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The Technology Party Always Ends up in the Kitchen

May 4, 2009


This is a post about food, my friends, so if you’re hungry, go grab a snack.


Last year a friend here at RT alerted me to the daily presence of a white van with a more or less steady stream of Indian-looking folks walking up with cash and walking away with bags of what we assumed to be food. It turns out that a local Indian vegetarian restaurant has had an e-mail menu delivery and lunch ordering system going for several years, and has met with such success that they regularly sell out.


About a month and a half ago, I heard a story on NPR about Kogi, a late-night Korean BBQ taco truck enterprise in LA that had achieved a heretofore impossible feat: getting Angelenos to gather in crowds on the street in the name of food. The most important tool in their box seems to have been Twitter, which they used to let people know where they would be, and when. They have even attracted what I think of as Twitterhaters – folks who create fake Kogi Twitter accounts in order to sabotage the real deal.


Then today while researching how companies use Twitter, I found my favorite food-and-tech intersection item to date on Adweek’s TweetFreak blog. They’re running a reader poll contest to determine the best agency Twitter project, one of which is It’s a simple yet sophisticated system set up by the London interactive agency Poke to automatically tweet when fresh baked goods are ready for purchase. Check out the demo video here.



The agency folks say they set it up because they like their hot cross buns as hot as possible, and it seems they’re not alone in that preference. @albionsoven has 725 followers, the fresh baked goods sell out within minutes, and the project has garnered international press coverage.


All of these ideas are brilliant in their practicality and simplicity, and leave me wondering what’s at the next intersection of food and technology. Automatic alerts when Pappy’s runs out of pulled pork? Tweets about what the artisan sausage guy will be selling at the weekly farmer’s market? Status updates on our beloved hot dog lady’s location du jour (oh please let it be the corner of 10th and Walnut)?


More likely, it will be something so beautifully simple that I can’t conceive of it.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Stacy Hull permalink
    May 14, 2009 4:22 pm

    Friend, please publish the name of the e-mail vegetarian indian cuisine. I’m starving now.

  2. Heidi permalink
    May 18, 2009 2:41 pm

    Glad to: It’s Govinda’s. To sign up, just send an e-mail to

  3. Crystal permalink*
    August 12, 2009 9:51 pm

    Terrific post. The food thing seems to be all about utility, desire and urgency. Gotta have it now. Where do I get it now. That kind of thing. Very interesting.

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