Quick recap of Blogherfood 11

What? No pictures?

It was a crazy busy time for Petites Bouchees last week, I was considering becoming a no-show at the conference except I already paid for the non-refundable fees for both the conference and my airplane ticket.

I’m gonna write this post now or I’m never gonna have another opportunity.These next few weeks are going to be – to put it not so mildly – hell. So please excuse the overrun sentences, poor grammar and misspellings.

So off I went to Blogherfood sans a camera except the one from the Iphone.

I first ran into Kamran of Sophisticated Gourmet in the elevator. We instantly recognized each other even if we haven’t met in real life yet. He was with 2 other young bloggers,Lauren of Celiac Teen and Elissa of 17 and baking – sigh to be young and full of energy.

I was pleasantly thrilled to see my long time blogger buddies, T.W. of Culinary Types & Lydia of Perfect Pantry. Though at times we fell out of touch through the years, I’ll never forget that we were the “old-timers” back when blogging was so different. I also met Andrea Meyers of Andrea’s Recipes and Kalyn of Kalyn’s kitchen. Five of us kinda hang out throughout the whole conference and I had so much fun in their company, hope they did too. :)

Joining our group at times were Kelly of Sass and Veracity, Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy Chewy.

And after being blog friends for five long years, I finally met Jaden of Steamy Kitchen.

Also after being online friends for so long, also had the pleasure of meeting Aran Goyoaga of Canelle et Vanille who had her adorable baby girl Miren with her.(I remember Aran was one of my first customers at Petites Bouchees – such support!)

So what about the conference tracks? I must admit I did not complete any of the first day tracks I attended because either I was too sleepy and can’t stay awake (read grumpy to just sit still) or I just couldn’t find value in those sessions for an experienced blogger.

Apparently some other bloggers felt the same and we spent “conference” hours catching up on blog gossip in a cafe in the lobby.

I was more hopeful for the second day because Aran was presenting a food photography seminar and Dianne Jacobs (who had coached me on finding my voice) was presenting another one about recipe copyright. Problem was they were both on at the same time. What a dilemma!

Good thing was, Aran was presenting first, so when she finished I left the food photography track and stepped into a very animated discussion going on at the recipe copyright one.

To put it mildly David Leite of Leite’s Culinaria doesn’t think much of bloggers who post recipes from cookbooks on their blogs even if it seems that you are promoting that book. You should always ask permission from the publisher to post a recipe. I’m still on the fence on this one and this has given me a lot of food for thought. {Ha! couldn’t resist that cliche! update. 5/23 *the right word is pun* thanks David! ;)}

Anyway, great solid sessions in the morning but the afternoon one proved to be the most fun. We got to watch Mrs. Wheelbarrow make sausage. Oh if I could only go back and document all the tweets, you would think we were watching porn. “Lubricate a stuffer, anyone?”

I was wondering why, if the conference was about food blogs, shouldn’t there be at least one session a day that is food-related? Or would that be too specific?

I guess it bothers me that a lot of the sessions were focused on monetizing your blog and there’s nothing about the passion for food. I mean, that should be the first reason you start a food blog, right? There was even a session about branding…. branding…! I was baffled and asked Lydia “What will you brand? Your blog?”

Are we taking ourselves too seriously? Are the blog-haters right in saying that we are such a self-absorbed lot?

I must be the most disconnected blogger right now because I  went into the conference with no business cards for my blog. So when I got asked on numerous occassions to exchange cards, I had none to offer. And the “Hungry” hubby will probably laugh because when he asked me what’s the benefit of going, I said “To network!” Well, it’s kinda hard to network if you don’t have a business card to hand your information over.

I think I need to take my blog more seriously.

But you know what, the most valuable takeaway from the conference was connecting with old and current blog friends. Will I attend another Blogher? Probably not. But other conferences that are not too intertwined with food sponsors, maybe yes.

But I am not complaining about the Scharffen Berger bars I took home with me. I was prepared to pay for them anyway, I was just lucky they were free. :)

18 thoughts on “Quick recap of Blogherfood 11

  1. Kitchen Musings, glad our panel gave you some food for thought (with or without the pun!). The issue of using other people’s recipe is’t one that will soon be solved, but I think if we keep talking, we’ll find a common ground.

    To clarify, though, what I take issue with is a publication/blog that copies and pastes a recipe (regardless of where it appeared originally) without permission and credit and without making it something new–as I said, to “forward the canon of knowledge.”

    And one point I’m kicking myself for not mentioning: If an online publisher copies and pastes recipes and posts them on his or her blog, Google may “ding” the blog and over time drop it from Google’s search results.

  2. David, thanks for stopping by and clarifying the issue. I think this all started when blogs weren’t so popular then for publishers and established authors to pay notice and the “adapted from” culture just sprung from that. Since authors and publishers are more accessible now it would be easier to ask permission. The last thing a blogger (specially this blogger) wants to do is to lower the sales of a cookbook, specially since I have an addiction to them and I have a wall full of them! Thanks also about the google “ding”, that is good to know.

  3. I picked an excellent day for my first visit to your blog. I found this entry so interesting that I happily spent some time browsing through your earlier posts. You’ve created a great spot for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I’ll be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  4. Finding you at BlogHer Food was such a great surprise! It was fun to catch up and hang out. (That’s the best part of conferences, anyway.) Maybe this is the year I’ll get to Richmond to stock up on your macarons. xox

  5. Same here Lydia, I was so happy to see you at Blogher and yes the best part of the conference was catching up and hanging out. let me know when you are in Richmond and I can hook you up with some macarons! :)

  6. I think I would have gone for the networking. I am not making money for my blog. This is something I do for a hobby and my kids will have a souvenir in the future. I don’t agree with David Leite. Some of the most popular blogs do publish recipes from cookbooks, they do say where it comes from. Since I have been reading blogs I have bought more cookbooks because of those bloggers who are not afraid of posting recipes from cookbooks. They don’t post the 300 recipes that you will find in a cookbook, usually they do post 1-2 recipes, their comments and a picture of the dish. I think my cookbook collection has more than doubled because of that. If bloggers stop doing it I am not going to buy much cookbooks anymore. And I know a lot of bloggers that are on the same page as me. Also I am not too sure if every bloggers takes the time to contact all the publishing companies for permission to publish a recipe on their blogs.

  7. Hi Helene – I usually buy a lot of cookbooks based on other blogger’s recommendation too and they usually do print the recipes. I do hope that publishers, cookbooks and bloggers find a happy medium that all would mutually benefit!

  8. Thanks Veron. I am so glad that in Canada we don’t have those debates. We have a popular Chef named Ricardo and he loves to sell his cookbooks and one way is bloggers trying his recipes and talking about his book. He is flattered. I guess the debate is so different in the States.

  9. Pingback: Blogher Food 2011 in Atlanta Recap | Eat the Love

  10. Loved getting to meet you in person in Atlanta, Veron — especially after almost losing touch. I’ve had some good memories of the old Daring Baker days since, so thanks! I’m with Helene on the cookbook issue, thinking of the sales groups like Tuesdays with Dorie must have generated to name just one. But everyone has an opinion. On the branding, you absolutely should take your blog more seriously. You’ve got a lovely business, and much like any other business, your brand is an extension of you and your philosophy — doing lots of work for you when you’re busy. :) Just my two cents.

  11. Kelly! Yes, the tuesdays with dorie’s group comes to mind…but it still is indeed such a sticky issue. I think the majority of food bloggers do really want to help the sales of the cookbook.
    Thanks for putting the branding thing into perspective. I do agree that my food blog is an extension of my philosophy and I do use it in business as I do not have a separate blog for Petites Bouchees. I probably should have attended that session and would have understood how it actually applied to a blog. :)

  12. Hi Veron! After being in the Daring Bakers together and living in the same state, I can’t believe we had to go all the way to Atlanta to finally meet. We need to fix that, maybe you can give me some macaron lessons someday? Loved spending time with you last weekend.

  13. Hi Andrea! I know! I’m so happy to connect with you again, we should try to get together other than conferences, great spending time with you that blogherfood weekend! :)

  14. i saw this too late! :( I was still working in ATL when you were there. I would have love to meet up and show you ATL had i known that you would be there. :(

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