March 20, 2009

Old School vs. New School Bloggers

2006 was an interesting time - still the peak of the bull market and the burgeoning real estate market. Times were pretty good, people were rolling in dough, and the food bloggers rolled out en masse to prowl the city of Angels with their digital cameras. Food in LA would never be the same. I remember reading these blogs when I first delved headfirst into food around early 2006. I actually hadn't read Daily Gluttony, but my girlfriend Christine has been reading her site for years (I don't know if I'm supposed to say that...) I've read Dylan's EatDrink&BeMerry, Jeni's OishiiEats and many more.

Pam from (formerly Daily Gluttony now) Rants & Craves chronicles it this way: "2006 was also the year that was, in my mind, the Golden Age of So-Cal Food Blogging. Not because the food blogs at that time were any better than the ones that have sprung up since then--that's not what I'm saying. It was, rather, a time when there weren't as many of us around, and a time when food blogs were just starting to get noticed by the general public. It was still a novelty for restaurants to see diners pull out their cameras and take photos of what would in a few minutes be digested. "

While the line can get blurry, around late 2007, a new crop of food bloggers starting typing and snapping away after the old guard wrote less frequently, got married, had kids, settled down, etc. The rhythms of life never change and I would say that in large part the mantle has been given to a younger, more journalist style food blog that's more opinionated, matter of fact, or to-the-point. Long personal stories aren't usually part of the mix. Still the people behind these new LA food blogs are passionate eaters. While there are definitely some blurry lines between them, here's my set of old school and new school food bloggers that are worth reading (or keeping in your RSS reader or blogroll).

In your opinion, who's in the old school and who's in the new school?


kevinEats said...

Interesting post. I wasn't quite "in the know" back in 2006 (I'd just started blogging), so the "golden age" is somewhat lost on me. I reckon most all the blogs I read are "new school."

So will the "new school" bloggers (i.e. us) fade away when we eventually get married, have kids, and settle down? Or will we somehow have more persistence?

We are "more opinionated, matter of fact," so how will those that succeed us differ? Will food blogging proliferate, or dwindle?

Time will tell.

Food Marathon said...

I started blogging because of Daily Gluttony.

H. C. said...

I started foodblogging towards the end of that Golden Age (after months of informally posting about food on my own personal blogs, as well as Chowhounding and leaving comments on foodbloggers) and I definitely do see a difference between the old-school and new-school bloggers.

Asides from what Rants & Craves mention, which hits the point for me, I also get the feeling that the new school bloggers tend to have more of a "quantity v. quality" focus. Even back in OMG '06, posts were infrequent by '09 standards -- but for me they just seem more thoughtful and well-written, which is what drew me into the foodblogging scene -- after reading the whimsical, funny, dead-on posts from the likes of Sarah (the Delicious Life) Courtney (OMG Food) and Colleen (of ColleenCuisine), all of which have a more polished style than the more rough-drafty, get-it-out-now-and-edit-later feel of many foodbloggers today (which I count myself in at times.) While I do appreciate the increased frequency and the broader coverage of the food scene, I kinda miss the finesse and elegance of the blogs a few years back.

And for better or for worse, bloggers nowadays know how to network, build community and market -- perhaps a little too well, leading to what I think is "more sizzle than steak."

And you and Pam must be psychic (or all great minds think alike ;) ) - I was going to graze over the same issue in my Friday Quickie this week.