Friday, June 08, 2012

st. louis food media forum & why i blog

In case you haven't heard, there is an AWESOME event coming up this summer in St. Louis. If you want to learn more about food writing, food photography, blog marketing, food journalism ethics and more... come to the St. Louis Food Media Forum on July 28th and 29th. I have had the pleasure of putting this weekend with my fellow food-blogging friends Kimberly of Rhubarb and Honey, Stef from The Cupcake Project, Stacey from Every Little Thing Blog and Laura from Food Snob STL. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who has an interest in food media; bloggers, writers, journalists, critics, yelpers, foodspotters, chefs, restaurant owners, tweeters, photographers.... even if you are into writing about food as a hobby and/or dream of putting together a cookbook. I hope you'll come, and if you do, please introduce yourself to me. I love meeting new people!

Find out more:

Seriously, I hope you go. It's a really good deal for the amount of knowledge and talent we've lined up. We all want to be better at our craft, don't we? Plus, it should be really really fun.... have you met food people? We are a lively lot!

This week, my fellow food media forum organizers Stef, Stacey and I had the pleasure of being guests on Stewed STL, a food-centric podcast put on by our talented and opinionated friends Andrew Veety, Bill Burge, Mike Sweeney and Kelli Best-Oliver. The subject of this episode (not yet available... stay tuned to @stewedstl on twitter ) was Food Blogging. It got me thinking (ouch!) about the medium in general and why I do it.

I started this blog in 2004 (Holy Old Skool, Batman!). At the time I had a LiveJournal, and loved reading other's daily rantings. I enjoyed writing about my own mundane day-to-day happenings, and getting responses to it, starting conversations. At the time I was also obsessed with reading blogs. I could not get enough of LJC, Not Martha, 101 Cookbooks, Superhero Journal... to name a few. They inspired me to want to do more with my free time. Cook, craft, make photos, CREATE. So I decided to start a blog about something I was becoming increasingly compelled by: FOOD. 

Back in the day, I didn't even take photos. When I did start taking photos, they were awful and yellow. But no one was reading anyway, and the purpose was purely selfish: to motivate myself to try new things and to learn about food. I loved school (nerd alert), so having a blog was kind of like giving myself an assignment every week. As with everything, the more I studied and practiced, the better the blog got. Now I post with regularity every week, usually a new recipe, and have a nice scoop of loyal readers. It just keeps getting more fun!

What I've gained most from this blog is friends. I have an amazing bunch of talented, hilarious, food-loving buddies that I have met directly through the blogging & social media scene. I am constantly being impressed with the things they all do and feel proud to know them. 

I could go into the criticism that blogs have been getting lately... get all defensive and philosophical and shizz... but it's Friday, and that could get long-winded. I'll just say I do this because I love it. I have made some small gains from it, directly and indirectly, but nothing near what I could live on. I respect actual food journalists and recipe writers to the max. They are the ones who wrote the articles and cookbooks and cooking shows that made me fall in love with food. I am sorry that some of them think that food bloggers are killing them off... I don't think its true. The good ones will adapt and persevere, because they have proven skills and talent. 

This post is a reminder to myself of what I am doing with this space... what it means to me. A reminder to myself to keep learning, keep improving... to be interesting and interested, always. 

Much love, dear readers! *smooshy hug*


Kimberly said...

*smooshy hug* right back at ya, Steph!

I'm so glad that we met because of our food blogs ... and I just wanted to say this was a great post ... we do what we do because we love it, and if anyone is threatened by it, I think that's on them!

I will still be reading the words of the great food journalists of the world and buying cookbooks and food magazines because that's also a part of what inspires me to get in the kitchen ... and I don't think that part will ever be lost!

Kara said...

Great post and I completely agree! I second what Kimberly said, I would be one sad girl without food journalists, cookbooks and magazines. I'm really excited for the forum!

Laura said...

Love this post! I think we will always need to wisdom and inspiration from food journalists. I can't wait to listen to the Stewed Podcast!