Yesterday I was reading the PSFK Trend blog and came across a post about several emerging social networks for foodies. I made a New Year's resolution to stop relying on take-out and pizza (an easy habit to fall into in Manhattan, where practically every eating establishment offers free delivery) so I thought I'd check out one of them, BakeSpace, to see if I could pick up some cooking tips.
I quite liked it. The site provides a diverse range of ways for "cookers and cakers" to network (there's apparently an important distinction between people who cook and people who bake). They can find new recipes and food ideas, amass a friends list, and communicate through message boards and a chat room. It's a cute format, too--instead of a profile, you have a "kitchen," where you can share your favorite recipes, audio and video content. And you'd better keep that kitchen tidy, because other members can rate the quality of it. I guess the foodie community can be pretty competitive.
Here is my one gripe: As a piece of technology there is really nothing new or innovative about BakeSpace. Though the front page is cute, the site itself is pretty low-tech in the "it could've been coded in 2001" sense. But think about it: it's a community for kitchen aficionados, not techies. The recipes look mouth-watering. Clicking around on profiles, I can see that quite a few members boast culinary school degrees. The site's easy enough to use, and doesn't appear to be full of bugs. As we see more and more "niche" social networking sites emerge, not all of them will be showing off the latest in Ajax as though it were a pair of designer shoes. Because, the truth is, a lot of niches and subcultures are going to care more about the content than the presentation. And I'd assume that the foodie crowd would be one of them--after all, if it doesn't taste good, it doesn't matter how well it's arranged on the plate.