Friday, April 1, 2011

the big time

I'll usually look at the Food section of the L.A. Times each Thursday because, well, I like food. Today they featured a web site called TasteSpotting.com, and the person who runs the site.

The site consists of a bunch of pictures of food. Yup, that's it. On my browser I counted 9 rows of 4 square pictures, but the rightmost space in row one was occupied by an advertisement. It's very clean and elegant in appearance and needless to say, delicious, as well. You click on the picture and it links you to the blog or web site from where the picture originated.

It's a very simple concept. What interested me is that Sarah J. Gim, the person behind the site, spends her whole day just working on the site - in other words, unlike folks like me who unfortunately only do something I really enjoy (like this blog) as a side apart from the rat race, Ms. Gim has the luxury of working at home and making a living from her site.

Where do all the pictures come from? That's another thing that interested me - they come to her! People, mainly bloggers, submit them to her in hopes that she will select them for publication on her site - hopefully the front page, which will then propel them to something like instant celebrity status as their pic not only appears, but viewers can click through to their blog or other site from it.

The Times article stated she sometimes gets 1,000 submissions a day, and also gets a bunch of upset folks who don't understand why their picture wasn't selected. To her credit, she tries to reply back with a constructive note, and says she genuinely feels bad about having to turn down submissions.

So I am sitting there reading that article and thinking, wow, how nice - the business comes to you! All you do is open up your e-mail every day and pick and choose (I know I am making it sound easier than it is, but doesn't that sound good to you? It does to me). Then you've got ad revenue being generated from the three ads that are tastefully placed on each page. And as you might guess, I was sitting there thinking about what I could do along those lines.. well first, you have to actually get out and DO something about it, which is usually the first step I manage to miss.

Being featured in the Times must have been a tremendous boost for the site. I had trouble getting there as I'm sure the servers were overwhelmed with traffic. I did manage to get through once in a while but clicking on the other links resulted in endless delays and numerous time-out messages. It's a small-scale version of what must happen if Oprah mentions your book or web site on her show.

The site is simple, but a great idea (and aren't most great ideas simple?). I mean, who doesn't love looking at food? It's the next best thing to actually consuming it, with the benefit that there's no calories in looking.

Anyway, it intrigued me enough to blog about it today.. and to say hey, I'm thinking, I'm thinking!!!

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