I am feeling totally uninspired today - dull day, dull mind. So I dug deep into my head to try and remember some things I have thought about doing in the past - well actually I have a list to remind me - and came up with blog titles. Well that was how I began, but then I started to wonder what are the big foodie blogs of today, and why are they?
I'll do something on the actual titles some other time - but I will say that it made me think about my own title -maybe I should have called mine Rosemary remembers - no probably not as accurate as rambling.
I know there are literally hundreds of thousands, probably millions of food bloggers out there. Some of them are hugely influential, some are overtly commercial, some are extensions of other media - like The Guardian. Me, I'm just doing it for myself, not really expecting anyone to read it, although it gives me a warm glow if somebody does. And even more of a warm glow if someone comments. Hoping, that is, that if somebody comments, what I have written has made that someone think about something in their own lives for at least a moment.
Anyway I decided I would try to find out who are the really big names in food blogging and then perhaps in another one of my potential series, I shall look at a few to see if I can work out why they are so influential. The first list I looked at - there are lots of 10 best, 100 best, etc. lists - was heavily American which I decided was a bit beside the point, so I then started looking for Australian lists. Quite a few of them too. So having looked at a few lists, here is my list of those that appeared on at least two of those lists - some on more. The numbers are not a ranking - I mean the way they were ranked varied from list to list, but some of them were ranked according to a system called Alexa which is an Amazon thing. Amazon has its hands in just about everything these days does it not? Anyway here are the Oz ones - in no particular order.
Recipe Tin Eats
How to Cook That
The World Loves Melbourne
Will and Steve: the Gourmet Pommies
My Korean Kitchen
What Katie Ate
It's Not Complicated Recipes
Healthy Little Foodies
And I see it comes to 10. So one day I'll work my way through the list. And I have to say that I have noticed some of them in passing as I write my blogs. That list is up to date by the way - I imagine it changes all the time.
Just about all of them are obviously in it for the money as the sites are covered in ads. Honestly it is beginning to really annoy me the number of ads you find on these commercial sites. Here for example is the first page of quite an interesting article in Saveur, on the history of food blogs. I just did a screen dump to show you. The big black screen in the middle is about to come up with a video ad of some kind. You can see just three lines of the actual article here. The rest is ads, some of which are flashing on and off and changing all the time. It is extremely annoying trying to read an article like this as there are so few bits of it on the screen at one time, and after a while you lose track of what is the article and what is the ad. Add to that the flashing on and off in the corner of your eye and you really start to wonder at what point this becomes such a big annoyance that people will turn off. I confess I skipped parts of the timeline, although it actually looked quite interesting.
So I think you can probably divide food blogs into a few categories: those written by an 'ordinary' individual with an interest that they are trying to parlay into a money producing career; celebrity foodies of one kind or another - I mean celebrities who are celebrities before they start blogging; commercial enterprises - usually either a media organisation or a food producer of some kind; and people like me who just tap away to amuse themselves, keep the brain going and keep in touch with family and friends. I come across these every now and then. I have noted the odd tantalising title, so maybe I'll look at them some time too. They don't have ads! And I'm sure there are millions like me who will never get found. I just did a quick search on one of my more unique blog post titles and it didn't show! Not that I'm surprised. I think there are things I can do to improve my findability, but I just can't be bothered.
Then there are the Instagram influencers. Which is a whole other category, that I clearly don't understand and should really look into. I found a top 1000 list of them too - the top ones were Emily Skye (which is a name I vaguely think I have heard somewhere), Sarah, Leah Itsines (who I dd see mentioned elsewhere), Katherine Sabbath and Reynold Poernoume. I think these are all Australian because Gary Mehigan and Donna Hay were next on the list, although Heston Blumenthal was number 10 and he's British.
In spite of perusing all these lists - I did celebrity chefs too - not many surprises there - I feel that I am basically missing the names of the people who really are influencing the world when it comes to food. I mean when you look at Booktopia's list of bestselling Australian cookbooks they are almost all healthy, organic, vegan, dairy-free, this and that diet, by people I have never heard of. There was only one by Justine Schofield that could be called a standard kind of cookbook.
I do enjoy writing my blog, although sometimes I find it a bit challenging to think of anything to say, and I'm sure that sometimes I'm pretty boring and repetitive. David Lebovitz, himself a longtime respected food blogger - well journalist - and cook really - wrote a long article on how and why to write a food blog, which was simultaneously reassuring (don't worry about SEO), or what the world thinks, and depressing - copyright and all that (I know I break the law here sometimes), and how I should edit extensively, etc. Mind you he broke some of his own rules - break up long sections of text with appropriate pictures. It was nearly all text - small text - and quite long. More of a lecture than a blog. A useful lecture though.
I'm not sure I have said anything at all here. A true ramble today.