Thursday, April 15, 2010

Twitting foodies

I had never understood the hype about Twitter. I would read articles talking about how amazing Twitter was, how the celebrities would use it, how companies would make tons of money advertising on it, how you could meet fun people, how you could lose your corporate reputation by misusing it or underestimating it, how you could organize boycotts of companies you didn't like.

I would read those thing and my face would go like, WTF???

Don't get me wrong, I had not underestimated the power of social media in general. I had had a blog in Italian about motorbikes and books for a long time. I had been using Facebook for a while already, managing very large groups on that platform (one, about the correct use of the Italian grammar has more than 100K members). This is not to brag (what is there to brag about, since I haven't made a cent off of it???), but just to make you understand that I am not a Luddite anti novelties or anti social media.

Still, Twitter? WTF?

So I tried. The first time it was in March 2009. I had just moved to the US, and I thought that Twitter would have been an extra way to keep in contact with all things Italian: I have left Italy in 1997, and I didn't want to become the "Uncle from America" that comes back home and can't speak his own language properly. So I got onto Twitter.

Well, it was the most boring experience in my life. There was nothing to do, really. No major Italian news source was on it yet, the so called celebrities were losers that were not worth following and I got bored. So I said: maybe I should focus on the French speaking community, in Belgium, where I had lived ten years.

I realized after three days that no, maybe not. Worse than the Italian experience, if possible. So I canceled my profile.

Back in October 2009, a fellow Italian blogger told me: hey, why are you not on Twitter? It is so much fun!

So I said , ok, maybe things have changed. I go on once again, and yet things are exactly the same, as in LAME. I connect with a couple of hundreds people or so, around 100 follow me, but I never really have fun. I don't know what that thing is for: who is interested in my 140 character rants about Italian politics or the Kindle or anything else? Really?

So off I went. Again.

But then came the Tuscan Foodie (this blog, I mean). I said to myself that maybe, rather than trying to use twitter to keep in touch with the far away communities, I could use it to get into this new community, Chicago. Trying and discover new food related things, while making my blog read. And I said to myself: only food. No politics, no BS, just food. And so I started again,

And BANG, I loved it. Twitter is awesome. Now. And I love it to the point that now I am a lot less on FB, and a lot less on my blog also. And a lot more on Twitter.

First of all, I discovered that yes, celebrity chefs and restaurants and real celebrities are indeed using Twitter here. And they even respond to your questions. But more importantly I started to follow foodies like me, “normal” people. And we start chatting, organizing dinners, meeting up to try new food and restaurants, exchange recommendations for restaurants to try in Chicago, and in different cities. We can also use it to locate the best moving tamales in town...(



Anonymous said...

Really? Do you really need to be connected to random people every few minutes with limited words? It is just too much and unnecessary. YMW

Tuscan foodie in America said...

Ymw, I understand your skepticism, which was mine before the tuscan foodie time. If used appropriately, I discovered twitter can be a lot of fun and very useful. I already discovered restaurants and found information I was not aware of. And no, you don't need to be connected every few minutes...

MandiCrocker said...

Agreed! You meet all kinds of kindred spirit foodies and it makes your day to hear people as passionate about food as you... I also follow a lot of comedians so that can be fun as well.

Foiled Cupcakes, a cupcake delivery business in Chicago, actually STARTED because of Twitter hype & followers so obviously there's more to it than Anonymous (or myself sometimes) would care to believe.

Tuscan foodie in America said...

Hello Mandi! You won't believe it, but I was following Foiled Cupcakes in March last year, when she had still only a coupe of hundreds followers or something like that. I see now she has become a power twitter. I am happy for her business!

And let us know when YOUR business is up: did I tell you I love red velvet???

pizzeriaitalia said...

Hmmmm, I'm happy that you've found a way to make a good use of Twitter.., the "local" use sound like the more reasonable way to use it.

Not the sort of thing to do down here, where the look at you in a funny way when you say "What? Fax? I use email..."

Tuscan foodie in America said...

ciao Pizzaiolo, welcome! Yes, the twitter landscape in Italy is pretty deceiving...

palbi said...

I had no clue it was you! Yeah I know, kinda retarded
Anyways...glad u like twitter better now ^^

Tuscan foodie in America said...

palbi, that's the idea...of not knowing it I mean.


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