New start-up introduces a fresh approach to sharing recipes, articles, and food blogs - a step in the right direction?
TORONTO, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- If you're searching for recipes, ideas of what to cook tonight, or even a restaurant review, chances are that you will be reading a famous food blog. Once viewed as an amateur endeavour, food blogging has gained massive recognition on the web. The top food bloggers get book deals, TV spots, and are invited to fancy dinner parties sponsored by big brands. With all this hype, thousands of new food blogs are created every day. The phenomenon is growing at such a fast pace that the question facing new bloggers is: "how can I build a sustainable reader-base in this crowded space?".
Culinote wants to solve this problem.
What's out there?
Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are the obvious choices to help increase your audience and exposure. Any social media specialist would tell you right off the bat that these sites have a huge impact on building an audience. Facebook and Twitter are the de-facto conversation hubs of the internet, and that is no different for food blogging. Pinterest is probably the fastest growing social network and there is no doubt that a well curated profile on Pinterest can help you pump-up your blog's traffic numbers very quickly.
Here's a view of some other, less obvious, choices:
1 - Your existing blogging platform
Wordpress and Blogger are the so-called "standard" blogging platforms, and they allow users to create a full-fledged food blog. If you're reading this, you probably tried out at least one of them. Tumblr is a little different, it's positioned somewhere between a blogging platform and a Twitter-like social network with features such as following, sharing, re-blogging, etc. Blogger and WordPress picked-up on Tumblr's huge success, and recently introduced similar engagement features. But how do these tools perform in terms of building an engaged audience? Unfortunately, food bloggers are a niche in a sea of other blog subjects, which makes it very difficult to pinpoint their target audience.
2 - Food image galleries
Lately food image gallery sites, also known as "food porn" sites (e.g., TasteSpotting and FoodGawker), started to mushroom all over the web. These sites offer a pretty interface for food bloggers to upload their images and link to their blogs. It's attractive to the bloggers because it generates traffic. Good news, right? Well it's complicated...
User experience can be quite frustrating. Because these sites feed-off a "food-porn" audience, they need to scrutinise the visuals of each entry. Adding new entries can be quite demanding. Each food sharing gallery has its own unique criteria of what kinds of images can be accepted. Feedback about what needs to be improved is also unclear. Go figure what to do when you're rejected because of "composition", "tightness" or "overexposure"? Also, food image "galleries" are still galleries - a mosaic of beautiful photos. They appeal to an audience whose interest is to flip through images. This forces food bloggers to constantly try new entries in order to re-engage the same audience.
3 - Come in Culinote!
Still in early beta, Culinote offers a fresh alternative for food bloggers. Culinote's main idea is to provide a food-dedicated publishing platform that combines the features food bloggers are looking for: easy to use platform, food-specific features, social network, commenting system, social media integration, and image gallery. The result is like nothing else out there. Gil Dantas, one of Culinote's co-founders, described it best when she said "think of Culinote as the epicure child of Tumblr and Pinterest".
Culinote emphasises ease-of-use. It lets the blogger "build" each post with simple drag-n-drop widgets. These widgets include the standard text and image types, but also more food-dedicated ones such as ingredient lists, timers, and step-by-step instructions. The team wants to experiment and create a melting-pot of existing and new bloggers, which facilitates content-sharing and engagement, in a way that no other platform does. To that end Culinote launched a collaborative initiative to open-up the development roadmap to its community. Gil says "this collaboration will let our users participate and define how Culinote will evolve - it's exciting!", and she continues, "but I know that to take on a project as complex as helping bloggers build an engaged audience, is very challenging. We're doing our homework, and learning a lot from the other platforms". The good news is that the team is enthusiastic, and has taken on the challenge. They really want to create something special for the food blogging community. From what it seems, Culinote is one step in the right direction.
For more information please contact Gil Dantas, co-founder:
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