Hey, welcome to Kitchen Catastrophe. I’m the main author, Jon O’Guin. Today, we’re not going to talk all that much about food. Instead, we’re going to talk about something a little stranger: You. Yes, you, specifically. And generally. Both of them. Also, I’m going to talk about us. Is this getting weird yet? Should I start to creepily whisper all of this information, or at least make the implication that I’ve been whispering this whole time, thus putting us all on edge? I think that’s wise.
Nah, actually, as you may or may not know, January 17th is the anniversary of the site’s launch. We’ve been going for 1 whole year now! Huzzah! HUZZAH WITH ME! Or, you know, the cheer of your preference. Whatever. (huzzahs would be better, though…) Anywho, because of this historic turn of events, I wanted to make a quick post talking to you guys directly, letting you know about the site’s plans, goals, upcoming posts and ideas, and what you can do as a part of this community. Which, just so we’re clear, always contains the option: “as little as possible.” I mean, I’m way too lazy a person to NOT include that choice. So let’s jump right in with the most awkward topic!
I’ma tell you, like Wu told Me, Cash Rules Everything Around Me
The first thing I want to talk about is possibly the most embarrassing/difficult: money. This site was started as an experiment between myself and Alan, and we’re proud of what it’s done. However, on the other side of things, it DOES cost money, and that’s a hard part of this coming year: we’ve put almost $500 just in domain names, hosting services, and so on, into the site. That in no way covers our personal labor or even the cost of the meals we’re making. As such, we’ve agreed that if we can’t get the site to at least cover server and hosting costs by the end of 2017, we’re going to have to end this grand experiment.
Hopefully before my own creation kills me in the Antarctic.
We’re researching and developing options to help make this happen, and I can already tell you the first one we’re going to implement: a Patreon page. Expect by early February for there to be a Patreon for the site, linked on the Support Us page. For as little as $1 a month, you’ll be able to support the site. And, just to give you an idea of how simple our goals are: To make the site revenue-neutral would only run $30 a month. And we of course intend to add services for those willing to support us: we’re discussing making audio recordings of all our posts so that you can take us with you everywhere, letting dedicated contributors into our weekly planning sessions to make suggestions and hear us talk shop about the site. We’re looking at adding videos, both comedic and educational, should the support be strong enough.
For those looking for more conventional means of support, we’re also looking at the feasibility of merch, like ebooks, T-shirts, and eventually, some kind of Kitchen Catastrophes Cookbook.
Rest assured, we want this to succeed, and we’re looking at every avenue to make that happen. Which takes us nicely to my next point, in the only natural segue I’ve actually made this whole post. The rest I added in editing.
The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men
So, if we’re asking you for support, it’s only fair to be more transparent about what we’re up to. I already talked about the Patreon, and it’ll have all its explanations on the page itself, so let’s look at direct ideas for the site:
· Next week, we’re having a guest post by friend of the site Glen Milligan, covering a Lemon Curd dessert. While by no means our first guest post, we hope it marks the start of more consistent appearances, from various members of the site, such as site Alcohol Editor JJ Hernandez, our Head of Weeaboo Studies Joe Seguin, and Resident “I Appeared in One Post, Don’t Pretend You Know Me, O’Guin” Max Supler.
Little does he know I've infiltrated his home, using my most impenetrable Disguise.
· I have recipes for flank steak tacos, and a two-fer of roasted pepper salsa and chilaquiles con huevos I’ve cooked and are debating which batch to put up on the 23rd.
· I’m planning a party recipe to go up January 30th, in time to potentially help you plan your Superbowl party. (I’m also planning ahead to hit several dishes just ahead of various holidays, since I had a habit of ending up a day or two late this past year.)
· In the next month, I plan to make ciopinno, an Italian seafood soup, despite hating fish, because a friend asked me to make a post about it long before I even started the website, and A Lannister Always Pays His Debts.
Especially debts of MURDER.
· I plan to have a couple “Theatrical” meals, where I make a meal and connect it to some piece of theatre, combining my two major areas of expertise.
The two ideas I have so far are a discussion of Peruvian Ceviche with Tiger’s Milk Dressing and Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. (based on the absolutely fantastic pronouncement made of the title character: “There is no more mercy in him than milk in a male tiger.”) As well as potentially my favorite play of all time, Cyrano de Bergerac, and a challenging French Pastry.
· Lastly, there’s a bunch of technical things I need to get sorted out. This is due to simply not knowing the Squarespace design lingo as well as I had learned Wordpress. I only just today learned how to force our pictures to match the width of the font boxes, so we don’t have these huge images making our text tiny on desktop monitors.
· Figuring out how to streamline our social media stuff so we do a little less robo-tweeting, and a little more actual talking.
Talk Real Good Cuz I’m Smart and Stuff
Will my average reader know lyrics from Run The Jewels 3, an album that dropped barely a month ago? Probably not, but the title stands anyway.
That point actually brings us to the last thing we need to talk about: Us. Talking. I want to right here and now, make a sweeping declaration: I will always be happier if you reach out to us than if you remain silent. Not to get too stalker-y on all of you, but I can read my own site traffic. Scores of people read this site, presumably to hear dumb jokes from the kind of guy who uses “scores” as if it’s still 1866.
And that’s fantastic. I’m ecstatic. All I’m asking is to click the “like” or “share” buttons a little more. Or to shoot me a quick email or FB message with complaints, ideas, ANYTHING! My email address for the site is firstname.lastname@example.org. Any email sent to that address will notify my phone. I guarantee you it will never sit longer than a day before I see it. Right now, that inbox has only had 10 messages in it. Ever. So hit me up! If that’s too personal, comment on the posts themselves! Communication is crucial for our site's health. If not for a passing remark from a friend, I wouldn’t have known about our recent image issue, because the default editing overlay makes everything much smaller for me, and the admin bar does the same when I look at the site from a "behind the scenes" view.
Again, I get it. I’ve been broke, I’ve not wanted to hassle my friends, and I’ve been reluctant to contact content creators online. If all you want to do is read the site, that’s totally cool. Thank you! Just seeing how many people read the site each day is really cool for me. But, if you want us to succeed as much as we want to, don’t be afraid to invite a friend to like us, or to email me and point out I used “obtrusive” wrong, or commit to a single dollar every month. Think about it mathematically: that’s a quarter a week. Which is a better deal than 1866 Newspapers, let me tell you.
Only barely, but a win is still a win.
So that’s our state of Catastrophe for January 2017. My initial plan is to do these every year, assuming meet our goals, but Alan suggested every six months. Let us know which you prefer, and I’ll talk to you later.