The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

Site Milestones

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I am going to interrupt my ongoing Big Green Egg blog love fest for a moment to address two site related milestones. The first one is my 300th Blog Post. I noticed that when I posted my last Blog entry which was post number 300. In thinking about that, I realized it has been a year plus a few days since the second version of this website went live on 08-05-11. So if you are looking for food related items you should move along.

In a way Apple discontinuing their Mobile Me web hosting service and not updating iWeb did me a big favor. A year ago when I was faced with the task of updating the website in new software and finding a new web host I almost threw in the towel. I spent a month trying out various website creation tools and finally choose RapidWeaver. One of the things that caused me to choose RapidWeaver was how it was designed to be open and extensible. They had a very creative community of 3rd party developers working on all sorts of plug-ins to extend the feature set in ways never imagined. While iWeb was good in it’s time, it was never intended to be extensible, so things like blog comments, contact forms, guestbooks, analytics etc. could only be accomplished through unsupported 3rd party add ons. While they worked, the hoops you had to jump through to get them to do what should have been simple task was painful. Plus my site was beginning to outgrow the site size that could be done in iWeb.

It took me over two months to get the site moved over to RapdiWeaver and I almost threw in the towel again several times. But the more I got into it, the more I loved the modern look of the new site and some of the things I could do moving forward. What really amazed me was when it got time to implement the things that were hard to do in iWeb: blog comments, contact form, guestbook & analytics. Based on iWeb, I’d planned on several days to get these last tasks up and running. It turns out all of this functionality was backed into RapidWeaver and it was the matter of entering account names and passwords several times and furnishing some email addresses. The whole process took several hours not several days. The site was up and running on August 8th, 2011 and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback on the look and feel and also content of the new site.

In the last year new plug-ins and add-ons have become available for RapidWeaver which have made the site more visually appealing and easier to navigate for the end user and easier to administer for me. I’ve been able to add more movies and do it in a way that allows people to view them with or without Flash installed on their computers or portable device. I added new sections for some quick tips, another for my favorite recipes and cooks, plus I have modified the index to show which recipes are available on the internet for people’s use. In many ways this marks more changes to the site than in any year since it was created. I’m also happy to say that more and more people are visiting the site. I am not in it for the hits, but to share my love for this hobby and photography while at the same time hopefully helping out others who are just getting started.

While the scope and the size of the site 7 years down the road is a big surprise to me, a bigger surprise is I was able to keep my blog going for 300 posts. When I first started the site, it was a way to get to learn the then new iWeb software. One of the page types was a Blog page. I really didn’t think I had that much interesting to say. But in the ned I decided to do a BBQ blog where I could share things of interest to me or that I’d learned along the way. I hoped (then and now) that some of these entries would help people who were just starting out in some aspect of this hobby. In the beginning if you had told me then I’d be able to come up with 300 topics to write about, I would have laughed at you and might have bet money against it. I will admit this year in late spring I was having trouble coming up with things to write about, but now with the purchase of my new Big Green Egg I can see lots of topics to write about. My goal is not to brag about the new Egg, but to share the process of buying and using the Egg so others can see if it is a good fit for them. Hopefully I’ll steer them clear of making some newbie mistakes too. Let them find their own mistakes to make as opposed to making the same mistakes others have made.

Some times the entries are more personal in nature, like this entry about this website or a cerebration of the simple joys this hobby or food photography will bring. I”ve gotta tell you with about two dozen cooks on my two week old Egg under my belt, I am about as excited about this hobby as I ever have been. So many best in class cooks in so little time have me really excited and reinvigorated. You will be sure to hear about some of it in this blog.

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