It’s Official: Readers Don’t Like Sponsored Posts

TrustAre readers of online content comfortable with sponsored posts? According to a new study, no. Most are confused and feel deceived.

Sponsored posts, for those not in the know, is also known as advertorial or native advertising. In our field, it means a company has paid (in cash or in kind) a blogger or website writer to write an endorsement. It must be disclosed as such, according to the FTC.

I first questioned writing content in exchange for pay or [Read more…]

FTC Disclosure Rules on Social Media

Like-Love-Social MediaA few months ago, in exchange for appearing on a panel, the conference paid my expenses.

During the event, I wanted to share photos of the meals on Facebook and Twitter. I also knew the conference organizers were expecting speakers to promote the event on social media.

So I did the wrong thing. I posted a few photos, and I didn’t say my meals were comped. It felt slimy! I didn’t want to! (Cue whining.)

That was wrong, by law in the US. (I hope no FTC officials are reading this.) From now on, I’m either not post anything on [Read more…]

7 Outrageous Requests of a Food Blogger

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  [Read more…]

Bloggers Behaving Badly

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 [Read more…]

Do Content Aggregators Take Advantage of Food Bloggers?

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 [Read more…]

How to Write Recipes That Are Harder to Steal

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: [Read more…]

Male Food Writers Promoting Male Chefs

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 [Read more…]