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Check out Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

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It should be interesting to see what Bourdain has to say about the role of bloggers. In his old days on eG, he was pretty emphatically against anonymous posters slamming restaurants. I don't know what his current position might be, but I doubt it has changed much.

 

Calvin Trillin also tackles bloggers in a recent The New Yorker article. He discusses the ongoing efforts of a group centered around DonRockwell.com (another eG derivative) to track and find a well regarded Chinese chef. The piece is called "Where's Chang?" and mentions how internet-favored chefs expand their reach with large groups of followers. That, in turn, increases their ability to gain better financial arrangements with owners

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It should be interesting to see what Bourdain has to say about the role of bloggers. In his old days on eG, he was pretty emphatically against anonymous posters slamming restaurants. I don't know what his current position might be, but I doubt it has changed much.

 

In our conversation we had on camera, I agreed with him on this stance. I posted this regarding the subject in 2007.

 

http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/2007/06/26/im-with-mario/

 

I have been always against anonymous food blogging. In fact I fought internally at eG with Steven about requirements that all users disclose their real name and sign their real names even with posting with a handle. That idea never took off with the others, but if I were to "do it again" so to speak I would make it an absolute requirement.

 

FYI my segment was taped in May of 2009, which was 10 months ago. I'd imagine the other interviews that were taken for this were done around the same time.

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boy were you wrong.

 

About what?

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Well, everything, but specifically anonymity.

 

A gigantic web of "anonymous" review sites where handles and nick names carry as much reputation as if someone were to sign their full name has since emerged, with the most anonymous of all food sites (chowhound) far outgrowing sites where real names are de rigeur. At the same time, Batali's staff and others do not hesitate to use nicknames to hold online debates or shill for their places.

 

 

 

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A gigantic web of "anonymous" review sites where handles and nick names carry as much reputation as if someone were to sign their full name has since emerged,

 

And which ones would those be?

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(snip)

 

A gigantic web of "anonymous" review sites where handles and nick names carry as much reputation as if someone were to sign their full name has since emerged, with the most anonymous of all food sites (chowhound) far outgrowing sites where real names are de rigeur. At the same time, Batali's staff and others do not hesitate to use nicknames to hold online debates or shill for their places.

 

Cabrales and Plotnicki, in particular, had a few go arounds on this subject, on eG, and later on OA. Each believed that their Handle/Real Name would have value with people who trusted and used their suggestions. The more people who rate them as Trusted Sources, the higher credibility they would enjoy.

 

The flip side of that was that these opinions were not timeless. If a chef left, if standards fell, etc their old review could be misused just like old Zagat, old NYC stars, etc.

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A gigantic web of "anonymous" review sites where handles and nick names carry as much reputation as if someone were to sign their full name has since emerged,

 

And which ones would those be?

Lets start with Chowhound since it's the biggest. Regardless of whether you use your real name or a handle, over time you acquire a reputation, either good or bad. There are some long time posters there who are confirmed ninnies. There are others who have tremendous credibility, built up over time by hundreds of well written informative posts. That's where credibility comes from. Real names have nothing to do with it.

 

 

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And restaurant staffs are pretty good at 'making' bloggers and prolific posters, real name or not used online.

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Okay, who is willing to invite me over for a viewing party? :blush:

 

I'll bring, um, something or other to eat.

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Interesting show. Josh Ozersky, Steve Shaw, Jason Perlow, and Steve Plotniki were interviewed in separate short clips by Bourdain.

 

Bourdain's intro noted the infighting, deleting of posts, shilling, endemic in food boards as part of his intro.

 

Bourdain used his slightly mystified, slightly disbelieving Tony persona. Ozersky came across as a jerk, at least after the editing. Self centered and self absorbed. I don't know him, but his view is that much of food blogging is sublimated sexual urges. His interview at Minetta Lane was mostly a commercial for Pat LaFrieda Black Label burger meat. Shaw didn't come off especially well. He must have said "I made $400,000 a year at Lehman Brothers" at least twice, maybe three times. Now I'm an apostle of good food. Perlow was interviewed at White Manna, where Bourdain ate two burgers, a pile of caramelized onions, etc. Perlow ate a salad, which he brought. I'm sure there's nothing at White Manna that qualifies as healthy. He also presented himself as somebody who is driven to share news of places where there's a pride in good food.

 

Plotniki came across as very polished. No commercials, no mention of the survey. Bourdain mentioned that many owners chefs and publicists regularly monitor food boards.

 

Other segments included an interview with Dave Pasternack of Esca about serving self caught fish, Jim Lahey of Company on his pizza making.

 

I'm sure there will be clips on Youtube shortly

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