Best New Blog

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Taylor Seidel’s blog ‘Good Eats’ was recently voted best new blog by readers of The Baltimore Sun. by Melissa Gerr
Taylor Seidel’s blog ‘Good Eats’ was recently voted best new blog by readers of The Baltimore Sun. by Melissa Gerr

In February, Owings Mills native Taylor Seidel, 21, decided to funnel his passion for food into his writing and launched GoodEatsMaryland.com, a blog that “brings you closer to the best eats this town has for you.”

Just 10 months later, the site receives between 1,500 and 2,000 views per month, almost 400 people follow his restaurant finds on Twitter, and more than 700 people regularly admire his tantalizing culinary photos on Instagram. Most recently, he won “Best New Blog” in the Mobbies online competition for bloggers and users of social media sponsored by The Baltimore Sun.

“My son, Josh, goes to Towson [University] and told me about him,” said Diane Macklin, who nominated Seidel for the award. Macklin is also known as Downtown Diane, an entertainment reporter on local CBS radio and owner of the Macklin Agency, where she represents about 25 area restaurants. Her son said, “You should look up this guy Taylor. He does this food blog, and everybody’s into it.’”

Macklin, a Pikesville native, began to see Seidel at local food events and was impressed with how he reported and networked on social media. She invited him to cover one of her events at Power Plant Live.

“He’s very accurate and caring about what he writes,” said Macklin, who has been acknowledged as a top performer in social media by both City Paper and the Baltimore Business Journal. “He does a really good job at his young age.”

Seidel also writes for The Towerlight, Towson University’s weekly student newspaper, and as an advertising and public relations major, he applies what he learns in the classroom to his blog posts and activity on social media. He also enlists the help of his good friend, journalism student Jared Kurlander, as his editor.

“I just got approved for an independent study, and I’m going to tie it into my blog,” said Seidel. “It’s going to be focus-group oriented so that will help me learn more from my target audience to increase readership and viewership as well as word of Web.”

Steve Earley, mobile manager and community coordinator at The Sun, said there were 21 new blogs in the running this year in the Mobbies.

“The nominations and the voting are all up to readers,” said Earley, “or to anyone who can get on the Internet and find out about the Mobbies. … We had two weeks of nominations in October, and the only criteria [across all of the categories] is the blog has to be published in Maryland or about Maryland subject interest and has to be regularly updated.”

Voting was open for 11 days across 20 different categories, and each person could cast one ballot per day. There were 2,472 ballots cast for this year’s Mobbies, and, Earley added, Seidel also won “Readers’ Choice,” receiving the most votes in any one category.

Seidel, whose parents are Sharon Briant and Gary Seidel, regularly received requests from friends and relatives for restaurant recommendations, but that frequency has increased since he started his blog. Now Seidel has been invited by restaurants to write about chefs and events. He recently
attended one at Fleet Street Kitchen and another at the Horseshoe Casino for brunch.

“My biggest goal is to increase viewership and buzz,” said Seidel. “I’d love for this to pan out to be something more than just a hobby, but I have another semester of school so we’ll see what happens.”

mgerr@jewishtimes.com

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