from the lovely Appalachian hills with so much still to digest. Again, the symposium at the Greenbrier Resort is a small food writer’s gathering where panels discuss issues, and writers run seminars on writing, or more specific parts of the business, such as writing queries. One of the
things I like about it is that I, as a “speaker,” learn just as much from the
attendees as surely they learn from me, or this publisher or that newspaper
editor or that literary agent.
loved meeting Mark Bitterman, a true salt evangelist, pictured here giving an
exegesis on various salts, including the red rock in his hand (used for serving
or cooking on).
never knew of Jamie Tiampo, a former IBM tech guy who ditched that work to freelance
food photography and video (seefoodmedia.com). He’s made some very nice short
videos which you can see on his site: eattv.com (or I think that's his but I don't know, since his "show" is hosted by podcastgo.com, but this is one of the many area of new media I'm fuzzy on, help me out if you can!) Regardless, I particularly enjoyed Jamie's oyster video.
traditional media was discussed and lots of practical advice on
writing about food was doled out, too much to cover even in several posts, but the real energy came in the discussions of new media, practical tools, and real
information about cash, dubbed "schloss" at the conference, as in, we’re going to
be talking schloss (real figures about money) and I’ve got to figure out how to
schloss that on my blog (make money on that). Not to be totally crass but the fact is, if we don’t make
money doing what we love then we can’t DO what we love. In my case that would mean getting a
job, which, as I have said before and say again, would mean having to cutting my throat, and I like my throat. (That's Andrew Schloss against the wall behind Bitterman, btw.)
thought everyone but I knew how to do a podcast and get it up on the web. In fact, few there did, and Steve Dolinsky
did a great demo putting two up during his hour-long presentation on writing
and creating performance content using libsyn.com and other internet tools.
reason for the buzz is genuine: there is an incredible amount of opportunity now, so much potential. ...IF... If
you have good content, if you have something to offer that other people
want. You still have to have
either good entertainment or good information, and you’ve got to be able to
present it in a clean professional way.
If you don’t have that, New Media will remain valuable to you as a consumer.
the New Media has done is to make the playing field a little more
democratic. If I’ve got something
to say, I don’t have to convince an editor at The Times to let me say it. I can say it and if it’s valuable,
people will find out about it and maybe let me say more. New Media gives a little bit more power to the
creators of material, power that used to be in the hands of a few publishers,
editors, and television producers, those who had the power to distribute the content.
Now, if you’ve got great content, it’s so much easier to offer it to the
public. How you schloss it, though, that's another thing entirely.
(Again thanks to Toni Allegra, Don Fry and at the Greenbrier, Lynn Swann, for making it such a great week. Oh, and also thanks to the chefs and the Napa Valley Vintners who provided such amazing food and drink. Donna's still trying to decide whether I look six months or seven months pregnant.)