Tweet, tweet, tweet

It all started with an innocent question. From me to Ted and Matt Lee, cookbook authors and writers in residence for the recent Association of Food Journalists’ conference in Charleston, S.C. They had just finished talking about good writing and the need to manage one’s presence in the Twittersphere so it does not overwhelm. My question: What about @RuthBourdain, the fake combo of Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain which has become the darling of the online food world? Why work so hard to be a good humor writer if someone who blurts out 140-character tweets can be named the best in humor journalism by the James Beard Awards, which bills itself as the Oscars of the food world? Their answer was that humor is different, someone mentioned Dorothy Parker, blah blah, nothing much except that Matt Lee said that RuBo is “so 2010.”

I decided it was time to let it go, get off the bitter bus about this. But, oh, it was just the beginning.

AFJ member Lee Svitak Dean of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweeted that she knew who RuBo was and was sitting near him: Robert Sietsema of the Village Voice. By the end of the day, the news had spread to the New York Times and the Washington Post, where AFJ member Joe Yonan wrote that Dean was wrong in her estimation of the proximity of the RuBo tweets and Sietsema’s meaning they are the same person.

Now, the inevitable evolution in the Twitter world: @RuthSietsema, a parody of a parody.

With #AFJ you can follow it all.


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