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Today some of the regulars have been talking in The Frying Pan chat room about possibly putting together a micro-blog that would feature things that are interesting, but not on-topic for the main site.

We understand that a full-fledged blog was attempted before, but lacking a lot of participation, it was abandoned. This is kind of the thought behind a micro-blog, where a post can be written in a matter of minutes. Think Tumblr-like posts.

Why not just use Tumblr?

Tumbler would probably be the simplest, though it appears to have a few drawbacks, mostly related to tag searchability. Other than that, it would be easy to setup.

Group Blogs

Group blogs are blogs with multiple members (the name “Group blog” was not intended to be mysterious). Only secondary blogs can be group blogs.

Wordpress.com?

This also came up as an alternative. It appears to have a lot more flexibility, at the expense of more admin work (which is probably not a big deal). If it were successful we could eventually upgrade to Wordpress.org, but that's neither here nor there now.

What it would not be

That would not be intended for posts about Cooking.SE; that's what Meta is for. It would also not be to discuss specific questions, answers, or users. We have Meta and a chat room for that.

What it would be

Members of Cooking.SE voluntarily sharing interesting things for others to see, such as:

  • Recipes, short or longer

  • Articles about cooking techniques, food preparation, etc.

  • Photos and stories of their most recent food concoctions & catastrophes

We wanted to take the community's pulse about the idea. The blog would not infringe on the workings of the site; only just a Twitter or RSS feed into the chat room and for enthusiasts to follow. Thoughts?

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    You could just use the Cooking.SE blog, it still exists... – derobert Jan 8 '15 at 23:44
  • I'll check it out – Phrancis Jan 8 '15 at 23:46
  • rumtscho, myself, and a few others are admins on the Cooking.SE blog. If there is consensus here about doing short-form entries, then, well, a few of us would get everyone who wants to contribute set up. – derobert Jan 8 '15 at 23:47
  • I'm not against the idea. Why don't you put that into an answer, with maybe some of your thoughts? So others can pitch in on that specifically! – Phrancis Jan 9 '15 at 0:14
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    @derobert The thing that kicked this all off was me saying people might like to just know what everyone's cooking - recipes/links if possible, but even just short descriptions so that people will post even if they don't want to spend a lot of effort (then others can ask for details later if it sounds good). I'm not sure it's high quality enough to go under the official blog banner. – Cascabel Jan 9 '15 at 1:56
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When we did the blog before, we set a really high bar for content—so much so that planning, cooking, writing, photographing, editing, and finally publishing an article produced some nice content, but it took forever. Many, many hours from several people were invested in each post. It proved unsustainable; the blog died.

But its still there, set up, ready to be used. And while I hear Jefromi's worries about quality, that "what it would be" sounds like something I'd add to my Feedly. And it doesn't have to be anything goes; the blog has always supported having editors approve posts. If someone wants to give their recipe for throwing Campbells soup in the microwave (step 1, dump can in bowl, step 2 throw in microwave, step 3 eat), we can tell them to take it to Twitter.

It's also, I'll note, not a huge investment on the part of the reader to scan a title, or read a first paragraph. Unlike our previous multi-page efforts, these are short.

The blog is existing infrastructure that is already hooked into the site (e.g., same account), that is already being maintained for us.

Worst thing that happens, I think, is that we try a few posts, it turns out not to work, and we leave the blog mothballed again. Just as it is now.

  • Do you know if SE is okay with a semi-official blog of that quality level? The things here: stackexchange.com/blogs are definitely aren't "I made tuna casserole last night". (Also we should probably avoid having to approve posts, so as not to create unnecessary work. I'm sure if we can come up with some kind of standards people will follow them!) – Cascabel Jan 12 '15 at 22:00

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