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Faces of Fussy

December 15, 2011

There are some things I take for granted. We don’t need to get into all of them. But sometimes I just assume you all have an innate understanding of what I’m doing here. After a recent email that I got from a long time reader and yesterday’s comment from Mr. Dave, I clearly need to explain something that I thought everybody already knew.

I take full responsibility for the confusion. We’ll get it all cleared up in a moment. But first, let’s go back and recall what Mr. Dave wrote:

I think you are putting some of your best content onto All over Albany, which is great. But I think you are going to get more people to read AoA as opposed to this blog. Is this out of a sense of Altruism?

First, I’m flattered. Second, no. It would be nice in the spirit of the holidays to think that I was doing something purely out of the goodness of my own heart. But my motives are entirely selfish, and I’m happy to lay them out.

Would you believe, I do it for the money?

Before we get into the specifics, I need to make sure everyone is clear on the ten thousand foot view. Because I write on a few platforms, and each one has its purpose.

Yelp is where I started seriously writing about Albany food and I’ll always consider myself a Yelper. Yes, it has its drawbacks, but I love how it aggregates reviews, so unlike the Chow boards there is no bickering back and forth, and users can easily synthesize the ratings to get actionable information.

Sadly my Yelp activity has taken a backseat to the FLB and AOA. But it’s always on my mind, and I continually beat myself up for not posting there more. I do consider all the reviews I’ve written on the site to be my official stance on those restaurants and businesses.

The FLB was born when I wanted to write about restaurants beyond the confines of a Yelp review. How can you review a restaurant you won’t set food in because their menu looks so awful? You can’t. But you can blog about it. So I do.

Here’s what may be the missing link.

I endeavor to make everything I write on the FLB relevant to people living beyond the Capital Region. This doesn’t always succeed. Most of the stories are rooted in the area, but the implications generally apply more broadly.

Bullshit, you say? Well, let’s quickly review to see how I’ve done over the past several posts:

More Tasty Vittles from Rolf’s – Would heirloom bacon win in a blind tasting?
Eating Seasonally: Entering Winter – Cold weather cooking ideas.
Prime Potatoes – Reiterates the importance of local farms being on the menu.
Scones – What makes them bad and what makes them worth the calories.
Food Gifts – Some ideas about what to get the food lover for Christmas.
Good Food Need Not Be Expensive – And vice versa: Better alternatives to Arby’s.
Employee Education – Maybe it’s a bad idea to let your staff talk to customers.
Coffee Gifts – Do not get a K-Cup machine for anyone who loves coffee.

The tours are the only things that come to mind that have little resonance beyond the area. And I would hope even those might get readers elsewhere to consider their regional culinary specialties, and possibly inspire a tour of their own.

All Over Albany opens up a lot of possibilities for me.

In some ways it’s like a Yelp review on happy pills for only the best things in the region. And that has an appeal. It’s great to have a chance to write something nice that restaurant owners will want to print up and hang on the wall, like the piece I did on Peter Pause’s eggplant sandwich.

AOA also isn’t a food blog. It’s a general interest local website. And as a result it is not populated by likeminded food lovers. While you and I may not agree on every matter of taste, if you are here reading this, it’s likely that food plays a more central role in your life than that of the average citizen. Not that AOA is read by the average citizen. Their readers are smarter, better looking, and tend to wear glasses.

The benefit of writing food stuff for this audience is that I have a better chance of not preaching to the choir. And that is inherently appealing.

Now, it’s not surprising that Mr. Dave prefers my AOA posts. They are written in the very positive tone of the site, generally feature small local businesses, and on the whole are a booster for the region. They also all have pretty pictures.

It’s also not surprising that they are actually better too.

My pieces for AOA are reviewed and copyedited by an actual professional journalist. And he’s tough. Nice, but tough. And I want to do well by him. Not just because he pays me. But because he’s tough, and any praise I get from him is really significant. So I give those posts a little bit more attention than my daily diatribes on the FLB. Plus working with a professional pushes me to get better and better. Hopefully, some of those improvements spill into my writing here.

And AOA is just great. The site was a ray of light to me when I was a new arrival in this strange land. I’m thrilled to be a contributor, and I’m glad my work is well received.

Now I just need to find time to catch up on my Yelp reviews.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2011 12:48 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. There is something to be said about daily diatribes.. A blog is not that serious – it is supposed to be whatever you are thinking in real time. It is really about communication, and if people don’t want to read it they don’t have to.

  2. December 15, 2011 3:50 pm

    Ahhh, I see, you receive remuneration for your efforts, that makes more sense. I am purely a hobby blogger. I think getting paid would make it seem too much like real work for me. I am pretty much just happy that some of my friends enjoy reading, and any attention I can bring to my Upstate homeland is a welcome bonus. The rare notice that my hack blog garners in the media, ahem ahem, may inflate a certain ego as well, but I am only human. I would love to guest post places, but the idea of being edited doesn’t sit well with me. I find my own spelling mistakes and horrible grammar to be part of my charm.

    On the subject of compensation, the ads I had put down at the bottom of my blog back in its infancy have recently started (inexplicably) making some dough. I find this kind of shocking. My plans are to reinvest this cash into local business. Next time I get a google check I am going to go into Rolf’s or some other worthy business and plunk down the money and see what it gets me. This seems like the fair thing to do.

    Anyhow, I am a regular All over Albany reader and my mother tells me I am good looking too, so I agree with your sentiment. I don’t, however, wear glasses…

  3. December 15, 2011 5:30 pm

    Mr. Dave, I like your Stewart sign gallery collections.

  4. Tonia permalink
    May 17, 2016 9:56 am

    Yes. And, this is why I love reading your blog: “While you and I may not agree on every matter of taste, if you are here reading this, it’s likely that food plays a more central role in your life than that of the average citizen.”

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