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Where to EAT in BCN Blog

1. Where to EAT in BCN

 

1.1. What

            For my new action, I have started a blog that will be associated with the IES spring sustainability club webiste. Initially I designed my blog using Tumblr, however due the fact I recieved little followers and people could not add or contribute to the blog, I decided to change the type of format of the blog so it is more easily accessible. I have moved the blog posts from my Tumblr account to my new blog format on the IES Sustainability Club website. What is so great about using the IES Sustainability website is that it is open to all students to post and edit information. Although I am the creator of the blog, it is open to anyone. This only furthers the concept of a sustainable blog. There is no password or username needed. As long as you are registered with the Sustainability club, you have the power to contribute. It is also a much cleaner, organized website than tumblr. I am very happy that Xavi encouraged my to make the switch from Tumblr to Free Libre Open Software.

Where to EAT in BCN is a blog where students can add and post information about food in Barcelona ranging from markets to dining out. It will focus primarily on encouraging IES students practice sustainable eating habits by eating locally and organically. Thus, the blog will provide resources and references to markets that provide local ingredients and organic goods. In our first class session we talked about knowledge as a sustainable resource and I believe this definitely applies to this food blog. Each semester the information about food markets and restaurants will be re-used and accessible to future IES students studying in Barcelona.

            Ideally, a link to this blog will be provided in the IES booklet for students to access early on in the semester as well as a link on the IES website. When first arriving in Barcelona, students may feel overwhelmed and not know the best places to eat, shop, or market. This blog will give students a forum to learn from other students about positive experiences they have had at local markets and restaurants. This blog will be open to other students to foster the sharing and exchanging of ideas about where to eat in Barcelona.

             Each semester a fellow IES student will continue the blog with a passion for food or dining out. There may even be a spot within the Sustainabilty club that requires one of its memebers to update and manage the blog. With each new semester, the list of restaurants and local markets will continue to grow. I know when I first got to Barcelona it was hard for me to find an organic market that sold soymilk and veggie burgers. If I had a place to access such information, it would have made my life a lot easier. “WheretoEATinBCN” would most definitely have been a solution to this problem. 

What is your action about? Description of the action. This section is not about goals, but about what you have done indeed. So that if you initially wrote the goals of your action when you were planning to do something, you have to update that to reflect what you finally ended up doing.

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

            The current IES booklet provides a list of ten restaurants and three markets. When you are studying abroad, this list is not comprehensive enough and does not cater to specific dietary needs. By moving this wealth of information about markets and local restaurants to a more sustainable domain, such as the Internet, it will eliminate the waste from printing the pages in the booklet. Instead of using five printed pages to discuss food in the booklet, this blog would allow a surplus of information that is eco-friendly and easily accessible.  This action is improving the sustainability of IES Abroad Barcelona in many ways.

  1. Eco Effectiveness: Limits the amount of paper (waste) used in the IES Booklets
  2. Allows for knowledge to be sustained throughout the semesters. This blog will always be accessible to future students. As long as students continue to post on the blog, the knowledge of information will be sustained to the consecutive semesters.
  3. Fosters the Local Market- by encouraging students to eat locally, organically and support local markets, we are increasing the amount of small local businesses. This is turn will keep the wealth within Barcelona and allow it to thrive.
  4. Long term effects: Students in future semesters will have access to the blog and will be able to easily find good places to get their groceries or go to dinner.
  5. Fosters group connectivity and creates community- students can build off each others ideas and make plans to go to these local markets together.
  6. Changes in attitudes: In the U.S. eating locally is not always a possibility because local fruit and vegetable markets are not as prevalent as they are in Barcelona. By encouraging students to buy from their local fruit and vegetable markets, we are changing mentalities about how we buy our products at home.

1.2.1. SWOT Analysis

Strengths

 

  • encourages local markets
  • easy access to students
  • grants familiarity in an unfamiliar city
  • boosts local economy
  • tells students prices, quality of food, type of food, neighborhood, location
  • vegetarian/vegan/organic cuisine
  • provided in English- benefit for IES students
  • past knowledge= stronger valuable opinions
  • does not rely on weather
  • no cost

 

Weaknesses


 

  • relies on student participation- if students don’t post or visit blog, then it will not be sustained
  • no regulation of posting information- however this can be easily solved by ensuring there is always one IES student in charge of maintaining the blog.

 

Opportunities

 

  • Eco-Euro System as an incentive
  • Information
  • Works with Sustainability Club
  • Dining options with family/friends
  • Ability to communicate with IES students and local community
  • Cooperates with other students actions
  • Ability to express opinions about food
  • Students can post easy to make-recipes at home= students can become better cooks
  • Get to know Barcelona as a city better

 

Threats

 

  • other food blogs people might view or choose
  • potential online distractions may cause people to forget about visiting this site
  • Google-  search engines give people recommendations a lot quicker than reading through a blog
  • updated/correct information about restaurants.

 

 

1.2.2. Feedback loops

Access to Blog-> Increase in Local Market Revenue-> Increase in Barcelona Economy ( Reinforcing Loop) 

Access Blog-> Increased interaction with local residents-> Increased connectivity to Barcelona as a city ( Reinforcing Loop) 

Posting on Blog-> Diversity of Ideas about food in Barcelona-> Fostering more community ( Reinforcing Loop) 

1.2.3. Potential Benefits

            There are many benefits of this blog that directly link to IES students who are new to Barcelona. These benefits are short and long term, however this blog will be particularly important within the first few weeks of new students arrivals. This blog will allow students who are new to a city to become instantly familiar with the type of restaurants and markets Barcelona as a city has to offer to its residents.  This blog will also serve as a great resource when students have visitors or family members in town. It provides comprehensive lists about good places to take friends and family based on cuisine and price range. This blog also offers information about local food happenings such as food fairs or cooking workshops. The benefit of having it on the IES website is that it puts information all in one easily accessible place. Instead of accessing many different blogs or websites, there is a conrete section designated specifically for blogging.

1.2.4. Potential Costs

            The major and single cost of the Where to EAT in BCN food blog is time. Maintaining and posting information about a blog is very time consuming because it is your responsible as the poster to make sure the information you are giving to your readers is entirely accurate and correct. Through developing this blog, I have required attention form IES students and faculty when asking for assistance in advertising for the blog.  Due to the fact the blog website is now a part of the IES sustainability website, it is free of charge and it does not waste any sort of non-sustainable product, the costs are very limited and low. The costs of this project are also not obligatory. IES students have the option of accessing and contributing to the blog and it is not mandatory.

1.3. How

            The blog was implemented by using the IES Sustainability Blog page. In order to make this blog accessible to IES abroad students, I coordinated with Olga Sanchez and Betsey Tufano to send out a mass email to all IES Barcelona abroad students. I have attached this email that was sent over the list serve March 22nd to inform IES students of this Blog. I also have posted the link to the Blog on the IES Barcelona Abroad Page, the Sustainability Club Page, added it to Gabby Nardi´s video, and Mary and Vanessa’s sustainable living Facebook page in order to reach the largest IES audience possible.

            The first step in this process was creating the blog itself and determining what sources and types of information would be available. I decided to include restaurants, markets, local happenings and events related to food as well as include any information related to food that would be helpful knowledge for students living in Barcelona for the semester. My second step of this implementation process was advertising and making sure that the blog itself was in the eyes of the public and that everyone had at least received some form of communication about the blog whether it be via email, word of mouth, or Facebook. The third part of this implementation process is integrating it into the IES orientation at the beginning of the semester. I am currently speaking to Betsey about including a link to this blog on the website or within the Orientation handbook, or even within the weekly planners. The fourth part of implementation is closely linked to the third step. This is ensuring that the blog is a useful tool for the upcoming semesters of IES Abroad Barcelona. At the beginning of the semester, hopefully a student from the Sustainability club or course will want to take over the administration position of the blog which is simply knowing the login and username to post information himself or herself. I will ensure that this blog is maintained, however this final stage is something I have not entirely solidified because it is not yet departure time and my action is still in the process of being successful and sustainable.  Due to the fact blogs allow for a very sustainable and eco-friendly forum for information, I will eliminate any type of advertisements that use waste such as paper flyers or handouts. Since the blog is now on a website with many registered users, I will attract a larger audience. 

* Attached are the emails of correspondence between IES and fellow abroad students as well as between myself and IES Abroad Faculty.

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

            Blogs do not litter, they do not waste paper, nor do they release toxic emissions. Blogs do not create waste, instead they create a surplus of information that may at times be repetitive and useless to readers that want direct, clear information about where to eat and market in Barcelona. The waste of this design is the excess supply of information provided by bloggers. This however will be monitored by the male or female in charge of monitoring the website for next semester. This waste is not detrimental to this system, and in a lot of ways the more information available on the blog’s website the better. What one person on the website may consider “waste” or unhelpful information, another person could consider it as “food” and very vital or important information that will significantly increase their positive experiences in Barcelona.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

These are the two questions I submitted to Vanessa for the survey.

1. Will students use an online website provided by IES to found out where good places are to eat and shop? 


2. Are students intrigued by organic markets and organic food or they more interested in cheap "eating”

 

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

            According to the questions I provided to the survey, my action would be a very successful endeavor at IES. 95 percent of survey participants answered that they would use an online website provided by IES to find out about good places to eat and shop. 50 percent of students were interested in organic foods and 35 percent were interested in cheap eating-places. Therefore, I combined these two efforts into my blog by making sure I offered suggestions for cheap organic restaurants, cheap markets and restaurants as well as more high-scale organic markets. 

 In the future, I would like to add the following question

1. Would you be more likely to visit the IES website page to view blogs or would you prefer to visit a seperate website?

- This question will account for the initial problem I had with getting followers of my blog. I beleive that by integrating it into an IES website, it will be more successful and availible to students.

1.3.4. Incentives

            Although I have not finalized this possibility with the Sustainability Club and Solomon, I believe that posting on my blog would be an outlet for students to receive Eco Euros. Furthermore, the individual who volunteers to continue to upkeep and maintain WheretoEATinBCN should receive a large sum of Eco-Euros. There are incentives that go beyond Eco Euros. By contributing to this site, individuals are establishing an IES community that they can feel apart of. This blog might also be a forum to make new friends or develop plans to attend a local market together.

1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

            I posted the link to my blog on the Facebook Page of the Sustainability Club. I would like to use the Sustainability club as a forum to advertise the blog by encouraging its members to post on the blog or add information about local food events. The Woofer day of service is a perfect example of how the Sustainability club and my blog can work together. I would be happy to advertise the Woofer day of service on my blog so that all of the followers of my Tumblr could participate in stimulating local organic markets by attending this IES day of service. This blog will motivate students to venture from El Corte Ingles ( although it does provide good essentials) to the local Barcelona community where they can be proud of themselves for being more environmentally friendly as well as really connecting to the entire Barcelona community. The incentives this blog brings are personal rewards that are granted to the individual who wishes to put forth the effort and contribute to sustaining knowledge about food and local markets within their own community. I will also now be using the Sustainability Club website to update and post my blog.

1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

            I believe every student studying abroad in Barcelona must develop a love and passion for food because food and markets are such a part of local culture. Markets and food are a part of social life. Therefore, I believe finding a student who is willing to maintain this blog will not be a difficult task.  Just as we choose to continue actions, I believe a member of the Sustainability course or Sustainability club will likely continue this action. I will also ensure that next semester IES provides students with the link to this blog so that the information on the website will continue to grow and be added to. Blogs are by nature sustainable and maintained as long as we let them stay online without pressing the delete button. Therefore, as long as the student interest and desire to post and access new information about food d in Barcelona, the action will be sustainable for semesters to come. Now that it is not a part of Tumblr, any IES student or admin has the potential to change and improve the blog on the website. With this freedom and easy access, I believe the blog will be sustainable.

1.3.7. Document format

            I chose the IES Barcelona Sustainability website as the domain for the blog. It is an easily accessible website that is free of charge. It is html format.

1.3.8. Copyright license of your report

Attribution 
CC BY: This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

            I would pick this license because blogs are built on the premise that they should be used to share information and network with other individuals. Due to the fact the information I am sharing to the public comes from other website domains that offer the location of the restaurant and provide information about various websites, I feel as though this is the most practical usage of copyright. The purpose of a blog is for others to pass on the information you have provided them with. The information I am providing on this blog are what I believe to be the best places to eat and market in Barcelona as well as what other contributors believe them to be. Therefore, as long as people credit the blog for being a good provider of information, I believe the information should be as free and limitless as possible so that everyone feels comfortable sharing the information from WheretoEATinBCN with others around them.

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

January

Ensure all Spring IES students are aware of the Where to EAT in BCN Blog. Find student to maintain the blog for the semester. Encourage students to post and add new information.

February

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

March

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

April

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

May

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

June

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

July

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

August

Ensure all Fall IES students are aware of the Where to EAT in BCN Blog. Find student to maintain the blog for the semester. Encourage students to post and add information.

September

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

October

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

November

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

December

Post on Blog. Look for upcoming food events. Coordinate with other sustainable actions.

 

1.5. References & Links

 http://iesgogreen.seeds4c.org/blog1-Where-to-eat-in-BCN   

 All of the information about local restaurants and markets are provided on the blog itself. 

1.6. Students involved in this action

            I worked with Carla Fischzang and Julia Nutt when developing my action. Prior to starting my action page, Carla, Julia and I discussed the fact we all wanted to create blogs that would be accessible to students. We decided that because we had different interests, we would create separate blogs on similar domains. We divided our categories into food (myself), transportation (Carla) and community (Julia).

            Furthermore, I attempted to coordinate with all students in the Sustainability course by posting a Forum on the ESSO 350 page encouraging collaboration and attempting to avoid overlap of ideas.

Gabby Nardi helped me with advertising.

Professor Xavi helped me add my blog to the IES Barcelona homepage.

Attachments:

This is the email that was sent out over the IES list serve with the help form Olga and Betsey ( IES faculty) In the future I will ensure that the new link to the IES Barcelona page is included and the Tumblr link is no longer active.

I have also been coordinating with Betsey regarding adding this blog link to the website or providing the link in the orientation booklets.

 

Hello IES Barcelona!
 
            For the Sustainability Course this semester, we were asked to design a  “sustainable action” that would benefit the IES program. For my action I created a blog titled “Where to EAT in BCN” that will include information about local markets, organic markets and places to eat all around the city. It is basically an easy go-to for students studying abroad that want to know the best places to eat around the city. I have a few of my own favorite places to shop and eat but it would be great if you would add to the blog as well. The more suggestions of good food the better.
            Simply go to this website http://iesgogreen.seeds4c.org/blog1-Where-to-eat-in-BCN  and you will find the blog. Please add anything you think is relevant to eating out or marketing in Barcelona. You should include the following information.
 
Name of the Restaurant
Type of Cuisine
Price Range (what you expect to spend upon leaving the meal)
Address: Include the address, the closest metro stop and neighborhood
 
Thank you so much for your help!
Best,
Abby Glusker
 

 Assignment 4: Peer review form

You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 15
Grade per action ReviewerComments
88 gnardiReally good idea. In my opinion, anything involving foods attracts people our age. It it also smart to have it online so it is easily accessible. This is also a great way to share your experiences with other students.
88 MbowermanYou did such a good job on this Abby. I think it's a great idea and the blog looks really good and will definitely be helpful to people when they get to Barcelona!
90 Kmacdonald4Well done on the action report! I think this a great idea especially for newly arriving students. Some of the best restaurants are the ones you find when just wondering the city and this is a great way to share the hard to find places with the rest of students.
91 vydraThis is a great idea. I could've really used this blog when I first got here, but instead it took a little time for places to eat to spread by word of mouth. Like you said, I would make sure that a link is given to students for this blog, and that it well publicized.
91 vsienkieI love your idea for this blog. I would have referenced it alot during this semester in Barcelona if it was made available to us in the beginning of the semester. Maybe you could do a post about organic and local restaurants and markets in other countries you have traveled to during this semester to keep it international.
91 seantubridyThis is a very good idea to engage students especially during their first weeks in barcelona. Good job on the blog
92 obiajuluThis is a great idea because its informative, plays on interests of ies students and because it is collaborative it is resilent.
93 MarthaMayI love the blog! Eating is such a big part of studying abroad whether it be where to buy the cheapest fruit and veggies to the best deals on dinners out. As long as you links on the IES website and the IES booklet I think this action will be sustained for a long time! Great work!
93 Brian McNevinThis idea is great. Like I said about the other action involving a blog, I think it's really cool how their more knowledge based than an action like recycling. I would have also loved to have something like this right when we arrived in Barcelona so I could explore and see all of the great places to eat throughout the city.
94 m.bernsteina blog about where to eat is an amazing and idea and a very easy way to spread knowledge to future students. it would have been so helpful to have one of these upon my arrival so i didnt have to waste as much money as i did the first week i was here. good work
95 carlafBlogs are always a good choice. Especially when it comes to food. I've checked this blog on more than one occasion and it is very useful. I wish this had been created before I got here, it would have saved me a ton of money! It makes it easier to try all the worthwhile places in this city.
95 jschayeI really like this idea, I would definitely want to participate in the eating part but its great for future students to see.
95 CFaheyI really like the idea of blogs to share experiences while abroad because it gives other people the perspective of other students that are in their shoes. Most of the restaurants and food places I have gone to I heard about through other students and having multiple recomendations in the same place would make it much more convenient.
95 SolomonBPThis is a great action that will be very helpful to future students. We can be sure to add a link to your blog on the Sustainability Club website, as well as add a position to the Club that undertakes the responsibility of maintaining, adding to, and updating your blog. The facebook page is still a work in progress, but glad you have a link to it there. Let's get it on our website, and I'll be sure to add info on maintaining the blog for future SC students.
98 Sarah ColeI think this is a great idea. I would have LOVED to have this when i got to barcelona. This is a great way to spread knowledge and I think the fact that is about food will definately increase activity of the blog.


 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
2.7 Where to EAT in BCN Blog (Abby Glusker - Carla Fischzang - Julia Nutt) Good Very good idea and report, in general!: "what", "why", SWOT analysis. Cradle to Cradle section (waste = food applied to information) 1.6. "Furthermore, I attempted to coordinate with all students in the Sustainability course by posting a Forum on the ESSO 350 page encouraging collaboration and attempting to avoid overlap of ideas." Well done! Improvable 1.2.1. "...only for IES Barcelona students and does not provide information to other students in Spain". Mmmmm, well, if they can read English, they would also benefit from that information, if it's valuable. There are a bunch or foreign European "ERASMUS" students every semester in each big city in Europe (in Barcelona also), with a similar case as yours from IES Abroad, so that they would benefit, or even be willing to participate if they find your blog easily? Another option (tell me what you think) would be to make the blog in Spanish, and receiving credit from your Spanish Classes for every single blog post you add there, provided that its Spanish is understandable at least! This way, this previous weakness would be avoided, you would practice even more your Spanish skills! There are some software tools which allow you to provide a blog post with its translation with relatively ease. Just for your consideration, if you consider that this weakness is important. "no regulation of posting information-..." From the technological point of view, the software tool that we are using for the SC allows an easy way to control the validation of posts easily. Talk to me asap, if you want to solve this issue, and migrate your blog to the SC website so that it's easier to find and participate for future students. 1.2.2. Close loops, and indicate clearly whether they are reinforcing or balancing. use just one dash (-) instead of two dashes (- -) before the "more than" (>) sign, since the two dashes are the wiki markup for — striped text-- 1.2.4. Why not using some other blog which is FLOSS and free of charge? The blogs in the SC website are based on FLOSS tools also. Or Wordpress is the well known external-to-ies-abroad alternative solution. "I will ensure that this blog is maintained, however this final stage is something I have not entirely solidified because it is not yet departure time and my action is still in the process of being successful and sustainable. " How will you ensure this? Moreover, how will you ensure that future students will know how to reach you in order to request the administration password? And how can this blog allow for many users to post while having some other users monitoring the suitability of those posts potentially open to all students? All this is solved if you migrate your blog to the SC website. Moreover, you will be reinforcing both websites, by making use of the same tools and environment for the whole SC and the topic-oriented blogs, like this one. "Due to the fact blogs allow for a very sustainable and eco-friendly forum for information, I will eliminate any type of advertisements that use waste such as paper flyers or handouts." I understand what you mean. But remember that a blog that students don't know about is worthless. 1.3.3. Revise it based on 2011a General comments 1.3.4. Incentives How many ecoeuros for posting? and how many for managing the blog? "This blog might also be a forum to make new friends or develop plans to attend a local market together." A blog is not a forum, in a similar way as a spoon is not suited to cut bread (a knife is). Even if you can cut bread with a spoon (have you ever tried), it's not fun if you were required to do that frequently. A multipurpose platform such as the one we installed for the SC website is like a Swiss army knife (following with this analogy, were you have a small spoon, a knife, scissors, etc. Once your blog is migrated to the SC website, you can either use the simple threaded comments section per blog post, or if you don't have enough, then you can set up a specific forum (with common features from forums) linked to that blog, etc. And all that using FLOSS tools. "I would be happy to advertise the Woofer day of service on my blog so that all of the followers of my Tumblr could participate in stimulating local organic markets by attending this IES day of service." Well, Abby, how many followers do you have already? How many people besides you have participated in that blog? What ensures you that next semesters this behaviour would be different? (yes, marketing would help, but too many different websites for students would be too distracting). That's why we are promoting as much as possible to concentrate resources on a single internet domain. If Tumblr was FLOSS and something like a Swiss army knife, we would consider that as "the" place where to direct all students. but since it's not, and since we did that research and discussion last semester and ended up with the current domain and infrastructure for the SC (which can be extended), I hope that you help to concentrate resources at the SC website. 1.3.7. You didn't indicate which document format you used. html, maybe? 1.3.8. Revise it based on 2011a General comments 1.4. Have you participated in a big blog? have you used freetags (folksonomy) to tag and find information in such big blogs? When there are many posts, how would you expect students to find information by categories: veggie, cheap, fish, vegan, suitable for groups, etc. If you consider that freetags might help, when would content be tagged if authors don't tag the blog posts themselves? 1.5. Any similar blog from anywhere else in the world, where they succeeded creating a blog of such type and having they alive for years? How did they tag content?... Refer to this comparison previously, and provide full details of that reference here. Attachment: Your text with the link "http://wheretoeatinbcn.tumblr.com" is in fact pointing to some webmail account: https://login.live.com/login.srf?cbcxt=out&vv=900&wa=wsignin1.0&wtrealm=urn:federation:MicrosoftOnline&wctx=wa%3Dwsignin1.0%26rpsnv%3D2%26ct%3D1303155929%26rver%3D6.1.6206.0%26wp%3DMBI_KEY%26wreply%3Dhttps:%252F%252Fch1prd0104.outlook.com%252Fowa%252F%26id%3D260563%26CBCXT%3Dout. How many written answers did you get to your email? Adapt your SWOT analysis or other parts of the report, if needed, with your own experience.
The stated feedback loops are not full loops yet. Example: "Access to Blog-> Increase in Local Market Revenue-> Increase in Barcelona Economy ( Reinforcing Loop) " "I also have posted the link to the Blog on the IES Barcelona Abroad Page, the Sustainability Club Page, added it to Gabby Nardi´s video, and Mary and Vanessa’s sustainable living Facebook page in order to reach the largest IES audience possible." Very well. "Professor Xavi helped me add my blog to the IES Barcelona homepage." When you refer to a person, you have to provide the full name and surname of that person, at least, and not his nickname or username on a website. 2nd


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