Before I start this conversation, let me be honest: I don’t have the answers.
First consideration: Over the last year, bloggers have “criticized” writers on SideDish for “regurgitating press releases.” My comeback is this: SideDish is a combination of news, opinions, restaurant reviews, and foodie events. What one reader might consider a regurgitated press release could be another reader’s dream wine dinner come true.
First example: Sarah Eveans post on Friday based on a press release from Flavors From Afar. I’m sure some people glazed over the headline while others jotted down the information and readied to get their oil changed. In reality, a interesting discussion on the regulation of olive oil broke out. Several educated readers took issue with statements made by the folks at FFA. One commenter issued a “dare” to the Krabills. (It’s interesting stuff. And I plan to try and make it happen.)
First question: Should we post press releases announcing foodie events and news?
Second consideration: Anonymous bloggers. Blogs are typed talk radio shows. Anybody can “call” in to rant or rave. The only difference is that the words typed in a blog remain in cyber space forever. Anyone can be anyone and say anything. Freedom of speech? Yes. Fair? I don’t know. Train wreck? For sure.
Second example: Chef John Tesar left the Mansion. After we reported the news, comments to the post ranged from supposed inside sources claiming JT was a mad man to comments from folks who claimed to have worked alongside him and he is the best ever. Money quote from “Truth”: “Enough senseless gossip and hating. Blogging need some rules and accountability if journalists are going to keep supporting it.”
Second question: SideDish is your blog. Your forum. What would you do? Rules or rumble? (A young, but wise and balding sage once told me, “The Internet always wins.”)
Go now. Be thoughtful and provocative.