Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Kosher blogger?

The other day I noticed another unfamiliar URL in my Statcounter info. (Statcounter is a service that tells me how many people read the blog and where they come from.) I see unfamiliar URLs all the time, put there by blogspammers trying to improve the Google hits of their dubious commercial sites to create scammed ad revenue. Every time I post a new entry, several of these phoney links appear in my Statcounter and I have stopped paying much attention to them. Basically, if I click on their link and go to their site, I improve their stats. So I don't usually click on these links, though many of them are no longer the lame shell sites I used to see and are just other people's blogs with no link to mine, often in foreign languages.

So this unfamiliar URL I saw the other day was called Foodmall and I did click on it because if someone really does link to me, I'm curious to know who they are. Foodmall sounded like a potential friend, but it turns out it's not quite that. It's actually one small part of a huge new network of problogs--blogs designed as businesses rather than personal projects. This new entity, Instablogs, consists of 43 recently launched blogs on a variety of topics. The company is run by a husband and wife team in India. Although I first encountered it just the other day, Instablog was apparently cruxified in the blogosphere upon its launch a few weeks ago. One of its blogs contained plagiarism and some of them launched without content.

Thus far, Foodmall consists mainly of posts that summarize posts in other food blogs. They link to my Asian chicken salad of last week, the post in which I wrote:
Fusion food? Sign me up. This is "Asian" sesame chicken salad--ok, it's no doubt "American" or "European" to mix cold meat with mayonnaise--next to a "Jewish" bagel. Get the connection: sesame plus sesame! How cool is that? I think I might have an unconscious desire to become a bloggy, male Rachael Ray. Take the same salad, sub in some curry powder: Indian! Olives and feta: Greek! Pimento and smoked paprika: Spanish! Black beans and corn: southwestern! Awesome! I'm going to take a short break to write another cookbook and count my money and when I come back I'll make a trip from the fridge to the pantry to the garbage bowl with my arms full of veggies that I washed when I came home from the supermarket!

Yesterday I tossed a chicken (minus one breast, which I fried up with rice for dinner) in the oven and roasted it. Today I shredded the meat off the other breast, a thigh, and a leg. I mixed it with a medium julienned daikon, about half a cup of thinly sliced cucumbers, a clove of garlic minced to a paste, a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds, a handful of toasted slivered almonds, rice wine vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and mayonnaise. The black sesame seeds are decorative. This is basically what you would find at any good prepared foods counter, but my first rule of food is that everything is better when you make it yourself. I think Ray-Ray probably agrees.
This is how Foodmall summarized it:
Fusion food has brought a great deal of convergence among various cuisines. For Kosher blogger it is making his chicken salad flexible enough to fuse in with Indian, Italian and Spanish spices. He has given pretty good options to mix-n-match shredded chicken with, curry powder for the Indian aroma, olives to give that pungent Greek flavor, Pimento to give a smoked pepper’s Italian sting or black beans for that filling southwestern casserole. But Kosher blogger chucked in chicken for a sweet and sour fusion. He tossed shredded chicken with toasted sesame seeds, a handful of toasted slivered almonds, rice wine vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and mayonnaise, to give a fusion flavor - sweet, sour, creamy and nutty flavor.
Hey Foodmall, you forgot the daikon, cucumber, and garlic! I suppose I should forgive the bad writing and the missed sarcasm as elements of cross-cultural dissonance, but the idea of these hapless entrepreneurs trying to make a buck (sorry, a rupee) by misunderstanding me is making my skin crawl. It's not the commercialism that bugs me, though. It's the absence of real content, of a real voice. Clearly, the writer would have preferred to plagiarize my entry but was trying not to, so instead she paraphrased it badly. If they were selling something worth buying, I'd be happy to join in the fun. But as it exists now, Foodmall is exploiting people like me for profit and I hope it fails.

One more thing: Kosher blogger is my sister. I'm Treyf blogger.

(To find the entry discussed above, go to Foodmall dot org and in their categories links, click on "salads." I won't speak to you ever again if you click on their ads.)

2 Comments:

Blogger Pyewacket said...

Thanks for explaining why I was getting "referrals" from Swedish websites. Now I know.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

At the risk of showing how technologically inadequate I am, I don't quite understand where you are seeing these urls in your statcounter stats. Do you just have the free stats? Is it in the "came from" stats? I do see some very weird things there, but never paid much attention to it.

10:26 PM  

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