Something to chew on

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Come on, Summer, FOCUS!

Yesterday was the last day of SXSW Interactive here in Austin. Lots of people, information and tweeting in the hallways. I attended panels and core conversations on such topics as company culture, managing online communities and politics. And yesterday, I was very happy to end my time at SXSW sitting in on a panel about food blogging!

The five folks on the panel had a wide range of backgrounds: a journalist, two homecooks, a fellow cupcake lover and a guy just looking for a place to eat lunch. They talked -- and invited the attendees to ask questions -- about such issues as placing ads on a food blog, getting book deals, how often they post and how much time they spend on each post.

One resounding piece of advice came when the conversation turned to what the panelists might say to someone starting a food blog. "Focus!" said Zach Brooks. Your readers come to expect certain things from you. He encouraged new food bloggers not to throw curve balls at their visitors and readers.

The panel also agreed that any food blog should be entertaining, useful or timely. Are you writing to break food-related news or introduce new restaurants? Do you want to share time-saving tips with readers? Do you just want to make readers laugh at your kitchen disasters? Do you want to let readers know that they're not alone in their struggles?




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