Rule Change

Posted on 04/12/2012 by rhiannon_666
Well the vote is clearly a landslide, so I don't think there's any point holding out on that one any longer.

The rules will be updated so that one-picture-plus-link posts will not be accepted any more.

There was a bit of a discussion in the comments over this rule and so I wanted to clarify a few points that were brought up. Though first I wanted to thank the members for the maturity in which they conducted the conversation - when I checked my email in the morning and saw it had exploded with notifications, I was expecting to find lots of drama llama. I just want to say how refreshing it was to see people expressing opposing views respectfully.

There seemed to be some confusion over what is allowed and what isn't under this rule. I will admit that there is opportunity for grey around this rule, which is one reason why it took me so long to bow to the pressure to change it. But the crux is that you post needs to look like you are interested in engaging with the community, not pimping your blog for hits.

Here are some examples of what is against the rules, and what isn't.

AGAINST THE RULE: One photo and one blog link. Simple. If your post looks like this, you will be asked to include the recipe before it is accepted.

ACCEPTABLE: The following three examples are of posts containing external links that are fine to submit under the rule change.

1. Tell us about your dish.

A quick blurb about your dish is enough to sound engaging. Tell us why this dish is so good that we would want to go over to your blog just to see the recipe.

2. Include more than one photo

But please also include some text. It can be a sentence or two, you don't have to write an essay. If you have two pictures and nothing but a link, I'm probably going to ask you to post the recipe.

3. Copy and paste the recipe

If you can't think of anything interesting to say, just paste in the recipe. Sometimes this will make someone more likely to go and visit your blog to see the rest of the photos and read more about the dish.

Some people raised concerns about the length of time it takes to write a post. It seriously does not take much effort to make your post engaging. I wrote those 4 example posts, capped them, photoshopped them, uploaded them to photobucket and coded them into this entry in perhaps less than 10 minutes using existing content from my own food blog. If you're not fast with coding, ljs rich text mode makes it an absolute cinch to replicate content. Each example post above contains a fraction of the content that is at my food blog. I didn't even bother to include the same coded table I always use for the recipe, just copied and pasted the text -- we're not asking for you to reproduce the whole thing, but we are asking for you to be interested in being part of the community here.

Finally, there are two recurring themes/questions that came up that I want to address.

One: "Why do people care?"

BakeBakeBake has always been about sharing and the communal atmosphere. It's also very focused on sharing recipes and resources, rather than just picture posts. Every LJ community is different, but here people want to engage with you. A lot of people don't want to go off site to find a recipe. Some people hate it because they feel you are using BBB as a tool to increase your traffic and will refuse to click on your link. Some people get the impression you don't care about being a part of the community. Others get annoyed because they bookmark links to external blogs only to find a year or two down the road they've been deleted or the link is broken and the recipe is lost for good. If it's on BBB, it will always be here. Doesn't matter if your account is deleted or purged, people can still enjoy your content. BBB's ownership baton may have passed through a lot of hands over the 7 years it has been around, and may do so many times in the future, but BBB will always be around. The more you share here, the more members can be sure they'll always be able to access your ideas. Often, the more content you share here, the more likely members are to visit your food blog.

Two: "But people can post photos without a recipe/make you click an lj-cut for the recipe -- what's the difference?"

The difference is that they are not being sent off site. We always encourage people to share recipes, but it is perfectly okay to just post photos. I know sometimes I don't use a recipe so there's nothing to share, or sometimes the dish is more about technique or the decoration than the recipe itself. We're not going to demand a recipe on every post, but if you have one to share, most members would like to see you do so right here.

Okay, so I hope that that clears up what people were confused about. If anything is still not clear please let me know and I will try to answer your questions!
giddyromance 12th-Apr-2012 10:45 am (UTC)
This makes perfect sense.

I used to just post a picture with a link to my blog, which was honestly just pure laziness on my part. I started adding the recipes a few months ago, though, and it's been amazing to see how much the discussion has increased in the comments on my posts. I'm glad you've changed the rules! :)
rhiannon_666 13th-Apr-2012 02:17 am (UTC)
That's so interesting that you've had that experience. It seems almost counter intuitive - you'd be inclined to think that the more you withhold on your blog, the more people would want to visit, but it really has the opposite effect. I only noticed how many people felt that way when this topic would come up in the past and most people would say they don't visit blogs unless the recipe is here.

I actually only started my food blog because I got asked by so many people here if I had one. I used to write the posts for BBB and had no interest posting them elsewhere, so I put everything here and people wanted to see more, it seems.
giddyromance 13th-Apr-2012 10:32 am (UTC)
It's weird, isn't it? I actually started adding the recipes because I tend to x-post to the cooking and/or food_porn communities, and the cooking one in particular requires you to post the recipe, so I figured it was easier to do the same for all my posts. When I was looking at my blog stats page (it shows me where I'm getting visitors from) before I started posting the recipes on BBB, most of my LJ traffic was coming from the cooking comm. Now, there's been a more even spread of hits from BBB. It's bad, but now whenever I see posts with just the blog link and nothing else, I'm like 'meh' and can't be bothered clicking the link, haha!

And you're like me! I resisted having a blog for ages because I didn't think I'd have the time, but people kept asking me whether I had one so I caved, lol.
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