What I’ve been up to

It’s been exactly a year since my last post. Over the past year, I have occasionally thought about my poor, neglected blog. Here’s what I’ve been up to, and why I haven’t been writing here.

I was about to start this post with a long introspection about the state of food blogging in 2016, but let’s cut to the chase (and go back to that later). Put simply, I’ve been focusing – surprise surprise – on other things.

That means family – my two lovely children, including my 4-year-old, who is a good eater compared to his classmates but (what can you do?) prefers his food unseasoned. Different types of food must not touch each other. And other home matters – we moved apartments for the second time in a year. Sigh.

And last but not least, work. Two employers, multiple jobs. For the past year, I’ve had the honor of serving as the first-ever English-language food editor at Haaretz, my longtime employer. Along with covering all sorts of fun things, I’ve had the fun of making a series of viral recipe videos, some of which you all have undoubtedly seen. That shakshuka video – 1.5 million people have seen my hands. And my measuring cups. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. (You can find the rest of the videos by following that link.)

Needless to say, I haven’t been finding it too easy to maintain a food blog. Frankly, from the perspective of editing a professional, budgeted publication, I’m not sure anyone does nowadays. When I started this blog in 2008, food blogging was a rising medium. In the years that followed, tens of thousands of food blogs launched, covering every conceivable topic. But since then, the field has been consolidating – probably due to the simple reason that food blogs are expensive to maintain. Recipe development, site upkeep, kitchen and camera equipment – they all take time and money. And despite the impression that the presence of ads creates, all but the very top food bloggers won’t ever see a dime for their efforts – for most people, blogging is ultimately about personal satisfaction (the ads generate a few peanuts, or enable the blogger to use a free blogging-related service). The majority of my blogging friends have since shut their blogs – either because they found professional writing jobs, or because they left the field entirely.

And that still doesn’t account for changing user tastes. The big medium nowadays is video, as everyone has undoubtedly noticed. Witness the astounding success of Tasty, BuzzFeed’s short recipe videos. Each 1-minute food video I made was the product of hours of shooting and a full day’s work for four professionals. That’s beyond the expertise and reach of most bloggers.

Ultimately, the internet is flooded with recipes, many of them from reliable sources, many of them supplemented with high-quality videos, and many of them free.

Is there still a place for recipe-driven food blogs? I have my doubts (and I’m not the first to say so). That said, there are still a few recipes I’d like to post here and there, and I hope to see them go up sometime soon.

Readers who made it to the end of the post – what are your thoughts on the state of food blogging?

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