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May 18, 2011 05:49 AM

A timeline on Food Blogs... according to Saveur

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 - ( as the longest running food blog that I've seen. (97) or this one now archived,

Saveur tells it like this:

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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.

    2. 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

        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

          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 buying my first digital camera (98 or 99)
          but i always would look up food..even before or off

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

          1. re: srsone

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

      2. 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

          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

            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

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

        2. 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. 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."