Monday, July 25, 2011

Cheese and Social Media


Madame Fromage's iphone
For the last three days, I have been holed up at the Poynter Institute in Florida, studying media trends. I can tell you a lot about Twitter demographics and cool projects at NPR (imagine a Pandora for news), but the question that came to mind as I flew home from Saint Petersburg last night was this:

How has social media affected cheese?

Three years ago when I started blogging, Twitter was still an infant, and the iphone had just been born. Here’s the scene today:

Cheese Apps: Through iphones and ipads, we can access scores of cheese-related apps, from beer-and-wine pairing guides to something called Dairy Ping, which allows users to pick up a jug of milk and locate the farm that produced it, along with sanitation information. Two apps stand out:

Fromage ($2.99) by Steve Welch offers descriptions of 750 cheeses and a function that allows you to keep notes on each one. One drawback: the design is lackluster and there is a lot of scrolling to be done.

Cheese Plate ($2.99) by Chronicle Books is essentially a Janet Fletcher hardcover in app form. The photos are gorgeous, and you can pull up a dozen or so cheese plates by theme, then tap the cheeses to learn more info. Pairing notes, however, are very limited. 

What I’d like to see: regional cheese apps with interactive cheese maps that would guide users to local cheesemakers and cheese counters.

Cheese Tweets: Twitter is alive with cheesemongers, bloggers, and lobbying groups. Here are the folks leading active social media campaigns:

Culture Magazine (@culturecheese)
Wisconsin Cheese (@WisconsinCheese)
Blogger Kristen Jackson (@ItsBrieBlog)
Bloggers CheeseandChampagne (@curdwise)
Cheesemonger Tim Gaddis of Star Provisions (@TimTheCheeseMan)
InvestinCheese (@investincheese) delivers daily links and top stories.

What I’d like to see: more news from behind the counter. What cheeses are in stock? What cheeses are in season? Why don’t more cheese counters tweet tasting notes?
~
Feeling lost? Don't panic. Over the next few weeks, I'll try to post more about this phenomenon. Until then, here is your assignment: check out some apps, stalk a monger on Twitter, and let me know if you think social media improves your cheese life. For a quick glimpse of cheese talk on Twitter, check out Trendistic. Surely, we can do better than this!

11 comments:

  1. Glad to make your list, thanks! One of my favs not listed is Chef Fromager Tia Keenan- twitter handle: @kasekaiserina . Funny, lively, socially relevant cheese news & more.
    This is also inspiration to start tweeting more tasting notes- love to hear what you want more of.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, how could I forget @kasekaiserina. Yes, thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much for the great information. I always love to read more about social media and marketing.
    I have my own site. I hope to offer tips as well. Thank you.
    http://www.marketing-mistress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gretchen (moralbeast)July 26, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    I have both apps you mentioned and I use both 0% of the time. I am not a fan of either. Yes, much work must be done in this area.

    I use Twitter and Facebook mostly to stay up to date with cheese and wine, so social media definitely improves my cheese life.

    ReplyDelete
  5. take a look at http://www.milkandhoneybazaar.com/ or on FB
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Milk-Honey-Bazaar/51273868897

    it's one of the best cheese stores I've found in the US & they ship. They update their FB page with what's new, in stock, et al.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Please take a look at http://cheeseplex.com (actually it will be called cheeseways.com) when it goes live.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's challenging to find real cheese tweeps since the word is used too frequently for a simple search. We keep a running list (@ http://twitter.com/#!/curdwise/americancheese) and are working on sub-categories, cheesemakers, mongers, etc., but it's mostly a slow process of adding people as they pop up in others' conversations.

    The worst is when someone has a great cheese-referencing handle but doesn't tweet anything about cheese whatsoever. Such a letdown!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love how the background of my iphone is cheese too...
    but it's robiola due latti instead =]

    ReplyDelete