I Love my U.MA.MI!

Foodie by Sybren Stüvel

It’s been four months since I arrived in New York City to continue my graduate study at NYU and I have to say that I am in LOVE with NYC. Despite its differences with LA, in terms of weather and fast paced environment, I am still thinking that my heart belongs to New York City. As days gone by, I have discovered lots of interesting facts of NYC that I wouldn’t have known before. I called it in my memory as “fun facts about New York City.” I guess, it’s true to say that by living in the city I will have a different experience compared to when I am only being a “tourist.” Among the adventures, my journey as a foodie excites me the most. Although I couldn’t really explore the city in four months, I clearly have expanded my foodie list on my Blackberry. And, the list is still growing!

By creating U.MA.MI NYC blog, I have shown my love on food and shared my experience in discovering New York City signature dishes and restaurants. Although this blog was initially made for my social media class assignment (note the “Assignment” category on the side bar), I am glad that I focused my blog theme on food instead of only on social media trends. With the lack of experience that I have in writing a blog, this assignment had pushed me to think outside the box. I am amazed on how many food enthusiasts have participated in social media platforms to promote their blogs, restaurants and online communities. As a result, I’ve learned great things about the foodie world through the whole process especially food blogs and smart phones’ apps that I have discovered to be an ultimate foodie in New York City.

Even though the post was made on a weekly basis, I had a hard time in narrowing down the materials for each post. There are so many things here in NYC that I want to write about. When I am in a cab or walking home from the subway station, I am always aware of my surroundings to see whether or not I would discover  a “new” material for my blog. I would walk slowly, look around and take notes. Otherwise, I would be looking at my foodie apps to punch in my location and see what restaurants are near by.

Despite the end of the semester (and the last blog post to this assignment), I will still continue writing on this blog. The theme will not change, but there will be more restaurants’ reviews coming up! I would like to thank my Professor, Laurel Hart, for giving me the opportunity to work outside my comfort zone and being a good mentor to my blog. The weekly comments that you’ve provided had helped me in improving my writing style, though it’s still far from being perfect. But, so far, this project has been one of my highlights for my first semester of graduate study at NYU.

Once again, thank you for everything Professor Hart. Without you, U.MA.MI NYC would not exist. For the rest of you (especially to those who subscribed), thank you for reading my blog! More exciting posts are coming up, so stay tune for more updates! In the mean time, if you have any suggestions for U.MA.MI NYC please tweet me at @DevianiAryW or send me an email at umami.nyc.blog@gmail.com.


Twitter Chats for Food Enthusiasts

As a Twitter enthusiast, you must be familiar about the use of hashtags. You may have used it to share your pictures, to express your feeling or to define a specific category. As a result, you will be able to look for a specific hashtag on the search bar. Then, you will see other users who share the same interest on your specific topic by using the same hashtag. It’s pretty cool to see how hashtags can make us all connected on Twitter. But, aside from all of these features, hashtags are also useful to create “Twitter chats.” Twitter chats is set for a specific time so that all the enthusiasts can tune together at the same time. It’s very convenient. Literally, you don’t need to be in front of your computer to join the chat; instead, you can always be on-the-go with a Twitter app on your mobile phone. If you miss a session, you can easily search the hashtag to overlook previous conversations. Overall, the whole process is very simple; yet, very engaging.

Hashtags (“#” Symbol)
Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages – Twitter.

So, what are  your benefits in joining Twitter Chats:

  • You can easily ask questions to the moderator of the Twitter chat regarding the topic
  • You can interact with other followers of the hashtag while sharing some information between each other
  • Be up to date with the trend on your topic within the hashtag community of that specific chat
  • You can expand your network within your topic of interest
  • You can improve your communication skills on social media
  • Perhaps, if you are an expert on the topic, you can be the next guest speaker for the chat
  • Have fun talking about your interest with the other members
  • Serendipity! You’ll never know what you’ll get from this experience

As a foodie myself, I have compiled some of the best hashtag options for Twitter chats on food. They are #HGEATS, #SundaySupper, and #Foodiechats. Although the Twitter chats may not specifically reside on the food topic around NYC, perhaps there will be some New Yorkers who respond to your specific questions. Keep it open minded!

1. The Hungry Goddess
Twitter: @HGEATS

The blog is created by Kimberly Moore where she is the Hungry Goddess herself. She’s a foodie, food writer, recipe creator, and co-founder of #HGEATS Twitter chat. Most of the recipes on the blogs were created by her. So if you are craving for some new recipes, The Hungry Goddess can definitely satisfy your craving. All the photos look very tasty and delicious. Join the chat every Wednesday from 12-1pm EST where you can talk about anything on food by using the #HGEATS hashtag

2. Family Foodie
Twitter: @FamilyFoodie
“Bringing back Sunday supper around the family table” – Family Foodie.

Family Foodie is a great for someone who’s looking for home cook recipes. As you can see from the slogan, Family Foodie is all about how to create a great Sunday meal. Each entry is very personal; I can sense the family love on every piece. The photos look delicious as well. It makes me want to cook some of the recipes. If you are interested, join #SundaySupper chat every Sunday when you can share recipes, tips and suggestions about creating a great Sunday supper meal for your family at home. You can contact Family Foody directly at familyfoody@yahoo.com for more information.

3. Foodie Chats
Twitter: @FoodieChats

The #FoodieChats hashtag was created by Steve Green, President of NetUpNow (hyperlink). Each chat revolves around different theme, but still solely related to food. The chat’s host @SteveGOgreen will then ask ten questions about that particular theme. I would say it’s pretty interactive. Its tumblr page has featured some amazing dishes from well reputable restaurants. It ranges from different types of comfort food. But again, every picture looks so delicious! If you are interested in joining #FoodieChats Twitter Chats, you may do so  today since Foodie Chats engages with its audiences almost every day. In fact, to celebrate its one-year anniversary on the hashtag, Foodie Chats community will have a live tweet event from restaurants across America. Perhaps, one of them is located somewhere around Manhattan. Follow @FoodieChats on Twitter to keep you updated on this upcoming event!

Lastly, for some of you (foodie bloggers) who are interested in establishing a Twitter chat, it is easy to do so. Make sure you’ve established a good hashtag that is eye-catching and easy to remember. Then, you just have to find a perfect time to broadcast the chat and gather your followers altogether. I believe that by establishing a Twitter chat, you’ll be able to promote your blog and yourself as a foodie blogger while interacting with other people who have the same interest as you. So, don’t wait for you to miss this opportunity!

The Secret behind Serious Eats’ Success

It was a gloomy weekend here in New York City and what a perfect time to cuddle under your blanket while sipping some hot chocolate. It was good to be home on a Sunday afternoon while enjoying the gloomy view of Manhattan from my window. But as a true foodie, I have to use my spare time wisely to uncover more stories within the world of food. At last, I have found Serious Eats, the holy grail for all foodies out there.

From the name itself, I can tell you it’s the real deal. Serious Eats can be your new best friend in finding local restaurants’ reviews, food recipes, food talks between NYC community burger specialists, pizza specialists and “photograzing.” Being created by Ed Levine, the author of New York Eats, Serious Eats has incorporated exceptional food bloggers, critics and chefs. From my first visit, I have spent at least two hours in reading the articles while googling about the featured restaurants. It was a really fun thing to do on a gloomy Sunday afternoon. Although there are still many other food blogs out there that are ready to be discover, I believe that I have hit the jackpot with Serious Eats.

About Serious Eats

Why is Serious Eats a successful website?

I believe that it has a balanced web strategy between business, community and technology (as I referred it to Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Sphere). Serious Eats web strategist must have already incorporated all the skills needed to balance and maintain the three spheres’ elements. As a result:

  • Serious Eats appears to be more trustable and reliable among chefs, professional and food enthusiasts
  • Serious Eats is known among millions of people around the world
  • Serious Eats is among the top food blogs within the industry
  • Serious Eats has become an exclusive online community for food enthusiasts to interact and communicate with each other throughout the world


As Owyang mentioned on his article, a good website strategist must understand the need of current and potential customers. In this case, Serious Eats has been successful in doing so. Although there are many blogs out there that can satisfy the cravings of many food enthusiasts, Serious Eats is able to distinguish itself among its competitors for being the top player because of its content excellence. Instead of focusing on only one concentration, Serious Eats is able to provide its users with varieties of information on food. So, visitors from different food interests may have reunite at Serious Eats. Whether or not you are a great cook who’s looking for new recipes or local food enthusiasts in New York City and Chicago or someone who just loves food, Serious Eats will always meet your high expectation.

Again, communication is not a one way street. Someone needs to respond on the other side. Other than being a successful food blog, Serious Eats is also an online community for serious food enthusiasts all over the world. Although currently it only serves big cities like New York and Chicago, I am pretty sure Serious Eats will cover other places soon. I am excited to see it serves in cities like Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Inside Serious Eats’ online community, you’ll be able to communicate with local or nationwide Serious Eats members in these different categories:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Sweets
  • Pizza
  • Burgers
  • Cooking and baking
  • Eating out
  • Food media and news
  • New York
  • Chicago
  • Site Feedback

Moreover, as a member, you’ll be able to enjoy the feature of “photograzing” which enable you to upload pictures of your dish. Then, other members will be able to comment on it. Nevertheless, you don’t need to be a member to browse pictures on photograzing. Lastly, to keep you updated, you can subscribe to different kinds of Serious Eats newsletters. Based on your interest, you can subscribe to a weekly newsletter, specific city newsletter, drinks newsletter or even recipe newsletter. You are basically in control of satisfying your food news craving. As a result, Serious Eats has enabled unique interactions between its users through its online community.


From the business perspective, Serious Eats must have clear goals and objectives to be a successful website. As an online blog community for food enthusiasts, Serious Eats has been chosen to be an award winning top food blog and able to reach 1.7 million visitors monthly, as it previously mentioned on its page. From this statistic alone, Serious Eats has been able to deliver its objectives through its strategies in bringing those many visitors to the site. Through my analysis, I have assumed that Serious Eats’ objectives are:

  • To create and establish a reliable website for food enthusiasts that provides varieties of food related topics and unique blogging experiences
  • To establish an online blog community for food enthusiasts to interact and communicate between one and another, within food related topic categories
  • To increase an awareness of Serious Eats among its target users
  • To increase sales in advertising
  • To position Serious Eats as a go-to food blog for food enthusiasts among its competitors

Aside from delivering its objectives to its end users, I believe that Serious Eats has also been able to satisfy its internal teams through these objectives. Not only that the end users are its priority, but so as the creative minds behind all of those insightful articles. By publishing about 150 articles a week (accoring to the “About Serious Eats” video), there is a lot of creative thinkers being involved. For them to create these many articles are not easy. Those articles need to be well research before getting publish on Serious Eats. Meaning that, the bloggers will have a huge responsibility to publish a well thoughtful article while meeting the objective of the site and readers’ expectation. Looking at Serious Eats’ content quality, I am confident that the site has been able deliver its business objectives to both internal and external stakeholders.

Possible Competitors:
Epicurious, Food Network, Chow, and Smitten Kitchen.


In terms of technology, Serious Eats is pretty advanced in delivering its content to its users. Just like any other successful blogs, Serious Eats has performed tremendously in keeping its users up to date with its content. Its medium has involved pictures, video, RSS subscription, email subscription, “members only” features, links to social media platforms, FAQs page and search engine within Serious Eats’ website. As a result, Serious Eats’ administrators will be able to monitor traffic, new and old users’ interactions as well as users’ feedback. As technology advancement grows rapidly today, I believe that there will be a new addition to blog technology in near future. As long as Serious Eats able to keep up with the technology progression while delivering its objectives, Serious Eats will surely continues to be the top online community for food enthusiasts around the world.


Overall, the three spheres are all interconnected. A website cannot be as successful if they only adopt each element individually or even two out of the three. It needs to maintain a balanced proportion of each sphere for it to be well-established in the long term. If Serious Eats is not as successful currently, perhaps I would not have found it in the first place when I googled “food blogs NYC.” It must have enough traffic to position itself as the second best result in Google. I am looking forward to see new features that Serious Eats will offer in the future. Perhaps, It may includes some new cities. But for now, I am digging for more updates on New York City’s local dishes and restaurants. I cannot wait to expand my “foodie” list on my Blackberry. As Serious Eats continues to grow, its sphere’s balance may have been updated; each area may have been weaker or stronger than one and another. However, if Serious Eats is able to maintain a good balance throughout its lifespan, it will carry its success for a long term and become a successful example for other food blogs across the world.