On cooking and blogging

Don’t worry loyal readers, your jbloggers resource site  has not transformed into a cooking blog (although don’t my buttermilk pancakes look nice?!).  I’ve recently been teaching myself how to cook with the help of the trusty internet, and this experience has led me to consider some more general points about the internet that are applicable to blogging, so I thought I’d share.

(1) The internet can be a very altruistic place

Sometimes the internet gets a bad rep, and sometimes for good reason, but I have found in my recipe searches that there are a lot of nice people out there.   For instance, there are a ton of people who do keep up fantastic cooking blogs, and post their step-by-step recipes, photos, and advice for free.  This saves you lots of money on cookbooks.  Also, I really love those people who take the time to comment on recipes on more established sites.  Now that I am in the habit of checking these comments, they really help me decide which recipe to try and provide fun ways of altering the recipes slightly.

(2) Searchability has changed the world

The fact that I can just search “banana cream pie recipes” and have a ton at my finger tips is amazing!  So is the fact that I can just type a question into google like “what temperature is medium rare?” and get pretty accurate results.  The ease of searching means that you can compare a whole bunch of different recipes and figure out which one will work for you based on ingredients, cooking vessels, etc.

(3) Sometimes the old way is good too

While I love searching for recipes (so quick, so convenient!) I also see the value of the tried and true method of flipping through cookbooks or slide shows on sites like Real Simple or Martha Stewart.  Being a novice, I often don’t know what I want to make, or how easy some of the impressive dishes I order at restaurants really are (molten chocolate cake is not hard, folks!).  Flipping through cookbooks or browsing more leisurely on the web helps be widen my repertoire and reminds me of things I’ve been meaning to try, and teaches me weird tricks that tend to pop into my head at the strangest of times (use room temperature eggs to make meringue!).

So, what does this have to do with anything?  Well, the insights that my personalized cooking school have inspired also apply to blogging.  Trusting other bloggers and taking advantage of what they have to share is important if you want to build readership and can help you in the wee morning hours when you need a question answered immediately.  Searching for the topic of a blog post or for links to embed is super convenient and can lead to better posts, but slowing down and letting yourself browse and discover is equally important to figuring out where you fit.

What have you learned about blogging from the way you use the internet for other hobbies or parts of your life?  Are there ways that the internet is (gasp!) less useful for certain activities?  How does the internet make your life easier?


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