Meta-blogging: Awards and Quality of Food Blog Writing

I wanted to touch upon this yesterday, when writing about the just release James Beard award. But Hillel over at Tasting Menu beat me to the punch. He raises some important points about the lack of acknowledgement by the mainstream food establishment when it comes to food blogs.

The mainstream food media has really started to recognize the high quality content coming from the hundreds of food blogs that have sprouted all over the net. Maybe eventually these contests will catch up as well.

I couldn’t agree more. It would be great if awards given out by folks like the James Beard Foundation or the Bert Green Awards, given out by the International Association of Culinary Professionals would recognize some…no wait…any of the great writing happening on food blogs.

It’s not a measure of quality. Many of the posts I’ve read over the past year equal (and often surpass) the level of quality of demonstrated by the nominees of both awards. Seriously, take a look at my favorite post from last year… Shiokadelicious‘ post about birthday cakesOf Birthday’s Past. Now compare that against any of the nominees, and tell me how it compares against say…Internet Nominee Natalie MacLean for her post American Idol.

Whoops, you can’t. Because the article isn’t listed on her site.

I don’t mean to Disparage Ms. MacLean, who does write wonderfully. My point here is that these awards tend to be geared towards established food writers who happen to have an internet presence, rather than those who work almost exclusively on the ‘net.

However, the food blog community needs to understand just how good we are. When fall rolls around this year, we need to ensure that several of us have the confidence and courage to actually apply for these awards.

A lot of this, I’m sure, is a bit of an inferiority complex on the bloggers part. We’re a new medium and no one knows exactly how to make an imprint, aside from being recognized by the established food media. We, the food blogging community, fall squarely into the unestablished food writing media. We have our fans, we have our passion and we have our outlet. What we don’t have is recognition from the upper echelon of the foodie world.

The question is now, what can we do about it?

Really, the only thing I believe we can do is to keep writing.

That’s it.

Any time a new medium is introduced, there is a period of time from when the established medias take the new one seriously. The key for this to happen, is to have the participants of the new medium to take themselves seriously. From looking across the vast array of food blogs out there, we’re already there.


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