On Saturday, I’ll be joining a panel called “Eat the Web: Blogging’s Effect on the Food World” at the Gourmet Institute. The moderator is Ruth Reichl, editor of Gourmet, and Ben Leventhal of Eater.com, Ed Levine of SeriousEats.com, and Ganda Suthivarakom of EatDrinkOneWoman.com will also be on the panel.
Since not everyone will be in New York on Saturday and even those in the city may not be able to attend, I thought I would ask you: if you were in the audience which subjects would you most like to hear discussed? The existential question of what is a blog? (zzzz) How blogging is revolutionizing journalism, food, wine and the world (or is it)? Just how much influence does blogs have and how can that influence be measured? Do journalists make good bloggers when their editors tell them to blog and they don’t get any extra pay? The ethics of blogging?
This last point was the subject of a recent WSJ article that accused some food bloggers of accepting free meals and “graft.” Some of the online forums may be indeed be very susceptible to manipulation–but bloggers? A point for discussion indeed. NY Mag’s Grub Street, one of the best mag-a-blogs out there thanks to its torrid pace of updates and punchy prose (though boo hoo it doesn’t take comments or have a blogroll), rode to the defense of food bloggers.
Beyond these questions, one thing of interest to me is why food and wine blogs often seem to operate in separate spheres. Yes, more people eat food than drink wine. But I post frequently about foods that go with recommended wines because–gasp!!–I think wine is best enjoyed with food! (and friends, but I’ll save that for another time). I’ll ask the food bloggers about this separation or even neglect of wine from their end. But we’ll have to see how much we can cram into the allotted hour…