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A timeline on Food Blogs... according to Saveur

HillJ May 18, 2011 05:49 AM

According to a Saveur food blog timeline, the food blogging movement begins
with Chowhound - what?

When did CH become a blog?

Given the amount of static food blogging receives, it's surprising to read this in print. Let's give credit where credits due....if credits due. I've been complying my list for a long time, and my journal would be Mike's Flog - (www.glassbird.com/scd/flog.html) as the longest running food blog that I've seen. (97) or this one now archived, http://classic-web.archive.org/web/19980117140702/http://dsiegel.com/dine/index.html

Saveur tells it like this:



  1. HillJ May 25, 2011 02:43 PM

    Melanie, I wonder why Saveur didn't just ask.

    1. Melanie Wong May 25, 2011 02:38 PM

      From Jim Leff:
      "Saveur says Chowhound was the 1st food blog. Nice of them, but I'm not sure what makes them think we were ever a blog! http://bit.ly/lN1bmn"

      1. cowboyardee May 20, 2011 08:21 PM

        Issues of how CH should be classified at the time of its inception aside, I think Saveur was just using the word 'blog' very loosely and informally - not trying to imply that CH is something it's not. The inclusion of egullet, explicitly calling it a forum rather than a blog, makes this pretty clear.

        I think "A Brief History of Web-Based Food Writing" just didn't make for a snazzy enough title.

        1. rworange May 20, 2011 07:40 PM

          Hmmm ... this was sort of perculating in the back of my mind because I thougth this was discussed in the past on Chowhound. Did a search and sure enough, here's the 2006 topic


          According to that Dave Siegel's "Dine with Dave" might take the prize. He logged every lunch he ate starting in 1996. Pretty amusing and truly a trip on the wayback machine as he was based in the SF Bay Area


          Love the memorable quotes from each lunch, especially the first .... ""I think the Web took off because a lot of people in Silicon Valley were really getting bored."

          1. j
            julesrules May 20, 2011 09:43 AM

            Yes there was another thread about this and I mentionned how it bugs me when people mix up blogs and forums. Two diffferent things, sometimes both found at the same website. Seems to me Jim may have had some blog posts but he was always clear that chowhound was a community forum.

            2 Replies
            1. re: julesrules
              maplesugar May 20, 2011 09:46 AM

              that other thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783745

              1. re: maplesugar
                HillJ May 20, 2011 10:24 AM

                Appreciate it!

            2. rworange May 19, 2011 09:13 PM

              It is hardly comprehensive and a little weird in ists selections. I'm surprised you didn't point out all the other problems with that article since you seem to be keeping some sort of notes or something.

              5 Replies
              1. re: rworange
                HillJ May 19, 2011 11:16 PM

                My interest was in the area of the article that suggests the food blogging genre began with CH. Yes, the writers list jumps all over the place.

                1. re: HillJ
                  rworange May 20, 2011 12:08 AM

                  For whatever reason that interests you, I would not put too much stock in this porrly researched article. Chowhounds claim to fame extends far beyond whether "what Jim had for Dinner" was the first blog or not.

                  And sheesh, the writer doesn't even seem clear on what a blog is or is not. Just start another topic about what was the first food blog and you'll get better info than that.

                  While sections of early Chowhound could be considered a blog, egullet was certainly never one.

                  My own interest when I saw the topic is timelines. On the whole, they are usually unreliable, the only one I have any faith in is the food time line because they document their sources.

                  That was truly shoddy journalism on the part of Saveur which is supposed to be a professional publication.

                  1. re: rworange
                    HillJ May 20, 2011 05:52 AM


                    Are you referring to this research project?

                    1. re: HillJ
                      rworange May 20, 2011 08:45 AM


                      1. re: rworange
                        HillJ May 20, 2011 08:55 AM

                        Ah. Then you know this research is not about food blogs.

              2. srsone May 18, 2011 10:14 AM

                yes..i dont consider CH a blog...
                the main CH is what a forum is nowadays...
                now it can have blogs in it...i dont know about chow from back in the 90s....wasnt on it then..
                if there was one person making all the posts and we were commenting on them..that would be a blog

                but i have been online since the 80s...

                way back in the day we would call what CH is now a bulletin board..

                3 Replies
                1. re: srsone
                  HillJ May 18, 2011 10:23 AM

                  This is exactly how I would classify CH today and pre CNET, srs.

                  But the writer of this magazine stating that CH started food blogging doesn't correspond with any of the blog research, media attention or online/offline information I've been collecting since 1995.

                  1. re: HillJ
                    srsone May 18, 2011 10:38 AM

                    i dont remember back to the 90s about specific sites i went to ..
                    except aol back then...
                    and whatever i was looking for at the time...like buying my first digital camera (98 or 99)
                    but i always would look up food..even before that..online or off

                    so i couldnt say that chowhound started it either..
                    i think anybody blogging then could have......

                    1. re: srsone
                      HillJ May 18, 2011 10:55 AM

                      good point because until formal blog platforms became available the term was rarely used; it's domain name registrations that helps with timelines.

                2. h
                  huaqiao May 18, 2011 09:19 AM

                  Chowhound was more bloggish when it started. I remember Jim Leff's vivid account of his rediscovery of Flint's BBQ in Oakland as the first time I tracked down a restaurant I read about online.

                  Didn't Jim also use to write a lot about some cereal which was no longer in production?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: huaqiao
                    HillJ May 18, 2011 09:29 AM

                    Interesting, huaqiao. I was reading along back then and I always thought of Jim's site as a bulletin board meant to attract a large chowhoundish community to share chow tips with Jim leading the charge both on and off line. Maybe that amounts to the same thing as what we call a blog today (by many defintions it does) but I'm not at all sure CH in 97 or today began the food blogsphere. The writer of this linked article (in OP) has made that connection.

                    1. re: HillJ
                      Caitlin McGrath May 18, 2011 10:02 AM

                      I think what huaqiao is referring to is that, pre-CNET, Chowhound had both its forums, which you're referring to, and also article content by Jim Leff and guests, that could indeed be likened to or classified as blog entries - such as his paeans to Flint's and Quisp cereal, and regularly updated features like What Jim Had for Dinner, and travelogues with photos. These were a separate feature of the site from the discussion boards.

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                        HillJ May 18, 2011 10:25 AM

                        That's the ticket, Quisp cereal! The CH pre-CNET I read was a site started by Jim and a BB contributed by chowhounds. Very basic format feed. The pages outside of that BB were provided by Jim detailing all his chow travels and encouraging followers.

                        I realize all the bells and whistles we enjoy visually came later and have continued to expand. Thank you for adding your recall, C.

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