I remember when, a very long time ago, my dad brought home his first modem. I remember him trying to explain to me what exactly it did, through all the racket of beeps, static and tones. The idea of electronic mail completely escaped me in my 5 year old self, and I'm sure I tossed off his description as crazy talk as I went back to playing with my Barbie dolls. Crazy parents and their crazy ideas right? Who on earth would want to talk over a computer? What would be the point of that? Nah- Malibu Beach Barbie was FAR more important. Several years later, as AOL was dominating the email trend, I can distinctly remember watching TV one night and seeing a web address flash at the bottom of a commercial. Companies had their own websites....that anyone could visit? I recall thinking that someday every business would post their websites on the bottom of commercials. See how progressive I had become? Today, of course, I cannot imagine the idea of not having email, let alone the internet in general. It is almost passe to discuss how ridiculous those old modems were in the face of our high speed access today. Of course, I'm not hear to talk about the age of the internet, well not really. As I sit here, typing on my Blog (really a "Web Log"), I'm here to talk about food. However, where would food be today without technology?
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 5th largest Twitter Meet Up in the world, and it really got me thinking. We have come so far with technology that anyone can have a piece of the web today, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Blogs, or their very own .com. Through these tools we can all participate in sharing information, whether it be ideas, fact or fiction. We can trade knowledge and secrets with anyone, around the world. We have better access to information than anyone before us. That really is an incredible fact.
When I started this blog, jeese almost two and a half years ago (!), I started it as a simple way for me to remember the food I was eating, to savor the bites longer, and keep a log of the flavors I was enjoying. Food is my passion, and A Boston Food Diary was started to help me delve into it further. However today, ABFD has taken on it's own spot in this internet age with its own .com, Twitter account, Facebook account, and a Flickr account dedicated to it. It now has it's very own Social Media presence, sharing and receiving information with like minded people all over the world.
Through Social Media, culinary information has become even more accessible. We can tap into countless discussions and articles on the Locavore movement, sign Jamie Oliver's petition to reduce child obesity in America, and learn the facts about organics. We can completely revise the way we grocery shop, and the food that we eat all with information obtained over the Internet. Heck, we can even order groceries to be delivered in our jammies.
This means, to me, greater access to information that I care about. We now have the power to organize our interests into single web addresses for easier access to what really appeals to us. Last week, for example, Local In Season, a great organization assisting the people of Massachusetts weed through the great local produce of our state and finding what is in season when and where, began their series of Panel Discussions as a further resource. People have the ability to join these live chats and ask those burning questions they may have- what IS a garlic scape? How long is the tomato season here? These sessions are conducted entirely over the internet, with advertising primarily based on Twitter. Thousands of people, with an interest in food, gained access to the knowledge of these discussions through a no cost communication on a networking website. Hidden Boston is hosting a panel discussion tomorrow discussing little known restaurants in the Boston area, again, information found on Twitter. What better advertising could there be?
Of course, Twitter must be far more than an cheap advertising site, or it wouldn't have the following that it does. Not sure how long to roast that pork loin that has been hanging out in your freezer? Post the question on Twitter and not only will you get your answer, you will also receive numerous links to blogs and websites with incredibly delicious sounding recipes. Not sure what to have for dinner, peruse your list of favorite food blogs and see what they have been making. Did you make the most amazing pie and you want to share your creation with more than just your close family and friends? The Twitter community will appreciate it. We are beyond the "information age", we are in a place now where we don't just want information, we want to make information. Twitter, in it's short life, has become one of the greatest resources for sharing, and receiving those snippets.
Social Media, is becoming, in my estimation, the newest, and greatest way to share information. No longer is just about catching up on old friends from high school and seeing how they have changed. Today it is about taking a piece of the internet for ourselves, and presenting our unique thoughts and ideas to the world. It is about learning pieces of information quickly and efficiently that previously may have taken us weeks or months to find. It is about putting us in contact with people who are interested in the same things that we are, and initiating discussion. And, of course, it is also, to find out who made that pie- cause I want a piece!
What do you think about Social Media? Do you think it is has as many positive facets as I do?