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I'm self-appointed, you're self-appointed


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#61 ghostrider

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 03:49 PM

Meanwhile, I've had many letters to the editor published in newspapers, including the New York Times. Every single one of them has been edited. I've never heard of a letter to the editor being published in a newspaper without some edits. In many cases I've felt that the edits made to my letters have weakened them substantially.

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Gosh. I have to note parenthetically that I once had a letter to the Times published absolutely verbatim. I very was proud of that at the time, since I'd worked hard to make sure that it didn't have a single wasted word and I apparently achieved that goal, if only once.

Of course it didn't happen that way with my next letter to them, so I'm batting .500 there.
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#62 joiei

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 05:58 PM

When I write about a restaurant I have been to, I have paid for the meal in full. I don't want to be appointed, that might open doors I don't want opened.
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#63 Miami Danny

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 09:21 PM

Now, I realize that you will take apart my reply and parse it sentence by sentence, eventually taking more time than I can match. And that also is the power of the blogger: By making the discussion contentious, anyone who disagrees ends up avoiding involvement, because of the time it takes to respond.

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In other words, last post wins.

#64 annecros

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 04:07 AM

Great, lively discussion.

I am curious, for those of you who have both a blog and a paid gig, do you feel more responsibility when writing for pay than you do when you are throwing a freebie out there on a blog or message board?

I am thinking particularly of you Miami Danny - :wink:. I have read your blog, reviews on message boards, and the stuff that allows you to cash a check. I find no discernible difference in the quality of writing. I also find all objective, and responsible, although you can be grumpy sometimes.

Does the writer feel more responsibility when an actual deposit in the bank is involved?

Regards,

Constant Reader

#65 jgm

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 07:03 AM

I have noticed that the discussion here applies almost exclusively to eaters, readers, bloggers, and critics living in large cities. And that's not at all inappropriate.

However for those of us living in smaller cities -- what's called the "metro" area here is about 400,000 -- another issue enters this discussion, that of the advertising dollar.

Several years ago, the local newspaper had to pull a local story at the last minute, and plugged some wire copy into the hole in order to get the paper out on time. No one noticed, until the outrage swelled the next day, that the wire copy was a story highly critical of car dealers. The result was that the local car dealers pulled all of their advertising and started their own car-advertising-only publication, and it nearly bankrupted the newspaper.

Since then, newspaper copy in this city has been bland, bland, bland. While I can appreciate that a restaurant critic must keep in mind that harsh criticism can sink a restaurant, I think it's also true that the lack of it does an enormous disservice to readers. Because of an intense fear of losing any of its advertising dollars, the local newspaper never prints anything critical of anyone. That's one of the reasons why Wichita and other medium-sized Midwest cities are doomed to be overrun by chain restaurants. I have a lot of respect for the local restaurant reviewer, but sometimes it's painfully obvious she's working hard to find SOMETHING good to say about a new restaurant that has nothing much to offer. While I might envy a reviewer in a larger city, sometimes I pity her; I also know how she manages to stay so slender. When faced with eating absolute crap as often as it takes to do her columns, she probably has no problem keeping her calorie intake down.

My point, then, is that "other-appointed" critics are not only appointed by editors who know nothing about good food, but also indirectly by the very people whose restaurants they're reviewing, since those people are often also advertisers. Their built-in lack of objectivity has nothing to do with personal compromises when it comes to accepting freebies, but instead with the realities of working for publications in which every advertising dollar makes a difference.

#66 Miami Danny

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 08:15 AM

Great, lively discussion.

I am curious, for those of you who have both a blog and a paid gig, do you feel more responsibility when writing for pay than you do when you are throwing a freebie out there on a blog or message board?

I am thinking particularly of you Miami Danny -  :wink:. I have read your blog, reviews on message boards, and the stuff that allows you to cash a check. I find no discernible difference in the quality of writing. I also find all objective, and responsible, although you can be grumpy sometimes.

Does the writer feel more responsibility when an actual deposit in the bank is involved?

Regards,

Constant Reader

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Grumpy sometimes ? You're too kind. I find the hardest thing to deal with is editing. On my blog, I try to tone myself down sometimes, although I rarely edit for length. If you're not a seasoned pro (and I'm nowhere near that), it's very difficult to edit yourself. I have taken 1400 word pieces and had to edit them down to 5-600 words for print publication. It's really like trying to figure out which limb to cut off, especially if I really love the people and the subject I'm writing about. Then the print editor has their more or less final say at deadline, as well. I try to get my pieces in a little early, so the editor and I have time to talk about changes, too.
Anne-Honestly, I have the luxury of choosing what to write about at the moment. I pick my subjects for my food columns, as well as design , theater, and anything else I may get paid for. It's stuff I know a lot about, research a lot (and I don't just mean going to wikipedia or trolling the internet-real shoe leather stuff), love interviewing the people involved, and enjoy. Maybe that would change if I were getting paid to review restaurants I can't stand, or subjects that bore me.
But the bottom line is always integrity. Paid or free, print or blog, I feel I have to establish and maintain what I consider high standards. If you read my last blog post, you'll know that I take this stuff very seriously, even though sometimes it's just a really great taco truck. I visited this truck a dozen times before I wrote about it (both 1400 words on a blog, and 550 words in print)-this guy in print sounded like he may have eaten at the truck once, if at all.
My responsibilty then, at all times, is to the standards I set for myself.
Additionally, you have to be pretty broke, or pretty desperate, or both, to give up your integrity for a couple of dollars, because that's all it is. Well that, and, of course, all the glory.

Edited by Miami Danny, 03 November 2007 - 08:16 AM.


#67 DonRocks

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 09:22 PM

I just skimmed this entire thread, and am surprised to see no mention of "self-paying" versus "other-paying."

1) "Self-paying" means you pay for your own meals, accept no compensation from anyone, and refuse to accept free meals from restaurants.

"Other-paying" can be divided into two categories:

2a) "Other-appointed Other-paying," whose work is generally paid for by a publication, such as the major food critics.

2b) "Self-appointed Other-paying," whose work is subsidized by accepting freebies and comps from restaurants.

I know which category I fall under, and I rest comfortably.

Cheers,
Rocks.

#68 Fat Guy

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 09:38 PM

Jay Rayner, the Observer (London) critic, noticed the Gazette story and this eG Forums topic and discussed them recently in his blog. A few of his comments:

Regularly the article mentions that food bloggers have no credentials and no track record. They just like eating in restaurants.

Well, as one of the so-called professionals on the other side of the fence let me confess: very few of us do either.


The egullet crew have a point, though. The fact is that newspaper restaurant critics are not employed to sell restaurants. They are employed to sell newspapers, and what editors therefore need from us is the ability to write a readable, entertaining column week in week out. Food knowledge or an understanding of restaurants comes a distant second.


Worth having a look at the full piece.

Edited by Fat Guy, 05 November 2007 - 10:26 PM.

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#69 Miami Danny

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 05:58 PM

I just skimmed this entire thread, and am surprised to see no mention of "self-paying" versus "other-paying."

1) "Self-paying" means you pay for your own meals, accept no compensation from anyone, and refuse to accept free meals from restaurants.

"Other-paying" can be divided into two categories: 

2a) "Other-appointed Other-paying," whose work is generally paid for by a publication, such as the major food critics.

2b) "Self-appointed Other-paying," whose work is subsidized by accepting freebies and comps from restaurants.

I know which category I fall under, and I rest comfortably.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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Rocks, you brought up an interesting point. Also, what happens when a self-appointed becomes an other-appointed? Or an amateur becomes a professional? Do they automatically become better? Or, something else? And exactly how does one 'rest comfortably'?

#70 Daniel Rogov

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 03:18 AM

I am growing weary of the need, both by critics and the critics of the critics, to find it necessary to either apologize or accuse. As I have stated before, not all critics are competent or honest but those of us who are have no need for such apologetica. I could comfortably name a host of professional critics whose reputations are beyond tarnish, whose knowledge is encyclopaedic, and whose palates are well past reproach. That is not to say that we have to agree with those people on all of their judgements. It is to say however that we do have to weigh what they say in order to determine whether they can serve as benchmarks for our own desires and palates.

I wonder if much of this need is (a) on the part of critics in the name of political correctness (i.e. "we are not better than them") and (b) on the part of others as a reflection of "down the establishment"

Indeed the critic should be open to criticism. Indeed as well, however, let us not let the baby go down the drain along with the dirty bathwater.

#71 pax

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 04:47 AM

I'm a farmer who likes to eat. I love to cook. I'm comfortable enough that I don't mind paying for quality and redneck enough that I don't turn my nose up at a good hot dog once in a while.


Paid restaurant reviews are, for the most part, a waste of my time. They are formal, suspect, and address issues which I am probably never going to be able to discern or appreciate. A slight nutmeginess in the foamy aspic of jellied rutabaga is just not something I'm going to notice.

A blogger, on the other hand, once I have developed some affinity for him, is someone whose opinion I would seek. They are the common man, and I have more faith in their ability to speak my language.
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#72 Lesley C

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 07:11 AM

Actually I would think it's often the opposite.
As a newspaper restaurant critic I feel I have to limit the "foodie talk" (or my editors tell me to) because my audience comprises both seasoned restaurant goers who understand words like brunoise and brandade, and people who think of Shake & Bake as a celebratory dinner. You're also writing for readers who may glance at the restaurant review only in passing.
The blogger, however, is someone you seek out. And if you're doing that seeking, chances are food is your focus.
Also, as is the case with the paper I write for, we have two critics: one for fine-dining and one for casual. So there's something for both taco lovers and sea-urchin-foam aficinados.

#73 Miami Danny

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:43 AM

I am growing weary of the need, both by critics and the critics of the critics, to find it necessary to either apologize or accuse.  As I have stated before, not all critics are competent or honest but those of us who are have no need for such apologetica.  I could comfortably name a host of professional critics whose reputations are beyond tarnish, whose knowledge is encyclopaedic, and whose palates are well past reproach.  That is not to say that we have to agree with those people on all of their judgements.  It is to say however that we do have to weigh what they say in order to determine whether they can serve as benchmarks for our own desires and palates.

I wonder if much of this need is (a) on the part of critics in the name of political correctness (i.e. "we are not better than them") and (b) on the part of others as a reflection of "down the establishment"

Indeed the critic should be open to criticism.  Indeed as well, however, let us not let the baby go down the drain along with the dirty bathwater.

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Mr. Rogov-Perhaps you do not feel the need to apologize or accuse, but obviously there is enough controversy here that many do, suggesting that this is a real issue. Perhaps these are not ad hominem attacks or accusations, but real, honest disagreements among those who get paid and those who don't, those who submit their work for publication, and those who publish their own work from their laptop while in their underwear. And please tell me that the 'host of professional critics whose reputations are beyond tarnish...etc.' includes you and me.

#74 Busboy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:28 AM

I'm a farmer who likes to eat. I love to cook. I'm comfortable enough that I don't mind paying for quality and redneck enough that I don't turn my nose up at a good hot dog once in a while.


Paid restaurant reviews are, for the most part, a waste of my time. They are formal, suspect, and address issues which I am probably never going to be able to discern or appreciate. A slight nutmeginess in the foamy aspic of jellied rutabaga is just not something I'm going to notice.

A blogger, on the other hand, once I have developed some affinity for him, is someone whose opinion I would seek. They are the common man, and I have more faith in their ability to speak my language.

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Maybe it's because because of the loathsome wasteland that "the common man" has fashioned of our popular culture, but I have a deep and abiding distrust of the people whose dollars and "taste" have given us Thomas Kincaid, Brittney Spears, TGI Friday's and most prime time television. Whether or not they speak one's language, what they're saying tends to to be -- at best -- suspect.

On the larger issue, I stand more with Daniel than his critics. I know Miami Danny has a deep dislike of one of our more prominent food critics, but I'd argue that any of the Three T's who run the regions most influential food pages stands head and shoulders above any of the local bloggers, whose scope is (necessarily -- they have other jobs and limited funds) limited and who tend to be dramatically uncritical in their reviews.

The fact is that the decision by a larger institution to cut a check for you based on your writing is a significant "credential" and useful benchmark for separating the cream from the skim. If you meet to people in the bar and know nothing about them other than that one is blogging their novel and the other one has a contract with Knopf, who would suspect the is the better writer: the one who has appointed their self, or the one whose persuaded at least one other person with interest and experience in the field of their abilities?

Sure, there are talented bloggers out there, men and women who bring as much to the table -- or almost as much -- as those earning their living in the crit biz. And it would be as absurd to dismiss a "self-appointed" authority merely because they don't punch a clock at a Major Daily as it would be to ascribe God-like powers of perception merely because someone has a byline.

The democratization of the internet is a great thing, and we all benefit from having a diversity of opinions to choose from. As The Great Helmsman said, "let a thousand flowers bloom." But, in the long run, the people with a) the commitment to making criticism their life, b) the experience that comes with full-time dedication to a task and c) the talent to attract employers and a large-scale readership, are the way to bet.
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#75 Fat Guy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:24 AM

The fact is that the decision by a larger institution to cut a check for you based on your writing is a significant "credential" and useful benchmark for separating the cream from the skim.  If you meet to people in the bar and know nothing about them other than that one is blogging their novel and the other one has a contract with Knopf, who would suspect the is the better writer: the one who has appointed their self, or the one whose persuaded at least one other person with interest and experience in the field of their abilities?

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That strikes me as a huge leap of faith based on outdated notions of what happens in the publishing business (not that those notions were ever true). Perhaps the person with the contract from Knopf is a better writer, though more likely he's a celebrity using a ghost writer, but when it comes to something like culinary judgment the imprimatur of an institution -- especially a newspaper -- means next to nothing. Who gave the imprimatur? It wasn't an institutional committee of food experts. We've already established that in many cases it's a business decision meant to sell papers, with not a care for the quality of food writing. Empirically, we know that many newspaper critics are complete duds. At least bloggers need to convince food-knowledgeable people of their relevance, otherwise they have no relevance. Professional writers only have to convince editors -- editors who don't necessarily know anything about the subject matter.

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#76 grayelf

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 10:02 AM

As someone relatively new to eGullet (joined in Aug 2007), I tremble to wade in but the water's not that cold so here goes:

When I hear about a restaurant that sounds interesting, I generally Google it and read ALL the reviews that come up. Then I make a decision to go based on average comments and frankly a gut feel. What if there are only two reviews that represent opposite experiences, and one is a "professional" and one an "amateur" reviewer? Maybe wait a bit if the resto is new, or maybe toss a coin. In the end, it's up to me to decide if I want to go, and then if I like the place. Same with movie, book and TV show reviews: do your homework then take the chance and make up your own mind. Sort of "caveat emptor" with caveats :laugh:

I have no formal food background, but in a past life worked as a full-time reporter (what we used to call journalists) for several papers in BC (both metro and not). I do remember being surprised at how and on what basis "reviewers/critics" were chosen, but perhaps I shouldn't have been. Not everyone who knows a lot about a particular area is suited to the newspaper lifestyle (churning out x amount of column inches per week, writing to a tight deadline, working weird hours, blah blah blah). It seemed to me that these folks were often chosen more for their newspaper experience and longevity than for a specific background in food, music, whatever. And their opinions are probably worth just that.

Edited to add: Anytime I have to use as many quotation marks as I did in this post, I worry what my old profs would say about properly defining my terms...

Edited by grayelf, 08 November 2007 - 10:04 AM.


#77 Busboy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:10 AM

The fact is that the decision by a larger institution to cut a check for you based on your writing is a significant "credential" and useful benchmark for separating the cream from the skim.  If you meet to people in the bar and know nothing about them other than that one is blogging their novel and the other one has a contract with Knopf, who would suspect the is the better writer: the one who has appointed their self, or the one whose persuaded at least one other person with interest and experience in the field of their abilities?

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That strikes me as a huge leap of faith based on outdated notions of what happens in the publishing business (not that those notions were ever true). Perhaps the person with the contract from Knopf is a better writer, though more likely he's a celebrity using a ghost writer, but when it comes to something like culinary judgment the imprimatur of an institution -- especially a newspaper -- means next to nothing. Who gave the imprimatur? It wasn't an institutional committee of food experts. We've already established that in many cases it's a business decision meant to sell papers, with not a care for the quality of food writing. Empirically, we know that many newspaper critics are complete duds. At least bloggers need to convince food-knowledgeable people of their relevance, otherwise they have no relevance. Professional writers only have to convince editors -- editors who don't necessarily know anything about the subject matter.

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For purposes of the discussion of the publishing business, we're assuming two "literary" authors of (at the moment of the hypothetical) equal anonymity. Regardless of how you wish to interpret it, though, I'll still stand by the original point: a writer in any field who can demonstrably claim to have convinced even a single individual to make a tangible commitment of time/money/effort has cleared a significant hurdle that many have not. It doesn't assure that they're "better", but that's the way to bet.

Please explain the difference between a newspaper trying to increase circulation and a blogger going for more hits? For that matter, are you saying that publications don't try to increase circulation by offering (what they believe to be) high-quality content? Also, are you suggesting that food writers in the daily paper don't want to be relevant and reach influentials, as well? And, aren't you ignoring the fact that many/most "self-appointeds" are doing it as a hobby and the free goodies?

As I said before, there are likely some fine self-appointed bloggers out there. And, the blogs are a great proving ground for up-and-coming talent. But, on the whole, they're lightweights (often enjoyable and useful), cheerleaders (less so) or self-entitled cranks (fortunately, fewer than in the political blogosphere). (When I start my blog, btw, I intend to be in the last category.)
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#78 Fat Guy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:19 AM

Please explain the difference between a newspaper trying to increase circulation and a blogger going for more hits?


Blogs are niche products. A food blogger is speaking to a food audience about food only. Newspapers are for general audiences. The food writers get fired if they only speak to foodies. When a food blogger tries to increase relevance, the way to do it is by being more relevant in the food world. When a newspaper tries to increase circulation, quality food content is not typically a consideration. Even at the most elite newspapers, like the New York Times, the critics are under a clear mandate to try to appeal to non-foodies, and their work suffers for it.

For that matter, are you saying that publications don't try to increase circulation by offering (what they believe to be) high-quality content?


In the newspaper world, rarely. Perhaps at the top of the heap, there's some room for quality. The reporters at the Times and WSJ are the aristocrats of the newspaper world, and are indulged somewhat in the pursuit of focused quality -- as long as it doesn't do too much to jeopardize general-audience readership. But for the thousands of newspapers below that level? With a few bright-light exceptions like Purvis's food section they publish mostly unreadable, supremely low quality crap. And, as noted above, the priority isn't quality of food content.

And, aren't you ignoring the fact that many/most "self-appointeds" are doing it as a hobby and the free goodies?


Hobby = for the love of it. That's a good thing. And I don't know of a single food blogger who does it for the free goodies -- that's more of a bonus.

they're lightweights (often enjoyable and useful), cheerleaders (less so) or self-entitled cranks (fortunately, fewer than in the political blogosphere). 

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Same with newspapers.

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#79 DonRocks

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:37 AM

And I don't know of a single food blogger who does it for the free goodies -- that's more of a bonus.

Not bonus; onus.

#80 Miami Danny

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 01:10 PM

And I don't know of a single food blogger who does it for the free goodies -- that's more of a bonus.

Not bonus; onus.

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What free goodies? WHAT FREE GOODIES? WHERE ARE MY FREE GOODIES?

#81 Miami Danny

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 01:29 PM

I'm a farmer who likes to eat. I love to cook. I'm comfortable enough that I don't mind paying for quality and redneck enough that I don't turn my nose up at a good hot dog once in a while.


Paid restaurant reviews are, for the most part, a waste of my time. They are formal, suspect, and address issues which I am probably never going to be able to discern or appreciate. A slight nutmeginess in the foamy aspic of jellied rutabaga is just not something I'm going to notice.

A blogger, on the other hand, once I have developed some affinity for him, is someone whose opinion I would seek. They are the common man, and I have more faith in their ability to speak my language.

View Post

Maybe it's because because of the loathsome wasteland that "the common man" has fashioned of our popular culture, but I have a deep and abiding distrust of the people whose dollars and "taste" have given us Thomas Kincaid, Brittney Spears, TGI Friday's and most prime time television. Whether or not they speak one's language, what they're saying tends to to be -- at best -- suspect.

On the larger issue, I stand more with Daniel than his critics. I know Miami Danny has a deep dislike of one of our more prominent food critics, but I'd argue that any of the Three T's who run the regions most influential food pages stands head and shoulders above any of the local bloggers, whose scope is (necessarily -- they have other jobs and limited funds) limited and who tend to be dramatically uncritical in their reviews.

The fact is that the decision by a larger institution to cut a check for you based on your writing is a significant "credential" and useful benchmark for separating the cream from the skim. If you meet to people in the bar and know nothing about them other than that one is blogging their novel and the other one has a contract with Knopf, who would suspect the is the better writer: the one who has appointed their self, or the one whose persuaded at least one other person with interest and experience in the field of their abilities?

Sure, there are talented bloggers out there, men and women who bring as much to the table -- or almost as much -- as those earning their living in the crit biz. And it would be as absurd to dismiss a "self-appointed" authority merely because they don't punch a clock at a Major Daily as it would be to ascribe God-like powers of perception merely because someone has a byline.

The democratization of the internet is a great thing, and we all benefit from having a diversity of opinions to choose from. As The Great Helmsman said, "let a thousand flowers bloom." But, in the long run, the people with a) the commitment to making criticism their life, b) the experience that comes with full-time dedication to a task and c) the talent to attract employers and a large-scale readership, are the way to bet.

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I think you misunderstood my response to Rogov (although it is probably my fault-I did not mean to sound contentious). I am not trying to assert that one is better than the other (print/blogger, self/other), only that a legitimate intellectual debate exists.
Additionally, to clarify the record, I do not have a 'deep dislike' for any DC critics. My thoughts on this issue are well-documented, and there are many people who agree with me, some in the industry, some food board regulars, some ordinary people who don't really care much about food, and there are also those who disagree, from those same groups. There is a definite need for serious debate on that issue in DC, one which, I am afraid, will never happen.

Edited by Miami Danny, 08 November 2007 - 02:56 PM.


#82 Miami Danny

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 01:32 PM

"And, the blogs are a great proving ground for up-and-coming talent. But, on the whole, they're lightweights (often enjoyable and useful), cheerleaders (less so) or self-entitled cranks (fortunately, fewer than in the political blogosphere)."
You've just pretty much described most periodical/newspaper food sections.

#83 philadining

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:00 PM

As someone who blogs, and has written criticism for print, I just have to say, for me, there is a substantive difference between blogging and "appointed" writing for an established publication.

I know I'm conflating the appointment thing with the question of medium, but many of the same effects arise from doing things for someone else, for pay, and doing things for a less-interactive, more static medium, be it print, radio, TV... not the web.

I try not to be too flip, cheerleader-ish, or cranky on my blog, but being challenged by a good editor to justify, clarify or elaborate aspects of a review makes my writing better, and more responsible. Being "appointed" by this editor meant that there is a much greater accountability: if I write something truly reckless, reputations up and down the line will suffer, and I have no doubt the employment status of several people, including myself, would be imperiled. That's a different environment than posting to one's own blog, where nobody else's job is on the line, and a writer can easily revise or retract a statement if he thinks better of it.

I try to not be irresponsible in blog writing, but there is a different set of expectations. It feels to me as if there's more at stake making a statement in other media than on the web, even if the web posting can spread faster and more widely. Those web postings can be updated, discussed, or deleted, in fact it almost feels like one or more of those things inevitably will happen. But for an opinion fixed in ink, or in a soundfile, or on video, it feels to me like there is more pressure to make sure it is exactly right, that it could stand without tweaks. I think there's an understanding that internet postings are often quick, stream-of-consciousness, first-impression blurts. There's, for me, a quantum energy change in producing for the other media, one that necessitates more private revision and refinement.

There are benefits to each approach: the unfiltered, unmitigated, highly personal expression possible on a blog or personal website can offer something completely different from the buffed, vetted, mitigated prose that results from several people having hands in it. I'm not sure one is better than the other, but they seem different to me.

Of course one can do as much neurotic tweaking to a blog post as to any print submission, but those tend to stick out a bit, not scanning as bloggy.

An "appointed" critic can say that at least one person thinks that his opinions are valid. That's not much, but it's one more person than in the case of blogging. I would hope that in most cases the appointments are based on some merit, but I'll accept the gloomy opinions here that they often are not.

I understand it's not the case universally, but in my situation, being "appointed" came with a budget that allowed me to be more thorough, and expectations that I'd be more deeply analytical than I would have been were I reviewing something for my blog. That made my output different at least, probably better.

As I said, I'm not sure one approach is inherently better than the other, but I would suggest that being self-appointed is not the same thing as being appointed by another. As least that's been my experience. Your mileage may vary.

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#84 tommy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:05 PM

Hobby = for the love of it. That's a good thing. And I don't know of a single food blogger who does it for the free goodies -- that's more of a bonus.

i know a good number of bloggers, food and otherwise. like anyone doing anything, they all have different motivations, and they have mutliple motivations for blogging. some do it for validation, some to increase their sense of self-worth, some for special treatment they receive, some for the free food, and some for all those reasons, and then some.

there is not doubt in my mind that free stuff is a motivating factor some, and not just a bonus. not for me, however.

#85 Miami Danny

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:27 PM


Hobby = for the love of it. That's a good thing. And I don't know of a single food blogger who does it for the free goodies -- that's more of a bonus.

i know a good number of bloggers, food and otherwise. like anyone doing anything, they all have different motivations, and they have mutliple motivations for blogging. some do it for validation, some to increase their sense of self-worth, some for special treatment they receive, some for the free food, and some for all those reasons, and then some.

there is not doubt in my mind that free stuff is a motivating factor some, and not just a bonus. not for me, however.

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And free stuff's not a motivation for print or broadcast types? I worked in TV for 17 years, and I can tell you that free food and booze (and tickets, and books, and DVD's, etc.) are the backbone of the industry. I will also say, without question, that there is a ton more free stuff going to 'journalists' every day than to bloggers. I know people who are print and broadcast journalists who pay for nothing.

#86 RAHiggins1

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:50 PM

Though certainly a very generous offer, I must decline.

Without question, I am most qualified to appoint myself.

Certainly more qualified than some newspaper editor whose diet is mostly limited to lukewarm coffee, deli delivery, and gin drenched olives.

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I'm sorry. I fail to see what is bad about drenching olives in Gin.

Also, please appoint me.. please, please, pretty, please, with sugar on top.
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.

#87 tommy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 03:14 PM


Hobby = for the love of it. That's a good thing. And I don't know of a single food blogger who does it for the free goodies -- that's more of a bonus.

i know a good number of bloggers, food and otherwise. like anyone doing anything, they all have different motivations, and they have mutliple motivations for blogging. some do it for validation, some to increase their sense of self-worth, some for special treatment they receive, some for the free food, and some for all those reasons, and then some.

there is not doubt in my mind that free stuff is a motivating factor some, and not just a bonus. not for me, however.

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And free stuff's not a motivation for print or broadcast types?

i didn't say that, and certainly didn't mean to imply it. people love and are motivated by free stuff, and the feeling they get when they get it. it's more than just icing on the cake.

#88 Fat Guy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 03:28 PM

there is not doubt in my mind that free stuff is a motivating factor some, and not just a bonus.  not for me, however.

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If your contention is that people love free stuff, well then of course I agree with that. But if your contention is that people become food bloggers to get free stuff, there's no doubt in my mind that you're wrong. And I'd be pleased to debate that with you on a topic about that. Not on this topic, which is about something else, though.

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#89 Busboy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 03:30 PM

And I don't know of a single food blogger who does it for the free goodies -- that's more of a bonus.

Not bonus; onus.

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What free goodies? WHAT FREE GOODIES? WHERE ARE MY FREE GOODIES?

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Dude, you need to get your name to the local PR types. Hell, even I get invited, on occasion, to free dinners, tastings and the like. These things are full of the local blogger types (and fine people they are, too). Sadly, invites have dropped off of late. Whether I was insufficiently industrious in writing up the gatherings afterwards or PR strategies have changed, I know not. But it was swell while it lasted.

Possible that you're not invited because even in Miami there's only a limited number of restaurants eager to advertise: "as recommended by Daily Cocaine!" :wink:
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#90 Miami Danny

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 04:00 PM

And I don't know of a single food blogger who does it for the free goodies -- that's more of a bonus.

Not bonus; onus.

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What free goodies? WHAT FREE GOODIES? WHERE ARE MY FREE GOODIES?

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Dude, you need to get your name to the local PR types. Hell, even I get invited, on occasion, to free dinners, tastings and the like. These things are full of the local blogger types (and fine people they are, too). Sadly, invites have dropped off of late. Whether I was insufficiently industrious in writing up the gatherings afterwards or PR strategies have changed, I know not. But it was swell while it lasted.

Possible that you're not invited because even in Miami there's only a limited number of restaurants eager to advertise: "as recommended by Daily Cocaine!" :wink:

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:biggrin: You may be right, BB, although I believe they did a survey and it is now the #2 Most Popular Dessert Item after flan! (Was #1 for a long time.)