For this week’s Pie Hole, I focus my opinions on one very interesting Boston article.

First things first, read this entire piece.

Interesting…to say the least. Anomnomnomoynous lays out a nice laundry list of food blogger/blogging offenses.

So, for this Pie Hole, I decided to examine each of Anomnomnomoynous’ bold print points and give my opinion on his/her opinion. Are you with me? Good. Let’s get started.

But buyer beware; not all are created equally and most cannot be trusted. Most of them don’t even like food, I’m convinced.

True, all aren’t created equally. But doesn’t that go for just about everything in life? As far as “most cannot be trusted”, that’s a little extreme. I’d change “most” to “some”. And to write that most don’t even like food is just ridiculous. Personally, food is right up there with family, friends, and health…in no particular order.

Really, you have a book deal and you used boxed prepared risotto and write about iced coffee four times a week? For shame.

I don’t know many bloggers who have book deals.  Strike that, I don’t know any bloggers who have book deals.  And I sure don’t know many who “want some accreditation”. Most are just looking for an outlet to express their thoughts and to further a passion or hobby. And yes, some blogs have the same mundane comments from a group of friends…but who cares? There are cliques in every walk of life. Get used to it.  My guess is that Anomnomnomoynous is a he, not a she.  Attention my man….food blogging is comprised overwhelmingly of females.  Maybe you are feeling lonely and on an island.  Two words for you…tough shit!

I paid for this...honest...I did!

Me, I eat with my stomach, food should look good enough to eat, but if it tastes like crap, what’s the point?

Agreed–the taste of food is more important than the presentation, but if a blogger wants to entice the audience, the pictures need to be good.

Now, I’ll also address his/her point about 98% of meals being free. That’s wrong. If I walked into a restaurant, stated I was a food blogger, and demanded my meal be comped…I’d promptly be told to get the fuck out, and to take my shitty ass blog with me. The free meals are generally planned group events….you know, the ones where we are PR pawns. PS…I had a free meal tonight at a media tasting dinner in Salem that cost me $60. How? ($10-gas, $40-babysitter, $10 -restaurant tip)

Guess what? No one cares how often you post, if you have to complain about how hard it is to write something with frequency, or all the free events you “have” to attend, you’re missing the point entirely.

Them fighin’ words. That one just hits a little close to home. I post six times a week. And there are plenty of people who care that I post so often…my wife, my best friend from college, an old girlfriend…I could go at least 10 people deep. Don’t make me, I will.

Shelling out $150 to attend a blogger conference will not improve your writing or your blog, it will just make you $150 poorer.

Agreed. I spent $175 on a conference when I moved to Boston about 4 months ago. Biggest waste of money ever! I remember one panelist saying how important it was to write with a voice. Really!?! No fucking shit! I walked out after two hours…$175 be damned!

In summation…are a few of Anomnomnomoynous’ points accurate? Yes. But for the most part, they are generalizations written by what seems to be a fairly agitated person. And worst of all, a nameless, fairly agitated person.

My name’s Kevin Shalin. Please Anomnomnomoynous, feel free to shoot me an email, and maybe we could set up a lunch. My treat!


A Boston Food Diary November 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Ahhh THANK YOU! I had toyed with writing something similar. VERY well stated- and VERY appreciated.

    The Mighty Rib November 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you very much for the kind words BFD. Are there examples of blogs out there like Anony described? Yes. But to throw a blanket over all food blogging is just ridiculous (IMO).

Wine Me a River November 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Loved this response. I think there are some good thoughts on both sides. Unfortunately for Anony, their article suffered from lack of ownership and few concrete examples. While I know blogs exist that fit in those examples, they are certainly not the ones I read!

The Mighty Rib November 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Excellent point about the lack of concrete examples.

nwafoodie November 7, 2011 at 11:44 am

I wonder why he/she wanted to be Anonymous? Methinks he/she probably has a close friend who is a “famous food blogger” and he/she is jealous.

    The Mighty Rib November 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I think no matter what, if you write it and post it…you HAVE to put your name on it.

Annie November 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

Great arguments! It seems like Mr. Anony certainly has an ax to grind. Personally, I love reading blogger recipes – even if I don’t follow them ingredient for ingredient, they often at least inspire me to try something new, which is something I ALWAYS need. I’ve also never come across a good blog that calls for a plethora of canned/boxed food, so that one went right over my head.

    The Mighty Rib November 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks Annie! I agree…I rarely come across food blogs that call for canned/boxed foods…that was from out of left field.

Robin November 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Good points all around, I see it all the time though, canned corn, canned mushrooms, etc. Or using an obviously free product and talking about how great it is. Frozen Sweet Potato Fries or Bertolli pre-cooked pasta dinners are two that I saw recently. How can these be trusted sources when they just whore themselves out all the time? I agree that anon is cowardly, it’s a vague statement but no one is denying there is some truth. Just my two cents 🙂

    The Mighty Rib November 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    It’s my belief that if you can’t be open and honest with your readers, then there’s really no point to maintaining a blog.

    Excellent points Robin, and thank you for not only reading the post, but for your response!

natalie November 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I personally HATE when food bloggers [or just bloggers in general] review something, absolutely rave about this product that they suddenly LOVE – yet you’ll never see them use it again. Maybe I see this more in the running blogs; with accessories and what not, but I’ve seen it plenty on food blogs.

Also, basting chicken/fish in bbq sauce and baking it is NOT a recipe. Toasting your bagel thin then melting processed cheese over it is NOT a recipe.

Ooooh Kevin please do NOT get me started. 🙂

The Mighty Rib November 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Natalie, check out Vivek’s recipe we posted today. Now that’s a recipe!

I know what you are saying about that product promotion. I recently reviewed a pecan pie on this blog that was given to me. It honestly was the best pecan pie I’d ever eaten. So, I wrote that. You just have to write what you believe…whether it’s positive, negative, or somewhere in-between.

    natalie November 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    OH man. His recipes always look and sound so amazing. Seriously, HE is the one that needs a book deal. I remember the pie post, and I believed every word you wrote because, well, you’re honest. If the pie sucked, you would have told us so. 🙂

Robin November 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

And that’s just it, all I read is all positive all the time, but not everything can be amazing. I completely agree with Natalie.

    The Mighty Rib November 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Here’s a TMR post I just found from one of our outstanding contributing writers. The review of the comped product was less than stellar.

Robin November 8, 2011 at 6:13 am

But then there’s stuff like this:

    The Mighty Rib November 8, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Thank you for sending me this link. I read it, then re-read it. And with all due respect, I had absolutely no issues with this post. The writer wasn’t trying to hide anything. She was very upfront about the company’s contact with her. I enjoyed how she gave detailed info about the product (ie…salt content, serving size). She gave the reader info, her opinion, and then introduced a giveaway. It’s now up to the reader to either trust this blog and what the writer has to say or move on. Again, food blogging is all about establishing a relationship between the reader/writer, and not every blog is for everyone. For example, there are countless people who view my blog as lacking in several key areas. I can respect that.

Robin November 8, 2011 at 7:05 am

Respect. I see it as writing a glowing review of a very mediocre product that’s full of sodium when the writer is talking about it being a healthy option for busy families. How can I take this author seriously as a food writer when they clearly can’t filter the truth from the reality. I appreciate their honesty with being contacted by the company, but it’s obviously an intentional great review, how does that show integrity? Especially when this blogger goes on to make homemade soup in another post and bashes products like the one they just gloated about. I’m not a food blogger or an expert, I like reading all of them and I agree that it’s up to the reader to trust or not trust the writer. Anyway, really love this thread, thanks for all the great comments 🙂

    A Boston Food Diary November 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Hi Robin!

    I had to say hello. I read through your remarks and it’s honestly funny- I really REALLY thought about whether or not to review the product. I was sent coupons for it, and I was incredibly doubtful that it would be a quality product.

    Yes- I stand behind making soups, etc, from scratch, but I have the luxury to do so- I don’t have children, and I have built my schedule around making things from scratch. However, I do know many people, friends of mine, who just don’t have the time, or to be frank, the interest in doing it from scratch. I reviewed the product for them- the people I know who arent able to make things from scratch because of whatever their reasoning.

    There have been a number of other products that I have been sent to review that I have either given an honest (read bad) review, or I have refused to review because of a variety of reasons. I have a good working relationship with the people at Bertolli and to be honest, if I didn’t feel the product was good, I would simply have not reviewed it and explained to them why. I may have given them the option as well of either an honest, bad review, or no review. That’s just my policy.

    I really wondered how many readers might be offended by the review, and I’m sorry that it didn’t come across as sincere to you. I spoke with a couple of people on the product who endorsed it as a healthy product, I engaged in on line chats concerning the product, and I did my own taste test. I actually was impressed with it as a fast alternative.

    I absolutely respect your opinion however if you feel that it is a terrible product-perhaps we can agree to disagree?

    I would be thrilled to speak with you further- please feel free to reach out-


The Mighty Rib November 8, 2011 at 10:35 am

I gotta say…I really am enjoying this thread as well. And it’s inspired me to write about a certain top for this Friday’s Pie Hole.

SirRon November 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm

All of those gripes were so freaking generic and right off the top of the head. I think that digboston piece could have easily been written about food television, print magazines, or shitty Dig Staff blog posts without changing much of the content.

It’s easy to roast food bloggers. That used to be my second job over at the Houston Press 🙂

    The Mighty Rib November 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    SirRon was roasting me back when most of you were sucking on your mama’s teet.

Aimee November 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Just putting it out there – I am convinced Anony is a food blogger him/herself, which makes me give very little credence to the ranting.

It was, however, very entertaining.

Robin November 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Hi Fiona!
thanks for the thoughtful response, I appreciate your honesty.
I feel like if the person is a blogger, it gives them more credence because they’re in that world. Just my opinion, Aimee.

    The Mighty Rib November 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I agree Robin.

    Anony is a food blogger…that much, I am sure. And as such, it certainly gives more credence to what they are saying.

Aimee November 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm

But aren’t we all agreeing here that most of that rant is exaggerated and overtly negative? If the person writing it was a member of the general public, it would resonate with me a bit more as an unbiased critique than if it was a fellow food blogger just pooping his/her pants over things that annoy them. I mean, we could all do that.

Anyway, this has been super interesting to read!

    The Mighty Rib November 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Well…shit Aimee..that’s a pretty damn good point too. Also, do you think this rant is really directed at food blogging in general or a specific food blog this writer has a problem with? NWA from an above comment got me thinking about that angle. In any case, this thread has inspired me to write a follow-up post (possibly for this Friday…we’ll see how my schedule looks).

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