Food blogger gathering at #Albacamp

A room “stuffed” with food bloggers! But they are not in cyberspace: they are in Alba, on via Mandelli, for Vinum. For a split second I felt like the cherry on the cake when I presented myself as the (non)blogger-wine-producer: it’s the collaborative (non)conference #AlbaCamp and each of the speakers presented his or her own original way of being a blogger.

There was the one who opened up a suitcase, Singerfood: ”Phenomenology of a gastronomic emigration: a suitcase from Puglia travelling to Milan”. There was the one who translated from the Piedmont dialect into Italian, Prunotto Mariangela: “Piedmont recipes in dialect”. There was the one who spoke spontaneously, like her herbs, Irene Binaghi “natural cooking and native herbs blog” (translator’s note: this is a play on words, as the Italian word “spontoneo” means both “spontaneous” and, in a botanical context, “native”)

Personally speaking, I approached it in a roundabout way from the beginning, numbers in hand: from July 2010 to January 2012 the blog “From our vineyards” passed from 1100 to 7500 monthly visits, 45% of were made by people outside of Italy (the United States, Great Britain, Poland, Canada, Switzerland, Estonia … even the Islands of Mauritius).

This photo of the bloggers was taken at the end of my talk

This is a very satisfying result, for an idea that cropped up while at a restaurant in the United States. I can remember the exact moment when I decided to write a blog: the manager of the restaurant was using one of the very first smartphones and clearly thrilled by the possibilities it offered. That image showed me just how close the world can be if you figure out how to talk to it. That intuition lead to 100.000 read articles in 2011 (including blog post, news and wine specs pages)

The numbers weren’t what struck my (non)colleagues as they listened to my talk, but instead two considerations. First, one the most-read post, “Are you sure you want to plant a vineyard?” in which I tally up a producer’s expenditures, estimating the cost of planting a new vineyard in the Barolo zone, with 2300 hits. And of how to explain its success: not for  the economic slant but for the mistake that it contains. Second: there are a lot of rules to follow as a blogger, but I have learned one, equally applicable in both the virtual world and the real one: don’t talk crap. Ever.

The other speakers:

Roberto Mastropasqua Pan ed Langa (Pan and Langa)

Ci_polla with Mulino Marino  “Il progetto Enkir” (The Enkir project)

Claudia Tiberti and Ambra Orazi “Scoprire l’Istria e raccontarla attraverso i blog” (Discovering Istria and talking about it through blogs)

Claudia Lafemmeduchef “In viaggio: una continua scoperta tra realtà e web” (Travelling: a continuous discovery between web and reality)

Lucia Pantaleoni  “Fare della propria passione per la cucina  un lavoro: diventare autori culinari a Parigi” (Turning your passion for cooking into a job: becoming food writers in Paris)

Massimo D’Alma “Parigi val bene una messa?” (Is Paris worth a Mass?)

Ilaria Mazzarotta ”Roma-Milano: dalla coratella ai Due cuori” (Rome-Milan: from the coratella to Due cuori)

Mariachiara Montera “Foodblogger per Officina di Cucina: un aiuto per Genova.” (Foodblogger for Officina di Cucina: help for Genoa)

CibVs “Aggiungi un post a tavola.” (Add a place to the table)

Ornella Daricello “La rete è servita” (The network is served)

Martina Liverani “LADY COOK: donne, territori e tradizioni” (LADY COOK: women, land and traditions)

Valentina Barone “Langhe e Roero visti da una foodblogger” (Langhe and Roero from the eyes of the food blogger)

Sara Milletti “Il mondo nella mia cucina 2.0″ (The world in my kitchen 2.0)

Barbara Sgarzi “I Viaggi sono sinesetesie” (Trips are synesthetic)

Sonia Figone “Food Photography”


Yours truly and my designer friend Axel after the aperitivo with the Nascetta