A few things about authenticity I learned at Food Blog Forum

This past weekend, I had the pleasure (privilege, really) of attending the latest Food Blog Forum in Orlando at Disney's Grand Floridian Convention Center. First, wow, what an amazing place to have a conference! Much like everything else, Disney, these folks do everything right. No need goes unmet. I mean, a chef even saved an attendee's life (you MUST read this post).

Anyway, I didn't mention much about it before going because of some privacy concerns. You know, "hey, I'm going on vacation for x days, please burglarize my house!" But I realized during the session on community building (with the bloggers behind Love & Olive Oil, The Little Kitchen, Leite's Culinaria, and Tampa's The Stew) that leaving out a lot of the details from my personal life (and, particularly, my daughter's life as a not-by-choice vegetarian) isn't helping me build a community. And my style of writing ("here's a picture, here's the recipe") isn't helping, either. I write differently--a little edgier because of the audience--over on the Bites blog and though I don't want to have the same "voice" for both, I do need to have a little more authenticity here. I'm not as tidy and polite in person (and certainly not very polished), but I'd like to be.

I am, however, proud of the food that I make (particularly the recipes I create on my own) and of my family. And I also definitely speak in parenthetical phrases. That's very me. Ha!

Jaden and Scott Hair of Steamy Kitchen said, "always start with the emotion you're trying to achieve," and that's great advice. So, look for a few changes around here. Some more stories behind the food and even completely unrelated to food. Or skip them and go right to the recipes, if you want.

That said, here are my two favorite pictures from Food Blog Forum 2013. Unedited because I just got home at midnight last night. πŸ˜€

My daughter waiting for Disney's Electric Light Parade while sporting her brand new ears. She had a fantastic visit. Her first (but definitely not last) trip to Disney World.
Me, Charles (Local Forkful), and Lindsay (Love & Olive Oil). Nashville represent!
Me, Charles (Local Forkful), and Lindsay (Love & Olive Oil). Nashville represent!


14 thoughts on “A few things about authenticity I learned at Food Blog Forum

  1. Whoa, read that post on choking and holy cow! Scary! I struggle between putting non-food info on my blog. I get annoyed when I click on a recipe about cupcakes and the blogger is talking about shoes the whole time and gives one sentence about the cupcakes. Hence my whole "so how's it taste" concept. I'm always going back and forth on how much other info to give. Hard to find a good medium.

    P.S. That pick of your daughter with her ears is too cute!

    1. Post author

      I love your concept. In fact, I often have to edit out, "so, how's it taste" in my own posts because I think the same way (and I don't want to swipe your style).

      But, yeah, I tend to skim over a lot of stuff to get to a recipe, but that's usually when I'm doing a search. I love reading about the other stuff with the people I already know and like. So I've got to find that sweet spot. Maybe someone will like me. Ha!

  2. Ditto to what txmere said. There's definitely a case for skimming - when you're researching, when you're just wanting the recipe, etc.

    I think, though, there's a strong case for including stories, pictures, insight into your life + who you are. As much as you want to share, at least. Gives great context to the choices you make, the perspective you have.

    Personally, I wanna hear more about the lesleyeats family, your adventures, your stories.

  3. It's so hard to find that sweet spot, I agree. I go back and forth, sometimes feeling extra private, sometimes wishing I wasn't. I don't know if we officially met but I do believe you were a couple rows behind me πŸ™‚
    Great post!

  4. I'm not sure if we got to meet officially, but that's the back of my head in your group shot w/ Lindsay and Charles πŸ™‚

    The grassroots panel was one of the highlights of the conference for me. It confirmed some things I'm doing right and gave me ideas for moving forward. Little glimpses into your personal life (while they don't have to be overly specific) help your audience to bond with you in other ways besides food, creating a tighter-knit community. Looking forward to your future posts!

  5. I am so so happy you got to come and that you took away something from our panel (that was my biggest worry, that no one would find it useful/relevant). Makes me happy. πŸ™‚

    And ugh, coming back to work after a weekend at Disney is harder than I thought...

  6. That's the same thing I got out of FBF when I went to the one in Nashville - authenticity! So glad you had an awesome experience there. It looked + sounded like a fabulous conference, based on everyone's feedback + pics!

  7. Loved the post! I see a few similarities in thought! Wish we could've connected there! Looking forward to part deux!

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