For those of you who haven’t participated in live chats, here are a few basic guidelines. It’s much simpler than you might think.
If you use Tweet Chat (it can be used online without downloading), you can create columns or “streams”, as they call them by clicking on the +Add Stream button at the top left of the screen. You can then create a stream for #futurefoodwriting and @RamblingEpicure (and your Twitter handle). Any questions or replies meant for you should also come in to your own Twitter stream through the addition of your Twitter handle. You can also follow the hashtag on Tweet Chat by simply typing in the hashtag. You can set the time delay, the minimum being 5 seconds.
To summarize, if you seriously want to take part in the conversation, it is wise to have both windows open at the same time so that you won’t miss anything. There will be a lot of participants, and there are a lot of panelists, so it might be lively and fast.
To ask or reply to a question, simply send a Tweet, as usual, but make sure to include:
- The #futurefoodwriting hashtag so everyone who is participating in the chat can see it.
- Include the Twitter handle of the person to whom you are addressing the question, or of the person to whom you are replying.
For example, if you want to ask here @ZesterDaily a question, it should look like this:
@ZesterDaily Is funded food reporting the only way of maintaining investigative food journalism in the future? #futurefoodwriting
As a panelist, if you’re answering a question from @JonellGalloway, from your own Twitter address, your Twitter reply should look like this:
@JonellGalloway I believe funded food reporting is only one way of dealing with the problem. #futurefoodwriting
Another important point is that you should prepare your questions ahead of time to ensure that they contain no more than 140 characters. You also risk losing track of the conversation if you haven’t done this ahead of time.
After the chat, we will use the hashtag to compile a summary, which will later be published here. This is particularly important since there will be participants from practically all world time zones. Click Advice for Future Food Writers to determine the time of the chat in your time zone. It starts at 8 p.m. Paris time and lasts for one hour.
If you’re not sure which panelist is specialized in what field, please read the suggested reading listed below, clicking on the names of each panelist to find out more about them. I will nevertheless try to give you my very subjective summaries of what you might ask each panelist.
Amanda Hesser: Questions regarding making a living solely as a food journalist and writer; questions about her article “Advice for Future Food Writers,” which intitiated this debate, and the distinction between food blogging vs. food journalism and writing; questions regarding diversification. Address questions to @AmandaHesser and include the hashtag.
Corie Brown: Questions regarding funded investigative journalism; about professional food journalism in general; about the relevance of food blogs and how they might threaten investigative journalism. Address questions to @ZesterDaily and include the hashtag.
Bill Daley: Questions regarding how he’s crafted his successful and longtime career as a food journalist; how traditional hard-copy food writing is reacting to online formats; his views on diversification; the relevance and necessity of social networks in today’s professional hard-copy world. Address questions to @BillDaley and include the hashtag.
Dianne Jacob: Questions regarding food writing, editing and getting published; finding an agent or publisher; the relevance and necessity of social networks in today’s professional world; how to market yourself as a food writer. Address questions to @diannej and include the hashtag.
Monica Bhide: Questions about becoming a food writer quite recently; about the difficulties she might have encountered and how she went about becoming such a success in such a short time. Questions about use of Internet and social marketing for new food writers. Address questions to @mbhide and include the hashtag.
Gloria Nicol: Questions regarding the current climate of British publishing, how bloggers and industry professionals view each other, food photography & styling, and how to diversify food interests to build business ventures. Address questions to @thelaundry and include the hashtag.
Wilson Dizard III: A veteran journalist, lately turned food journalist, Dizard is the one to ask about ethics and integrity in the world of journalism; disclosure of financial backing – conflicts of interest; the place of PR in food writing and ethical journalism, and the future of food journalism. He’s right in the middle of it all, and at quite a high level. Address questions to @wdizard and include the hashtag.
John Birdsall: General food writing, editorial and online publishing questions; questions about his immediate rebuttal to Amanda Hesser’s article with his article “Amanda Hesser” on CHOW, which initiated this chat. Address questions to @John_Birdsall and include the hashtag.
I’ve copied the final list of panelists again for the sake of convenience.
- The New York Times, former The New York Times food editor and writer, and co-founder of Food 52 food community @AmandaHesser
- Los Angeles Times, former food editor and writer at the Los Angeles Times, deeply involved in the food publishing world @ZesterDaily
- Bill Daley, food feature writer at Chicago Tribune @BillDaley
- Dianne Jacob, food writing coach @diannej
- Monica Bhide, cookbook writer @mbhide
- Gloria Nicol, food writer for The Guardian @thelaundry
- Wilson Dizard III, veteran journalist, former Newsweek and McGraw Hill, specialized in high tech and global intelligence, author of “Quelling Quitchen Qualamities” column on The Rambling Epicure, @wdizard
- John Birdsall, Senior Editor of @CHOW, @John_Birdsall, who wrote the initial direct rebuttal to Amanda’s article, “What Amanda Hesser Got Wrong.”
- Twitter Chat @RamblingEpicure Friday, April 20, on Amanda Hesser’s “Advice for Future Food Writers”
- Reference Reading for Friday’s Twitter Chat #futurefoodwriting @RamblingEpicure
- Bill Daley: More reference reading for #futurefoodwriting Twitter chat on Friday, May 20, @RamblingEpicure
- Wilson Dizard III: More reading for Friday, April 20, Twitter chat @Ramblingepicure #futurefoodwriting
- One Reader’s Response: Melissa Bedinger on the Future of Food Writing
- John Birdsall of CHOW to be panelist on The Future of Food Writing Twitter chat