Warning Billboards Ahead Take A Detour - Popa's Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 313714

Popa's Kitchen

Warning Billboards Ahead Take A Detour 
Oct. 26, 2013 7:58 am 
Updated: Nov. 1, 2013 10:34 am

There will continue to be ongoing debates regarding the blogs written in support of sponsors by the Allrecipes Allstar Ambassadors. First let me say that I take no offense to any of the comments on the buzz and I do believe that some of the Allstars are well aware of the comments made.

Yes we do write blogs about sponsors. Do we have to? No it is a voluntary position. As we interact with a sponsor and test their product sometimes we are asked to write a blog related to that product. When we have tested a product that we truly like a blog is our way of sharing this product with you. If a blog is written about a sponsors meat product are we offending the vegetarians? I hope not. Their is no intent to offend anyone with our blogs. You may read or not read them on your own free will.

Do we need a disclaimer up front that the blog is sponsor related?  I don’t think so. If you started to read it and found out that it was a blog in support of a sponsor and became upset, all I can say is that something piqued your interest. Think about it, if you are driving down the street and approaching billboards should there be a sign, “warning billboards ahead” take a detour? There is advertisement all around us everyday primarily to promote a  product. Advertisement keeps some things free, like T.V., radio and this web site, just to mention a few.

Yes I am an Allrecipe Allstar Ambassador and proud to be one. The contend and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of bd.weld. This blog was written in support of the Allrecipe Allstar Ambassadors that write blogs here on Allrecipes.

Oct. 26, 2013 8:11 am
Very nicely done, bd! Love how you incorporated signage into your protective words, too! We have to keep our beloved site going! Thanks for your blog!
Oct. 26, 2013 8:25 am
I love that this site is free...and it takes Brand Sponsors to keep it that way. Thanks for your blog.
Oct. 26, 2013 8:26 am
Love!!!! This was an excellent post!!
Oct. 26, 2013 8:31 am
Ditto Marianne's sentiment, Brian! I have great respect and admiration for your thoughtful, intelligent and yes, respectful opines and especially your values as a true gentleman. Thank you for your insightful blog. I am proud and yet humbled to love you, my friend!
Oct. 26, 2013 8:46 am
Love this! I liked the Allstars program before I was one and now as one. I'm one of those cooks that will take advice on anything food related - whether it be a cooking method, a food photography tip, a must try recipe or an awesome food related company (that's what I read blogs for - ideas!) I take no offense to those who dislike the program and/or blogs, everyone is entitled to feel how they do about it. But I hope the ones who do read them get something from them, which is the point of the sponsor blogs imo :)
Oct. 26, 2013 8:48 am
I'm grateful for the Allstar Embassador's insight in to recipes I may not have otherwise tried or seen. Thank-you b.d. and to all Allstars!
Oct. 26, 2013 9:23 am
Love it, Brian...very well said! If I'm not interested in reading a blog, I just simply pass it by...I think a lot of times people just make comments like that to get a rise out of people. I LOVE being an Ambassador and am very proud of everything I have done w/ the program, so when I see negative comments like that, I take no offense b/c everyone is entitled to their own say, but I also don't care to respond and 'feed' in to it. :)
Oct. 26, 2013 9:24 am
I couldn't have stated this better.
Oct. 26, 2013 9:25 am
Well said! I loved Allrecipes long before I was an Ambassador and have really enjoyed participating in the program and meeting some wonderful people. I am truly sorry if the blogs some of us write are offensive to some on AR because they see them as promotional, but, I do understand that AR is a business and we all have the opportunity to enjoy this site free due to those sponsors. If it is a product I stand behind I don't mind sharing my experiences with others in the hopes that they might find something they like to try also. I also ewview these products honestly on the recipe whether good or bad regardless of who the sponsor is. I appreciate the time and effort that goes into all the blogs written by anyone on AR or The Buzz. I would love to be able to blog more, but, my work schedule doesn't allow that right now, so, for now most if mine will be related to my sponsor experiences. Thanks for the post!
Oct. 26, 2013 9:46 am
Allrecipes has greatly helped me learn so much about cooking. I enjoy the challenges presented by the Ambassador Program.
Oct. 26, 2013 9:58 am
Brian, you have made your point crystal clear. Those of you who enjoy the content of Allrecipes, especially those who do not pay to enjoy the majority of the content, are able to do so because of the advertisers and our sponsors. The Ambassadors spend a fair amount of time and effort, shopping, preparing, photographing, reviewing and blogging. This is not paid labor. We do it because it is fun for us, but also as a way of letting foodies like you in on good food. Do you watch TV and then write to complain about the ads? We all know that there will be many sponsored blogs every month so I don't see a disclaimer up front as necessary. And be honest, you have enjoyed some of the sponsored blogs. So put it in perspective. If we all had blogged about published recipes, you wouldn't bat an eye. If you don't want to read about the sponsors, don't read about them, but enjoy the pretty pictures!
Oct. 26, 2013 10:08 am
Here, here Brian! Very thoughtful and well written commentary about sponsor blogs by AR Ambassadors. We all make the choice to read or not read. It's just a click of the mouse to get in to a blog and a click of the mouse to get out. Have a great my friend.
Oct. 26, 2013 10:09 am
Great day...
Oct. 26, 2013 10:17 am
Enough said...and said well!!
Oct. 26, 2013 10:18 am
BigShotsMom, I like the way you phrased this, "The Ambassadors spend a fair amount of time and effort, shopping, preparing, photographing, reviewing and blogging." That is very true. Nothing posted is scripted, nothing is written without trying the recipes, our opinions (if even on a specific brand) are our own. Blogs are not even required on AR. We can blog on-line. Like everyone else said, endorsements, advertisements, and commercials, are everywhere. They pay for us to be allowed basic services at no cost. I think, it is a small inconvenience. The blogs don't pop up in people's emails or when they log-in. It does not frustrate me to go to the store or grocery store and see all of the different brands. In fact, I see posts all the time with people asking which brands of this and that are musts in your kitchen posted on AR. The brands AR works with have all actually been major brands and for a reason. If I did not care for something, I did not post a blog here for the AR community. I did one blog recently in which I mentioned a brand once and no one even noticed the brand name. I don't post a logo on mine, but only because I find it distracting. The disclaimer is there at the bottom, explaining that we are volunteer testers and these are out opinions. Not sure why 2 disclaimers are needed now.
Oct. 26, 2013 10:20 am
Sorry, I meant "our" opinions. Second before last sentence. Now, that is something that is needed an "edit" button. lol
Oct. 26, 2013 10:51 am
Don't look up here! Thanks for writing this. I agree with you. I'm proud to be a brand ambassador. If I say I like a product or a recipe, it's because I really DO! I'm sharing with other home cooks, just the way I share that information with my friends. Thanks for understanding.
Oct. 26, 2013 11:00 am
I am proud to be an Allstar Ambassador and the content, and opinions expressed here reflect my own thoughts and opinions. Thank you BD, for wording it so well and sharing.
Oct. 26, 2013 11:18 am
I am a proud Allstar Ambassador and you clearly said what we all think Brian! Blogs are optional to read just as they are to write. I don't understand the big fuss?!? I have always been a firm believer that if I would not eat it myself I sure as heck am not going to feed it to others. My family taught me to think of food as putting your love on a plate for others to enjoy... Now I would not share a sponsor with anyone if I did not believe in the brand OR the recipe! Yes I struggle with some brands because I have to try 4 or 5 different recipes to find one I am willing to put my name behind. I really hope this opens the eyes of some complaining but as well all know all to well... Some people just are not happy unless they have something to grip about. So sad that people can no longer take time to build each other up and take more enjoyment out of tearing them down. Anyways, Well said Brian and very proud to see you say something about it!
Oct. 26, 2013 11:34 am
Thanks for a great blog. I still think that it is amazing that people can use this website for FREE - never register or sign up. Someone has to pay the bills and it certainly isn't the users! Advertisements are everywhere - even when you do pay! Ever watched a ball game that has been free of ads? or how about that fight that Direct TV charges $75 for and everything is covered in ads including the boxers trunks. As for the blogs, I have always believed that if I don't have anything good to say about a product to just keep my mouth shut or in this case, my fingers off the keyboard. The nice thing is that we have the option to 'scroll on by'. Don't like it? Don't read it! Mind you, if you don't read it you might miss something really good!
Oct. 26, 2013 11:43 am
Brian: If I click on a Buzz post or blog that I'm not interested in, I use the "Back" button. It's pretty simple.
Oct. 26, 2013 12:10 pm
Well said everyone! If you don't like it, don't read it! Nobody is forcing anyone to read anything they really don't want to. I've learned of a few products I had no idea existed by reading these blogs.
Oct. 26, 2013 12:29 pm
You said it bd - "free will". We all choose what we say, what we do, what we read, what we don't read, and then we all choose how we respond. My Mom always said, don't point your finger at someone else, because there's always three fingers pointing back at yourself! Well said - you get a BRAVO!
Oct. 26, 2013 1:41 pm
Well, I must say I was disappointed to go to Paula's blog hoping to find something else than her necessary sponsors blog for her brand ambassador requirement. I do rather look to her for calorie and fat reducing recipes. I was hoping she had found something new for me to use on Sundays when I don't want to cook. I didn't finish her blog cause well I already employ some of those "quickies" for Sundays. I was just hoping for some new and exciting healthful recipes that I could spring on the guys. OK so just some new recipes, they can't really handle healthful! Love your photos as always, sorry I won't get to see as many now.
Oct. 26, 2013 2:18 pm
Agree, Brian, and you make a good case. I appreciate your effort. Allstars are not simply providing advertising copy for the sponsors. As part of a community, we share our experiences, good and bad, with the community, because we care about the community, and we care about cooking. I usually share a little story, too, to keep the blog personal, and I hope, less like an ad. As Blender Woman stated above, "I see posts all the time with people asking which brands of this and that are musts in your kitchen posted on AR." What is the real problem here? Is it the mentioning of a brand, or is it the number of blogs about the same brand? In any case, folks need to get ready, because the deadline approaches, and there are more blogs to come. I hope people read and respond to the blogs, because I think these interactions build our bonds with one another and grow our community. Agree with CoOkInGnUt, that we should build each other up.
Oct. 26, 2013 2:32 pm
Oct. 26, 2013 6:59 pm
Welcome home brother! Well said.
Oct. 26, 2013 11:27 pm
I have probably been one of the most outspoken about wanting a warning for advertisements/sponsor product reviews and I probably forever will be. Do we get a warning about billboards ahead? No, of course not, but a truly effective billboard is generally designed to get it's entire message across in about 7 words or less to people in a car traveling at about 60 m.p.h. I think it would be very considerate of the Allstars, for whom the site is free, to give a potential reader of one of these blogs a more clear idea of the actual point of the particular entry. For instance, I read your title here and had a pretty good idea what it was about and read it. Often, however, the title in no way even hints that it's just another inside job. Sometimes I'd like more information on a product and seeing a blog title that indicated it was about that product would have me reading it in a split second. What I find annoying...notice I have never said "offensive", the word offense just doesn't apply here...would be to see a blog titled "Sweet Summer Memories" only to find it's just a dang review for a product that at least a dozen others are also going to blog/review about. Just be up front please. It's the same to me as reading the newspaper, being intrigued by a headline, reading the article only to find half way in that it's really misrepresented by the title. Does anyone truly enjoy that? Sure we can "skip over" things we don't want to read, but it sure would be a lot easier to do if the title was truly a representation of the subject. So why hold so tight to the right to call your blog anything you want and lure people in under false pretenses? How would it cause a problem to be up front about what's in the blog? It's a simple matter of respect and consideration for those not in your inner circle. I would have a LOT of respect for a review type blog that told me what it was right up front so I could decide if I wanted to read a sponsored product review or not.
Oct. 27, 2013 5:37 am
Ambassadors get their pro memberships paid for them? Wow.
Oct. 27, 2013 8:06 am
mimosa ain't no pro took the words right out of my mouth! I don't mind reading about a product I'm interested in, just let me know ahead of time, please. I love the way you "warned" us, bd! I knew right off what I was letting myself in for (a rebuttal), and couldn't wait to get "told off" in the nicest way possible, because I'm interested in what you have to say - most of the time. Bison, not so much (not sold here) Johnsonville (love their products already)etc. And I don't want to read 10 people's "take" on the item. That's the only reason I'd like a "billboard"...
Oct. 27, 2013 2:20 pm
bd.weld, well said. I have always enjoyed each blog that i choose to read. Thank you.
Oct. 27, 2013 3:40 pm
TwoSweetPickles Like most of the Allstars, I spend farrrrr more than the cost of a membership. If I charged them by the hour, I would make a handy little sum indeed.If I took the time to add up the time and money spent, I might flinch.
Oct. 27, 2013 3:43 pm
mimosa, I take alot of time trying to write a thoughtful or fun blog with a nod to the product we are testing because I too get annoyed with the multiple "I love butter" blogs. If my type of blog bothers you, please skip my blogs cuz I surely have no intent to annoy or harm anyone with my thoughts. My weaving in a sponsor with my every day life is just my style and I hope my blogs are entertaining enough to keep on reading.
Oct. 27, 2013 3:47 pm
Thoughtful blog bd. I resigned from the Allstars this week but I certainly know the drama our assignments have caused on occasion.
Oct. 27, 2013 4:08 pm
What's it all coming to (or has come to)? Well said, bd.
Oct. 27, 2013 5:29 pm
hmm, i've been watching/reading the responses as well wondering where this would lead. i've never been a sheep, but i understand the benefits. the free flight and hotel to seattle a couple years ago ( i understand a couple folks got yanked at the last minute too...wow!) i would be loving some frozen taters too! i didn't realize in addition to free products ( with the proper cooperation) free pro membership is awarded as well. yep, sign me up as an allstar ambassador! i promise to sound like i actually like frozen potatos too.
Oct. 27, 2013 5:55 pm
Mauigirl it's a shame you misunderstood my words so. I don't mind the advertising blogs per se. Sometimes I'm curious about a new product and like to read what someone has to say about it. In that, I'd like to be able to scan the "blog" titles to see which ones might fit the bill, but the same can be said for when I don't care to read a product review/advertisement. The latter holds especially true when there have already been blog after blog after blog after blog about the same product which is what is going to happen when a sponsors product is involved with an Allstars mission. Your blog is FINE. I'm not suggesting anyone alter the content of their blog in any way, I just don't see the problem with giving potential readers a proper representation of the content in the title so said potential reader can make an informed decision on what to read up front. It just doesn't seem like a lot to ask and it really has me puzzled how such a simple request has caused such offense. You have to remember, you Allstars have your own little thing going that the rest of us...many who pay to be here...aren't part of and this somewhat superior attitude only serves to reinforce the notion that some members just "count" more than others.
Oct. 27, 2013 6:58 pm
Mimosa, This is not an exclusive group at all. When they asked me in May 2011, I knew for sure it would not be exclusive. After all....they asked me :) My comments were not meant to be defensive. My blogs resemble the type of blog you described earlier cuz I like to blog more about life than a product and it is a way to blend in the assignment while writing about the things I like to talk about. No offense taken. PS I quit the Allstars this week so no more product endorsements unless I find a product I love all on my own :)
Oct. 28, 2013 7:41 am
Every time I see drama on this website, it truly makes me sad. AR members have been so helpful, and I basically learned to cook because of them, so I'm very grateful for ALL of you. It is a very community-oriented website, and I know that people who are a community can tend to get frustrated or annoyed with other members of that community, but why can't we all just get along? We all share a common interest of cooking/baking. Why do we need to squabble over blogs, which are just our individual expressions of particular topics? The blogs aren't even intrusive. You don't even see them unless you go specifically to that page, so if you don't want to read a blog don't read it. If reading about a product bothers you, then just scroll to the bottom of a blog to see if there is a disclaimer before you even read. And if it's there, don't demand that people write THEIR personal blog according to your guidelines. Geesh. It's like going into a neighbor's house, seeing that he painted all of his rooms red and then complaining that there isn't enough variety. And then telling him that he should put a sign on his front lawn telling everyone how he painted his house so that no one will be offended walking into it. If you don't like it, then you don't have to be there. If you don't like it, don't be nasty with your neighbor. Show some maturity by just ignoring it. I only recently became an ambassador, but I was using the website for a few years before becoming one, and it never bothered me that other people were ambassadors. They are just people who enjoyed taking pictures, writing reviews, and trying new recipes/ingredients. And in response to the people who say that "product reviews" should be written differently, this is not a product review! These blogs are not just spewing nonsense about the quality of a product. Our blogs are written the same way we write for non-Ambassador related content. We enjoy talking about food in general - about new ways to use an ingredient or new information about that ingredient. I learned a lot about bison from reading other people's discussion on it. I had never tried it before having it as an "assignment," so it was exciting to learn about it. I am just as excited reading about bison as I was to learn about avocados from non-ambassador related blogs. My interest is cooking, so every blog that is about "cooking" is interesting to me. My point is: Let's CHOOSE to enjoy each other and what each individual, Allstar or not, brings to this community. After all, the individuals are the ones who have made this a great website (not the staff), and it is the individuals who will ruin it if they do not choose to get along with others who are trying to enjoy it too. Stop demanding people conform to you, and begin appreciating people. If you don't like it, you don't need to participate in that section of the website.
Oct. 28, 2013 8:00 am
Thank you, bd! You have posted a great blog in defense of the All Star Brand Ambassadors Program. You, and others, recommended me to the program and I gladly accepted, but, sadly, I had to resign for reasons I have kept private. You know of a few of those reasons, I'm sure. While participating as an All Star, I was amazed how much I could learn and just how willing my colleagues were to support my fumbling efforts. In those few weeks, I learned far more than I expected I would and I have no regrets for signing up. When our lives are back where we want them, I will ask to be reinstated. Until then, I will read those blogs that support the sponsors of this site.
Oct. 28, 2013 8:00 am
Very well said, Jacolyn. If we require warnings about blog contents then let's warn about spicy food content. My little ones won't eat spicy foods so how DARE you waste my time making me read a blog only to find that it involves spicy foods? Let's add allergies to the list as well as foods or combinations that might violate someone's religious food traditions. Oh, add anything with alcohol. The list would be endless. If you want to remain in your own precious cocoon then please do so, but don't expect others to limit themselves accordingly.
Oct. 28, 2013 11:34 am
I'd be interested in seeing EVERYONE's blogs--if you're not an Allstar Ambassador, please post the link to your blogs so we can get an idea of what others write about. I'm sure we can all learn from the different writing styles and topics. Seriously--if you're complaining about the Allstar blogs, let's see what you can do--have fun with it!
Oct. 28, 2013 8:27 pm
THANK YOU MRS. J. I was beginning to think I was speaking a different version of English than everyone else. My words are down in black and white in the only way I know to write them, yet they are being twisted and tangled with reinvented meanings to a point that has me going back to reread my words to see if, by chance, I did say something other than I remember.
Oct. 29, 2013 12:43 pm
Lots of food for thought here. I am not an all-star ambassador (I did receive an invitation when the program first rolled out--declined due to health reasons at the time). And I don't really have any desire to become one. But for the people who do, rock on, dudes. :) I will admit to groaning "oh no, not another I Love Butter blog!" some tikme back. But now I know what to expect, and I know enough to skip past that 43rd blog on a sponsor's product, LOL. But sponsors are necessary to keep the site running, and I get that. So I read what I want and click the back button on those that I don't. I would expect the same of my blogs for those who don't care what I have to say. I love this community,and I love this site. I pay to be a supporting member, but I also welcome those who just want to drop in and stay free. And that's the beauty of this site for me...all the diversity and diverging opinions. Have a great day, everyone!
Oct. 29, 2013 9:09 pm
Hmm, I know plenty about GOOD WRITING STYLE; I do it for a living. GOOD WRITING STYLE involves writing a headline or title that is catchy and will encourage someone to want to read what you have to say. That means that you shouldn't give everything away in the title; instead, you should offer just enough that people will want to click and continue reading. Obviously, mentioning that you are writing a sponsored post wouldn't encourage others to read, so that would actually be POOR WRITING STYLE. Just some food for thought. ;)
Oct. 30, 2013 5:36 am
Nicely put BD. Writing on a prompt is something I was taught long ago and isn't always easy. being told what to write though is different. recently I have felt that we have been encouraged to write and say certain things that I don't always agree with so I have chosen not to write at all on the topic. That being said, a blog is a small price to pay for the insights & products we are exposed to with the program.
Oct. 31, 2013 7:36 am
Thank you to everyone for your comments. Yes the Allstar blogs can be overwhelming to the blog section of AR. Hopefully some day they can come up with a remedy. Will I give some kind of warning at the beginning of my blogs? Probably not. I try to put some kind of novelty in them, like a Spirooli or zoodles. Not all of my blogs are "ads". So if you see me steer clear or read. Most important to me though, is remaining friends with all of you. I have met the most incredible people here, virtually and in person, and would like the friendships to continue.
Nov. 1, 2013 6:14 am
In light of the above comments, I posted the disclaimer first on my most recent blot. I happen to agree with Lin-DUH though, and I fully understand Doug's point about writing from a prompt vs. being told what to write. I won't put the disclaimer first again, because that is all anybody sees on AR's list of blogs. What I WOULD like to see though, is a warning about CREAM OF (fill in the blank) SOUP in a recipe. There, I've said it, and I KNOW it will offend some. So, like Jacolyn says, "I know that people who are a community can tend to get frustrated or annoyed with other members of that community, but why can't we all just get along?" Let's be grown ups and accept that there are different strokes for different folks. After all, why else would there be 296 recipes for lasagna?
Nov. 1, 2013 6:15 am
I wish I had proof-read a little more closely before posting. Should read: "my most recent BLOG", lol!
Nov. 1, 2013 10:34 am
Bibi - I agree with you. The Allstar blogs are a bit overwhelming for some. I just don't think I'll put up a disclaimer in the beginning. I would like to think my blogs are worth reading and/or the photos. Who knows I just may go off site (I don't really want to). Oh darn, I was going to submit a recipe for lasagna. (lol)
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About Me
Graduated from the Culinary Institute of Burn and Learn. If DW and I were to take our daughter, son-in-law and our grand children out to dinner we would have to ask, "table for 10". Therefore, cooking at home has a high priority.
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Pleasing hungry family and friends.
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Anything I cooked that my wife disapproved of.
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