Monday, June 27, 2016

you'll never believe what's happening to your favorite cooking sites!!!

Hello, I'm here to complain again!

I'm tired of the Buzzfeed-ification of what used to be my favorite cooking website: The Kitchn. They post like 15+ posts a day, and I used to read almost all of them. They had delicious-sounding recipes, informative tips, and these great weekly meditation pieces on Sunday mornings that were kind of philosophical about cooking. Sounds like voodoo, but they were great.

Now, we have this stellar content:

Serious Journalism Alert: A Guide to the Flavors of Pop Rocks (actually I kind of want to read this but only ironically you guys)
9 Essential YA Series to Read on the Beach This Summer (what....does this even have to do with food?)
4 Steps to a Pristine Picnic Table (??? please I'm dying to know how to sanitize a picnic table tell me more now)
What Bizarre Thing Should We Spiralize on Facebook Live? (nothing. you should spiralize nothing, and you should stay the heck away from facebook live.)

And like every other article has a number in it:

5 tips for this...27 side dishes for that...7 ways to...a 3 ingredient...4 steps to...[pristine picnic table!]

My other favorite cooking sites (Serious Eats, Food52) have generally managed to save their dignity and avoid the clickbait-y-ness but all of them are falling into Pinterest-ification. All of their front pages are just a matrix of food pictures, which, I can't believe I'm complaining about, but for some reason I hate it. It's overwhelming and confusingly ugly. I need more words!

ALSO: huge pet peeve of reading ANY online article, not limited to food sites: ads in the middle that make me think the article's abruptly over when it's not. It's so distracting and makes me feel like my attention span is even shorter than it is. I get that people need to get paid somehow but...can we just put all the ads at the beginning of an article or something? I would much rather just get them all out of the way at first so that I can seamlessly read. I especially hate it when the interrupting ad is a link to another article on the site. Why are you sabotaging your own content? Now you've ruined my experience of reading your article by trying to interrupt me and have me read something else. Why? Can't I finish reading your own article in peace?

Disclaimer: I know nothing about what drives online clickzz, and there are probably valid reasons for all of these things. (If you know what they are, enlighten me!) I freely admit to sucking the fun out of most things-don't get me started on superhero movies.


kyliebrooke|s said...

The non-cooking articles and listicles on The Kitchn are NOT a great thing they're doing. I get "trying to diversify content," but I agree with you in that it's diversified so as to be either completely vapid or irrelevant (or both).
As for mid-article ads - THE WORST. I occassionally will place online ads for my job, and I think that the reason why these are a thing is that mid-article ads get "thrown in for free" when people buy an ad package just because advertisers have no faith in humans intelligence and attention (and they must be right to some degree because they keep making them, so they must be getting clicks. Who from? NO IDEA.) "Your ad package includes a banner ad plus two rotating sidebars. But, we have these new mid-article ads, and we'll throw those in at a rate of two/day for freeeeeee!"
Worst. Okay, longest comment ever but I SO am commiserating with you right now.
But please keep posting bc you are intelligent and delightful to read.

K Puls said...

YES so glad you agree with me on The Kitchn! It really does make me sad; it was such a good site a couple years ago.
Super interesting that mid-article ads get thrown in for wonder they show up everywhere. Sometimes I accidentally click on one as I'm attempting to scroll past it so maybe THAT'S where the clicks are coming from.

amanda said...

Man I'm impressed you read all the ktchn articles but it was always too much for me. But the general click bait-ness and ads of the Internet are driving me crazy. The in-article ads and the pop up on a mobile are especially annoying. As is the general fakeness of the Internet. EVERYTHING IS SPONSERED. (Except for Mel, my one true food love, 99% of the time)

K Puls said...

@amanda YES. Reading any of my former favorite blogs is a total waste of time because it's like reading commercial after commercial. Yeah right, I'm sure you looove bleach sticks and uggs. Mel is of course the exception because she is amazing.