Editorial: To be honest...

February 01, 2017

So I have not been posting many food reviews recently, and I wanted to just write a short post (or whiny rant, so skip if you don't have the time) on why. Even though life continues to plough on and there's work to attend to, I suspect the main reason is not because I'm lazy or busy, much as I would like that to be so. It's because I feel more and more disheartened recently regarding the entire 'industry' of food bloggers and blogs in general and the fact that Singaporeans do not READ these blogs anyway. On the latter, I already had my suspicions but I continued to post food reviews anyway while experimenting with vlogs.

(And taking pretty pictures of food for my Instagram)


One of the incidents that made me think about this phenomenon was when an anonymous Facebook Page (purposely unlinked) decided to call out all the bad writing on food blogs. I felt confused when I first encountered the Page - part of me thinks it's quite cowardly of them to be anonymous keyboard warriors. Why hide behind the Page if they are so upright and perfect yet want to name and shame others? I know some of the bloggers and they are the nicest people. Yet another part of me was appalled at the level of English in these blogs and I can understand that the meaner the comments the more entertaining they are. Lastly I looked at my own grammar mistakes in horror. That's the downfall of not being able to go to grammar school when our education switched to task-based learning instead of theoretical in the early 90s.

Yet without the Facebook Page, these mistakes will continue to perpetuate unnoticed. Even with the Facebook Page the bad writing will still continue, methinks, since it's not really a constructive Page that will check every post before they go out. What the Page did however was to point to me how much Singaporeans do not care for such blogs or their content. Even this post will probably fall into the abyss of nothingness. There are a few reasons.

The top reason would be the commercialisation what was an original, authentic space for people to share their opinions. Brands, restaurants, corporations no doubt want to get into this space. And some bloggers decided to turn blogging into a profitable business (I don't blame them for doing so). But when it becomes so extensive that every review is a glowing one (even if they are not), it tainted the honest reputation of these blogs in general and people no longer trust it.

The other reason lies in the people themselves, myself included. We no longer have the patience to read. In a world of instant gratification and visual stimuli, videos or Instagram snaps will do the job. If it looks good, it must taste good. If I need the address and menu, I'll go to HungryGoWhere or their Facebook Page. Why spend time wading through a bunch of paragraphs that just comes from the thesaurus of the word "delicious"? Or suffer through bad grammar? Ultimately, unless the writer is legitimately a published food critic or writer with a following like those on ST, nobody cares about the rest to want to find out, to read, to follow, to subscribe... (by the way, watch the documentary City of Gold to see how it's done).

Looks pretty enough right? But if you were to read a review of it, you'll know that it's not that tasty...




I am not sure what is the way forward. But the fact that I am writing a blog post about not writing more blog posts could be a start. I still enjoy creating, writing and sharing my honest opinions, even if nobody were to read it. It's easy to criticise, sure, but try publishing blog posts every other day for years like some of the bloggers. It's not easy and the fact that we are still around despite the work must mean something. Right?

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