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Woah

October 14, 2011

Long time no see!

I just figured I’d write a quick post before my readers swept all hopes for KitchenPC under the rug, along with Kozmo.com, Pets.com and Quikster.  I assure you I am still quite alive, and rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.  However, I must admit my focus on KitchenPC has dropped considerably recently.  Allow me to explain.

Shortly after finalizing the spec for the KitchenPC redesign, I was offered a six-month contract at – let’s just say – a large wireless communications company.  It was a tough decision, as I was hoping to take a full three months off and focus 100% on KitchenPC to get the new design out.  It turned out to be a pretty good offer (too good), so I figured why not and accepted.  So the past couple months or so I’ve had a day job, relegating KitchenPC work to my already cramped night and weekend minutes.

That’s not to say I haven’t made any progress though.  I’ve received the new user interface code from Merix and have already begun integrating this in with the site.  It’s turned out to be a massive amount of work; as if I just hadn’t realized before how much of the site I was really changing!  I’m also quite determined to give this iteration the fit and finish it deserves.  This release will be the one I rip off the “Beta” sticker from and declare it real, working software.  For this reason, I’m being extra picky on every little pixel, making the UI feel polished, and not putting up with the annoyances that some developers might let slide for a beta product.  This release needs to be so good that Steve Jobs wakes from the dead just long enough to say, “Well the iPhone 4S was somewhat of a media letdown but damn that new KitchenPC looks sweet!”

I’m hoping to get this new UI completely done within the next month (which is looking more and more like a stretch goal at the pace I’m going) and ready for “next generation content.”  At that point, I’d like to start reaching out to culinary experts, personal trainers, dietitians and others in similar industries to help me put together some pre-made meal plans to really sell the site.  This version of KitchenPC will really be focused on great content, unlike the previous attempt which disappointed users with a plethora or pitifulness.

While that’s going on, I also need to finish up the recipe crawler.  I’ve managed to create a crawler that can crawl any given site, extract recipe content and store it in a database.  It will just be a matter of hooking that up to my existing recipe parsing engine to get this data imported accurately into KitchenPC itself.  This will be no small amount of work either, but I believe my prototyping efforts have proved this possible.

I’ve also started thinking about a strategy to really promote the site when it’s done.  Since I never really worked very hard on the advertising side of KitchenPC (since you have one chance at a first impression, I wanted to really be happy with the product first,) this is something I think I have a chance at doing right now.  One conclusion I’ve come to is I want to hit the media hard and all at once.  This means a coordinated multi-prong effort including press releases, news articles, viral videos, social networking and traditional advertising vehicles.  I want to sell KitchenPC as “hands down the best recipe search engine online” and deliver a clear and concise message across as many channels as I can.  I fully believe in the direction I’m taking the site in, and I think once people see this new concept the first word out of their mouth is going to be “Woah.”

In fact, I’m so confident in this release of KitchenPC, I will go on record right now predicting the amount of traffic I can drive into the site on launch day.  Click on the image below to let me know if you agree with this prediction or not!

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