Foodbuzz Friends Ethics

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Greetings, everyone!

Foodbuzz has been in official existence for two years now, and it is improving all the time for the benefit of all.
But this is not a message aimed at complimenting or extolling the virtues of our community.

I already have written an article explaining why and how Foodbuzz had been made more secure.
Unfortunately there are still a few people who misunderstand the real purpose of the venture.
Internet has gown through a number of bubbles, and the last thing we want is another one! The problem caused by “posting anything to Friends” with the consequent mail boxes saturation has already been rightly pointed out and dealt with.
I visit many chalkboards every day, and I have repeatedly come across “recruiting” messages and “invitations” to visit blogs. Although legitimate in intention, such postings can become quite offensive when they lack a minimum of civilty.
Let’s call a spade a spade: if a member thinks he/she is here for a quick buck, he/she will have to think again. One will have to wait at least a couple of years and work a minimum of two hours at it every day before making any significant eearnings.
Companies and business-oriented blog owners also have a right to belong to the Foodbuzz community, but I would kindly ask them to first offer their services as Featured Sponsors instead of leaving one-mile long advertizing messages on chalkboards.
All these occurences are a bore at best and an eyesore at worst.

I personally have over 2,000 “Friends”, but I’m pretty happy with my daily 150-odd hits.
Actually, I do harbor doubts as to the need to display numbers in brackets, which tends to encourage unhealthy competitions between members and does not reflect the true picture anyway.

I do not wish to pose as a paragon, but I have a simple method, which brings me plenty of satisfaction:
-1) I make a point to request friendshp with all new foodies.
-2) If my request is accepted, I write a greetings message on my new Friend’s chalkboard with a personal comment or two whenever feasible.
-3) If this message is answered, a new relationship has begun!
If someone requests my friendship, I make a point to accept it, write a thanks message, and visit the website if advertized.

Now this said, no one is perfect, but a little comprehension would certainly come in handy!

Sincerely hoping this old geezer has not unintentionally offended anyone in any manner,

Robert-Gilles Martineau

27 thoughts on “Foodbuzz Friends Ethics”

  1. Hello, Robert-Gilles, As I read this, in October 2009, 9 months after you posted these insightful observations, I can’t but wonder at how similar our views are–especially about the competitive and commercial aspects of FB which, if anything, may have grown more accentuated since you wrote this post. Certainly, the habit of sending posts around to all and sundry is now, as far as I can tell, a universal practice. Even I, dear sir, have started to do it! Peer pressure, I guess. And I have also decided to become a ‘trouble maker’ and, as you know, even started a discussion forum about these issues! I say, long live trouble makers!


  2. Well said! I just wish people would take heed. I’m not doing this for profit, but for learning more about cooking, ingredients, and presentation.

    I like to think that I’m always polite, no matter the circumstances, and hoping that others will consider this as well. I’ve only been a member for a couple of weeks & have already noticed the strange phenomenon of copy cat recipes. Like one person posts a grilled fish recipe and suddenly there are ten more just like it. What’s that all about? You won’t find me doing any of the one-upsmanship. I am a student of cooking & merely want to learn more.

    Very nice post!


    1. Dear Liz!
      Greetings and thank you so much for our kind comments!
      Someone just had to tell them, and the old geezer can afford to forget politics! LOL
      But no worries, there are plenty, plentyof nce people around in our world!


  3. Well said, R-G! Being a virtual newbie in this community, I have no clue what the numbers are for (nor do I care, I guess). 🙂

    I joined in the spirit of sharing my love for food. And learning from others. In the few days that I have been here, I already learned a lot and met new friends (like you!) who share the same passion. I look forward to learning and sharing more.


    1. Cheers, Raquel!
      But don’t worry, I’ve noticed a lot of improvement, especially in chalkboards! LOl
      Just wished that the old geezer I am did not have to state the obvious!
      Foodbuzz is a great place and 99.99% know it! LOL


  4. I could not agree with you more. Very well stated. Anytime we are asked to reflect on our actions it is a positive experience. And even more valuable in the anonymity of the internet. My experience on foodbuzz so far has been fantastic and part of that was the welcome that foodies like you gave me. So once again. Thanks


  5. I guess I’m not a popular member of FoodBuzz :)))

    I’m not recieving those ad. messages on my chalkboard, however I agree with you in each word here.

    Very well said 🙂


  6. Amen Robert. I have “un-friended” a few foodies that have spammed my inbox with their updated blog posts. I don’t think anyone appreciates that and I wonder what they think is going to come from that. Thank you for saying what needed to be said so politely.


  7. Dear Liz!
    Don’t worry! The old geezer can take care of himself! LOL
    Thanks for the comments anyway. Actually it is the same individuals who will never learn! On the other hand I have noticed that chalkboards are a better place! I better stop here or someone is going to call me “Big Brother”! LOL again!
    Cheers and all that!


  8. I am sorry to hear anyone has come off so obtrusive towards such a gentleman…great post!

    I am up rather late for the States, and wishing I had a bento box right now…I finally made brussel sprouts, and haven’t in a long time…

    I just love your blog!


  9. great post! I also think that Foodbuzz should allow us to review restaurants anywhere, I’ve tried several times to review restaurants that are in Japan, but not where I live in Japan, but have been kicked out of the system.


  10. I think you bring up some very valid points. It’s not about competition, it’s about sharing. I would prefer if the community was only populated by people who joined for the love of food, but realistically there are always going to be the cash orientated people in any group such as this. Personally I’m only in this blogging thing for an exchange of ideas/recipes/general fun and am not concerned about numbers (not that I’m upset if I get some hits, mind you. Heh). But I’m glad you are addressing this issue and being honest about it. Happy blogging, bro!


  11. I can’t say anyone’s really hit me with that kind of marketing yet, but I’m not concerned about numbers. I love to cook, I love to share recipes and good food with friends and loved ones, and I love learning new things. If I make new friends doing so, all the better. Thank you for addressing the topic, and for being so kind as to be one of my first friend requests!
    Merci beaucoup!


    1. Dear Meg!
      Thank you so much for your comments!
      Frankly speaking, I think that the greatest majority of Foodbuzz members understand the problem.
      A few weeks ago, the problem had abated, but it came back with some vengeance at the end of the year.
      That is why I felt compelled to to tell my mind.
      As the Astralians say, “no worries, mate!”.
      Looking forward to great fun in 2009 and beyond!


  12. I do agree that the numbers do create competition and also lead to obsession. When we set-up our initial blog,, our intention was to share our eating experiences and and also encourage improvements and change. Although we have migrated to a self-hosted blog, htt://, we still hold strong on our initiative and principles, post what is actual and a fact.

    Recently, we were invited to dinner gathering which was initially labeled as a review, but after we posted our experiences and suggestions, we were request to bring down the post by the host(not the restaurant). I guess my post would affect their relation with their PR company and the restaurant owner. Our freedom of speech or blog has been grossly affected.


    1. Dear Jason!
      This is a worldwide problem you are talking about!
      In France, my home, it has just become an open war between honest (the majority) bloggers and professional (most of them not, unfortunately…) food magazines “critiques”.
      I once was asked to erase a posting on my Japanese-language blog (the only time I was asked, mind you) two months after I had posted it. I did point out that it was a bit late for such a request but complied. One week later I found that the same place had been interviewed by a newspaper-sponsored weekly…
      I have only one rule (which I had adhered to in the negated blog above): I introduce a place only if I have something positive to write about it. Full stop.
      If someone asks me why I didn’t write about any place the answer is: “I don’t know that place” or “I don’t wish to write about that place”. If someone asks me why as or the latter answer, I reply: “the answer will be at your own risks. Do you still want to hear it?” If my interlocutor is honest, he will wish to listen. If he is not honest,….
      I’m lucky to have lived in my adopted hometown longer than some Japanese specialists. Moreover, I always pay my bills in full, whatever the experience. Invitations are just too tricky to be commented.
      A bit complicated, isn’t? But there is no need to wory about it. If you acquire the reputation of a honest “troublemaker”, so much the better! You certainly don7t want to be labelled a “critique”!
      Cheers and all that!


  13. Well-said! I remember that you were one of my first Foodbuzz ‘friends’ when I worried that no one would look at my blog. I agree in particular with your observation about how displaying numbers could lead to unnecessary competition and turn it into a “who can collect the most ‘friends’?” race. Sometimes, I feel like I’m back in high school and fretting that I’m not as popular as some of the others . . .


  14. It’s really all about value. A lot of adopters to internet marketing make a very blunt trauma to everyones head and as communities grow this is often one of the early hurdles faced.

    People should not feel hurt if you unfollow them after having their blunt hard sell marketing or repeated requests on your watch. Those who want to find a relationship need to foster one through discussion and value based communication.

    If you are passionate about what you are doing and want to promote that it should come across naturally within the dialog of who you are. That’s the power of passion. Instead most people think a klaxon and siren approach are needed.

    It’s good you put a piece like this out there so people may learn a bit of the civility that should be approached when making relationships. Some will read, many will not, but at least you’ve stated your position, which is the way we all have to. It’s like our personal end-user license agreement. hah. If you want me to be civil to you, you must treat me with some modicum of respect too.

    Like anything in life you have to have boundaries and the ability to erect and remove them at your discretion. Software that is social needs to have the flexibility to have those type of choices. Many get it over time, I’m glad to hear Foodbuzz is still doing so as well.

    -andy / The Secret Chocolatier


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