I’ve been a bad blogger, but for one it not an act of God or betrayal by a man that summoned me back to this sacred space. It was an email.
Several month’s ago I stumbled upon The Chicago Blogger Network, an aggregate for local bloggers to meet, mingle and create content. Not only does the network act as a directory for bloggers, but also makes sure we have the resources we need to make our blogs succeed. This includes exclusive access to events such as Time Out Chicago’s Eat Out awards.
I was chosen with a select few foodies to represent CBN in the media lounge and spread the word though my endless influence (note the sarcasm, but I think my handful of readers for being here). We arrived and set up our computers and smart phones and cameras and security detail in preparation for the start of the award ceremony.
Time Out always knows how to put on a party, but Monday night they outdid themselves at the Revenswood Arts Center. A who’s who of Chicago’s culinary scene nibbled on gourmet munches while sipping on Goose Island and Red Streak cider. The bloggers sat almost in awe of the culinary elite while briefly escaping the seclusion of the media lounge to snag snacks and refill our glasses. We were there for a reason, and the group of techie professionals took their mission seriously: live tweet the awards winners using the hashtag #TOCEatOutAwards.
There is no denying the impact of the Time Out Eat out Awards, with categories divided into critics and readers picks, it brings to a close another year of opening and closings while setting the tone for next year’s restaurant scene. Maybe the hype about a six-month-old restaurant has finally died down; a TOC Eat Out award can almost guarantee they make it to the one-year mark.
But why us? Why bloggers? Regardless of my skepticism of the power of our something marginal influence I tweeted away, mentioning the winners as they were announced and adding personal touches to my favorites such as Goosefoot, Roots, The Southern Mac, 25 Degrees and Tozi. About half way though the ceremony something crazy happened. Six bloggers plus backup from the CBN team and Time Out Chicago got our hashtag trending in Chicago!
Although, I don’t think I have ever been more stressed while tweeting, the outcome could not have been more thrilling. I want to thank Chicago Blogger Network and Time Out for giving me the opportunity and wish them continued success in their worthwhile venture.