Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chowhound Traffic Plummets

A few days ago, became And it's certainly had a big effect on the traffic stats! We haven't seen so dramatic a bump for's traffic since they rigged the user profiles to appear at a domain! Old bookmarks and links have been rigged to redirect, which accounts for the (surprisingly high, considering) remaining traffic to the non-existent domain.

Friends frequently ask me if this sort of thing makes me grind my teeth. Not at all. Whatever CNET needs to do to make a profit from this resource (advertisers prefer placement amid static editorial content rather than unpredictable user-generated content, so CHOW needs to be the shell) is fine by me, so long as the Chowhound community is allowed to do its thing without too much corporate interference. I struggled for a decade to keep its lights on, and my biggest concern is to see the resource's continued existence assured.

Really, I'm quite amazed that it's still up and running. How many 1997 era labor-of-love sites continue to earnestly do what they originally set out to do? It's comforting (and it's also been comforting to have extricated myself from its operation last winter - though I still help out informally)!

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