I was invited to a food tasting event yesterday at Biryani Blues. More on the food and the place in a different post. Nikita, who worked with zomato earlier and now has started her marketing/PR firm had invited me for the Crusty’s new outlet opening in March since I had given the place a very good rating on zomato. This time she invited me for Biryani Blues. And I have received invitations for other events on 7th and 12th June but since am out of the country (a pause while I hop with joy) I won’t be attending those.
I met a few other reviewers yesterday at the event and this has got me thinking. I am so happy social media is part of my life. Sure, there is a lot of bullshit out there and yet it is a damn good place. In fact, I find it surprising when people look down upon you because you are active on social media. The way I see it… it is another place where I communicate… it is another place I make friends… I exchange information… have fun. Like,
- there are people I wouldn’t have bumped into if it wasn’t for social media
- People who I would not have gone beyond “Hi Hello” if it wasn’t for social media
- People I wouldn’t know are fuckawits and need to be eliminated
- People I wouldn’t know are simply superb and sooooo much fun
- And I wouldn’t have people to argue and debate with
I started off on social media because it is there…. I have great memories of my chatroom days as a teenager… How can chatting with strangers not be fun? Specially when you can enter and exit the conversation as you please. Social media is similar to that except there is no anticipation for meeting up in real life, dating and sex as opposed to a traditional chat room.
I was thinking about zomato. I started off with reading reviews and then writing reviews because I do eat out… a lot… and I love trying new places. The recent concept of getting points for posts and pics has just added to the interest. I mean, even the air miles on tripadvisor don’t motivate me as much as the points on zomato. My current aim is to be an expert in DLF Phase 4 and I just have 7 photos to go.
*To be an expert in any area you have to post 10 reviews and 50 pics. The former is not a problem but the latter is quite a drag*
Anyway, we met a few zomato reviewers last night. Two of the three I follow and who follow me back.
I think you start belonging to a city when people start knowing who you are.
So, anyway…. one of the guys has 6000 followers and I realized how and why. He likes every review and every picture posted by people he follows. He reviewed Biryani Blues yesterday/today and didn’t even mention that it was a free meal. KC and I were discussing this in the morning and I asked him if I should do the same. Should I just try to get followers on zomato? Should I try to become popular? That is not why I use the site/app. How long can I continue to be a genuine reviewer? The PR guys mentioned it once or twice as a joke … that… people please review. I mean, that is why we were invited, right?
In my facebook others inbox I came across a lady who runs a home bakery in Delhi and wanted to send me free goodies for review and stuff. I told her I don’t review food or anything I haven’t paid for. What I can do is drop by sometime, buy stuff and then review.
I have a choice right now….
I can either review free stuff and get more free stuff… and who knows, eventually even make it a part time career
I can use social media for fun, entertainment, to meet new people, have new experiences… without any monetary benefit or expectation of freebies.
I think am going to stick with the latter. I strongly believe a paid review (even if it is paid with a free meal) is never unbiased. I love the biryani at Biryani Blues and I will review them on zomato basis the experience I have had for a paid meal. In fact, this is the only restaurant we consistently order from every month and which satisfies my chicken biryani craving. I think their food is great. I will even talk about the event on this blog but on zomato and any other site, I will never, ever review stuff I haven’t paid for.
I am not going to be that stand up comedian who gets free Magnum ice creams from the brand and then posts on twitter about it. Sorry… all this PR shit is not me and never will be me.
I know… I know… I am idealistically stupid or is it stupidly idealistic? Does it matter as long as am stupid?