One More Bite

The WacoFork Blog

The keyboard is mightier / The Month in Reviews

July 6, 2011 | Chad Conine | Around Town
The keyboard is mightier / The Month in Reviews

Once upon a time, I wrote something.

It appeared in the newspaper that employed me, but it wasn't really an assignment from that newspaper. It was part of a series that I invented for myself to work on. And I did work pretty diligently on it.

I was covering the issue of sports fans and whether or not their behaviors sometimes crossed over into hooliganism. I interviewed many different interesting sources. I traveled a good distance to go to a ball game at one particularly infamous football stadium, which happened to be the university where I earned my degree in journalism.

And then I wrote one of the best things I've ever written. It was anecdotal and poignant and showed how the university was moving toward resolving the issue and even redemption.

What happened? People read it and they loathed what I wrote. It made them angry. But that anger resulted in clicks. Many, many clicks for the newspaper's website. The real reason it stands as one of my best ever efforts was that it caused a reaction. For me, and I do not claim to be an artist of any high merit, but it was a glimpse into the fact that successful art elicits a reaction.

(I realized this has nothing to do with dining in Waco, so if you would like to skip ahead to "The Month in Reviews" be my guest.)

This week we've had two instances of rhetoric provided by you, our users, that caused a reaction. In one case, a user offered an honest, though scathing critique of a new local restaurant. Fair enough, but it made me wince. I wasn't sure how to react because I had established a relationship with the restaurant owner, but we also have a commitment to our users — we won't edit or silence reviews as long as they do not contain profanity. Fortunately, the restaurant owner gave a gracious reply that resolved the situation.

Soon after, another similar circumstance came to our attention. In this case, fans of the restaurant came to its defense in the form of reviews. In the end, it was another good example of peaceful exchange of ideas.

For the record, I wince a little any time I see a harsh review. But that doesn't mean our users should stop writing them.

The Internet and, ever further, the social media age have promoted this type of back and forth. It's not alway pretty. In our ongoing WacoFork adventure it's been fun, useful, touchy at times, hilarious at times and always in the arena of good sportsmanship.

We won't let it stray off that path.

And now: The Month in Reviews

This month a simple hot, fast five.

  • "Watch out for the "ghost pepper"--ok, it's not real ghost pepper, but it's worth a run for those who like heat."
  • "Not to mention, and nobody chew my head off, but I'm not crazy about the flavors. (Kudos for getting to try them beforehand though!) I'll stick with Oso's downtown. They seem to understand me."
  • "Soup: can't recall the name. The one aromatic with broth and shrimp, although the one with coconut milk kicks a little Bangkok too."
  • "The food is great... I love the sweet potato fries. I love the "liquid crack" ice coffee with a shot of espresso. Get that. Way to go Waco for having a place like this."
  • "Everything here is amazing, but "The Bear" might be heaven in burrito form. Be sure to ask for the green sauce (a secret spicy concoction) and pour it over everything for maximum awesomeness."