Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
My Blog's Better than Your Blog
My blog's better than your blog. My blog's better than yours.... Wait!
This is not false modesty on my part. I have proof.
You are probably already aware there are more food blogs in the webiverse than you can shake a cyber spoon at. Google "food blogs" and you will get the following: "Results 1 - 10 of about 133,000,000 for food blogs. (0.12 seconds)".
There are also any number of "authorities" out there, experts purporting to advise the erstwhile food blogger as to how to create and maintain a "successful" food blog. Google "how to write a food blog" and you get about 29,400,000 hits. That is a lot of free advice.
Some commonly shared hints include:
1) Fill a need. Don't try to be all things to all readers. Focus on a cuisine or a concept and stick to it.
2) Invest in professional design for your site and be technically proficient with a camera. Good photographs are important.
3) Have a good index and clearly tag recipes so they can be easily located and retrieved.
4) Write well. There are any number of ways to retrieve recipes off the internet. You have to offer more if you want folks to spend their time reading your blog.5) Don't put photos of your cat on your food blog. (That last one being my own tip. Do as I say, not as I do.)
Do I observe these rules? Mostly, I do not.
Does that going against conventional wisdom show in terms of my readership? Well, hell yes it shows, why else would they call it conventional wisdom? Sorry. Got a little cranky there for a moment.
As a matter of fact, if you eliminate my family (something I have routinely threatened to do but I promise kids, I never really mean it!) what I have probably would not legitimately qualify as a "readership". More like a "reader-dinghy" but I think even that may be overly generous. Let me try again. On a good day, what I have in terms of folks reading here might be best described as a reader-kickboard. Nope. Still too much. Reader-pool noodle?If you are into being part of a small group, if you like to consider that as a form of elitism or superiority, then great. I've got your blog right here by golly. On the other hand, if it is a widely shared experience and lots of company you want, you will want to read elsewhere. To show you what a good sport I can be, I'll even give you a head start finding Elsewhere'sville.
The UK Times Online has compiled a list of their "50 Best Food Blogs", found here. As the article notes, one of the blogs listed fielded 800 comments on a post. 800 comments! You know you've really got something going there. And not to be a blog tease - the 800 comment blog (although 180-300 seems more the norm) is The Pioneer Woman Cooks, by Ree Drummond. Several other of the Times tapped blogs I routinely read, and the rest I am determined to check out pronto. 50 Best, after all. These blogs are certainly doing something right.
Congrats to all the UK Times mentioned 50 Best Food Blogs. Being designated as one of 50 Best out of the potential 133,000,000 hits on Google (duplicates notwithstanding) is quite an accomplishment. And seeing as this is the UK Times putting together the list, that means these bloggers have not only hit the big time, but they have hit the big time internationally. Bravo, web gente!
On a more local note, congrats as well to ChefSon, author of Austin Gastronome, for being invited to participate in the recent Austin Food Bloggers Tasting event at Uchi Restaurant. (You say you weren't invited and didn't hear about this before now? Yeah - neither did I.)
ChefSon reports it was not only fun to meet some of the "folks behind the blogs" but it was fairly amusing to watch certain technically inclined bloggers (mostly male) compare equipment.
Cameras that is. [This is a family blog- get your mind out of the gutter.] ChefSon also merited further mention on one of Austin's premier foodie network sites, Addie Broyles; Relish Austin. Addie is sort of the Perle Mesta of Austin food bloggers. When Addie invites you to an event, you know you've made it into the inner circle.
Way to go ChefSon! We are proud of you kid.
As for me I have a post on Chicken in Reisling to finish. My reader-pool-noodle awaits.