Who is the best restaurant to review in Bangkok
A new bar and restaurant is opening in an upscale hotel. The cocktail tray roared past. A delicious buffet awaits when uniformed public relations officers smile to greet “respected members of the press”. Who else on the guest list? Blog, of course, new flavor, when it comes to Bangkok’s wine and dining scene. But, just as they gain respect, blogs can also be a fast lane to “old media”. Bangkok is the world’s largest city for Facebook users and is the most serious in food. Put the two together and you have a powerful crowdsourcing that can knock out print and blog. With user-generated sites like OpenRice.com and Wongnai.com gaining followers, we speak to mobile digital food gaps between old new media and new media.
A toothless critic
Bangkok’s print media commentary has never had the same atmosphere as other world capitals. Here, comments appear in the new opening or publicity stunt of a five-star hotel (visit chef, new menu, etc.). They are always moderated by the owner or the public relations person, their attention to the writer, and the criticism that they get is always positive. Even respected food writers such as ML Tanudsri and their families are reluctant to criticise, preferring to enlighten and education. This lack of useful food commentary fills the gap for blogs – but they also don’t want to give up the site.
“I usually don’t write negative reviews. I used to think that if restaurants weren’t good enough, I should tell people. But in the end, some customers always go to restaurants that I don’t like. So I think it’s very subjective, it really depends on the individual. We never know if we’ll go to the restaurant on a bad day. So if I don’t think it’s good, I won’t write about it at all, “said Sirin Wongpanit, a freelance writer for The Nation, Elle Decoration and Circle Publishing, who also blogs at www.ohsirin.com.
Dr Daneeya Bunnag at mysousvidelife.wordpress.com said: “food is one of the hardest things to review, because if there is a delicious is very subjective. Pete Oh of bangkokburgerblog.com confirms that reviewers rarely risk: “most people are on the road. Publications, in particular, may be bad for their business. You have to draw a line between good and bad, but sometimes people are a little sensitive to what they like. But my comments don’t mean anything. I don’t want to hurt any business. I always say it’s really subjective. Everyone has their own opinions and disagreements. ”
Ichiro Phongthon of phongthon.blogspot.com also warns of the risk of commenting. “Negative comments are one thing, but slamming the ground or the chef may compromise your credibility,” he says, although he still writes negative reviews regularly.
Ironically, bloggers are now responding to the print media used to resist the blogger’s point of view, to resist the impact of a new round of food critics: user-generated sites such as OpenRice.com and Wongnai.com. In short, bloggers think they’re more professional, and “people” really don’t know what they’re talking about.
“Being a good food critic requires a lot of eating experience. You have to know what’s really delicious and what you’re not familiar with, “Sirin said. “My writing style is the result of the information I have accumulated in my life. But when I look at crowdsourced reviews, it’s hard to get real content from what they write.
As for Ishiro, he found that crowdsourced reviews may be too negative: “today, you can see it on a lot of BBS, such as Pantip. Sometimes this is not true civilization. ”
For Daneeya of blog My sous-vide Life, more and more blogs are getting paid and getting into the traditional media, and the harmony of the printed blog is further accelerated. “I really don’t know where to draw the line,” she said. “But the obvious difference between professionals and amateurs is knowledge and experience, both in tradition and in social media,” dania said. Khetsirin Pholdhampa, a food writer for the national magazine, USES the same argument to resist social media crowds: “everyone can write. But we can print a better story, a fair, balanced and comprehensive story. We are a reliable source of information. ”
Feed the masses
Whether or not bloggers become more professional or are washed away by the social media wave, crowdsourcing is here. Yod Chinsupakul, co-founder of Wongnai.com, a user-created comment guide, says his users have grown from 50,000 in 2011 to 100,000 this year. Social media provides people with more channels. You may have just told your friends that the restaurant was good or bad, but today, Facebook, Wongnai, Pantip, and blogs can help you reach out to more people.
Wongnai is about to be joined by another player. Openrice.com launched in Thailand a few months ago and made its full debut. Satinee Mokaves, managing director, said: “Bangkok’s lifestyle is changing because mobile devices, whatever they do, will be Shared online.”
But even crowdsourcing websites are struggling to write useful commentaries for Thailand. “The open company in Hong Kong is a very powerful institution. We have no competitors there, which seems to be part of the censorship of the restaurant in their lives. I have to say that Thailand’s character is very different. [thais] just post pictures as a way to show off, and it’s really hard to change that attitude. “While she tries to encourage people to be more confident, she also thinks it takes time to change the mindset:” the new generation will be better. They will be exposed to more things and be able to share more of the key content, not just post photos. ”
Ichiro agreed. “They [the commentators on crowdsourcing] wrote,” oh, really good. We lick our plates clean. Then turn it off with lots of photos, “he said. OpenRice’s Satinee adds, “it’s not easy to get them to write something critical unless they’re really angry, and that’s often too personal.”
Pete Oh of the Bangkok burger blog doesn’t mind competition or lack of expertise, though. “It just gives people a more holistic view of a particular restaurant. But this is through the reader’s eyes. I don’t think that blogs or websites are depriving each other of their readers. ”
“No matter what you read, you need to think critically and use your judgment,” Yod, co-founder of Wongnai, suggested to people using his site. If you think about it, look at it, like on our website, you’ll see that many restaurants have four or five stars, but you need to look at the details, not just the surface.