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 :