After reading most of the posts in this thread, as well as reading and participating in the recent SeriousEats-related NY thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20199.0.html
), I'm puzzled.
What is the appeal of SeriousEats? I assume SeriousEats gets a lot more traffic and interaction than pizzamaking.com, but I can't figure out why (aside from a fancier presentation and stuff like that). I am a registered user on SeriousEats, but I've never commented. And the only time I ever read SeriousEats is whenever someone here posts a link that seems worth checking out. And usually when that happens, I find myself unimpressed. I'm not saying I think SeriousEats is worthless, nor do I mean to talk any crap about the site, but I don't see what's supposed to be so great about it. Even though I don't get it, I know a lot of the members here are very active on SeriousEats.
So again, what is the appeal? Pizzamaking.com, to me, is a million times more interesting and more appealing than SeriousEats.
Even Scott123 (who I have a ton of respect for, and who tends to be very critical) seems mezmerized by some kind of SeriousEats mystique that I just don't see. For example, in the thread I mentioned above, Scott said:
I have, in recent years, said some really harsh things about Kenji, mostly stemming from the fact that I think he's an incredibly smart guy, and when he teaches people poor pizzamaking practices, my disappointment in him has gotten the best of me and I've lashed out.
The reality is, though, that when it comes to serving the cause of pizza, no one is in a position to do greater things than Kenji. Of the people in the industry that can match Kenji's audience, no one is anywhere near serving pizza's best interests.
Why doesn't pizzamaking.com match his audience? All he seems to do is talk about pizza (from a pizza-eater's perspective) and tell you how to make bad pizza while pretending it's the best stuff on Earth (kinda like Food Network has done over and over). Conversely, at the same time, there are dozens of people on pizzamaking.com who show and tell you how to make the best pizza on the planet. Then, when someone has questions, we answer them to the best of our knowledge. And if someone calls us out, saying we're wrong or that we could do better, we take them seriously and try new approaches.
Personally, I don't care if I/we reach a larger audience than SeriousEats; there's not really anything in it for me if we do. And even if there was something in it for me, I probably still wouldn't care, because in a world that has always treated me like I have nothing to offer, this web site has presented me an opportunity to give something I think is very valuable, and I know a lot of people appreciate what I've given here. But this web site has also given me countless new avenues to learn and grow as a pizzamaker, and I appreciate that immensely. So it's a win/win situation for me regardless of whether pizzamaking.com ever reaches a larger audience.
But by having read this thread, I can see that some members do care how much traffic pizzamaking.com sees. I can see why Steve might care, too.
Do you guys realize that you are the most knowledgeable pizza people on the planet? You/we prove it every day, yet I never see any members acknowledge it (which is cool in a way). Yes, the operators of the most famous pizzerias may be more knowledgeable than us when it comes to making their own pizza, but most of them wouldn't know where to begin if someone asked them to make a different style of pizza, or if someone asked them to make ANY kind of pizza in a consumer-quality oven. Furthermore, there are countless threads on this site in which members attempted to clone a particular pizzeria's pizza, beginning with very little knowledge about the particular pizza, only to end up creating something much better. I've done it myself with Tommy's, and I probably never would have realized it if not for a couple comments from other users.
So why isn't pizzamaking.com known as THE pizza web site?
Is that what you guys would like? If so, let's start talking about how we might make pizzamaking.com THE pizza web site, because it should be THE pizza web site. But if you don't care, no big deal, because it will remain the best pizza-related web site on the planet regardless of whether it becomes the biggest.
Steve, if you're reading this, I hope you realize that you've made something out of nothing; something really important to a lot of people; something that makes our lives considerably more complete than they would be without it. You should be very proud of yourself. Thanks.