Monday, April 2, 2007

My Target Audience

I was talking to my friend Daphne this weekend, as I so seldom get to do, and the topic of my blog came up. We started talking about my target audience, as she was concerned that my recent switch from volume to weight measurements might alienate some. It's true, despite the fact that measuring by weight is more accurate and can be much easier than measuring by volume, some just won't do it. These people may look at my recipes with interest, but are not likely to ever make them. In time, they may stop reading my blog altogether.

I thought a lot about this. Marketing to the lowest common denominator is certainly what most businesses try to do today. I'm sure it gives you the largest possible audience, which should result in the largest possible cash flow. But do I want the largest possible audience? As it turns out, I'm not one of those people who can make a living from blogging. It's just not all that lucrative for me. In fact, my blog started as a means of sharing my recipes with my friends. As my writing style improved, it developed into much more than that. Many of my articles are tutorials, designed to share some of the knowledge that I gained in cooking school, and some of my experience since.

At some point, I realized that my goal wasn't to cater to the lowest common denominator. It was to raise the lowest common denominator. As my cooking skills have improved over the years, my enjoyment of food has also increased. Some may consider it tragic that I haven't eaten at the McEmpire since well before cooking school. I consider it fortunate that I no longer waste my time, money and taste buds on what I have found to be substandard food.

As I work to improve my cooking skills, my writing style, and my lifestyle in general, I have realized who my target audience is. My target audience is anyone who also wishes to increase the lowest common denominator. If you want to become a better cook (or baker), then you are my target audience. If you have a love and passion for food, then you are my target audience. And if you wish to share your knowledge of things that improve the quality of life of others, and collaborate in an open and free manner with others who share that philosophy, then you are my target audience. In the software world, this is called open source. My desire is to foster the same sort of attitude in the culinary world. If you want to do the same, then you are my target audience.


  1. w00t, I am in your target audience. :P

    Personally, I am of the same mind as far as raising the lowest common denominator - going beyond that, I think that any decent human being seeks to do that in all of their interests and interactions with others; if we are not trying to lift people out of the poverty of this world, whether that is financial poverty or culinary poverty, then there is little worth in what we do. Sorry to wax philosophical, I can't help it.

    For all intent and purposes, weight measurement is superior to volume and those that don't understand that just need some encouragement and education. I like the consistency it brings to baking with flour especially.

  2. If your goal is to encourage open dialogue and sharing of ideas, alienating a portion of your target audience may not be the best way to go about that.

  3. Well, it's not like it's a very onerous task to convert to volume anyway if you want to use it - and anybody outside the US has to convert your units in any case. As a service, you may want to have an info page linked from recipes with "standard"/approximate conversion factors (with an admonishment not to use of course). Likewise, having a conversion table from your units to metric would be nice.

    On a complete tangent: I've tried to find out how to boil an egg, and hope that a professional could enlighten me. I'm not kidding.

    Thing is, I boil it, and quite often - perhaps one egg in three or even more common - it ends up being really difficult to peel; the shell "sticks" to the white, taking chunks of egg with it. It's like the membrane in between gets fused with both. I've tried to find a pattern to this but thus far I am unable to pinpoint the reason.

    It does not seem to matter whether I heat the egg along with the water or put it in once it's boiling; whether I dunk in cold water or let it cool in air; whether I peel while hot or wait until it's cool. There seems to be a bit of difference on the age of the egg; older eggs seem to tend to be easier.

    Any enlightenment on this trivial thing?

  4. Janne,

    I've thought and thought about your egg question, and it occurs to me that I really don't have a good answer for you. The part that sticks of course is that membrane between the shell and the egg white. My best method for peeling boiled eggs is as follows: tap the egg lightly in a few places to get it cracked, and then roll lightly until a good bit of the shell is cracked into small pieces. Then peel away at that portion. Once you get some of that membrane peeled away, you can use it to peel away the rest of the shell. Then when you're done of course, dip the egg in cold water to rinse away any remaining shell.

  5. About the egg thing... I've found that when I boil eggs, if I wait about a week from the time of purchase they tend to peel more easily than eggs boiled just a day or two after purchase.

    Those who are more familiar with eggs can more accurately guess the age of the eggs since I'm not sure how long it takes to get from the source to the store to me.

    My general rule of thumb though is to scramble or fry the fresh ones and use the 7-10 day old ones to boil. (This also helps me beat the last minute Easter rush since I get my eggs the Friday or Saturday before everyone else. Haha!)


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