I feel confident claiming two things about our future as consumers of high-quality journalism: an increasing proportion of what we read will be paid for directly — subscription vs. advertising; and we’ll read it on our iPads, Galaxy tabs, and other digital devices more than we will on paper. Many (if not most) publications have specially designed apps that deliver content but the lack of standardisation can be jarring and tracking all of your separate subscriptions quickly becomes confusing. Since 2000 (so long ago that in the world of digital media that might as well read “815 BC”) Zinio has been offering subscriptions to licensed, digital version of popular magazines. (more…)
Yesterday my post addressed the controversy that has sprung up around the deal being offering by The Butchers through buytopia.ca. I visited the store, met Marlon Pather, and along with some of the buytopia team tasted samples that Marlon provided and we cooked.
I have some additions to make to my analysis of the Trueler post that played a significant role in starting the controversy. There is a lot wrong with that post but I tried to concentrate on the four potentially informative tests run on sausages that they purport to have bought from The Butchers: water leakage in a bag of frozen sausages; an iodine test for starch fillers; cooking the sausages and observing their appearance; and leaving a piece of sausage at room temperature for two days and observing whether it spoiled.
Buytopia.ca is offering a group-buying deal, $99 for $400 worth of meat from The Butchers in Toronto, that has attracted a lot of attention on Twitter. Here’s a rough timeline of my involvement with this story:
- Around 10 AM @coreymintz tweeted about a deal, $99 for $400 of meat from The Butchers, by buytopia.ca.
- I took a look and just before noon tweeted that I thought that this looked like a deal worth considering. I wrote an email to The Butchers asking for more information but haven’t heard back as of this posting.
- By 3 PM word was spreading from some of the people I follow and trust on Twitter that there might be something amiss.
- By 4:30 I had read this Trueler story that takes aim at the deal, and previous ones offered by The Butchers on other sites, and I had tweeted that “Looks like that buytopia deal at The Butchers is too good to be true. http://bit.ly/fYMWjG“
- That tweet has been retweeted several times and I’ve received some feedback. From those I’ve heard from the strong trend has been that those who bought previous deals were generally (very) satisfied but if they tried the sausages they didn’t like them.
The feedback in The Butchers’ favour and my lingering doubts have inspired me to take a closer look at the Trueler condemnation.
I’m going to try and put aside the subjective or soft conclusions. On one hand there are some seemingly strong points against The Butchers (like the number of deals they have participated in and the comments on the Trueler post which are generally (though not entirely) negative) but also the vigorous use of bolding and an inflammatory post title make me wonder about the poster’s objectivity. If you’re interested in including these in your evaluation follow the link and do so for yourself. (more…)
In March my Ultimate Toronto series of articles on Spotlight Toronto continued with that iconic dessert of Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and points nearby, baklava. This follows peameal bacon and churrasco chicken. I’m thinking the next installment will probably be a soup but if you have suggestions for dishes particular to Toronto that you would like to see me eat a bunch of and then recreate at home, leave a comment.
Also, on Spotlight Toronto I’ve been following Jenn Bylok’s Lady Who Lunches series (she went to Craft Burger most recently) and am looking to see more from Suresh Doss’s Shopping with a Sommelier video series whose first episode featured Joel Wilcox.
Finally, a link that’s only partly food-related and was recommended to me by an offline friend. The steadily increasing number of barely distinguishable deal-buying sites bring an equally expanding deluge of daily emails but OneSpout puts all deals into on message. They also let you track purchased vouchers to help stay on top of expiry dates.
Update: I’ve realised that in my original post I entirely forgot to include one of the links that inspired this post. I had the pleasure of doing an email interview with Correen of Food Lover’s Web about the ins-and-outs of Food With Legs and wanted to share the link to her post.
I have been using Twitter for several months to track what’s happening in the food world and to promote my blog posts. Overall I’m still divided on the utility of Twitter. It seems like there is a huge ratio of noise to information. The interface–depending whether you use the default web or a third-party interface–is an odd mixture of old school commands and flashier bells and whistles. I think there are a few particularly useful ways that people are using Twitter and today’s post is devoted to pointing out the ones that have to do with food, especially in Toronto.
A lot of tweets (the messages sent on Twitter) are along the lines of “I just ate…” or “I am at…” and those, in my opinion, have a pretty limited utility but some have refined this to an art and use Twitter to post timely and extremely succinct reviews of Toronto’s restaurants. The two who do this best are spotlightcity and TOFoodie. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to cut my reviews down to 140 characters or less but I appreciate reading what others have to say in this format–particularly when pictures are included.