May 272014
 

Frusted-BloggerA well-known food blogger loves to forward outrageous requests from food companies to me. I’ve kept them them in a file, until now, when I got her permission to share them.

As you know from the countless emails you delete, food companies want product coverage from bloggers. Nothing wrong with that, of course. It’s just the way  Continue reading »

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Apr 222014
 

Disappointed GuyAt a recent conference, I persuaded an executive to give me some dirt about working with food bloggers, as long as he could do so anonymously.

He’s been in the food business for 30 years, working for large food manufacturers, a worldwide commodity board, and a dried fruit company. Now he’s a consultant to six food companies, supplying post-ready recipes to bloggers, and inviting them on tours and to attend trade shows as media.

He might take 80 bloggers on a four-day tour on behalf of a company or board, for example. In addition to their expenses, he pays bloggers Continue reading »

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Mar 252014
 

A guest post by Sally Cameron

Sally Cameron

Food Blogger Sally Cameron, proprietor of A Food-Centric Life, questions who benefits from her content appearing on other sites.

I log in to the admin page of my site and there they are: the pingbacks. These are links to websites that use my content and recipes, usually without permission.

One type is from newbie bloggers who do not understand the courtesy of crediting my site. I inform them politely. Usually they are apologetic and add a link and credit.

But lately I’m getting pingbacks from the other kind: content aggregators. These are big groups, big sites, with tens to hundreds of thousand of followers. They take my content for free, for their own benefit, sometimes without notifying me and without asking for permission.

They may not take the full post. Maybe it is my photo and a list of the recipe ingredients, with links back to my site for the recipe directions. Here are my Continue reading »

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Mar 182014
 

Recipe-RobberI’ve written many times about how individual  recipes can’t be copyrighted here in the US. But did you realize that you can defend a copyright if parts of your recipe contain “substantial literary expression?”

What exactly is that, and why should you bother?

“Substantial literary expression” establishes the information in a recipe as yours. That could be just as important as copyright, when it comes to theft.

Let me explain. US copyright law defines substantial literary expression as: Continue reading »

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Nov 192013
 

Time-Gods-Of FoodIf you’ve read the news on who’s a top US chef, they are all men, according to a male food editor and a male restaurant critic.

Two features stirred the wrath of many: a cover story on “The Gods of Food” in Time magazine; and a list of Rising Stars from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Eater interviewed the Time magazine food editor about why female chefs did not appear, and here is his reply:

“We discussed that for a while, we actually thought about it. We wanted to name a couple. Another reality: none of them have a restaurant that we believe matches the breadth and size and basically empire of some of these men that we picked. They have the reputation and all that and it’s an unfortunate thing. The female chef is a relatively recent phenomenon, except for Alice who has been around for a long time. None of them have the recent breadth that these guys have.”

Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer offered this defense of his choices in a follow-up piece (in 2011, the first time he chose only male chefs — and this is his 4th year running), saying Continue reading »

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Mar 192013
 

Should writers write for free, for exposure, or for fun? Or maybe all three? Everybody has an opinion, sometimes heated.

An argument about getting paid for online work erupted recently, when a respected journalist blogged about an Atlantic Wire editor who asked to repost a long article online for free.

What’s unbelievable is that just a few years ago, the Atlantic magazine offered him $21,000 per article for original reporting, and now they’re offering him nothing in exchange for “exposure.”

Here’s the scoop from Reuters blogger Felix Salmon:

“The exchange has particular added poignancy because it’s not so many years since Continue reading »

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Feb 052013
 

Your book just came out, and it needs reviews on Amazon. Not just any kind of review, but positive ones.

Do you rally your supporters on social media? Ask friends and family to post (implied glowing) reviews? Email anyone who’s ever complimented you and ask them to post?

According to Amazon, all of the above methods lead to “manipulated reviews.” The company is deleting thousands of them, says this story in The New York Times.

If you’ve already employed these strategies, don’t worry about it too much. Most of the time, Amazon is not looking for small fry like us, but for authors with huge followings who can incite people to write reviews on the first day of publication, sometimes without reading the book. But even so, we smaller authors are not immune. The article includes Continue reading »

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