Friday, June 24, 2011

0 New Blog Feature: Subdivided Tag Cloud Groupings for Ease of Use

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Hello there, my fellow chefs and healthy gourmet enthusiasts!

I just wanted to give you a heads-up on some recent and upcoming changes on this blog. You may've noticed that there have been some changes with the way tag clouds are organized on the right sidebar of this blog. More specifically, the single tag cloud that was initially set up on this blog has now been divided into multiple ones by topic, for ease of use. As you can see, the topics are as follows:

General Index - Just what the name implies. :) This is basically an overview of various general categories, versus say, a segment which focuses solely upon recipe subsets. Recipes are, in fact, listed in the "General Index" section as well, but as a general category showing all of the recipes on the blog. I've done this so that you can see exactly how many recipes in total are on this blog, and also so you can view the latest ones, filtering out all of the other categories. If you want to view just the recipes as a whole, in chronological order, then you'll want to click on the recipes tag. :)

Find by Ingredient: This section will allow you to find recipes by ingredient, although it also has a few articles that mention the various ingredients in a significant fashion. (Don't be too concerned that this will make it hard to find what you're looking for: A single mention of the word "corn" isn't going to merit a tag/listing. However, if the article is about corn, then I'll include it in this category.) This section is mostly for the purposes of finding recipes by ingredient. And yes, I do plan to further expand this area based upon what seems to be popular search terms and of course, also upon feedback I receive from you. This often seem to happen naturally in due course: People often ask me, either in person or via social media, if I've got a particular original recipe from the blog using one ingredient or the other, and if I don't, a lot of times I'll custom-create something for them that incorporates this new ingredient. :-D  Et le voillà, there are now new ingredient categories for the blog. :) So, if you'd like to contribute suggestions for ingredient categories, please do let me know, either via the comments section of this blog/post, Facebook, or Twitter. I always love hearing from readers and do sincerely appreciate your helpful suggestions and insights. I'm trying to make this blog better for you, the readership, so it's great to hear your feedback, since it greatly helps me to do that. :-D

Find by Food Category: If you are looking for a particular meal course (appetizersdesserts, etc.) or type of dish (omeletteschilipasta, etc.) or a recipe for a specific occasion (holidayspicnic/bbq food, etc.), this is the section you'll want to visit. Again, there might be some articles about a specific food category, but it's really mainly just for searching for recipes.

Find by Nationality: This one's self-explanatory, including mostly recipes but also a few articles about various (inter)national and regional American cuisines. Also, if you're searching for tips on cooking ethnic foods or finding related ingredients, this is the section you'll want to visit.

Find by Dietary Lifestyle: Whether you're a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore, sometimes you might want to only view recipes, tips, and general information regarding the foods that fit your particular lifestyle. Currently, this section covers three main categories: meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. I was initially thinking about expanding these categories to include gluten-free, kosher, etc., but honestly, that'd take a lot of picking through various recipes. While I'm at it, I could've included recipes for the lactose-intolerant or people with various food allergies (like tree nut allergies or peanut allergies, etc.). However, with that level of granularity, that would be rather time-consuming and require a lot of maintenance as well, and that's time I don't have at the moment. ;) Also, these latter categories like this are more about dietary restrictions based on medical conditions (food allergies, etc.), with the exception of the "kosher" category, which mostly addresses religious lifestyles but can also be used by others as a resource for various other dietary reasons and health concerns. When it comes to medical concerns, I figure that people who are living with these conditions will be able to sift through the recipes to find something that suits them or make substitutions for various ingredients, so they can enjoy a larger cross-section of recipes. (Of course, most people who've been managing their food allergies for a while have no doubt become experts at doing this, regardless!) Of course, some recipes are more amenable to modification than others, but there's so much variety here on this blog that I think people with various dietary restrictions will be able to find several recipes that innately suit their particular dietary focus/foci.

I was originally going to create a main heading called, "What are you hungry for?!" or "What are you in the mood to eat?", but since my blog's topics aren't solely limited to recipes, (although I realize that the recipes are probably what most people are there for ;) ), I didn't think that this title would make very much sense.

I hope that you will find the new category groupings to be much more helpful and effective in your efforts to find various recipes and topical articles on this blog.

However, don't get too comfortable with these new changes, as they'll probably be temporary. In my continual efforts to improve the search capabilities of this blog, I plan to replace them with dropdown menus for the various sections instead, which'll take up less real estate on the blog, and also make it easier and faster to select what you're looking for. After I've implemented these changes, I'll probably reinstate the original tag cloud as a single unit. Who knows. I haven't decided yet. When I start working on this, I may decide in the end that it's either (a) not worth the effort, or (b) not as effect or easy to use as I'd hoped, and then completely abandon the idea. LOL. We'll see. It just depends on testing and reader feedback. Then, I need to evaluate the idea to see if it's actually an enhancement, versus an obstacle. Haha. These future changes are, of course, not an immediate priority, as I've got a cookbook, and now a chapter of another newer book project to write. Yes, I'm hard at work on not one, but TWO book projects right now. :) More on that later....

Happy Cooking,

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