Thanks to Epicurious

Q&A With Twitter/Shorty Awards Winner Foodimentary
by James Oliver Cury

Last night, the guy from Foodimentary, on Twitter, won the Shorty Award in the food category. I had explained in an early post what Twitter is and how the awards work. David Pogue of The New York Times examined the Twittering phenomenon in yesterday’s paper as well, chronicling his initial skepticism and then acceptance of it, albeit with caveats. I don’t know if Pogue has seen Foodimentary, but this food-focused Twitterer/Tweeter, with 30,000 followers, proved the viability of the concept to me. Still, I had a lot of questions about what he actually does…and why. Our Q&A with the 27-year old(I am 37,I just look young ha ha) producer, John-Bryan Hopkins, is below:

When did Foodimentary launch?
I have been blogging under the Foodimentary name since 2007. I have been on Twitter for a little over three months.

How do you describe it to people?
Foodimentary is a fundamental approach to talking about the food we eat. its history, background, nutritional value, etc. I am raising awareness about the world of food, 140 characters at a time.

Why do this?
This is my passion. Foodimentary is my baby. I will never forget two years ago, when I Googled “Foodimentary,” it came up misspelled. I knew at that moment that I had an original idea. The hard part is always to keep it interesting.

How many followers on Twitter do you have?
Just over 30,000 so far.

How did you get so many?
I think people like my tweets. I also reply to almost everyone who replies to my tweets through direct messages (more than 4,000 so far). I want to create a community on Twitter, linking people through word of mouth. One person spreads the word, and the rest is history.

Is there a “goal” you’re striving for? (more traffic, more followers, ads?)
I want to keep on keeping on … Ha! I am creating my website and an iPhone app. I just want to keep talking about food and learning what it means to other people. I’d also love to create a food curriculum for school children. It amazes me that so much time is spent on spelling and geography, but ask a kid what a vitamin is or any simple food fact and they just look at you funny. That’s a distant goal but one I want to pursue in the future.

Who does all the research?
I do. If I read a magazine or book, I have a highlighter in hand. I jot down notebooks full of info. I do some Web research, but mostly to fact-check.

What are the sources?
Everything. I find tweets all over the place. I think what surprises people and keeps them interested in my tweets is that they aren’t facts that you can easily find. I take paragraphs of info and express them in 140 spaces.

How much of your day is spent maintaining Foodimentary?
10 to 12 hours

Is this a full-time thing for you?

What else do you do?
I also am working on an awesome food~fact Web site, but I’m a full-time tweeter and blogger. Like Twitter, I have not seen a single cent of revenue yet. And I have spin-offs (Vegimentary, Greenimentary, and Vinomentary, all with corresponding iPhone apps) in the works.

Where are you based?
The historic Hollywood neighborhood of Homewood, Alabama.

Has there been a most popular tweet?
Very early on, I tweeted that a cross between a chicken and a turkey is called a “turken.” It hit the fan. My computer could not keep up with the naysayers and such for more than an hour. I was mortified, but I was RIGHT. I call it my “turken moment. I do backup research for every tweet now. I definitely learned that people are really reading my tweets.

Do you follow other foodies on Twitter?
I have several people I tweet with every day, but you would be surprised that most of their profiles do not say “foodie.” I bring out my followers’ inner food nerds.

Do you have a sense of where Twitter is going?
It’s growing, but who knows what will be next. Is Twitter a go-to spot for info, or just a step along the path of this new media? For now, I am along for the ride.