On Mixing Bowl and Vegan Education
From today's Publisher's Weekly:
In January, Meredith Corporation quietly launched Mixing Bowl, a social networking site about cooking. Emphasizing user-generated content, the site invites home cooks to exchange recipes, share photos, participate in contests and post messages. The site is approaching 12,000 members, which Meredith v-p and general manager Jeff Myers said is “ahead of expectations.” Next month, Meredith will begin an aggressive marketing campaign for Mixing Bowl, start a companion print magazine—and start launching cookbook authors through the site.
Though there are plenty of sites by and for vegans, I like this idea because it provides a built-in opportunity to convert people to veganism because you are side-by-side with them, so to speak, on the same site. Vegans seek out vegan sites, but a nonvegan looking for a chocolate cake recipe probably won't seek out a vegan site. But a recipe using applesauce and flax rather than eggs and butter, with a fabulous photo, might catch his or her eye.
Like most social networking sites, it appears that success at Mixing Bowl takes time and energy, and is somewhat of a popularity contest.
What I have tried not to do over the past couple of years, with varying degrees of success, is focus my efforts on vegans . . . because they're already vegans. Infiltration has always been what I'm best at in my nonblogging life. People are surprised when they find out I'm a vegan because it goes against whatever combination of stereotypes they've chosen to accept. And the same is certainly true of my husband.
Mixing Bowl seems like a great place to raise awareness that perfectly delicious, healthy meals and desserts, including kids' birthday cakes and wedding cakes, can be made without killing anyone. I know that the average person doesn't look at it this way, but is a birthday cake really worth killing someone for?
Fans of specific cookbooks can start groups, and of course, drive sales. Tell your favorite vegan cookbook authors!