Interview with a Baltimore based foodstagrammer

My research covers a broad research group of Instagram bloggers ranging in followers, cuisine interests, and style. The Instagram blogger I am interviewing is a relatively smaller account that uses a range of Instagram habits that I am interested in, like hashtags.

  • Okay so today we’re here with John who runs the BaltimoreFoodies Instagram and I just have a couple of questions for you um the first one, really simple, how did you start your Instagram?

John: Uh, started about two years ago. Um and it was just as simple as just starting to post pictures of food that I thought was really good and aesthetically pleasing.

  • So did you have any experience before that in food journalism?

John: Um, not really. I like taking pictures of my own food, um just for my own records like on my phone. Or I used to have a camera actually believe it or not. And I would just take pictures of my food. It was a good way to remember where I ate and what I got. And it was just a good way to look over memories and it just reminded me of certain times in my life when I would eat or at certain cities, in certain cities or at specific restaurants.

  • So, I guess relating to that um, i’ll skip ahead. What did you hope to get out of your Instagram?

John: Um. well at first it was just kind of a continuation of that. I pretty much just started posting for myself to remember where I ate, um, what I like to eat. And i found that I started to gain a little bit of a following of people who uh genuinely wanted to find new places to eat in Baltimore. So that became kind of a purpose behind the Instagram. I definitely posted more to kind of spread um you know what type of good food is in baltimore to other people and less try to remind myself where to eat. So it became more for others to know where to eat in baltimore and to find new places than it was for me.

  • Okay so you say it’s like for other people, so how do you think that Instagram accounts like your own has affected traditional food journalism?

John: Traditional food journalism…

  • Just like articles in the newspaper.. stuff like that

John: Yeah, I mean I think anyone can be quote unquote a food journalists if you have a phone and an Instagram account, you know. If you’re passionate about food … but it’s good, it’s a good thing.

I included the first part of my interview before I ran out of words for the word count. Although this may not have been the most successful interview, I did learn some new things. John mentions interesting things about his method of sharing others photos if they use his hashtag. This allows him to spread his name throughout the baltimore food community as well as to find good content for his account. He also sheds some light on the difference between him and other food bloggers. Most of the larger food bloggers I have studied make a decent amount of money off of promotions and endorsements. However, BaltimoreFoodies is more focused on the spread of information. In relation to my interest in studying food bloggers compared to traditional food journalism, he discusses how anyone can be a ‘foodstagrammer’ nowadays but sees that as a positive thing. It will be very interesting to study the food journalists opinions on this versus food bloggers like John. I am almost positive that they will not have similar opinions.

Although I did not receive as much insight as I would have hoped, John definitely did help to lead me in the right direction. While writing the questions, performing the interview, and analyzing the interview I have become a step closer to finalizing my ‘about.’ In his interview, John spoke a large amount about the power of social media and says “you don’t read the Sunday morning paper anymore to find what the best restaurant is, that’s a little bit antiquated.” That sparked a realization, I can study how traditional food journalism has had to readjust to foodstagrams and other social media forms of food journalism? Have they created social media accounts for their newspapers, journals, or magazines? Do those food journalists own their own social media that spreads food information?

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