The Future of the Virtual Foodie Community:

What is a community? Wikipedia tells us that it is a group of interacting people in some proximity (time, space, relationship etc) that often share common values and social cohesion.  Often in life we will be a part of several communities perhaps the Girl Scouts, Your hometown, or religious affiliation. We have spent the last few months exploring the foodie community.  Paul Levy and Ann Bar coined the term Foodie as someone who considers themselves an “aficionado of food” and/or drink.  If we put the two definitions together we get a community of food loving people. I for one think as long as humans have the basic needs to belong and consume sustenance, Foodie communities will stand the test of time! The future will consist of developed communities reaching out in more advanced ways.

Technology has been the driving force of the virtual foodie community. Long before the microwave our ancestors were hunting and gathering food and preparing meals for consumption. Long before the internet we were communicating with others and forming strong communal bonds. Technology has enabled these two daily activities to integrate and streamline. We now have the ability to share that love for food with people in a meaningful way almost instantly.

As technology enhances and flourishes so too will virtual foodie communities. For example, as phone technology has improved we now have the ability to use phone applications to connect with fellow foodies. I recently traveled to Asheville and was able to instantly review The Chocolate Lounge after sampling some of their fare.  Twenty years ago I may have had to spread the news face-to-face but now I can connect with others instantaneously with the click of a button.

I have a very personal interaction with a foodie community (follow me on yelp). For the past three years I have been a Yelp Elite. This basically means I am very active within the community. I take a personal interest in growing the site and making connections. Many of the people I interact with through the site I have met in person. I have noticed the community growing and branching out from strictly virtual to people’s daily lives.  This evolution has been fueled by several of the above factors 1) a love for food 2) a love for communication and 3) New Technology.

Here are some other less known foodie communities. Take a look at the sites and perhaps you will find one that is right for you:

Living-Foods is  a food community focusing on the living and raw food movement. Here you’ll find raw food life style information, member archives, event calendars, classifieds and the list goes on!

Flavorwise is a food community focusing on flavor-likes and dislikes. For example, if you like very spicy foods you can build and share menus based on those flavor-profiles.

And

Food Service is an online food community for professionals in the Food Service industry.  This site has chat rooms, job opportunities, professional resources, and  market reports that focus on this particular industry.

 

Are you currently active in  any food-centric virtual communities? If so which ones?

Sources:

(2008) Top Ten Trends: Foodie 2.0. In The Food Channel. Retrieved February 25, 2012 from http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/top-ten-trends-foodie-20/

Barr, Ann, & Levy, Paul. & Dale, David,  1985  The official foodie handbook / Ann Barr & Paul Levy ; adapted for Australia by David Dale  Doubleday, Sydney :

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11 responses

    • There is never a shortage of people who love to eat! You’re an athlete so you understand just how important eating healthy is to our bodies. There are so many communities that explore healthy eating and even specifically running. Here is one you may like http://mealsandmiles.com/

      Thanks for reading !

  1. I think the fact that you’ve actually met other foodies F2F is fantastic! Anyone that belongs to a group of people that dine together, whether it’s doing a “round robin” type of thing where you take turns hosting a dinner party in your home, or if it’s just getting together to try new restaurants, knows that it’s the personal interaction and great conversations that make it all taste soooo much better. My wife and I use Yelp and OpenTable to find restaurants, but I’d never considered using it to actually meet people and set dinner dates. Cool! I’ll have to experiment with this a little.

    Hold the phone! Now THERE’S a good idea: A website, not unlike a dating website, where foodies set dinner dates and meet each other… Might lead to “flash-eating-mobs” or something… Hmmm… Remember, you heard it here first!

    • Great idea ! I highly recommend attending a local UYE (unofficial yelp event) if you have a local chapter. The events are a lot of fun and often include great freebee/discounts. Thanks for reading!

  2. Shauna, since we live fairly close to each other I was going to suggest getting you some of my beef jerky, but now I’m a bit intimidated. 🙂

    It’s cool that you’ve taken such an interest in food, but more importantly that you continue to pass this information on to others via Yelp.

    I may have to get some suggestions from you on places to take my wife!

    • I’d be happy to give you suggestions! Charlotte really has a great selection of places to eat and luckily the number of restaurants is growing rapidly so one can never get bored!What types of cuisine do you and your wife tend to enjoy?

      • For ambiance, we always enjoy The Melting Pot. For meals we know we are going to enjoy, we like 131 Main. My wife doesn’t touch seafood or sushi, but I love it; so we typically try to do steakhouses or italian.

        By the way, have you ever been to The McNinch House? Simply the best meal in Charlotte!

        Let me know your thoughts!!

  3. Wow! I can’t wait to check out those links and one of those UYE that you commented about! Those sound really fun! It’s great the Foodie Community has become such a hit. Do you guys share recipes at all or is it more restaurant reviews? I’ll definitely be checking out your reviews and using Yelp more often. Thanks!

  4. That was a great post, I knew the foodie community was growing but I didn’t know how many foodie sites were out there. You seem really passionate about this, being an active member for several of these sites including YELP! I have never posted on YELP but I certainly have read reviews. I noticed that all of your reviews are from North Carolina and so if I ever make it out in that direction then I will have to check out your reviews before going out to eat.

  5. Hi Shauna,
    I never knew there were so many different types of communities on line, but that is great, because it makes it more interesting to engage with others on topics of interest.
    Rache Campbell

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