Sunday, April 22, 2012

Worthwhile and Interesting Blogs Which I Read Interview Series:) Interview Five: He Needs Food

Once again, i must start off by apologising for my long absence from the blogging world despite saying i'll try to keep motivated to continue blogging, just been too busy with work, social life, personal activities,etc...but hey, this blog has been around since early 2005 so its already a feat its still going on when so many other blogs have shut down, etc..(i know, i know, making excuses for myself.)

Anyways, I wanted to apologise also to the blogger interviewed here as it took me a long delay to post this up, and i really appreciate the time and effort people spent to answer my interview questions, so apologies for such a long delay 'he needs food' blogger!!:-) Truly!! I simply was too preoccupied with other things to deal with this blog but still its no excuse! Sorry!:) Anyways, without further ado, here's the ten Q & A:

1) What is the name of your blog?
he needs food

2) When did you start blogging?
I began blogging in December 2009

3) How did you pick the name for your blog?
To be honest I don't remember how and why I settled on 'he needs food' but I guess it's self explanatory and sums it up perfectly.

4) How did it get started? What motivated you to start a blog and what keeps you going?
It all started when Urbanspoon first began with its website in Sydney. Not only did I add a massive bulk of restaurants to its database, but I started writing user reviews of places I'd been to. My reviews gradually became longer and I remember noticing for the first time that bloggers were linking up to Urbanspoon with their own reviews. This led me to read a few of them and decide to start one up myself on the free Blogger site. Talk about scary! I mean, who would want to read anything I had to say? Within six months I decided to get my own domain name and website and break free from the limitations that Blogger had and couldn't provide in terms of the design I strove for.

Having my own online opinion about what I ate at a particular restaurant fascinated me and when like-minded people responded and commented on what I wrote started the initial motivation.

5) How did you decide on what your main focus for your blog would be?
Back in December 2009 when I started out my main focus was simply reviewing where I ate and I also threw in the occasional home-cooking recipe. These days my site is a mix of restaurant and cafe reviews, weekly recipes and my personal travel tales and reviews from overseas and local trips. It's now more of an open travel and food journal for me to keep and for anyone to delve into for their own personal curiosity or resource. Also when I lose my memory later in life I'll have this visual record of where I'd been and what I ate!

6) Did any other blogs inspire and influence your blog? What other blogs do you read?
I think it was reading food and travel magazines that inspired me more than other bloggers. I'm far from being a good writer so I make my images more of a focus rather than my ordinary writing. I read a handful of blogs several times a week just to keep up with the blogging community and keep in touch with them. People like Grab Your Fork, Corridor Kitchen, Green Been Food and The Littlest Anchovy. There are many more.

7) Is blogging a full-time job now? Or is it a side-hobby? And if so, what do you do besides blogging?
My blog isn't my full-time job but to be honest sometime it does feel like it. My real job is managing a gift & homeware store, something I've now been doing for about 10 years. It's fun, lets me be creative, sometimes takes me overseas on buying trips and allows me the time and freedom to do what I want. I was once a chef but threw that in over a decade ago.

8) What are some of the perks you've enjoyed personally as a blogger? Alternatively, what have you gained or learnt from your blog?
PR agencies have really embraced the blogging community and many seasoned bloggers revel in the constant emails of event invitations and restaurant and product promotions. I don't do as much as I used to as I find when a group of bloggers is invited to an event the result is a blog written about the same meal on the same night. It gets repetitive and has started to bore me. I have had the occasional free meal but the one experience that stands out is being invited by Wellington Tourism with three other bloggers, flown to New Zealand and whisked around Wellington & surrounds for 4 days of eating, drinking and exploring. I loved it.

Somehow I've gained a level of respect from many of my followers/readers in that they really do value my honest opinion on everything I write about. It's a little bizarre and I'm still getting used to the attention some of these people give me.

9) What is the most memorable compliment(s) you have received about your blog?
I think the most memorable compliment somebody gave me was an email out of the blue from an anonymous reader and loyal follower. They'd never commented on anything I posted and decided to let me know that they tried one of the recipes I posted, loved it immensely and even attached photo's of their dishes. I felt so proud that they even made something I created!

10) What would you like your readers to know about you which they may not already know from your blog?

There isn't a lot that my readers don't already know, especially now that I've said what my real job is. I think many of my readers may think I always eat dumplings (considering I've been labelled as Sydney's dumpling king). The thing is I very occasionally eat them. But when I do, everyone needs to know about it!

Another thing people may not realise, but I'm sure they could guess, is the amount of time I invest into my site. I'm not a professional photographer so I rely on post editing the shots I take and gridding them all together the way I do takes time. As for the writing, my least favourite part, it can take forever sometimes. I think I spend between 20-25 hours a week on my website. That doesn't include the recipe posts, the cooking and the photography. It doesn't help when I'm now posting three times a week!

So please head on to 'he needs food' for his inspiring travel, foodie, and photo posts: