We came. We saw. We listened. We ate. We Blogged.

Well I don’t think I’d be the only one to say that the inaugural Australian Food Bloggers Conference, Eat. Drink. Blog. 2010 was a resounding success. What an absolutely awesome day!

Check out these blogs and galleries for the lowdown before and after the event. If I have missed your post, please tweet me @tummyrumbles.

We even got a mention in The Age.

Speaking of tweets, the conference was enthusiastically captured under the hash tag #EatDrinkBlog and #EatDrinkBlog2010.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the generosity of our sponsors, without which it would have been a very dull day indeed:

  • The Essential Ingredient provided the venue, staff and a prize for a tweet your favourite @EsntlIngredient competition. It was totally inspiring to have our conference about food blogging in such a hallowed space.
  • SBS Food sponsored the exhibition of photographs from food and wine blogs,  and provided each attendee with a little goodie bag to take home, which included episode 2 of Italian Food Safari, before it airs on TV!
  • St Ali provided attendees with lunch and the evening meal by chef Ben Cooper, plus the space for the exhibition and kick-off cocktail party.  We applaud the fantastic floor staff for their enthusiasm, and Ben and his team for taking us on an interesting culinary adventure.  Many people broke their fish eye cherries that night.
  • Der Raum provided some seriously inventive cocktails and drinks. Check the twitter pics for smoking poison bottles and hip flasks in paper bags.
  • Prentice Wine provided a corker of a wine matched to our evening meal.
  • Red Hill Brewery slaked our thirst with some local hand crafted ales.
  • Daylesford and Hepburn Springs Mineral Springs Co kept us hydrated throughout the day with sparkling mineral water and soft drinks.

One must also not forget to thank the people that made it all happen so smoothly on the day; Ed, Reem, April, Mellie, Michael, Tammi and Jess, plus our fabulous panel members.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the bloggers who made this such a successful event. Your excitement and willingness to discuss what all this food and wine blogging business is about just made it totally rock.

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Eat. Drink. Blog Schedule

Get ready folks, the Eat Drink Blog 2010 Schedule for conference attendees has now been released.

But if you just want to know where you need to be and when, here are the details in a snapshot.
DATE: Sunday 21st March, 2010
VENUE: THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT, Prahran Market, Elizabeth Street, South Yarra (map)
TIME: Registration at 8.45am for a 9.30am commencement.

Further information will be coming thick and fast in the next few days, so keep checking back for updates!


The invitations are on their way

Registration for the inaugural Eat. Drink. Blog. Food Bloggers Conference 2010 have now closed, and invites were sent out this morning. I must admit I was surprised at the interest shown as we had close to 100 registrations!

Unfortunately, we are limited by both venue size (45 people only) and cost, so we can not extend an invitation to everyone.  As I’d like to keep this process transparent, I’ll explain our rationale below.

An invitation was automatically extended to panel members and conference organisers.

Next, the attendee list was reduced by removing people who a) didn’t have a current blog, or b) had only been blogging a very short time (ie. in the last few months).  Yeah, it was a tough call, but it had to be made.

We then extended invites to bloggers from interstate, to ensure we had a good cross-section of bloggers from across Australia. There weren’t many, so this also seemed logical.

And to the remaining attendees on the list, well, we left it up to the good ol’ random list generator.

As the RSVP’s come in, we’ll probably have a few more spots pop up, and we’ll be offering these consecutively to the people on the randomly generated list.  And for those unable to attend on the day, you won’t miss out too much as we’ll be publishing video-casts of some of the panel discussions.

If all goes well this year, we’ll plan for bigger and better things next year, where we can hopefully accommodate everyone.


((drumroll)) and the panel is…

Just thought I’d provide a little taste, an amuse bouche if you will, of the program of events for Eat. Drink. Blog. 2010.  Please note this is a work in progress, and will be updated as information comes to hand.

PANEL: How and why we blog

Gill from Confessions from a food nazi
Naturopath and broadcaster who believes great food can be simple, fresh and healthy. She first began blogging about politics in 2004 and then fell into writing about food a year later. Confessions of a Food Nazi explores easy and nourishing ways to cook.

  • Discussion title: The cook’s journal
  • Discussion summary: People are attracted to writing about food for many reasons. Not all bloggers seek fame and fortune. Gill will explore her personal reasons to blog about food in the form of a cook’s journal. Using the site to record her experiments in the kitchen, the recipes that evolve and thoughts on cooking and eating. Her motto in regards to blogging as a hobby is “only do it if it’s fun”.

Reem from I Am Obsessed with Food
Passionate foodie committed to spreading the word about the good, the bad and the spectacular in food in and around Sydney.

  • Discussion title: How and why we blog
  • Discussion summary: The reasons that we blog are many and varied and are not just limited to passion. I will briefly discuss why people blog both from a food perspective as well as a non foodie perspective, and some of the trends over the years in blogging fashion (e.g. sex blogs, diaries, food, fashion etc).

Zoe from Progressive Dinner Party and crazybrave
A left wing, veggie growing, blog evangelising and earwig despising mother of two living in Canberra, Zoe grew up playing quietly outside meetings.  Her jobs since then have generally involved arguing and writing.  She began blogging in 2004 at crazybrave.net and set up group blog Progressive Dinner Party in April 2008.

  • Discussion title: Why we blog
  • Discussion summary: There are a million reasons to start a blog, but most blogs are quickly discarded. What will keep you going? The answers are as various as the many genres of blog that exist, even within the food blogging world. Identifying what you want your blog to be helps you create a space that feels right for you and attracts the readers you want to engage with. The first step is identifying what you want to say and why you blog – whether it’s to stretch a writing muscle or show your photographic chops, to share your culinary skills or the latest news, or simply to become part of a community of like-minded food nerds.

PANEL: Practicalities of Photography

Ellie from Kitchen Wench
Ellie is the entity behind the Kitchen Wench food blog, using it to capture her forays into the worlds of both savoury and sweet. Running since 2006, it is one of the longest-running food blogs in the Melbourne food blogging world.

  • Discussion title: Delicious: The work behind the image
  • Discussion summary: A presentation on the mechanics of setting up and taking a photo – from learning the important functions of your camera, to plating and preparing yourself to capture the perfect shot.

Nola from Once a waitress, always a waitress
Nola is a ex-professional photographer, current public relations consultant, freelance writer and food blogger currently living in Hobart.

  • Discussion title: The why of blog photography
  • Discussion summary: The vast majority of food bloggers rely heavily on photography to illustrate their work. But why is photography so important, and what steps can we take to make sure we get it right?

Matt from Abstract Gourmet
I’m a food obsessed writer and photographer who needs to eat the world, but will have to start with Perth. Abstract Gourmet started in 2005 as a way to avoid real work, and 5 years later has managed to come full circle. I write for WA food magazine SPICE, judge and organise barista competitions, undertake grandiose cooking expeditions, and eat well above the recommended daily intake of fat. My website is the greasy window into my food and my life.

  • Discussion title: Practical photography
  • Discussion summary: How to take photos in restaurants (or out of them) that don’t suck. A few of my thoughts on getting the most out of your dSLR camera and tricks I use to get decent shots in difficult environments. A little gear talk about lenses and practical approaches to improving lighting. Also a bit of discussion on post processing using Lightroom, and do’s and don’ts of photo editing.

PANEL: Copyright, Ethics & Legalities

Claire from Melbourne Gastronome
Writer of Melbourne Gastronome, competition and trade practices lawyer, lapsed oenology student and linguist.

  • Discussion title: “I thought you might like to mention our product on your blog”
  • Discussion summary: The ethics of freebies and conflicts of interest, and the impact of trade practices laws on bloggers.

Stephen from Reminiscence of a Food Tragic
Stephen is unable to attend the conference, but has written an essay titled “Disgusting Oysters and Fair Comment: Lessons from the ‘Coco Roco’ Case” which will be provided to conference attendees.

Ed from Tomato
Ed has been a journalist for most of his life and been blogging since 2005. He writes about business, food and drink and is also consulting to companies on blogs and social media. In a previous life he worked in issues and crisis management for chemical, food and tobacco companies.

  • Discussion title: The art of negotiation is in defamation.
  • Discussion summary: Very few defamation cases ever get to court. The reality is that most action is through lawyers letters. They look scary and are designed to intimidate. If you understand this they are easy to handle.

Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once
Haalo is unable to attend the conference, but has written a guide on the very important issue of content theft and copyright which will be provided to conference attendees.

PANEL: SEO and how to be social

Penny from Addictive and consuming
Working in a digital agency means that I live and breathe digital everyday. And when I am not working, I am usually out in cafes or restaurants or in my own kitchen cooking up a storm.

  • Discussion title: How to be social
  • Discussion summary: Social media and networking has become part of our lives. How do we make use of it to drive traffic to our site.

Michael from My Aching Head
Michael is a as much a computer geek as he is a food, wine and coffee geek. If he isn’t eating or drinking, he is probably tinkering with his blog or his current projects http://terroir.me/ or the australian food blog search engine http://forage.net.au/.

  • Discussion title: Simple Search Engine Optimisation
  • Discussion summary: Search Engine Optimisation is a mysterious corner of the internet filled with snake oil salesman, promises and broken dreams. The search engines have hundreds of ranking factors and knowing the exact bits and pieces on your blog to change is a mystery, even to the “experts”.But getting the basics right is easy. The purpose of this talk is to introduce a few core concepts to focus on which will help everyone to eke more traffic out of the search engines (or Google).These concepts are:
    PageRank. What is it? Is it relevant? How can it work in my favour?
    Keyword Research. What is it? Why should I care? How do I do it?

Brian from Fitzroyalty
Brian Ward is an academic, writer, editor, publisher and social media consultant who currently works in electronic communications for a tertiary education institution. He publishes Fitzroyalty (a hyperlocal site about Fitzroy in Melbourne) and 10 hyperlocal sites that aggregate local news about inner city Melbourne suburbs.

  • Discussion title: The importance of place: being social is hyperlocal
  • Discussion summary: Being social means, in part, collaborating with other social media creators. One of the obvious things food bloggers have in common is place – we review the same restaurants and go to the same markets and events in our home cities. Developing content based on places is highly relevant to audiences and good location metadata is crucial to content being easily identifiable as being about a place. Following on from Michael and Penny, I will discuss how using comprehensive geotagging and location metadata can improve the contextual relevance of social media content and help publishers reach audiences. I will outline how the hyperlocal concept can be used as the basis for individual sites or communal aggregation sites that syndicate content about places.I will also outline some of the present and future implications for location based content, particularly for consumption via mobile devices.

PANEL: Making money through blogging

Jules from stonesoup and breadshoes reviews
minimalist home cook, full time blogger, photographer, food & wine lover, scientist.

  • Discussion title: Making money through blogging
  • Discussion summary: How to make a living through blogging – every bloggers dream or unrealistic fantasy. Exploring the worlds of blog advertising, affiliate sales, selling your own products and ebooks v’s print books.
  • NOTE: Jules will also table a Q&A from Lorraine (Not Quite Nigella) and Jennifer (Jenius).

Phil from The Last Appetite, Phnomenon and SBS Food
Phil is a food writer and photographer for Asian food-obsessed blogs Last Appetite and Phnomenon; SBS Food and offline at Wall Street Journal Asia. He’s also web marketing manager at La Trobe University where he oversees a site with half a million indexed pages and 400 contributors.

  • Discussion title: Why web marketers don’t give a shit about your food blog.
  • Discussion summary: Why web marketers don’t notice your blogs or if they do, either don’t advertise on them or pay you less than what you probably deserve. How do you make them care? And pay?

As mentioned, some details are yet to be confirmed, so keep checking back for updates!

And remember, if you want to attend the conference, please make sure you register by Sunday 7 March. REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.