Week One- Food Porn Huh?…..
Hello my name is Ashley and I hope you can join me for an exciting 12 weeks of sensational blogging…..
(Image from Food Porn board on Pinterest)
I am also going to be a foodie fly on the wall as I observe the behaviour of food posters in online communities! This online diary is in relation to my Netnographic University Project and to assist my research topic of my chosen online community.
In order to successfully conduct my Netnography, over the next 12 weeks I am going to enter a online community of my choice and conduct research, following the protocols of Robert Kozinets in his book Netnography: Doing Ethnographic Research Online (2010). My starting point in this project is knowing exactly what my research question is going to be.
“You need to decide exactly what it is that you will be studying”
My research topic is how people use social media and food posting to create their online identities. Currently, I am unsure of exactly what my chosen community is, however over the next few weeks I will have decided a specific subculture to focus my research question on.
In order to answer my research topic, I will be collating data from various online sources such as: Social Networking platforms, blogs, chat-rooms, websites and Youtube. My online journey will be documented through this special digital marketing diary, recording my feelings, emotions and what is happening around me in the online food cultures. These fieldnotes are part of the ‘Planning and Entree’ phase of conducting Netnography, as set out by Kozinets.
I am new to blogging as I am a bit of a self confessed internet dinosaur for my age, however I hope you enjoy my documented journey on what I have found in the online world. I have decided to communicate through a blog as I wanted to familiarise myself with an interactive form of communication and I feel it is fitting with the digital environments I will be familisaring myself with over the next 12 weeks.
The growing digital online world we live in, has people engaging and sharing a range of weird and wonderful things from ‘Harlem Shaking’ to ‘Planking.’ However, this online diary will focus on the Internet phenomena known as ‘Food Porn.’
Food Porn …Huh? What is it? Food Porn involves people photographing their food and sharing them online on various social media platforms with their friends and with other online communities. Personally I think it is strange that people post photos of food (unless they are a chef!), but nowadays it seems like everyones guilty pleasure.
Food Porn is something I have never heard of before until today, however it is everywhere! My friends flood my online social spaces with Instagram photographs and Facebook posts of their amazing restaurant meals and boast their amazing homemade cooking skills.. and to be honest, the food always looks really, really good.
In relation to online identity a photograph or status update boasting what you are consuming can say a lot about the individual. You know the phrase…
“You are what you eat.”
Taking photos of my food, especially in a public place is something that has never crossed my mind, however, this week I am going to start immersing myself in the Food Porn community by taking photographs of my food and posting them on my social networking platforms.
I found that my friend Stu was guilty of doing this just yesterday whilst enjoying our weekly regular herbal teas and soups at LEAF on Bold Street. He pulled out his smartphone in front of absolutely everybody and shamelessly starting taking snaps of his soup.
It took 3 attempts to take 3 very similar photos and he was moving the plate around to change the angle of the photograph. He added different filters and effects to his photography, glorifying and polishing his photo before then uploading it his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Stu was continuously flicking between two different finishes for about 30 seconds before actually making his mind up on which was the best photo. (All whilst talking to me about music. #Sneaky!). This highlights the importance of how the finished image looked before posting online.
The photo below is the final picture of Stu’s magical creation and was found on his interlinked Twitter/Facebook and Instagram accounts represented with the following hash-tags and caption..
“Mmmmmm pre cycle lunch… hot red pepper soup and roasted chicken on brown granary bread.. ”
#Leaf #Soup #Chicken #Healthyeating #Tasty #Eatingclean #FoodPorn
At first I did not understand why Stu was taking photos of his food yesteday, however after my recent enlightenment of the topic of Food Porn and how people use photographs of food to construct their online identities, I now understand why. What I now understand is that Stu was trying to perfect and enhance the photo of our posh lunch to try and represent and shape his online identity/personality in the best possible way to his friends.
From observing Stu’s language of the photograph, I have found that he wanted to stress that he was eating healthily through the use of hashtags such as #healthyeating, #eatingclean and the caption “brown granary bread”. Stu also wanted to convey to the online world that that he likes to cycle through his caption “Pre cycle lunch.” From evaluating Stu’s post, I can see that he is trying to shape his identity of a person who is conscious of healthy eating and who likes to cycle. This matches his offline identity as he is a semi- professional cyclist.
Over the next week, I am going to delve further into the Food Porn community. I am going to do this by taking pictures of my own food and becoming more familiar with social networking platforms such as Twitter and PInterest as I currently only use Facebook. I am very excited to see what this week will bring as I will be adapting my behaviours and taking myself out of my comfort zone in order to become more involved in Food Porn communities. Over the next few weeks, I will have considered a specific online community to focus my research question on. My aim is to keep tracking the community and as I go along, observe what themes and trends emerge from my data.
I hope you have enjoyed week one… please come back next week to see my progress and follow me on my journey through the online world.