The first-ever BlogHer Food Conference went down this past Saturday at the St. Regis hotel and was completely sold out. We caught up with BlogHer co-founder and COO Elisa Camahort Page to talk women power bloggers, food blogging in general and the state of new media.
What, in your opinion, makes a good food blog?
Recipes are always cited the number one thing people want in a food blog. But number two is storytelling. Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, for example, has fantastic images and recipes and also tells a story about her life. Authenticity matters a ton, as does consistency. All the succesful bloggers are blogging regularily and blogging often. You can always count on them to dish out something new.
Have you seen the number of food blogs explode after Julia & Julia?
There was a big explosion in food blogs about a year ago. I think this was when a lot of news was coming out about the impending movie. Right now food topics are one of the number one drivers of pageviews in the BlogHer network and account for a third of our traffic and uniques.
How would you describe the Bay Area food blogging community?
The Bay Area is known as a food paradise (which made it really nice for us in planning the BlogHer conference from both an attendee and a speaker perspective!) The blogging community ranges from frugalistas to foodistas. A Year of Slow Cooking, for example, chronicles a year of cooking out of a slow cooker. Then there's Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks, Sean Timberlake's Hedonia and Elise Bauer's Simply Recipes, which represent the more foodista side of things.
How many blogs are in the BlogHer network?
We have over 30,000 blogs in the network and almost 2,400 specifically food-related blogs.
How do you think food blogs are changing traditional media? Do traditional critics matter anymore?
Bloggers love mainstream media. It's a great resource for their information. Bloggers and mainstream media can play off of each other and happily coexist. What we do know from our Women and Social Media Study is that people who spend more time blogging are more likely to trust social media sources more than traditional media. They go to their network of friends and social media space for their trusted information.
Check out photos from Saturday's activities, which included demos from chefs Elizabeth Faulkner and Ryan Scott.