explanations. I think the actual amount of info is short and much could be copied from month to month.
Link to original post for history and/or link to past meme - especially for the newcomers. Sometimes hosts assume that it's clear what the meme goal is but if you haven't been in from the beginning it might not be obvious and if you don't know who created it, it can be hard to find out. I'm thinking that Lenn has the entire list of WBWs right on his main page and there is some history on IMBB for SHF, IMBB, etc.
"Rules" for current version - most people get this part. This is the ingredients or theme or whatever
Expected round up date
How to Enter:
- Email - make sure it's provided
- Comment - the permalink of where to post (sometimes there are several "reminder" entries, etc.)
How or if the host will reply -
Expectations - These are the things you alluded to Sam and might change based on host and meme.
- Entry permalink
- Entrant's name
- Blog name and url
- Country (yours or the wine's!) :-)
- 2 Sentence summary
I'm thinking that over time that last section will probably become standard and therefore easier for everyone to remember.
Is this too much? What other things would you suggest or what would you strike?
Thursday, May 19, 2005
There are two ways a host will generally ask you to submit entries - either via email or in the comments section. (I personally prefer email method)
I recently hosted WBW and although I didn't, on the whole, reply to any of the emails, I did endeavour to post a comment on all of the participating sites (except those requiring registration).
Q1 Do you expect a personal email reply when you mail in your entry to one of these events?
[I have never expected a reply, assuming the host is too busy]
Q2 Do you expect a personal comment from the hoster on your entry?
[I really like it when the hoster makes a small effort to acknowledge my post and let me know they have actually read my entry]
In the future I might decide to respond to evey email with a non-personal reply of reassurance:
ie - thank you for your entry which I can confirm I have received. I expect several hundred particpants this time so please be patient while I take the time to visit every site, read every post and put together a round up. It might take quite a few days. Thank you. As well as and in addition to leaving a personalised comment on the post itself
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
So, my first question is "Why do you blog?" - what is it you hope to accomplish or what do you get from blogging?
I've actually been thinking about this for a couple of months since a few Seattle bloggers talked about it. Some of the people are interested in a writing career - not necessarily food related - and this is their way of practicing, getting exposure, making a foray into that world. Some seem more interested in documenting and/or sharing dining experiences. At least one is already a professional writer and blogs (it seems to me) to write about topics that are interesting but don't have a commercial angle. And then there are even sub-categories within those groups.
Then we also had a post about "Making Money from Your Blog" and while I don't think anyone seems to feel this is going to support their retirement, it is yet another angle. Maybe you don't envision directly making money from the blog but the blog leading to a money making venture of some sort. And a couple people have talked about perks they might receive from companies who know they are bloggers.
Or as a couple of people have suggested in the Responsibility comments, there's the possibility of recognition, or entree into some part of the food world (not trying to put words in anyone's mouth here, these are just general interpretations).
I've been blogging for just over 5 months. I first started out wanting to share the experience of the Cooking Club some friends and I have. But we only meet every other month so that leaves a lot of time in between. So, I just started talking about what interests me in the culinary world - lots of room to make that what I want! :-) And since I am interested in moving into that world in some way, at some point, I find the blog is helping me focus on the things I really like and gravitate towards and the things I don't. As I approach my 6-month mark I'm trying to document my focus (for myself, at least) and decide what my goals really are.
But, at this point, I still consider it a hobby. And I figure whatever money I spend on it is like money I'd spend on supplies for any other type of hobby. So, I don't expect remuneration of any sort but my "reward" is in watching my stats climb. But I'm not sure I'd quit if they didn't. Apparently, I like talking - if you couldn't guess that!
So that's a bit about why I'm in this world - how about you?
I read every post carefully and left a comment on everyone's blog (except for the ones that required registration of some sort to do so). I spent a little time on the visuals which perhaps wasn't totally necessary (I would say about 1 of those hours was spent on the pictures), but personally I like my blog to look visual at all times so this part was important to me. Also, I think the pictures help break down what could be the monotony of a very long post.
Anyway, this is not by any means a complaint post, it is a warning post. I am in the queue to host some more events in the future and I intend to learn from my experience this time round.
Here are somethings I am thinking of.
Insist on receiving the entries by email - perhaps with a required subject matter so the emails can be easily sorted.
the easiest way by far must be to round up is with no categories, in the order you receive the entries.
If you do divide the round up into categories and just round up one category at a time. (Specify category as part of the Subject line in the email). There are lots of category possibilities depending on your email. Continent of poster/time of post/countries/sweet/savoury/ veggie/meat/all sorts of things.
don't think about starting the even til at least 24 hours after the even closes. some people are understandably late each time.
ignore pressure to have the round up straight away. take your time, don't stress. Everyone else hopefully will start to understand how long it will take you get round to writing up everything.
spread your round up over several days/posts. (ask the owner of the meme if this will be ok, first). Alternate with your regular posts to keep thngs varied and fresh for yourself, posting wise.
don't offer to post for somebody who hasn't got a blog. These days there is no excuse for not having a blog. You will have your work cut out for you without that extra work.
Ask people to include specific information you need for your roundup in their post. IE name of wine, country, year. (It's suprising how many people didn't actually state which country their wine came from in their post).
Ask people to include their name, their bblog name, their location, all in their submission email. Otherwise this info can take some searching.
Please bear a thought for your hoster next time you join in an online event and try and do everything you can to make their job as easy as possible.
OK - that's all my thoughts for now. Please add any more of your own.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
I think it all really started when I went to a new local establishment a few months back and the employee who was working there said "Oh, there have been bloggers coming through here all day." How do you know they are bloggers, I asked. He replied that sometimes it's obvious, and sometimes they just outright announce themselves.
I know that we don't all aspire to be like journalists, but I would say that to generalize, many of us are trying to do something that becomes a resource for people.
If we are to become a resource, then do we have an obligation to act more along the lines of journalists, who would stay anonymous and quiet while doing "research"?
For my part, I would hope that any blog review I read of a restaurant or product is based on an unbiased enough experience that I, as a complete stranger to the product, can go in and get a pretty close replication of the experience that I read about in a review. I also believe that food blog reviews on the whole won't be taken seriously by the food industry until we hash out these issues among ourselves.
Is this something that any of the rest of you have thought about? Under what circumstances do you actually announce yourself to a business as a blogger? And what about receiving free things - do you accept them or turn them down? Do you disclose relationships in blog reviews? What conclusions have you reached for your blog?
You can add something like this under the "title" line:
<meta name="description" content="brief description of your page" />
<meta name="keywords" content="keywords for your page, separate, by commas" />
<meta name="author" content="name(s) of author(s) of page" />
This meta tag checker (scroll down the page to plug your URL into the form) can help to put your site into the search engines like Google and Altavista. DO NOT PAY TO PUT YOUR SITE INTO A SEARCH ENGINE!!!! Just follow the guidelines presented by the analysis done on your page.
Once a site gets into a search engine, generally, other search engine robots will spider the link and the site will be added to the other search engines.
Hope that helps.
Friday, May 13, 2005
If you link to a site that way, do you go ahead and email the person and then expect (assuming its appropriate material) to be added to their list too? Some people's (Pim comes to mind) sites are such food blogging hubs they have an entire page dedicated to this (oh, and Kiplog too, of course), while some people just seem to have one or two links to sites that truly interest them. I love using those links to find new blogs, so sites that have a lot of links are always places I return to.
I find that if I somehow notice someone (food or otherwise) has my blog linked from theirs I will instantly add them to mine, even if I don’t think any of my readers will care about their site or not, I just figure its rude not too. I am also incredibly flattered when I do notice it, so it’s also just my way of saying thanks. Then again, sometimes I get requests to be added, and I normally do that too.
So, what is your feeling on the etiquette of these links? Do you think there should BE a standard etiquette? Can’t wait to hear your answers!
Thanks everyone! Rachael
Thursday, May 12, 2005
I visited your site today (which is where I got your email address) and it's a great site.
Have you got your site listed free in www.searchmonster.org? Many sites similar to yours are listed.
In case you are not familiar with the importance of being listed in searchmonster.org, let me just mention one of the many features that will drive traffic to your site;
They offer a free Macromedia flash download of their entire directory, which is now running on 1000's of other websites. This means your one submission to searchmonster.org will get you listed in thousands of other websites.
There are MANY MORE features that are even more powerful and will help your page ranking in Google, but I'll let go to http://www.searchmonter.org to check them out for yourself.
Good luck to you,
Saturday, May 07, 2005
I get the idea that they provide linkage between posts and other blogs that reference those posts, but why? Is it sort of a modern equivalent of calling cards--like "Sam came to visit today and wrote something about this post on her blog." Does it make any difference in (gee, I was going to say rankings, but...I am not even sure if that would apply here) anything external to the blog? Act as a useful traffic driver? Let you know your fellow bloggers are thinking and writing about the same topics as you?
I am technical enough that if I care about them I am sure I can figure out how to use them, but I apparently need to be shown the light on them.
- What's the point?
- What's the payoff?
- What's the downside?
- What's the frequency, Kenneth? (mass creds to those who get the reference)
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
* You write a rave review of a restaurant and someone comes on and offers a differing opinion that they can't stand the place.
* Someone comes on to my blog -- an acquaintance actually -- and jokingly states that anyone who believes that we should know the source of our beef is a communist. Inflamatory and rude.
What do you think? Am I the only one who struggles with this?
(glad to join the forum - great discussions so far!)
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
I also keep another explorer browser window upon with babelfish.com open so that I can paste my English comment into it and translate into the language of the blog I want to post on. I sometimes get comments from the blog host saying my language use is a bit funny, but it has never been called rude.