Practicum failures along the way

Throughout the project there were a variety of failed attempts within the blogging community. In order to connect with bloggers I started to look at a few of my favorites that I tend to go to when in a cooking pickle. The posts on each site have always been so helpful I haven’t found my self needing to post a question or concern so I instead just said hello. This obviously did not work. Many of the blogs I commented on were well known and I am sure the number of “hello”s they receive is too many to bother with.

After coming to this realization I started to cater to certain blogs that seemed to fall in line with the Slow Food ideals or who expressed themselves are more consciously aware of what they were eating. Here is where I discovered Sprout & Pea.

Mardi Miskit is a former chef who enjoys cooking organic and gluten free. Her blog presents itself in a very earthy and free spirited way that initially allows me to think that she is not stocking her shelves with MSG and the like. I decided to comment on her blog hoping to make a relationship but still to no avail I did not succeed.

The image is one of her posts that came up in my reader that illustrates her knowledge of the Slow Food movement. She promoted the 5$ challenge that Slow Food USA sent out and many other Slow Food chapters took part of.

I continued to search blogs and comment away with only a handle actually making a connection. Another example is Adam Powell’s blog. He is a writer for the A.V. Club Madison section of the Onion and through my Twitter feed we have made a connection. I often tweet about foodie issues or recipes as well as things going in and around Madison. He had picked up on this and responded with a direct message. I am not sure if this was solely due to my Twitter activity or a combination but Twitter wasn’t really an area of focus for my specific practicum project so I hesitate when bringing it up.

 

The final area of blogs I explored were the blog of Slow Food chapters. These were not crafted in the traditional blog format and seemed to appear more like a website but there were ways to post opinions or contact writers. I did such things and still found no response.

  

  

I will and did keep trying to end up with a successful project that will grow beyond the class.

 

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Adding SFUW to the wikiworld

Cheers to the final post for the practicum project and learning to further develop the wikipedia website. This part of the project was something I was really looking forward to. The Slow Food wikipedia page is where I first went to explore Slow Food when I was starting to get involved myself. The page has a very general overview of what Slow Food actually is and how far it reaches. There are also many links and resources that the viewer can use to further their education. I am semi-satisfied with this page but it has always been a very good reference point for simple facts.

The area that I expanded was in the Slow Food USA section. I attempted to add a section that would explain how Slow Food efforts have been incorporated on university campuses but fell short. I want to continue to explore the edit section of wikipedia in order to add more but for now have successfully added a small paragraph about university involvement. There is even a link embedded that directs readers to the Slow Food USA page listing all the universities that have been recognized by Slow Food USA. This link will take the readers to the individual university Slow Food home pages. Here readers can maybe explore their university’s chapter or one close by and become more involved in the amazing efforts.

 

As I said earlier I want to study the editing sections of this wikipedia page more. I will create an account so that it is easier and if possible want to add a Slow Food UW page. Slow Food UW is the first university chapter to be recognized by Slow Food USA so I feel as though it could support a full page on wikipedia. There are five projects within SFUW that could be discussed and then this could also be used as a way to connect with other Slow Food university chapters.

This movement is highly depend on the work done by people in their local communities so collaborating and sharing ideas is crucial. This project has shown how social movements are growing successfully with the technological advancements of the internet and specifically social networking sites. I have had an amazing time reseraching this area and finding out what many other people are doing in order to join the movement. I have also learned a lot about Slow Food ideals and the way of life. I am eager to share my final paper with Danny and Evan, and I hope you all have been able to enjoy my posts as well.

Good luck and as always bon appetit.


Making friends in the online food world

This project is allowing me to stem beyond completing a semester full of work and allowing me to make connections that will hopefully last beyond December 15th. Through my research in blogs that support the idea of local food and sustainability I came across Grant Kessler’s Foodshed. In Grant’s terms a foodshed is used to describe ‘the flow and origins of foodstuff’. The opening note on the home page stresses his views on how he has turned his food mentality into one that supports the local accumulation of vegetables, dried goods, meats and more.

At the bottom of this homepage is my attempt to make a relationship. I commented on the blogsite explaining my interest in Slow Food ideals and the need for a local mentality when being a consumer and thanked him for his outstanding photography and wealth of knowledge. The exciting part is that within an hour I was contacted via email from Grant himself thanking me for my kind words and continuing to make a relationship.

As a result of this connection I am now a ‘Good Food Ambassador’. This is a title labeling me as a local food advocate helping him spread the importance of local practices across the midwest. Grant resides in Chicago’s food scene, however, has been eager to reach out to Madison. Our similarities and my sometimes obsession with Twitter has allowed us to find common ground and both find a way we can work together.

Beyond our new connection I continued to explore Grant’s blog, and photography website. The information he provides is extremely helpful, especially for Chicago citizens. Each tab on the top of his blog explores a different section that allows visitors to find reading material, local establishments that practice the importance of good, clean, fair food, a featured photo highlighting a fellow foodie and a newsletter. From this one site the reader can experience many other sites online and hopefully make a new connection like I was able to.

  

    

On a side note, his photography is extravagent and here are some samples to give you a taste.

        

Bon appetit.


Mark Bittman’s impact on food

As my practicum project is allowing me to explore the different communities and bloggers of special interest groups I wanted to highlight one blogger I find most interesting and insightful. Mark Bittman is a writer for the New York times and has his own food blog embedded into the news paper. He idea of the food industry has been evolving with the recent increase in a need for local sustainable establishments and practices. Each week Bittman disseminates a slew of informative, thought provoking and definitely intruging links to other articles, blogs or websites regarding similar food issues. This week I have taken some screen shots of what I found most important to my practicum.

Bittman is using the the various links in order to connect people with real time news about food issues through the article from the Los Angeles Times about how San Francisco has put a price tag on McDonald’s toys so they can not be given away for free with kids meals.

The issues that Bittman stresses to be most important are directly inline with Slow Food ideals as he informs his readers on how to reduce their carbon footprint and support the local movement. However, he does not do this in a biased manner. Like many other pieces written for the New York Times Bittman delievers information solely for the purpose to inform. This is illustrated in his link to the article, ‘Is the locavore food movement bad for the environment and economy?’.

Another helpful link that I found on this week’s list was for those who are passionate about supporting their local ideals and wanting to have a farm is with the typical hoop house. Hoop houses usually are quite an ordeal depending on the size of your garden, however Bittman offers an article explaining windowfarms. This could be especially helpful to those of us who live in cold climates for a majority of the year. This is allowing people to fully enthrall themselves with supporting the Slow Food movement.

Finally the last link that I definitely thought I needed to share even though it may not be essential to the Slow Food argument is the introduction of horse meat! I was terrified and appalled that this could be a future menu item at a restaurant, the only comment I can make is I hope it is locally raised and they went in peace.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and next week make sure to check out Bittman’s next post! Bon appetit.

 

 


Facebook as a forum

This is my third post for the practicum project and even though it may be a bit behind schedule there has been some interesting observations on the internet. As a recap I am researching how Slow Food is present online in communities. This is a social movement that brings all sorts of people together based on the same issues. Part of the project is to review online communities, such as forums. While there are forums out there many of them are dated by about five years, or more. I have found that Facebook is being utilized as a forum in today’s social movements.

Many of establishments are online and use Facebook, as well as other social network sites, in order to update followers on real time events, opportunities, or discussion topics. When looking at slow food establishments there are certain restaurants and food establishments that are discussion slow food issues and the need for supporting the local economy. There are also many Slow Food chapters that are present on Facebook.

An example to highlight this is with Slow Food UW. This Slow Food chapter is the first university chapter to be recognized by the great Slow Food USA organization. Slow Food UW has presented itself with a Facebook page and group. The page is a way to present the basic information associated with Slow Food UW. The group instead is used as discussions and a way for the 562 members to converse about events or articles they find interesting and pertaining to the Slow Food ideals.

Below is a snapshot illustrating how myself and others have posted two events and one video.

I am eager to present more information about Slow Food’s presence online.


Lots of Screens

Tracking my use of computers over an evening, it’s a little shocking how connected I always am.  As soon as I got home from class, I put my computer down to charge and turned on a television.  In my room, I seem to leave my TV on just for the sound.  While my computer charged, I used my blackberry to communicate with my friends.  At a certain point, I found myself sitting in front of the living room TV with a laptop in my lap and a blackberry sitting next to me, and my TV on in my room connected to my playstation.  Just about everything I do is aided by a computer.

This fact became very clear to me when I broke my laptop a few weeks back.  The screen died, and I could barely keep up in  any of my classes.  The experience showed my the downside of being so dependent on technology; it breaks all the time.


Technically…

I use technology way too much. It’s imbedded in our lives in such a way that it’s just obnoxiously always there. Like that big hairy mole on your face that makes you look like Mr. Bean, and  needs cosmetic surgery otherwise it’s always on your mind (“MOOOLLEEEE, MOLEY MOLEY MOLE! MOLE!”) – That’s facebook and SMS, in my mind. A big hairy mole.

Last night I used my phone to text and call my boyfriend, and to alert my friend I was on the way over (rather than using a good ol’ doorbell). I used my phone to play Words with Friends, read XKCD, play Angry Birds, check my e-mail (on 3 different accounts), and check my Facebook.

At work I used a computer in order to complete telephone surveys.

I used my personal Laptop to check facebook, email, twitter, StumbleUpon, and tried desperately to find a TV show to watch rather than doing homework. Apparently I’m up-to-date on Hulu and all my other TV hubs 😦

In sum, technology is an easy way for me to goof off and not get any work done, unless it’s imbedded in my work place. It’s a big hairy mole that is more entertaining than anything else, it’s just too distracting to not enjoy.