This is an open letter to everybody in the chowstalker community and lovers of good food.
UPDATE: I decided against adoption for now and will add another blog post soon to let you all know of the plans and maybe do a survey or poll on the future of chowstalker. There was an immense amount of planning, development and community building put into chowstalker/stalkerville and it has not even come close to realizing the grand plans we had. And I’m not talking about anybody getting rich, I mean a huge, accurate table of contents of first person experiences with some aspect of stalking the good life (or living it, actually). I will leave this post here as a historical record.
Comments are welcome
Also a note about advertising: We have always tried to make them relevant, and adsense does a pretty good job of figuring out what you individually might want to see (but not necessarily relevant to the content of this website. Example: we are not advertising cupcakes! … google is following you. So, I allowed a few ads that require zero maintenance for me simply to earn enough to pay for the hosting and keep the site on-line. Now, back to the original story ….
As you well know, we have not been publishing any recipes lately and there are some features missing from the site. The reason is that Patty and I have both moved on with our lives and careers and just don’t have time to interact with all the great cooks and special diet experts in the world and give the site the technical attention it needs.
But it’s our baby and we want to see it grow up and thrive. So we’ve decided to put it up for adoption and find someone who has the technical expertise and special diet knowledge to maintain and further develop the website and community. There will be a small but significant “adoption fee” to pay for the effort to transition it completely into your ownership. Patty has been the much loved voice and personality of chowstalker but this is entirely my responsibility now.
We have over 22,000 published recipes from hundreds of health and diet professionals, writers and photographers. The database and custom code is intact but the recent upgrades from wordpress and various plugins have disabled many of the features. It will be up to the new owners, (with my help initially) to get everything working again and hopefully take its usefulness and popularity to places we never dreamed of. We started out with the tag-line “We Don’t DO Cupcakes!” as a better alternative to the many nutrient-poor recipe sharing websites out there. It was from the start “paleo-inspired”, but quickly expanded to include many special diets and an advanced search feature. We then created stalkerville.net with chow, dessert, garden and more “galleries” planned within it, but you may have a better idea (like reviving the main “brand” of chowstalker, or making the site a true community project).
I’m very excited to see what responses and offers I get. Please e-mail me and briefly describe your plans for the site and the community. FYI, I think it is far too big a responsibility for just one person and will require some deep knowledge of WordPress plugins, theme design, code and maybe even hosting to make the transition. But the potential is huge since so many of us are passionate about our food. I will reply to all serious inquiries with answers to your questions and some details of our vision and the bottlenecks we encountered. One such bottleneck is the need for dedicated expert moderators with a more efficient way of editing categories and reviewing recipes and links for accuracy. Also, with the current theme and layout, it was very difficult to make it work properly in all web browsers and devices, so we never made the native mobile version/app which so many of you asked for. I may expand this post to include a few more details based on what responses I get. I do not know how much the site is worth, but again, my motivation is simply to find some good parents and make a smooth transition. One of my main criteria in selecting the new parents would be that they respect the privacy of all the contributors/subscribers and not spam them (you) with some sales pitch.
Please feel free to re-post, blog about, tweet and share this opportunity with anybody.