Sunday, 18 July 2010

To blog, or not to blog - that is the question

I have been interested to observe the changing landscape of food blogging, most particularly here in Hobart.

People come, people go. New people come, new people go. Opinions come, opinions go. The same opinions are posed again, the same opinions are again applauded or negated, then pass into the ether as well.

We have recently seen Nola (from ‘Once a waitress’ blog) depart the city, Victor (from Food Trail) go uncharacteristically quiet for over a month, Steve (from ‘The view from my porch’) and myself going hot and cold with our writings, and Reb (from ‘Gutter Trash’) retire from his political observations blogging, only to re-emerge the next day when the upcoming 2010 election was announced.

Having been blogging on food and restaurants here in Hobart for coming-up-to-5 years (how fast has that time gone?), I am now seeing new commenters with identical comments to those made 5 years ago, which makes for an interesting observation on humankind, but makes it a tad predictable now on what subject will elicit what response.

I have recently done this a few times to test out my observations, and it has indeed proved so. The next quandary then, for the blogger, is how to maintain the rage and interest – both for the reader and the writer.

I haven’t come up with a solution yet. Any suggestions?


Nuf Sed said...

As people get older, they often pickup hobbies. Some people drive caravans around the country, at 40KM p/h blocking up the bloody highways. Others collect stamps. Or go fishing. Rita blogs. About food.

And rightly so, too. Because having owned her own business in the industry, training in the industry and visiting many of Tasmania's best (and probably some of our worst) eateries, she knows what is going on.

When I want to know who is doing what, when, how and why, I read Rita's blog, where the news is so hot it burns your ears most of the time.

Sure there are topics that have been done to death -- but they still make for interesting reading.

Some things do change -- but old habits die hard. Topics like "The Flip side of Cheap Meals" (discussing entertainment books) made for very interesting reading... A similar topic started today on this blog may attract different comments than the ones we read 18 months ago.

I personally love reading stories from both customer, satff and business owner POV's ... they are often abrupt, amazing, rude or just plain funny.

For me, this blog still reigns supreme - When I want to know something about Tassie Hospitality - I come onto this blog and find out!

Anonymous said...

Much of the "interesting stuff" never makes it onto the blog ..... a lot happens around the food scene that won't or can't be blogged about ...for many reasons.

Rita has I suspect, often had to 'temper' her blog as confidences can be betrayed and people upset.
Not to mention the attempted 'highjacking' with wheelbarrows full of vested interests trying to slander often unsuspecting operators.

Blogs & bloggers come and go ...

but the same old issues seem to rear their 'ugly' head.


Rita said...

Nuf Sed - thank you for those words. At times when I question the reasons I continue to blog, the memories of comments such as yours, above, answer that. Love your comment about the news being so hot it burns your ears, as most of the 'news' I add here is old hat by the time I add it, because nearly everything I am told is always told to me on the proviso that I NOT put it on the blog! Hence I hear some fabulous gossip, news etc but can't/won't put it on the blog!

Rita said...

You're spot on CR! I must temper most of what I write, as it's not like I'm writing about things which no one will ever get to hear about! I am continually surprised at the notoriety of this blog, which is easy to forget about when I just sit quietly in my living room, on my own, writing (and talking) online to who-knows-who, but no one that I can visually see or have verbally spoken to! Such is the world of the net.

steve said...

Rita, I think EVERYONE reads your blog but like masturbating, far few admit to doing so.
Of course there is info (hospo) that out there that we all might know about but many more times you have informed your readers about stuff that they weren't aware of.
I know what you mean about the tiresomness of the same old issues bobbing up regularly and it can get quite dreary.
I tend toward writing for my own pleasure on my blog these days and I welcome anyone to come along for the read, they mostly know what to expect and its their choice to log on or not.

Anonymous said...

Shame Rita does not have a second job as Council Food/Health inspector, she could really fill us in on the good and bad kitchens!!!

Rita said...

Thanks Steve. I love reading what you write anyway, regardless.
Anon - I pick my kitchens very carefully, I must assure you! If I suspect the kitchen hygiene leaves a lot to be desired, I simply can't and won't eat there - beginning and end of story! I have worked in one kitchen in Hobart where the owner abused us waitstaff if we binned "perfectly good food" off plates after we had cleared them off tables, when we scraped them in the kitchen prior to dishwashing! I well remember him rounding us all up one night, standing us round the bin in the kitchen, and pointing out all the good food which shouldn't have been scraped into it, as he recovered it all, put it under the tap and replaced it in the bain! Woe betide anyone caught tossing out good food which could be recycled!
Thank god those days are past, and he has left the state!

Rita said...

Oh - and btw, I never did what he ordered! I always tossed it out, no matter what the consequences might be. I didn't flaunt that fact in his face, but did exactly what my conscience told me anyway.

Lucy said...

Rita, blog if you enjoy it.

All the Hobart food bloggers (current and past) have different approaches, different preferences and very different levels of criticality. I'm going to miss Nola's level of criticality, for instance, whereas I understand that your involvment in the industry limits your criticality somewhat. Regardless, I believe the more people talking about food in this state (in an informed and considered way), the better.

Nuf Sed said...

Well, I've learnt my new thing for the day, I didn't even know criticality was a word!

Rita I can imagine some business owners operating like that -- if a customer leaves a handful of chips on a plate, why not through them back into the bain marie? You might kill someone with food poisioning but as a business you make a saving of 5 cents!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, who's Nora?

Anonymous said...

"Once a Waitress, Always a Waitress" Blog

Christina said...

Riddle me this.
Phil wants to know.
What sort of cheese do you use to blindfold a horse?
A little mindless trivia.

Rita said...

I give up Christina! Come on, tell us!

Victor said...

Rita - I am still here and reading your blog. I haven't vanish yet. But, the reason I blog today is different from a year ago when I first started.

When I first started, I think too deep into the number of hits and continue to write to get more hits. And, if I don't blog for a week or two, I think too much on loosing my viewers and followers. Then I think that I have to write a new post.

The time away in Penang for six weeks and not having easy access to internet made me evaluate the reason I blog. That I don't have to worry if I don't put up a new post. That it is not about the numbers. That I do it for myself, and not for others, and that if others like to read or follow my blog, that is great. So, I write only when I feel like writing and make it available freely on the net. That I write to jog my memory and reflect back on my experiences.


Christina said...

I'm so very happy to see you back Victor.

As for the cheese, Marscapone of course!


Nuf Sed said...

Shame that the possibility of being sued does exist in this world .... Imagine the stories Rita could tell!

The Sunday Tasmanian thing saying Cats were in freezer at China Dinner was a bit hard to believe, heck, wholesale cooked chopped up chooks can be less than $5 each nowadays, so roaming the streets of Hobart, catching, shooting, skinning, de-gutting and cleaning cats and then cooking them seems a bit pointless?