Saturday, January 31, 2015

Return to Blogging

Little bit of a soapbox ramble tonight. I more or less retired as a full-time blogger for nearly two years before deciding to revive Greg's Gourmet and return to the blogosphere. There were two reasons why I stopped: 1) It was getting old posting the same junk food over and over. You can only post a picture of a hamburger so many times. 2) Gordon Ramsay. While the schmuck took my viewership to new heights, writing up nightly recaps for Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef took its toll on me. Pair that with the fact that Hell's Kitchen has been sinking in quality faster than Bob Filner's political career over the past few seasons, so that made it extra arduous to try and come up with content for. That was 2013.

The evolution of the archive

In 2014 I only updated the site once or twice a month just to show that I'm still maintaining it. After putting so much work and effort into Greg's Gourmet over the years, I didn't want it to turn into a digital graveyard. But as you can see, 2013 & 2014 combined doesn't even come close to the kind of content I was producing in 2011 & 2012. So...what changed my mind?


Yes. Google motherfarking Plus

I was doing a bi-yearly check of my page and was looking at some profiles of my friends when I noticed a new feature: profile views. Well how about that, Joan has 10,000 page views. That's great. Hey, Jett has 80,000 views. Not sure how he managed that but okay. I wonder how many I have?


Half a million. Where in the world did that come from? This is far and away more than anyone else in my circles. In fact you can add most of their views together and it wouldn't even equal this. I did some research and the number is "legit" in the sense that there is a formula, though naturally it's inflated because Google has to save some face for its failed social network. Basically whenever a piece of content that you've created is seen in someone's stream then that counts as a page view. They don't necessarily have to click on anything but just as long as it shows up. 

For example, if someone is doing a search for cheeseburgers and one of my pictures shows up in the results then that counts as a page view. Since the formula combines all content created from all of Google's services, there's opportunity here for big numbers. Since Greg's Gourmet is produced via Blogger then it made sense that my pictures have been showing up in a lot of view streams. Regardless of what kind of traffic resulted in that I still think it's pretty cool. It means at some point I was kinda sorta doing something right. That's when I felt my blogging passion return. Don't get me wrong: Google+ still sucks. It's been a failure of Dane Cook proportions and I even wrote a rant on it a couple years ago. But it has served its purpose. 

So here we are in Greg's Gourmet's fifth year of eating and I'm happy to be back. I don't think I'm gonna go as nuts as the early days but I still want to make it as fun as possible. And with a return means a little change of branding, as I'm phasing out the cartoon version of me and sticking strictly to the fire letters. Check out the evolution of the logo:

Starting in the upper left is a sketch drawing that Rich Samuels made of me years ago. This was the first "official" logo as I was developing the site. Then the burger came along followed by the cartoon version of me holding said burger. This is the logo that most people affiliate Greg's Gourmet with. And then lastly we've got the fire letters which is what I'm going forward with. 

So I'm hoping to stay consistent and maybe blog regularly on certain days but whatever I do I'll try to keep it fun.

Thanks for reading!