I was reading the post "The Meaning of A Food Blogger" today at this website and it sparks a whole new discussion for me on the definition of a Food Blogger / Flogger. For conversation sake, how would one define a food blogger? For me, to be labeled as a food blogger, one has to be blogging about food most of the time or was it only exclusive to those whom always get the invites for food tastings and reviews.
And how different is a food blogger compared to someone whom write food reviews for a magazine or newspaper? I would say that there is a difference. A food blogger has no restrictions because it's his/her own blog, basically they can write whatever they want and there will be no one to screen through before hitting the "publish" button. However, for a mag/paper, one might have his/her article read through and edited before it is deemed appropriate to be published. Both have been invited for the free food tastings. So who should we trust?
Well, for me, I like to find out more about a restaurant through the internet because it's easy and convenient. However, there might be tonnes of reviews of the same place and how do I know whether the review is reflecting the honest scenario of a restaurant? Actually, I wouldn't know. Come on, taste is something subjective and it might be tasty to one and terrible to the other. Or the service might be good to one and the other whom have higher expectations would think it's crap. Therefore, I usually have a practice that I follow food blogs that I find suitable for myself. I've read the posts, went and try it on myself and find that the writing is consistent to what I experienced and the taste is almost similar and so I continue to follow them. That's the best way to trust a food blogger I should say.
I know many food bloggers out there get frequent free food reviews and they will never run out of restaurants to blog about but that does not mean that they are free loaders and crap floggers. I believe that they have a passion for food and they just love to share their experience in their blogs. I sometimes do get some free food too although I don't really run a food blog because this is more like my personal blog, I'll still be very frank with my reviews. The thing about inviting a food blogger to blog is that there shall not be an obligation to blog but most of the times, we'll be nice enough to write about it or just a mention about it (if it's bad and perhaps recommend only the good and skip the rest!).
There's no such thing as to whether accepting a free food review and blogging about it even though it's not good is ethical or not. Everyone has its own view and as readers, if we don't like it, then don't read it! Why should anyone take our personal reviews so seriously and started to insult one's blog? Why do they not write in and complain about the reviews in the papers/mag even though it's not as good as it seemed in the article?
I think everyone here is entitled to their own views and after all, getting a blogger to spread the word is by far cheaper than advertising on printed medias or trying to invite a celebrity food critic to do the review.
Don't you think so?