Thursday, March 15, 2007

Anyone know about TasteTV?

Does anyone know about the TasteTV website or dealt with them? They appear to be a fairly big multimedia food-oriented site with reviews, videos and other information.

Last year I noticed they linked to my blog on their "Blogs" page but thought nothing much about it. Then they e-mailed me asking if I would like a copy of their new book. I agreed, received the book, thought it was of fair quality, and placed a link to the book's Amazon page on my site but did nothing else.

A couple of months later I get another e-mail from Taste TV which began with this one line: "No review yet? What a disappointment, Anita."

At no point previously did TasteTV ask me to review the book. Perhaps this was an implicit agreement made in my accepting the book, and I admit it was my mistake for taking a freebie without checking for strings attached - lesson learned. Still, the harshness of the e-mail took me aback.

Further confusing me was that right after this admonishment was an announcement of a chocolate salon in SF in July, with a line in the middle about contacting TasteTV if you wanted to attend or be a speaker. I assumed this was a generic mass-mailing attachment and ignored it, thinking if TasteTV was not happy with me, they certainly wouldn't be inviting me to an event!

Two days later I get an e-mail from them saying, "Don't you want to be a speaker? Let us know."

Perhaps I'm a novice at dealing with the media, but their behavior strikes me as a little strange. At this point I'm thinking I should just end my relations with TasteTV (such as they are) but I'm curious if anyone has had a similar experience (I noticed a lot of well-known blogs listed on their page).


This Post was written Anita from Dessert First


cookiecrumb said...

They sent me something several months ago, and I ignored it. They they started bugging me about why I hadn't responded -- AND started sending me automatic e-mails on an almost-daily basis. I wrote to them and told them I thought it was rude to scrape my address off my site without my permission and to please stop the e-mails.
They were annoyed with my choice of the word "scrape" (and perhaps I misused it), but agreed to stop the e-mails... Then I got an e-mail asking if the e-mails had indeed stopped!
I was laughing at this point.
BTW, they still wanted me to come to that chocolate thing.
I think the novice here is their PR department.

McAuliflower said...

And oddly, I've contacted them for further information about events with no response.

They still email me "press releases" though.

I'm inclined to mark them as spam.

Cybele said...

I found them because they listed me on the blogroll of one of their blogs (along with some other blogs that have been abandoned for years).

I think I may have signed up for the emails ... I don't recall, but after two months of that, I couldn't stand them any longer and unsubscribed.

Amy Sherman said...

I've also had weird interactions with them, they came on very strong then ignored me when I responded. I'm not really sure what's up. Reminds me of some bad dates I once had!

paul said...

I marked their emails as spam months ago, after several dozen compounding requests.

If they put the same amount of work into their content, as they do into their PR, they might make it a few more months.

TasteTV : Life Never Tasted So good said...

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

As you all probably recognize, starting a new television network 3 years ago (the Indie Food Channel) without anyone understanding how you could do so without an actual channel on the dial, and also allowing individuals and independents to submit their work, was something very radical and foreward reaching. Your only choices for food progamming at the time were PBS, local stations, and the Food Network. Then YouTube came along and everyone got what we were doing -- they finally understood the concept...and suddenly we were in the middle of the new media world we had predicted.

Since then we have been deluged with content and contacts and opportunities, but on top of all that we still try to identify really special people or teams with which we want to work. Things are going well, but as we have so many levels of contacts that sometimes our mailing lists and subscribers lists are not perfectly in synch, not exactly what we want. Then again, that is also because we try to keep the personal touch, and are not completely automated in our communications. Things could be better, slicker, more seamless. We agree, and that's under development. But we also believe that a network that focuses on food, wine and lifestyle programming created by independent and individual contributors is what people really want, and we've known that for three years. We can't be all things to all people, but that's our dream, our vision, and we did not raise $5 million to fund it (at least not yet). We believe you should be a part of it. That's also part f our dream. If things go a little bump now and then, our sincere apologies. They will smooth out over time.

As an aside, since verbal comments don't always translate well in email (sometimes, not at all), let us point out that our comment to Dessert Girl, "no reviews yet" was a joke, because in the text right after that we asked her to be a featured speaker at our conference. We thought it was clear that we admired her opinion and her work, but you know how it is, the difference between a "the" and an "a" in email can make all the difference.

One thing we do get that is interesting is people who want to participate, want to be a part of the TasteTV network. Some of them however don't have a video camera (or they're asking for full time work as employees or pitching a new cooking show concept). That is a big challenge for us, because they are talented and informed and passionate, but we are a televised multi-plaftorm network. Hmmm. We have various options that we have been working with to address this situation -- to get them involved, to value their input -- such as our reviewing their food blogs, etc.. But we can't get back to all of them right away, so stay tuned. Or not. Regardless, keep up the great work everyone.

Anita said...

Hi all,
Thanks for all your responses! TasteTV also e-mailed me a copy of the comment they posted above. I am quite relieved to know that I was not the only one to take exception with how TasteTV is attempting to communicate with us food bloggers, and also to know that TasteTV is now aware of this. Perhaps all our comments will help improve the evolving relationship between the media and the blogosphere.
Thanks again!

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