Dear LA Food Bloggers: Please Do Not Shut Down

3084916981_b105282b9aEater, a blogging network focused on the food/restaurant scene with a web outpost here in LA (EaterLA), relaunched today with a spiffy new site design and a not-so-spiffy-downright-jerky offer: a paltry $25 if you shut down your food blog.  The rationale?  Because your food blog is part of a “massive amount of noise” – of which Eater, in its infinite food wisdom, plays no drums.  If you take the offer, you agree to “cease all publication of foodie rambling, blabbering, and drooling over ridiculously mundane foodstuffs.”  In other words: leave it to the self-proclaimed professionals.

I’m here to implore all LA food bloggers: don’t do it!  Caroline on Crack, I read your blog daily.  Potatomato, I love your kawaii reviews and pictures.  Eat, Drink & Be Merry, you have one of the best non-annoying how-we-met stories I’ve ever heard, with a bonus because it involves food.

Where Eater hears noise, I hear music.  Useful, creative, adventurous music.  Eater won’t dare go to Compton, but SinoSoul will.  Eater forgets that the food essence of LA is the literal melting pot of flavors from all cultures – how else to explain their glaring omission of ethnic eateries from its “The 38 Essential Los Angeles Restaurants” list? – but Journey of an Epicurean Cutie remembers.

There are countless other blogs and posts that I’ve relied upon to be my food canaries: when I needed to check out a restaurant before committing.  When I knew I’d be in an unfamiliar part of town and would need a lunch break.  When I needed to know if that fancy dish was worth over $20.

We don’t need one voice to dictate taste, culinary or not.  Twenty-five bucks to shut down is a bribe, an insulting one at that, from a scared network that overvalues its opinion and undervalues community.  We don’t need one giant blogger network to dictate what is tasteworthy and what is not.  We need you.

Tell ’em to take the $25 and put it towards hiring a decent copy editor.  And maybe a fact-checker too.



Photo courtesy Atwater Village Newbie via the Metblogs’ Flickr pool.

25 thoughts on “Dear LA Food Bloggers: Please Do Not Shut Down”

  1. …don’t get me wrong. As a real-life professional paid food writer who’s been published in real-life print magazines, I get my fair dose of snooty elitism grousing about the piss-poor quality of most people who fancy themselves “food bloggers.” Don’t even get me started on the yelpers. But really, as much as I think they suck and as much as I get off on being able to call myself a “professional”…I would never want to shut down the extra noise, no matter how much it drowns the signal. Just…wow.

  2. reading this made me immediately want to rush off and bookmark all the independent foodblogs you mention.
    will only be reading the indieblogs from now on – forget the so-arrogant EaterLA – this is my own person ‘buycott’ & I’m only supporting the indies!

  3. Great post! I only got it from the Eater comments so one good thing came from that.

    EaterLA used to be a very good site, but now they’ve become the Glenn Beck of food blogs…they say things just to get attention without regard to quality. They’re just blog-trolls. Enough with them.

  4. and I’m off to start writing about food on my blog!
    Seriously, this is very dumb.

  5. Great post/rant. Let’s keep the diversity of food blogs going. Shame on you, Eater LA. Why is it that you never were my foodie # of choice? Duh.

  6. Great post. One suggestion – do not include a link to their page, just a screen shot of the offending post. Links will help increase their organic rankings and unique visitor count, and if we are serious about demonstrating our displeasure the last thing we want to do is help them get traffic. Best weapon is to hit them where it counts – their ad dollars. A major variable in determining ad revenue is their count of unique visitors. You want to remove all links to their site in order to get them where it counts. It is probably worth sending an email to the Food Network (their major sponsor) letting them know of your intention to boycott their site and to encourage all your readers (quantify this) to do the same

  7. “Eater won’t dare go to Compton, but SinoSoul will.”

    The truth is that Eater never goes *anywhere.* It is an aggregater, merely pointing to reviews and (mostly) gossip gossip gossip. Want to know what chef is at what restaurant? Fine Eater will tell you. Want to know what that food actually tastes like? Not so much.

  8. I just read the posting, including the footnote at the end, and it looks to me like it’s a joke.

  9. I thought it was a joke too but it’s there on the site big and stupid. Wow. Joining the boycott – no brainer. Yay Classic Eats!!

  10. As another professional writer who has covered dining and other culinary related topics in print magazines, I am also just as disgusted as Lucinda. I can’t stand some of the pretentious (and ignorant) commentary of dining I run into but I also recognize that person’s basic right to put it to word as well as communicate it. Somewhere out there, someone else connects with it and who am I to disrupt that process?

    This kind of reminds me of a stripper locker room where the brunette girl tries to bully (and ultimately get rid of) a new blonde because she erroneously thinks it will help her chances making money.

    How about working on your writing and promotion instead? Competition should test your creativity. If not, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

  11. I thought it was a joke too, but apparently not … though it is worth mentioning that the $25 offer is limited to the first 25 blogs to put the yellow DOA tape around their site (way to eliminate the noise, Eater). Clearly, it’s more publicity than not, but the arrogance behind the plot is gross.

  12. Victoria’s comment reminds me of the Lily Tomlin quote…: “The problem with the rat race is, that even if you win, you’re still a stripper.” Take heed, blogs of America. We are all stripper rats.


  13. The limit of 25 blogs is one reason why it seemed to me like an obvious publicity stunt joke. Since the underlying post mentions “that the internet is about 1,000,000 cutesy food blogs too vast,” then, if this were serious, limiting the offer to 25 blogs could not possibly make a dent in the supposed problem. So, if you engage and wage war against this, aren’t you just being punked?

  14. … I do agree, though, that, even as a publicity stunt joke, the post reflects an ugly arrogance.

  15. Eater LA has gotten really stale. Did you see their list of the 38 best restaurants in LA? Pathetic.

  16. qq,
    Long time reader, first time commenter. Thank you for the love. As for the PR stunt, they really needed the traffic as Grubstreet is straight up killing them in growth, especially in LA.

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