Sunday Espress Editorial Clint

Sunday Espresso Editorial Clint

It’s hard not to write about what’s happening in the here and the now, which might help explain why this morning I’m in a foodie and new media frame of mind. I cringe, though, using the term “foodie” as it seems so puffy; superficial, perhaps, you know, like artificial sweetener.

Although I prefer body checks and slap-shots–anything but a day of balneal softness–living with someone who adores the culinary wonderland means I too come up to speed on things that I could never have imagined walking the snowy streets of Ottawa as a teenager. The important thing then: Where can I get a skinny white leather tie like the one Simon Le Bon wears in the Rio video?

Welcome to Sunday Espresso, our weekly routine. Grab your favorite caffeine (and if it’s non-caffeinated I prefer not to know, as that just makes me nervous — we’re in this together okay?) and remember what’s written here would never, ever appear any other time on SSC… under any circumstances. It’s on the hush-hush.

Theater/Food/Wine: Future of Media?

Everyone always asks: What’s the future of media? Regardless of industry, you’ll see it as a hot topic at almost every conference. What’s the future of wine media? What’s the future of theater media? And, on Friday… yes, what’s the future of food media?

It takes all of about thirty seconds before the conversation shifts to social media/networking. It would be easier to defy gravity than enter a conversation about media that didn’t contain the words “Twitter” or “Facebook.” But are they future of media?

Yes and no.

First, to paraphrase Anthony Bordain, the dinosaur is dead. We know print is not the future and that digital is here to stay, and with tablets such as the iPad entering the game, a whole new world of media consumption is upon us.

However, that doesn’t mean social media is a panacea.

I’m liable to sound like a broken record here. But in the day we used to talk about the “marketing mix.” And I believe it still matters. That is, marketing (and when we talk about media, the heart of the issue is essentially marketing – using a newfangled megaphone to get your message across) is not one thing or one message even. Social media is just another “tool.” More than ever, the message, the value proposition, the target audience matter more than ever before, so getting the basics right is even more critical when the space is so crowded.

Segmentation, targeting and influence all sound boring. Yes, I know, not nearly as sexy as Twittersphere, Blogosphere, or Follow Fridays. But if you’re serious about business and want to know about the future of media, you need to look backwards sometimes to help understand what may lie ahead. 1999 — or 2000 more numbingly — might serve as the best reminder of what hype looks like. I remember it well: the chocolate fountains; the IPO after-after-after-parties; the jetting to Munich; the grandiose mantras “Economy 2.0” — “eCommerce Revolution.” But at the end of the day, only about 25% of it was true (in fact, a lot of it turned out spot on… web transactions and web sites have transformed pretty much everything that impacts our daily lives), and the remainder was, albeit tasty, bloatware.

Ironically, print remains lust-worthy. Just ask the local theater about the little man. Or the local restaurant about the “Bauer Bounce.” I know that we appreciate and celebrate SSC print mentions, be it the Chronicle, Mercury or any other newspaper. If it doesn’t always drive traffic, it can increase awareness.

Maybe today’s social media guru was yesterday’s “web master” or “e-mail marketing expert” or “e-commerce consultant”. In the end, it’s all marketing. The tools will come and go. But the essence–the value proposition, the message, the offer–are just as essential. I believe that too will remain true in the future… or at least for the next 90 days, whichever comes first.

Adventures in Foodie-ville

Why is there always so much food around me these days?

Every Thursday we get another shipment of organic vegetables. It pains me to see all this alien-looking green leaf stealing shelf-space away from poor Belgian Blue Moon.

Then, I find myself making conversation with celebrity chefs with hipster Hollywood pony tails, telling me with a french accent, after I suggest that what they’re serving looks like a slider: “That’s a chocolate slider” — and a grin. And, man, was it good.

I just follow Loni, documenting our lives, the events, the people with the road-weary Canon T2i that is accumulating massive hours of use.

Foodie-ville is an interesting place.

People shuffle around, under a large tent (in beautiful Union Square) and alternatively seek to look glamorous, worldly and sociable. All of that with iPhone in one hand, a plate in the other, and, for some arguably less fashion-forward, a wine glass holder slung around their necks. Then they do food sampling loops, moving from crab cakes at one end to sea urchin-infused salads at the other. Or something like that. The best part about my job in these situations is batting clean-up. Good work if you can get it. All manner of scraps come my way. And I’ve discovered I too can be quite resourceful, juggling T2i, a drink and a few tidbits of gourmet paradise.

Mickey Rourke

Not much to say here except that Mickey Rourke is one of the best living actors today.

Unfortunately his temporary career in boxing took a bit of a toll on his Hollywood cred. But watch Angel Heart, Nine 1/2 Weeks (yes, it’s an 80s guilty pleasure), and The Pope of Greenwich Village and you’ll get a full-on assault of method acting at its finest.

Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear