What I’ve gotten from Social Media is PRICELESS! I found great support and appreciation for my work; I’ve gained knowledge, inspiration and occasional LOLs; I’m never at a loss for restaurant recommendations in unknown areas; I get sales alerts and special offers; I get leads for all sorts of things of interest; and I found tech advice and the answer to any question is generally just a tweet away. I can’t tell you how many times I went on twitter with a panicky question about something technical and got a resolution in minutes! Then there’s ‘search lists’. That’s how I stay plugged into whatever is currently on my mind. These days it’s Tuscany.
And, best of all, I made friends. Lots of virtual ones in places all over the globe…and real, huggable ones to enjoy life with locally.
Early development of social media began in 2004-2006 although the 2 giants (twitter and facebook) aren’t considered to have gone ‘mainstream’ until September 2009. I was shocked to read that statistic! Why? Because that’s when little old me got involved — and I thought I was late to the party.
Who knew I was cutting edge?
Shortly after I started FOODalogue, I went to social media to help promote the blog. I recall not liking it at first. Not at all. Especially Facebook. But, my perserverance was rewarded.
I think I now like Facebook better because of the more visual experience.
For purposes of this post, I tried to find my virgin tweet (I know it must have been lame, they still are!). But after a half-hour of slow (make that verrry slow) downward scrolling through my tweets, I got tired. Though I originally thought I’d have nothing to say, according to my twitter profile, I’ve tweeted 3,962 times. I have 1,160 followers, but only follow 347 back. On facebook I have 250 friends, but there’s a lot of crossover.
You don’t have to follow everyone that follows you.
What many people don’t know is that you, the user, are in total control.
You choose who you follow, who follows you, and what personal information is shared.
You learn to choose wisely based on the value of comments. I follow foodies, photogs, travel gurus, some publications and news sources, and techies/social media pros.
Because of Social Media, more specifically in this case http://meetup.com, I just started studying “the art of seeing” with Jack Wild, a Master Photographer. We’re talking fine art photography, travel, sports, celebrity (the likes of Lady Di and Hollywood celebs). And while I’ve only just recently gone off “auto” myself, I’m totally inspired to do better.
I’ve also participated in a few free blogging and photography tutorial programs that I would not have known about if it weren’t for twitter or facebook.
I love continuing education.
I don’t specifically remember my first few forays into the pool but shortly after joining twitter (and later facebook) to promote my blog and interact with other bloggers, I started to search for ‘local’ foodies. I think it began by following @dinemag because I knew Katy, the publisher, was well-connected to the South Florida food scene.
That was a very wise decision!
Through events that Katy promoted via #tastecasting and #dinemag, I got invited to some very nice places where I dined well and met chefs (like Todd English). And, most importantly, I made new friends like @4theloveoffood @gcasale @foodiechic @SFLFoodandWine @ildivomiami @barefootcount @ergagit @wokstar. And that initial core group grew exponentially with each event to an even larger community on facebook and real life, called SoFL Foodies, which now boasts 349 members!
Over the past 2 years, we’ve gotten together in quite a few restaurants for some fabulous chefs’ tasting dinners and occasionally in each other’s homes for parties or pot-lucks, a few of which I’ve featured here before. Do you remember my Waka Waka African dinner party for Project Food Blog? Or that great Peruvian restaurant in Miami? Among others.
And…if all that wasn’t exciting enough, SoFLFoodies spawned a sub-group called winewithfooddammit! I attended my first event this past Sunday — a Tasting of the Rosés — and had a great time! I’ll be telling you about it soon.
What about you? Have you had a similar experience? What have your tweets done for you?
A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!
I've always been a culinary improvisor which means I get my kicks out of recipe development. In the FOODalogue kitchen each meal is an adventure and the journey is as exciting as the destination. My favorite kitchen tools are imagination and intuition. I rarely look at a recipe, not even my own!
On these pages, I suggest food pairings and techniques to be experimented with...in your own kitchen...to your own spice levels...and to your preferred portion sizes.