Sunday, April 18, 2010

Existential Questions: Where do I go from here?

We are approaching the third anniversary of this blog which has prompted me to do a bit of navel gazing which I hope you will politely endure. It's hard to believe Sku's Recent Eats is three years old, which in blog years is teenaged at least. Back in 2007, the blogosphere was a different place. There were maybe fifteen or twenty total LA food blogs, but only two or three of much prominence, and there were only a handful of whiskey blogs. Now, there are too many LA food blogs to count; along with all of the personal blogs we have the commercial blogs like EaterLA, Grub Street, Squid Ink and Daily Dish which, with their constant posting, have created the food blog equivalent of the 24 hour cable news cycle. And even many of the formerly amateur blogs have broken out into the mainstream with book deals and TV appearances. And it seems you can't go to food fair or the opening weekend of any restaurant without bumping into tripod yielding bloggers, hoping to be the first out of the gate with a review. Even at the lower end places I tend to frequent, it's become much more challenging to find something that hasn't been Twittered, Flickred and Facebooked to death.

All of this leaves me, on this third birthday, wondering what the future should hold for this humble blog. I started the blog sort of on a whim, wanting to catalog the types of posts I'd been making for years on Chowhound. Really, just simple restaurant recommendations as well as my favorite libations, cheeses, chocolate and other fun things. I quickly fell into a formula of three posts per week with a restaurant type review on Monday, whiskey on Wednesday and another food item (often sweets, cheese or a non-whiskey spirit) on Friday.

The posts I'm proudest of in the food categories were my big roundups such as those I did for doughnuts, pupusas, gelato, the Farmers Market, Disneyland, espresso etc. Unfortunately a pressing desire to lose some weight and get healthy as I approach one of my own milestone birthdays (down 25 pounds in the last seven months!) make the roundups difficult to stomach (pun intended). I've also enjoyed adding some humor to the food blogging world (both fiction and nonfiction), but that's very occasional and comes only with great inspiration. Beyond those, I worry that I'm simply churning out more reviews of places you've already seen reviewed by the myriad of bloggers out there. Is that really adding anything to the food world at large other than more noise?

The whiskey world is very different, and I still feel like I fill a fun niche in whiskey blogging. There aren't really any other LA whiskey blogs (other than some excellent ones for our local whiskey clubs which I will highlight in some future post) and there still is a surprising dearth of blogs that spend any amount of time on American whiskey (as opposed to Scotch). I should add that some of my thoughts here were impacted by the recent announcement of Dr Whisky, one of the original and finest whiskey bloggers, now balancing the joyous burdens of work and infants, to scale down his blog.

Over the next few months, I will thinking about what lies ahead for Sku's Recent Eats, and I would love to hear your feedback. Should I abandon my self-imposed goal of posting two food items per week and just wait until inspiration hits? Or should I give up the food writing altogether and go back to Chowhound posts while converting Sku's Recent Eats to a purely whiskey related blog with occasional asides? Or should I just do whatever the hell I want and not worry about big questions about a little blog? Readers, I look to you for guidance.


AdamH said...

This seems the perfect topic to discuss over some...hmmm, did you say... moonshine?!

sku said...

Funny you should mention that. I'll actually have a new make review next week.

Dr. Whisky said...

please don't go.
The whisEy world needs more attention and you still are my first stop for American whiskey queries.
How about good LA whiskey establishments and the food they serve? not very creative, sorry.
whisky tasting notes... in dance?
Could we collaborate on something and be mutually inspiring?

sku said...

Thanks for your kind words Doc. I definitely could do more on the LA whiskey bars, but like you, I've got little ones, so bar trolling isn't really much of an option. I'd definitely be up for collaboration though. There's got to be something original in the world of whiskey notes.