When Matt Baumgartner started blogging he was just trying to promote his restaurant Bombers.
As the owner of Bombers and Wolff’s Biergarten, he never thought his blog would take him anywhere outside the realm of cuisine.
That is until he started writing for the Times Union.
“I didn’t feel like I could write enough to fill up a blog, but then I got the itch for writing,” he says. “It was sort of addicting to see 5,000 people looking at my page.”
As a writer for the TU Baumgartner had a contract he had to work within; he had to post once a week and wasn’t allowed to post slanderous or derogatory things. However, as Mike Huber, the TU Interactive Audience Manager, explains Baumgartner began to take his blog to places the site had never seen before. People responded to his honestly, un-edited writing style and could relate to his point of view. Baumgartner writes like he talks, bad grammar and all, and it allows his readers to hear his voice.
“You have constantly keep feeding the monster,” Baumgartner comments on blogging. “I started off thinking I would only do one post a week then ended up posting everyday.”
As the owner of two well known restaurants in Albany Baumgartner sees blogging as an escape from the overwhelming stressful career. “I don’t love it (owning a resturant) but my blog emulates the idea that everything is great.”
Baumgartner, who studied economics and Spanish at Union College, decided to open his first restaurant, Bombers, after eating at Big Burrito in Boston, MA. When he won $20,000 from a royal flush hand in Let it Ride at Turning Stone Casino, Baumgartner had the funds to open Bombers when he was only 23-years old.
“I started the Bomber’s blog because I think it gives a bit of credibility to the place on the Internet,” but the Bomber’s blog is business blog and wasn’t the creative outlet Baumgartner was looking for.
He turned the blog over to photographer and friend, Pete Corcoran, and began writing for the TU blog instead.
“When I started writing I remember using the blog as a tool to vent.” From crushes on Mrs. Lia to reactions to a review of Wolff’s, Baumgartner has talked about everything and anything that he finds significant to his life. “When I write it is whatever is on my mind that day.”
When you read Baumgartner’s blog you can really feel the life in his writing. It is interesting and insightful without getting the sense that he thinks he is above anyone. This is what has made his blog such a success. Yes, he is writing from his own perspective but he does not make the reader feel like they are wrong if they disagree. He is simply trying to inject some fun into the realm of current events.
Looking back on his work for the TU Baumgartner only regrets two things. First, he wishes his picture wasn’t attached to his writing because now it is attached to his restaurant and he hates all the attention. Second, he regrets writing posts while drunk, but like he says, “if you post something you have to commit to it.”
Today, Baumgartner receives 97,958 page views a month and has moved to his own blogosphere, www.fridaypuppy.com, where he enjoys the freedom of writing whatever and whenever he wants.
“I can have my own rules now.”