Sunday, September 12, 2010
Blogging, like most writing, can be a lonely thing. You sit staring at the computer screen and wonder if anyone is out there -- if anyone will read your digital scribbling.
But then I attended the Food Blog Forum yesterday. It's not lonely at all. It's a cyber-community. There's ALWAYS someone to "talk" to.
This was the first time I had come out of my shell since starting The Culinary Historian a few months ago. The forum was held at The Shed on Glenwood, a new restaurant in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Atlanta. There was plenty of parking, as most of the surrounding buildings are empty or under construction.
One hundred other food bloggers were crammed like sardines into the too-small space, perched on the hardest little wooden chairs many of us had enjoyed in a long time. But the speakers were knowledgeable and engaging and it was wonderful to spend a day in the company of such an interesting group.
The main speaker was Jaden Hair, of steamykitchen.com Jaden de-mystified blogging and shared what it takes to be a successful blogger. In the last session of the day, she just sat in a chair and talked about her experience, what she has learned, and what works. She had no PowerPoint, no visual aids. She just sat and talked and answered questions. I learned a lot.
The main thing that I came away with was that a good blog is entertaining and has useful information. A cooking blog is a good example and most of the other bloggers had cooking blogs. They put up cute pictures of their kids and share a recipe or two.
I wondered, how does The Culinary Historian fit into this paradigm? My aim is to have a blog that is thoughtful and informative. But is it useful? Is it entertaining to anyone but me?
So, dear readers (and I only have a small idea how many of you are even out there), please tell me. Should The Culinary Historian be funnier? Have more pictures of food? Offer recipes? If it has recipes, should they be old and historic or fresh and new for today's cooks?
I really want to know and will take action based on your comments and suggestions (Jaden refers to this as "community driven"). If you don't want to comment publicly you can send me an email at email@example.com
I'm hoping to hear from A LOT of people! Thanks!