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"Our food culture magazine"? Picked up the premiere edition at Urban Fare the other day. Do we really need another local food magazine? Doesn't EAT do the best job? Many of the restaurants and other advertisers are likely stretched enough for advertising dollars, I can't understand how someone thought it would be a good idea to start this? Why not just another online magazine or blog? Have they no idea about printing costs, distribution etc? In the editorial, they say that "...is an independent publication and intend to stay that way" like EAT or cityfood is not?! Do they imagine that they cater to their advertisers? And AND, their first reveiw is for the reef?! I'm just gobsmacked. True I only scanned the articles, because there was absolutely nothing that was interesting, 3 photos and some illustrations - and this from "a group of writers, photographers and artists that love food and events surrounding it" puhleeze.

Looking forward to hearing your input.

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They also have a website - openmouth.ca

Hey - we live in a food obessed media saturated society. I think anyone who wants, should get a kick at the can. At the end of the day - content is key and that's something readers get pass final judgement on. But I say good on anyone who is willing to stick their necks out and give it a shot. It's hard hard work.

Unfortunately - your intial review of their mag does not bode well for them.

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They also have a website - openmouth.ca

Hey - we live in a food obessed media saturated society.  I think anyone who wants, should get a kick at the can.  At the end of the day - content is key and that's something readers get pass final judgement on.  But I say good on anyone who is willing to stick their necks out and give it a shot.  It's hard hard work.

Unfortunately - your intial review of their mag does not bode well for them.

I agree, but give us something new and interesting at least!

Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh for their first time out, but as I've had enought experience in the industry (EAT contributor, gfriend of a couple of chefs (one an acclaimed restauranteur, another a popular baker) cookbook writer, server (a lifetime ago), home cook, dining outer, original guest services gal @ Urban Fare "in the day", friends with many well known & talented in the industry, PR director at a resort, voracious food reader - and quite a bit more... Hey! I'm thinking that perhaps a new topic could be a little bio about us all!?

Anywho....I've had a bit of wine, and I guess am tring to get across that I'm not just venting (well just a bit) that I actually am speaking from a point of experience and knowledge (so THIS is what happens when you get in your 40's...) and that I guess I expect more. More from some young idealistic upstarts.

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"Our food culture magazine"? Picked up the premiere edition at Urban Fare the other day. Do we really need another local food magazine? Doesn't EAT do the best job?

I agree it is not off to an inspiring start. As for whether we need another local food magazine, I'm all for more choice and letting the market decide.

Cheers,

Anne

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I agree, but give us something new and interesting at least!

...I guess I expect more. More from some young idealistic upstarts.

Dude - I am totally with you.

I was hearing an interview on how word processors have made teaching writing classes so much harder - word processors make everything look pretty and organized and people think - 'well that's it, I've written something good.'

I think that the same can be said of desktop publishing and websites - people put together something that looks 'right' while actual content languishes - I mean, have you read half the blogs out there?

I want more too - a fresh prespective, a bit of sophistication, but most of all a sense of fun and enjoyment. There are new things popping up all the time - all the more fun for armchair chefs like me.

As to their website (I have not seen their magazine) - well I hope things improve.

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Picked up a copy a couple of days ago. Aside from any comment on the anorexic content, what bugs me about it is that the advertisers are getting editorial (they're not the only pub out there that does this - it's just so icky). I think I saw a listing, food review, or multiple name mentions for every restaurant advertiser. Coincidence? :hmmm:

Advertising is my gig, so maybe I'm hyper-sensitive.

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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I have been in the restaurant bus all my life and from what I have seen in different Can. publications or media. I have found that most of the publications have multiple ads, you pay you get editorial; many are guilty of that.

Please lets get some objective angles on this new Vancouver Multimedia.

I remember in the old days in van most restaurant cross media was all paid except for a few critics.

Steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I have been in the restaurant bus all my life and from what I have seen in different Can. publications or media. I have found that most of the publications have multiple ads, you pay you get editorial; many are guilty of that.

Please lets get some objective angles on this new Vancouver Multimedia.

I remember in the old days in van most restaurant cross media was all paid except for a few critics.

Steve

Agreed, there a lot of - usually local - publications that are guilty of this practice. There are a number of publications that do not engage in pay-for-play. Whatever the perception might be out there of MacLean's, the Vancouver Sun, or even, yes (here's the shill - I am outed so I don't feel bad about defending the defensible parts of my business), Vancouver Magazine that will not guarantee any editorial consideration for advertising dollars.

I understand the practice as a means to secure advertising dollars, and many fine companies are comfortable with - even demand - editorial space for dollars, but as a reader I find it just diminishes the credibility of all the editorial content.

And I think that the fact that OpenMouth seems - go ahead, please prove me wrong - to be engaging in this practice is a valid and objective 'angle' of this new Vancouver multimedia.

Any effort to enter the difficult world of publishing is to be commended, and premiere issues are notoriously challenging not only in terms ofsecuring the advertising dollars to actually pay the staff, but also the logistics for the initiated and uninitiated alike to get all that dang text and art print-ready - edited, proofread, designed and touched up - by deadline.

I will wait to see a future issue to comment further on the actual content and design, but when I see a publication that is too obviously pimping editorial coverage, my first impression tends to the negative.

To Openmouth - good luck, and prove me wrong!

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello,

It is always hard to hear negative things but I will try to regard everything as constructive critiscism.

I work with Open Mouth. We are all trying really hard to make it an entertaining and succesful magazine but this is new territory for all of us. I can see that many of you work, or have worked, for EAT and other food publications. I understand your hostility, although I don't think it warranted.

We are not trying to be another EAT, or Cityfood for that matter. Open Mouth is focusing on the younger generation that spends a lot of money on food and dining but isn't completely represented in the food/dining media. I know much of what is in our pages may seem amatuer and young to many of you, but that is kind of the point.

Everyone at Open Mouth IS a foodie, but we are all just beginning to develop our skills and hope to get better on a monthly basis. I do have three things which I will respond to:

1)Style Councillor. You said

"Our food culture magazine"? Picked up the premiere edition at Urban Fare the other day. Do we really need another local food magazine? Doesn't EAT do the best job? Many of the restaurants and other advertisers are likely stretched enough for advertising dollars, I can't understand how someone thought it would be a good idea to start this? Why not just another online magazine or blog? Have they no idea about printing costs, distribution etc? In the editorial, they say that "...is an independent publication and intend to stay that way" like EAT or cityfood is not?! Do they imagine that they cater to their advertisers? And AND, their first reveiw is for the reef?! I'm just gobsmacked. True I only scanned the articles, because there was absolutely nothing that was interesting, 3 photos and some illustrations - and this from "a group of writers, photographers and artists that love food and events surrounding it" puhleeze.

Looking forward to hearing your input.

I am shocked at how MUCH you dislike our magazine. We have made mistakes and we will make more in the future. You feel that there is no place for another food magazine in this city, and that really surprises me. I of course dissagree but will not go into detail as to why. I think many foodies out there will be happy to have Open Mouth, if only as a change of pace from more mature and developed magazines.

2)Ethics.

Many of you have claimed that we esentialy don't have ethics and have sold out editorial for advertising. It is so hard to read that when we have tried so hard to do the exact opposite.

As we only did one review I assume you are all referring to our listings and classifieds, and how some of them match our advertisers. There is absolutely a relationship there but we have never regarded those sections as editorial. If you all believe that this is a comprimize of our integrity than I will definately look at changing our policy. It is just so frustrating as we have tried so hard not to generate revenue/readers as many blogs, forums, and magazines have. We haven't been negative for shock value, we haven't sold any editorial, (I don't know how to prove that. If any of you know the owners of the restaurants you think bought editorial, please ask them.) and we haven't just put a whack of reviews in for tourist readership.

And Finally,

3)Our chances of success.

For many of you this has already been decided apparantly. I hope, for the sake of all the people working and volunteering with Open Mouth, that you are not correct. In the same way that we do not rip into restaurants for shock readership, (we know how much work and love goes into restaurant startups) please remember before you blast us that we are doing our best, and could really use help, rather than negative critiscism.

Finally, if anyone would like to help us in any way please give me an email at any time. We could especially use some experienced foodie writers, and then you would have no excuse to tell us our content is "annorexic"! :hmmm:

Thanks very much and I hope we can make a better impression in future issues!

Dave

dave@openmouth.ca

Dave Williams

Open Mouth Magazine

dave@openmouth.ca

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Hello,

It is always hard to hear negative things but I will try to regard everything as constructive critiscism.

I work with Open Mouth.  We are all trying really hard to make it an entertaining and succesful magazine but this is new territory for all of us.  I can see that many of you work, or have worked, for EAT and other food publications.  I understand your hostility, although I don't think it warranted. 

We are not trying to be another EAT, or Cityfood for that matter.  Open Mouth is focusing on the younger generation that spends a lot of money on food and dining but isn't completely represented in the food/dining media.  I know much of what is in our pages may seem amatuer and young to many of you, but that is kind of the point.

Everyone at Open Mouth IS a foodie, but we are all just beginning to develop our skills and hope to get better on a monthly basis.  I do have three things which I will respond to:

1)Style Councillor.  You said

"Our food culture magazine"? Picked up the premiere edition at Urban Fare the other day. Do we really need another local food magazine? Doesn't EAT do the best job? Many of the restaurants and other advertisers are likely stretched enough for advertising dollars, I can't understand how someone thought it would be a good idea to start this? Why not just another online magazine or blog? Have they no idea about printing costs, distribution etc? In the editorial, they say that "...is an independent publication and intend to stay that way" like EAT or cityfood is not?! Do they imagine that they cater to their advertisers? And AND, their first reveiw is for the reef?! I'm just gobsmacked. True I only scanned the articles, because there was absolutely nothing that was interesting, 3 photos and some illustrations - and this from "a group of writers, photographers and artists that love food and events surrounding it" puhleeze.

Looking forward to hearing your input.

I am shocked at how MUCH you dislike our magazine.  We have made mistakes and we will make more in the future.  You feel that there is no place for another food magazine in this city, and that really surprises me.  I of course dissagree but will not go into detail as to why.  I think many foodies out there will be happy to have Open Mouth, if only as a change of pace from more mature and developed magazines. 

2)Ethics. 

Many of you have claimed that we esentialy don't have ethics and have sold out editorial for advertising.  It is so hard to read that when we have tried so hard to do the exact opposite.

As we only did one review I assume you are all referring to our listings and classifieds, and how some of them match our advertisers.  There is absolutely a relationship there but we have never regarded those sections as editorial.  If you all believe that this is a comprimize  of our integrity than I will definately look at changing our policy.  It is just so frustrating as we have tried so hard not to generate revenue/readers as many blogs, forums, and magazines have.  We haven't been negative for shock value, we haven't sold any editorial, (I don't know how to prove that.  If any of you know the owners of the restaurants you think bought editorial, please ask them.) and we haven't just put a whack of reviews in for tourist readership.

And Finally,

3)Our chances of success.

For many of you this has already been decided apparantly.  I hope, for the sake of all the people working and volunteering with Open Mouth, that you are not correct.  In the same way that we do not rip into restaurants for shock readership, (we know how much work and love goes into restaurant startups) please remember before you blast us that we are doing our best, and could really use help, rather than negative critiscism. 

Finally, if anyone would like to help us in any way please give me an email at any time.  We could especially use some experienced foodie writers, and then you would have no excuse to tell us our content is "annorexic"!    :hmmm:

Thanks very much and I hope we can make a better impression in future issues!

Dave

dave@openmouth.ca

Hi Dave:

Good of you to post, and welcome. And good on you for being welcome to feedback.

I think that your first comment about trying to appeal to a younger and more amateur reader is valid. Although some of us (like me? - is over thirty over the hill these days?) are young, most people on this site probably consider themselves on the more sophisticated tail of the bell curve of 'foodies'. So we probably aren't your target market. It would be interesting to hear feedback from readers in your target market.

Regarding what Style Commentator wrote, and my mention of 'anorexic' content, I did find it thin reading. But then again, we are probably not your target market. Maybe a twenty-three year old looking for interesting and affordable places for a first date, and scared of a wine list let alone the first date, would be more appreciative.

Regarding my perception of editorial consideration for advertising, I asked OpenMouth to prove me wrong. I'll take you at your word that there isn't a direct relationship. I know from experience how hard it can be to prove - and if you keep trying you get the "lady doth protest too much". I sell advertising for VanMag, and I like it. I don't get to give editorial for money. I don't want to. It does diminish the editorial credibilty overall, I find personally as a reader. My error for accusing you of that, but it seemed upon my first reading that every advertiser was mentioned in an article, sidebar, full review or as a listing. If you really want advice to prevent such an assumption rising from future issues, here it is: it's cool to add 'extras' to an ad buy, like a complimentary 'listing', but all you have to do is rename it 'Advertisers' Index' or 'Our Supporters', or even have a footnote stating that it is not an impartial recommendation of dining establishments from the editorial team.

Regarding your success: as I said before, good luck. Publishing is a brutal business, and I commend anyone who tries it, though think to myself, why? Working for a magazine that has been around for forty years is hard enough . . . . However, people also shake their heads at otherwise sane people who want to start a boutique winery, new restaurant, or alternative political party. And some survive and achieve great success. Wishing you the same.

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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Laura, when I was a mag editor I would have killed for a sales rep like you,

rather than simply wanting to kill sales reps.

Astounding how many think pay-for-play is de rigueur.

And Dave, I'd echo her sentiments whole-heartedly, particularly in that you

keep your integrity in that respect. The second a reader suspects a good

review is due to a pay-off, you've lost him. When you say you intend to stay

independent, you probably meant not being bought up by a larger company,

but I hope you also mean not being in the back pocket of big restaurants?

I have no problem with another food publication on the scene. If you can contribute something fresh, useful, honest, informative, entertaining and, dare I say original, you have a good shot.

Sophistication, in its too-often superior, snooty form, wouldn't be missed.

Good luck.

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Thank you Feedbag and LuaraF for your responses,

We have just finalized our November issue but some changes will definately be made for December's issue in regards to the listings and their relationship to advertisers. Also, we will be trying to put more solid content into Open Mouth but the learning process is difficult. Just know that we are trying! :smile:

I appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Thanks again,

Dave@openmouth.ca

Dave Williams

Open Mouth Magazine

dave@openmouth.ca

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Hi Dave,

I like a lot of the ideas in openmouth, for example, I like the roundtable review (Vicious Circle)- but the writers need to beef up the actual content a bit- ie rein in the musings and focus on the restaurant!

Likewise the Skulduggery article- why not tell us about the experience itself? Where is the money shot :wink:

And as for someone in head to toe Tiffany. Come on. Does Tiffany have a chainmail line I don't know about?

Good luck, I think there is certainly a market in your demographic. :smile:

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Dave, thanks for stopping in. You've got a clear idea of who your market is and convinced advertisers that you're worth supporting - go for it.

I'm not your target market, or a food writer, but I'll PM you some comments and suggestions this weekend.

Cheers,

Anne

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Hello annanstee and barolo,

thanks for your posts and recomendations. As I mentioned before, we are always open to feedback and assistance. Please keep sending them my way!

I just attended our final press check so the November issue will be printed this weekend and distributed to locations starting Monday. Please let me know what you think,

Dave

dave@openmouth.ca

Dave Williams

Open Mouth Magazine

dave@openmouth.ca

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