State of Vancouver Food Blogs 2011 – The actual post…

by KimHo on April 8, 2011 · 84 comments under: British Columbia,Comments,Random



(Note: A month ago, I wrote this post but, upon further consideration and some external feedback, I chose not to publish it. Instead, I just hinted I had something to say. However, looking at how things have “evolved” in the last month or so… Well, let’s just say it ended up being a case of “I might as well”… Leaving with a bang??? Anyway, please keep in mind this was written over a month ago. Some dates might no longer be applicable…)

It has been a while since I have written a post of this type and I wonder if it is due. In the last couple of months, there has been quite a buzz in terms of popularity of Vancouver blogs, specially if we consider that major sites like Urbanspoon has targetted Vancouver itself as one of the places with the greates activity. But, what does that mean? Better restaurants? More food bloggers? Everybody has anything to say? So, in reference to Canadian’s government thoughts of removing the pennies, here are my $0.05′s worth… But, first an announcement as well…

When I first started blogging, I did it in part to have something to do, an activity of sorts. It was not a smooth trip: I had a couple of false starts which eventually molded into what it is today. Was there a target or a purpose? In a way, it was mostly for fun, something to keep myself busy. Furthermore, as it said, “it is not the destination, but the journey“. And, alas, I must announce that I have announced that this journey has reached what might be a long stop, if not the final stop. Yes, it has always been the journey; however, at the same time, I knew it would last only that long. After all, aside from revisiting the same places over and over, there are only that many restaurants worth visiting. And, have we mentioned that this activity is expensive (unrelated to HST and what not)? Regardless of why, once I flush the remaining pending posts (which includes a personal apology to a very dear friend of mine), I will call it quits.

I am sure a lot of people will be wondering why, not to mention some might be celebrating because this bastard will finally stop bashing everybody left and right. On the personal side, I was planning to “close shop” anyway by July this year. This is, to quote myself, by then, a life changing event would have taken place which would prevent me from blogging. Actually, that is not 100% true; rather, while I could continue blogging, I would rather not do so. However, looking at things around me, specially as mentioned as the subject of this post, it is my perception of the state of food blogs in Vancouver. To be more specific: It sucks and I don’t feel I want to play this game anymore.

Back when an Urbanspoon mention came out, an Urbanspoon Prime member blurbed in the Prime forums that quantity does not mean quality. After all, that’s not the lesson we have learned from all-you-can-eat and/or buffet places? However, I defended the quantity perspective in the sense that with more people voicing their opinion, readers will benefit. While I still stand by that opinion, there have been several a truckload of problems with Vancouver’s picture. I will point several of them here.

I am going to start with, once again, pointing the amount of food bloggers (according to Urbanspoon, over 300). But, wait, I don’t necessarily have issues with the amount of food bloggers per se but the quality of the posts. To me, blogging is more than just saying I went to restaurant X or Y and ordered dish A or B. Then, may be, whether you liked it yes or no. Actually, if you were to read my posts in the past, specially those from two years ago, they actually felt in those lines. However, there was a learning curve and, after some sort of false starts, my writing style changed. In fact, some people have mentioned my harsher attitude has changed (whether for good or bad is to be determined, but given the announcement above, who cares?). What has changed? I don’t only describe what I order, at times why I ordered it, but also a description of the dish and why I liked/disliked it. Furthermore, if I have some background about those dishes (specially Latin American ones), I am more than willing to provide those details. Then, based on my thoughts, I will mention if it is worth my moola to return or not. Granted, I am no food critic and I only order one or two dishes. However, I look at it at the perspective of a John Doe visiting a restaurant and said restaurant has only one chance to wow me. After all, with so many in restaurants in town, if you can’t deliver and provide a good impression, I can easily go to the next one. Unless, of course, somebody can prove me wrong which, at times, I am willing to do a revisit.

However, here is the core problem I perceive with a lot of the new blogs: lack of depth. While I will accept that I haven’t visited every single new blog and do find some of them actually “interesting”, for the most part, it seems they are taking pictures and then write something short out of it. Content? Oh, I went to such and such restaurant and had such and such dish. Every thing was great! (More often than not). You know what? If that’s what is being written, why I waste my time checking those sites? I might as well go to Yelp (which has its own issues) or DineHere (likewise, has its own issues). At least, it is a one stop shop.

If I have to wonder where or how all this started, I would guess social media has become so popular, where everybody can do it, so why not? If that’s the case, I don’t care. I started over two years ago before social media was as commonplace as nowadays. And, while it has its own good points, the problem is that such there is too much carelessness makes me want to stay away from it. In other words and, once again, I don’t want to play that game. Take for example, what Diana Chan who writes Foodology wrote in her personal blog.

After 4 months of food blogging, Foodology.ca is number 13 on their Vancouver leader board of blogs. This is a major achievement because my goal was to be top 20 by Christmas, but clearly we have surpassed this amount. There are about 260 blogs about food in Vancouver! 13/ 260, thats pretty amazing!

That sounds good, a young woman like her should have high ideals. However, when a site she is part of, called Nocturnal Vancouver (link won’t be provided but you can easily Google it), start stealing pictures from known sites without given proper credit (rectified “after being notified”), that’s when we have issues.

To further “complicate” things, are the blaggers, specially those who have been for some extended period of time. I have mentioned them before and, once again, I will call them out. People like Richard Wolak (aka vanfoodster aka Vancouver Foodster) and Erin Ireland [oddly, food editor columnist for MetroNews Metro Vancouver (corrected by appropriate sources)] is what makes me cringe in pain and disbelief. On one side, Richard is known not to eat a lot of things and, in Erin’s case, she does not eat dishes with carbohydrates (to quote herself. Also, when we met for the first time and she wanted to go to Samurai Sushi; I convinced her to meet at Miko Sushi instead and she ended up eating mostly sashimi). So, you wonder yourself… If that’s the case, how can you write about this subject if you don’t/can’t actually eat said dishes??? Worst of all, why people actually read/listen to them?

To those who had to spend a bit too much time back in high school or university in their class(es) of logic or discrete mathematics, will have heard of argumentum ad verecundiam or argumentum ad potentiam, also known as fallacy by authority. In other words, somebody who is a well known public figure suddenly has (or believe to have) the knowledge and power, plus can make a judgement “just because he/she says so”. In Richard’s case, it is said he wrote a book about coffee (don’t drink much coffee so I don’t care) and, as for Erin, well… You can visit her site and decide yourself. But, wait, how about I do the homework for you? Take, for example, a visit by Mijune and Richard to the same place the same night: Mijune’s post vs Richard’s post (will open a new window). Seriously, tell me which one you prefer… In Erin’s case, this is a quote from her article on Lin’s Chinese Cuisine:

“(In reference to xiao long bao) … earn them an easy diagnosis of Asian comfort food, and of course, perfect delicacy for ringing in the Year of the Rabbit.”

Let me dissect that for you: XLB is Shanghainese and while it is in China, hence Asia, it does not automatically mean all Asian people will eat it.

This, of course, can be extended to people like Andrew Morrison of Scout Magazine, whom, I will admit, having worked in the front of the house does give him some insight of restaurant operation; but, you have to wonder his impartiality when he has been directly involved with the restaurants.

Can anybody possess all knowledge? Good luck at that. That’s why I am always open to criticism. In fact, I expect people to tell me I am wrong! It is not an issue of knowing it all but, if you don’t know, do some digging and due diligence before writing it down. If not, it becomes a case of a blind guiding the blind and, next thing we “know”, Mexican food represents all Latin American food. Oh, shoot… >_< Anyway, the killer part from these blaggers is that, aside from the fact they are clueless, they organize events for profit. In Richard’s case, one too many event to count. Notice that I am not necessarily against food bloggers organizing events. If there are good cause(s) behind it and there is disclosure, I believe it is kosher. After all, if the intend is to bring the two groups together, why not? But, when it is for $$$, you are doing PR work. If so, can you really be impartial and/or honest?

And, now, this brings the worst of all cases… Whenever you read written colums from local newspapers, i.e., The Globe and Mail or Vancouver Sun, you expect a level of quality as well as a code of ethics. That’s why these writers are usually the first ones hit when an economic downturn occurs. I mean, they need to have a huge expense account to eat at restaurants at least twice at different times of the day or on different days of the week to have a better grasp of what is going on. Me? Ha, again, I only have that much $$$. I am certain that restaurants have identified these writters and I am not surprised that dining anonymously is not easy for them. At the same time, though, I am certain they try their best to be impartial. However, what happens when that impartiality is brought to question? Since these writers write for the printed media, they have some level of control over it. Of course, editors, probably due to pressure from advertisers (including some of those restaurants) might axe those articles to save face. That might not occur with bloggers. While some of us stick with a well defined code of ethics, it is not something we all are bound to. So, would it be ethical if somebody shouts aloud a “will blog for food” and invite readers along? If you are scratching your head, that’s what just happened with Ben of Chowtimes (link not provided but I am sure you will find it).

Before anybody jumps ahead and tells me I am a hater or jealous of his popularity, don’t bother. Aside from the fact I have an extremely thick skin (“I am rubber, you are glue”), not to mention this might be one of many parting shots, my dislike for his behaviour is known and documented. To bring you down to memory lane, I wrote a post (will open a new window) called “Blogging, Perks and Accountability” almost 20 months ago, in which I called him out on the spot. And, guess what? Ever since, other than in one dinner, we haven’t seen each other face to face. Do I care? Absolutely not, as I have no respect for him. Of course, he will say that he discloses everything and what not. Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, that is pure BS. See, just like him right now, I was also part of FoodBuzz, a network of food blogs. Some time ago, they required all their members to do full disclosure as part of their community guidelines (you can check them here). That begs the question: if it wasn’t because of such changes, would they have *really* initiated their disclosures? And, if you look at the post before that said disclosure, would you have been able to tell it was (partially or fully) comped?

So, why bring him out of the sudden? Because I was made aware of a post where he writes:

I am proposing:

* A win for the restaurant
* A win for the lucky chowtimes readers
* A win for chowtimes

You see… it seems to us that restaurants spends big bucks advertising their AKC (Alaska King Crab) offerings in the papers. I am suggesting that the restaurant save the money for advertising one less time. Instead use the money for even greater exposure for your restaurant.

The restaurant need to think about this unique situation too. The Chinese restaurants advertises in the Chinese papers targeting Chinese customers. There are a lot of English speaking readers out there who would love to try this and chowtimes can deliver a whole new demographics to the restaurant.

So, what I am proposing is this. Any restaurant interested, to give chowtimes a table of 10 serving a feast centered around the Alaskan King Crab. For free of course with the cost coming out from not advertising on the papers for one day only.

For chowtimes, we will invite 8 lucky readers (chosen by random draw) to join us in the feast. I am sure this will be much appreciated by readers and will also draw much attention to your restaurant.

In return, we will blog about the AKC feast but of course the food and service better be good. This is because we will write honestly about our experiences and we will draw on the feedback of the other guest diners.

Does anybody want me to spell “sell out” for you? How the $#%^!#@$!@# can a claim be made about impartiality and honestly when you are already calling the food and service better be good? What makes you different from a PR person like Richard Wolak? Worst of all? When I checked that post, there were only a handful questioning the intent. The rest? Free food!

Alas, that really disappoints me. People have descended into our primeval stages and just think on free food rather than looking at the broader picture of the meaning behind it. I still remember going to events like Eat! Vancouver, where people queue up for samples at times almost elbowing others. However, even when they have some samples, they might not consume the portion served and toss the rest. Or, as I was told, in an open house of a certain restaurant where people were like vultures when plates of food came out.

Am I criticizing my readers? May be, may be not. I personally know some of them and, for the most part, they are good and knowledgeable folks. It is those who just follows the hype that makes me shake my head. You are intelligent people and you should know better…

With that said, how about some highlights? If you were to ask me whom you should read, who would I suggest? Again, there are fine folks out there still writing and can provide good perspective of things. Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list and it is based on those I frequent. So, without further ado…

  • Mijune (Follow Me Foodie) and Sherman (Sherman’s Food Adventures). I have known both of them for a long time and I admire both of them. In both cases, they are knowledgeable and, while I do have some differences (more Mijune than Sherman), they are honest about their thoughts. And this is despite they have participated in events (including the only one instance I have participated and where I have witness how they do things). I would like to believe they have influenced me for the better in some aspects.
  • The Foodosophy team, specially shokutsu and gastronomydomine (who goes around under other aliases as well!). Alas, I have never met them and, if I do have an opportunity to do so, I would certainly like to buy them a round. Not only their posts are well written but also knowledgeable. One of the post that have really inspired me was a conversation they had between the team members called Foodosophy of Sushi. Believe me, it is worth your time.
  • Chris – OK, I am cheating here. Chris is a fellow blogger from Edmonton but, if you read the way he writes his posts, it conveys simplicity yet delivers the message. Granted, our perspectives are at times but it does reflect what I would expect from a blog.
  • Matt and Joe from Vancouverslop. They are now closer to the media business side of things but they are still entertaining.
  • Other “older” (as in time blogging) bloggers, including Kevin, Gloria, Ann and Dee, Joyce, Victoria, Karl and (the still MIA) Jessica. While they might not be as descriptive as Mijune, Sherman or Foodosophy, they still provide good reads. In some cases, they do participate in media events (for example, Joyce) but they do provide disclosure.
  • Some general which just happens to swing (the same way I started) into food blogs or cooking, including Parker Pages, Doesn’t Tazte Like Chicken (who has gone MIA), Gratinee and TS/JS [eatingclub]Vancouver. Likewise, some oldies whom have gone inactive…

“Wait, what about the rest of the people in your blogroll?” Well, some of them do not necessarily apply from a Vancouver standard. For example, monchichi, whom I really like her style, is in the UK; and Mimi whom I have “met” recently. But, for the rest, it is in part, blogroll courtesy (Yes, Jenny, that includes you! :P ) and, well, just starting blogs.

And, just for fun, how about some final parting shots?

To Grayelf: If you know how bouncing light works, you will realize that, in the setting we were in, it didn’t really “bother” anybody – unless you were looking directly at the flash. Plus, don’t dare to criticize my end results when your own pictures suck.
To Raul: You a foodie? Despite I hate that word, you calling yourself that makes me choke. Why say you don’t like caesar salads when you don’t eat cheese? Attending all events and claim everything is good and, supposedly, willing to pay for it? Give me a break. The day you actually do it the same way most of us do it, THEN, maybe then… You might be popular but that’s about it.
To Melody: Don’t give me BS. You say you won’t write anything negative but only on the positive. That means your opinions are biased. Likewise, because of your tour company, you work closely to some restaurants. Would you bite that hand that feeds you?

So, that’s all for now. It was a long post. Probably too long. In the end, I hope it describes why I am uninterested in continuing and cut it short sooner than expected. But, if you got all the way down here, my only question for you is… What are your thoughts about the state of Vancouver food blogs?

Update: While I don’t mind/care people attacking me, attacking each other(s) will not be condone. From now on, all comments will be moderated. As you have seen, there has been attacks to me and I have approved it regardless, despite I have had the choice not to do so. If your comment does not appear, feel free to guess why.



{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

1 C.A. April 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

I do agree with most of the points raised in your posting, but are they really worth you closing down your blog? Your posts do reflect the fact that you genuinely enjoy trying new foods, and sharing your dining experiences.

It is a stark contrast to your fellow bloggers who try to disguise their blogs as an avenue for free meals, publicity, and other perks, mainly the revenue generated from the online ads.

Rather unfortunate that your last posting makes it look like you’ve pretty much lost your mind though. That is quite the regrettable end.

Good Luck.

2 jer April 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

I’ll have to admit that there are some valid concerns brought up in your argument/rant about the way Vancouver food blogs have become but as everyone else has reiterated, blogs are personal domains. Who are we to say what someone should or shouldn’t write and present to our readers. It’s the readers who will self-select blogs that they find truly worthy of reading.

Though I can see your frustrations in this whole issue, I think targeting individual bloggers and calling them out is a bit distasteful. I respect your honesty but some things are better left unsaid if it were up to me.

3 walldog April 11, 2011 at 10:27 am

Kim: I agree with your vision regarding quality of Food and Restaurant blogs; by merely indicating what you eat and at what restaurant; is definite not sufficient information to let the general public know; the quality of the food they served and the degree of service they provided is very important. So the general public has an idea of general information of reference. I respect your courage to bring the matter up for public discussion, as often seem in one blogger site, a group of self-indulgent reporting and self serving discussion defects the original purposes of blogging.

4 Steve April 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

*Appluads* This was an EXCELLENT and TRUTHFUL article. I loved it! I have more respect for you now than I ever did. I stopped following many Vancouver food blogs because most of the writers were paid off, lairs, cheaters.. and mostly full of BS. That’s what I love about this site, it was always real, truthful and dependable, weather the review was good or bad. I thank you for posting this, and I support you man! All those fakers and haters out there deserve to spend a week on Hastings street with the many unfortunate people to give them a more realistic view on life. I’m pumped for the truth after reading this post!

5 Jessica604 April 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I agree with some of your points of view but bashing other food bloggers is wrong. There is no justification for your bias opinion on whats right and wrong of the food blogging community. When posting anything to the public, you have to be careful of what you write because you can offend people very easily. This is your blog and its your opinion but when its out in the public forever, and for everyone to see around the world. Business, people, or anyone you have hurt can take this to court and defend there company.

6 momofuku April 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

@Kim I agree with MOST of this post. What I do not agree with is your holier-than-though approach. Practice what you preach! Just as you are entitled to your opinions others are as well. (Greyelf)

Do you really believe that the general public are blithering buffoons? Do you not think we are educated enough to form our own opinions on our likes and dislikes? Do you believe people in general blindly follow food blogs as the law. “(insert food blog here) said (insert restaurant name here) has the best XLB in the city it must be true! I must go there now. If ______ said it is the best we all must eat there because ______ knows what he/she is talking about. Come on! We all have differences of opinions and form our own opinions based on our OWN experiences. Ben for example does not really have a palate for discerning what I like nor does Sherman, but that is my opinion. Some bloggers might share similar tastes to me and have a similar level of understanding of the food like gastro/fmed. Does that mean Sherman/Ben suck? No, It just means I as a reader DECIDE on my own that their opinions may not have as much merit to me. It may be the other way around with some people. Your readers are intelligent enough to form their own opinions. I too hope that people are intelligent enough to know or see the true intentions of some blaggers/bloggers like Melody, Raul, Richard, and Mijune. While to a lesser extent with Mijune. They seem more interested in pushing their careers ahead than food blogging.

Nuff with the drama! Lets eat!

7 Jennifer April 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Cheers
Thank-you for writing this…so much thanks!

8 Miishii April 14, 2011 at 12:31 am

May I say that I appreciated your opinion. And I would reference your site on occasion when looking for a place to eat, and that yours was one of many which includes those who you gave a positive spotlight and some which basked in a negative spotlight.
However, in every one of your posts, which were lengthy, I was always mildly annoyed by the lack of editing. Missed words, fragments, misspellings. Each one was small but after seeing four, six or more go by, I always stopped reading mid-post.
As for the state of food blogging today, I would say it’s a interesting field. And no lack of opinion about food, including yours. With the accessibility to publishing that the internet and blogging sites have created, there are many voices. I would use this analogy: there used to be only brand name bloggers and writers, but now there are plenty of smaller label products too; doesn’t mean that they’re made of the same quality and material. Sometimes I want to pick a pair of $200 jeans, but most of the time I’ll buy mine from H&M. But best of all, I have option to choose.

9 marjolyn April 14, 2011 at 6:52 am

my best friend and i were talking about how some restaurants are aware who the food bloggers are and will give 110% attention to them, while giving crap ass service to everyone else. great post – people need to be called out to bring them back to earth.

Side note: my girlfriend ended up getting “threats” from Golden Great Wall on West Broadway to take down her review because she didn’t have a good experience there. Would like to know if anyone else out there has had the same problem with them.

10 food-voice April 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Yes, I also have received threaten email when I post a review about that restaurant about my experience. The email was under the name of “don l “ and also a similar remarks in here under the name “ t-jai “ I suspect is the same person who is either working in that restaurant or someone very closely associated with that restaurant. This is the reason that I completely agree with your blog and whole heartedly support KIMHO’S article here. It’s very refreshing to read something like that in the Food and Restaurant blog business. Bravely and courageously in pointing out this type of instances; completely distance himself from some blogger who is willing to sell their integrity for a dinner; completely lost their creditability; go as far as stating that restaurant “”The food was great and the service was absolutely perfect.”; WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!

11 Cal April 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm

@Kim. Since you started this hiatus, I think it is only fair that you post a rebuttal or a followup on your latest comments. That is if you still care about your readers.

I’m sure everyone wants to hear from you.

Don’t just go into hiding.

12 mmfry April 15, 2011 at 8:57 am

I don’t believe Kimho is hiding; it’s a wake-up call for the food bloggers communities that things exist that most of us don’t know. It’s a very important issue concerning all of us. I believe he just want us have more time to freely express our views regarding the matter without injecting any of his views and opinion to interfering our thinking and expressions. I am not to defend anybody but it’s good to let everybody get off their chest and freely express what we have in mind.

13 KimHo April 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

Cal, thanks for comment. Because of the way you phrase your question, I will answer it.

I haven’t gone into hiding and still lurking around (how long the blog as a whole will stay up, I can’t say, though). I have chosen not to reply because I have pretty much said what I had to say and it boils down to the if you “get it” or you don’t type argument. (In fact, ask yourself why I chose to “attack” other bloggers and/or specific individuals). For the most part, everybody who have accused me of hater (if so, you haven’t read my blog long enough) or being jealous (never cared about stats) or what not (if you have read my blog long enough, in an odd way, you should have expected this coming…) fall into the “don’t get it” side. And, you know what? I simply don’t care what is being said about me. In fact, after 50+ comments of the same bashing, it gets boring of the same speech. For example, there is one comment that wasn’t approved which says “I found your blog to be increasingly pretentious and arrogant. This little tirade just takes the cake, with your holier-than-thou attitude and delusion of being a real ‘journalist’. I am glad to see you gone from the scene.” and then goes to write a second comment saying “thick-skinned, eh?” when I chose not to aprove it. How many times that has been said already? C’mon, if you are going to bash me, be creative. Give me a good laugh! (< — and, yes, I have been laughing at all of those bashing comments! Guess most people missed the thick skin part!). Now, one thing I will absolutely NOT condone is having people attacking other people based on their comments. If you are bashing me, fine; again, I can take it (and so far, nobody has been able to even make a dent). If you are supporting me, I will appreciate it. However, when name calling starts and it is one commenter against other commenters, that’s when I have to step up. (On that note, to certain person who was wondering why I haven’t removed some comments because “They are off topic and should not be viewed?”, that was actually one of the biggest laughs I had). My blog won’t be ground for people bashing others based on their opinions. You can disagree but not attack other readers; if you are going to bash, bash me.

Having said that, I think Matt of Vancouver Slop wrote an interesting piece. Of course, that does not answer all the questions. For those, again, see above: you either “get it” or you don’t. (If you still need me to actually answer that question, feel free to drop me an email).

14 sgtoca April 15, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Kim! Well said. I hope it was cathartic. I still hope you reinvent and return to the food blog world and maybe come back as I’m Still Only Here For The Not Free Food! To all the haters and naysayers, truth hurts so cultivate that thick skin and you’ll live. You’ll be missed, by me and many of your readers.

15 deanna April 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Everytime I come upon your blog, its because I googled a place or restaurant and wanted to see a review for it. About every post I read from your blog, its always biased, cocky and arrogant. Honestly, you sound so full of yourself, and almost every review you make is negative. As I read the comments you received here, I find it hard to believe that there aren’t more comments like mine and you’re probably just not approving the comments to be put up. How old are you? You write like you’re 16 and you’re grammar is horrible. I do commend you for writing reviews for a lot of restaurants, but you have too much negative to say about all of them.

16 lawl April 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Dear D*eanna,

I like your* grammar and age-related criticisms. You’re* funny.

17 Delyth April 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

Hi
I have been writing a blog for the past several months. I cook, buy food and write essays. Occasionally I go to restaurants but don’t review them, maybe just mention them in passing. (I don’t consider myself in any way qualified to comment). I spend a long time taking photos, editing them in Photoshop, writing what I hope is an interesting and informative narrative. I have pages of essays about the food I have eaten in other countries, my thoughts on my favourite ingredients and general stories and memories from my past. Oh, and my own recipes. Is food blogging in Vancouver only about restaurant reviews? Are people only interested in reading about people who have privileges and go to events? Seriously, I’d like to know. I don’t seem to have much of a following, what do people really want? (I am originally from the UK and sometimes wonder whether the difference in culture is causing a lack of interest). I am also on the verge of quitting my blog, even though I love writing and invest a lot of time into it. It seems to me that a lot of people consider themselves self proclaimed food experts and ‘foodies’. Surely a little humility is a far more attractive stance. (Maybe a cultural thing again)? Thank you.

18 Bystander April 19, 2011 at 12:51 am

As others have pointed out, it is naive to believe that restaurants, regardless of the intention of the blogger, will not give special treatment to someone that can get them more business. It is equally naive to believe that a not insignificant number of bloggers take advantage of this fact, even if subconsciously.(i.e. it’s kinda obvious when you have an unusually large camera and starts taking notes while eating…)

Having said that, there are those who subsequently give out their blog/business cards and get a free meal when they get called on it,(You know who you are) and there are those who actually lie to restaurant owners about not being food bloggers to avoid getting any special treatments. (You know who you are too.)

It’s your actions that count, and not some blatantly obvious and clumsy attempt at appearing ‘polite’ or ‘proper’ or ‘righteous’. Or at the very least, as Kim said, if you’re going to lie and pretend to be magnanimous, for lack of a better word, at least put some bloody effort into it.

19 JLC April 21, 2011 at 7:18 am

I’m happy you called people out, real leaders know how to push the right buttons. Too many people are passive to criticism if you speak generally and it’s quicker and easier to not pussyfoot around the situation. Hope you’ve started a new wave of change because it seems like a lot of these new bloggers want to become local celebrities and eat free.

20 GoodIntention April 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

I see a line being crossed here. There is the people that don’t support Kimho because people want peace, and there is the people who wants confrontation. The supporter of Kimho have there own problems because they are making same mistakes by picking fights with people. You guys should grow up and use words that can bring people together, rather then, tear people apart.

I don’t support Kimho and I hope you get some therapy. Anger is not going to solve any problems.

21 Jessica April 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Good for you for being honest! I thought I was the only Vancouver-ite who reads food blogs that doesen’t like Chow Times! They lost me around the Olympics when they got excited about interviewing the head “food architect”, or whatever dumb title it was, of McDonald’s and called him a culinary expert of some sort. Uh, yeah, I won’t even get into the lameness of that and how disappointed I was.
Also, I’m glad you called out Raoul (aka. Hummingbird 604) because his blog is terrible, self-congratulatory, smug and holier-than-thou, and boring. I have no idea why it is popular, at all.
Lastly, the food blogging market in Vancouver is extremely over-saturated and, as such, there’s a lot of shit out there. I had a food blog for a while (I haven’t posted in over eight months). However, I always made sure that I kept it self-deprecating, honest, funny, humble, and inclusive. That was so important to me. All snobs suck, but people who pretend to be food snobs are the worst.
Take care Kim! We’ll miss you!

22 AM April 25, 2011 at 9:37 am

You’re right – a lot of local food blogs are boring and full of dribbel. However, at least they’re not pretentious like your blog. I never go on here but after finding out you’re quitting, thought I’d express my sheer joy! Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

23 JLC April 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Does no one know/realize/remember the entire points of blogging to begin with? It was purely about sharing a life experience and informing others whether things are good, bad or worse. These are the biggest issues I see right now with the “scene”:

1. All these new blogs go to places the popular blogs go to and re-blog it; if you go to any blog outside the top 5 most viewed I’d say that 99% of the restaurant blogs were covered by the top 5 already, they’re just all a bunch of copycats, it’s essentially “I saw Kim went here and said it was good so I’m going to go too and blog the same thing over”

2. Being a known blogger taints the actual experience; the reason why food blogs took off was because they were unfettered regular joe experiences, just like any regular shmuck would have but as restaurants become more aware, to the point where they’ll straight up ask you if you are a blogger when they see an SLR, your experience becomes a point to exploit, whether the blogger getting better service or food quality or the restaurant providing the same with expectation it would be publicized. When you know you’re being supervised you will do a better job

3. Abusing the status; while such items like the Chowtimes sell out probably occur more often and aren’t heard about it’s just generally unsettling it’s going on, how is it a legitimate experience when you’ve A) spoken to the restaurant and made them aware you will be coming B) negotiated a free meal in exchange for (additional) coverage/marketing

It’s terrible that other people’s ignorance and stupidity have led to the demise of one of the few worthwhile blogs but hopefully everyone can learn from in, it’s not like we need more internet whores.

24 Mau May 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

Wow…this was the best way I could have wasted 30 minutes today…I agree with you 100%. I’m fairly new at this deal of reading flood blogs and most of the ones that I hate are the ones that you mentioned in this article…thus, I agree with you on pretty much everything you mentioned. It is sad that you are going away…but respect your decision.

25 Simon Food Favourites May 7, 2011 at 4:42 am

wow what a long post. i would generally never read such a looooong post so i’m actually surprised i’ve read it all. congratulations for having the courage to write what you wanted to say. personally i think if you’re still passionate about food then you should keep writing about it unless you simply don’t have the time or have other things you’d rather focus your time on. i’m sure there’s lots of readers out there that love reading your posts and wanting to know what you think. HAPPY EATING!!! :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

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