For two years, book writer and baker Rose Levy Beranbaum has been writing a blog about baking and Hop Studios has been maintaining that blog.
She’s covered her travels, her baking successes and (rare!) failures. She’s looked into new baking techniques, and discussed some of the oldest recipes in existence. And her site has grown—it get a LOT of visitors in a week, though I can’t share the actual number here.
Well, as of last Thursday, she’s baked up something brand new—she’s added a forum to her site.
Adding a forum is a perilous undertaking—you don’t to be inundated with spam, or with off-topic arguments—but worst of all, you don’t want it to flounder emptily and be quiet as a pumpkin patch.
But Rose’s blog had built quite a following, and discussions were happening, enthusiastically but awkwardly, in her blog posts themselves. So we recommended, and she agreed, that a forum would be a good experiment. Her sponsor, General Mills (which sells Gold Medal Flour) also agreed.
So we designed it and built it using ExpressionEngine. Interestingly, her blog is in Movable Type, so this makes the second site we’ve done that merges Movable Type and EE, to take proper advantage of the strengths of both.
In the four days since the forum launched, how’s it doing?
You can see the stats for yourself: things are looking rosey. The first bump is the monthly boost from her regular email newletter, which goes away after a few days. But since the forum launched, her traffic has doubled and looks to grow even more. She already has 110 registered members, 230 posts, photos, profiles, people sharing recipes… it’s rising fast.
We’re heading into “baking season”—U.S. Thanksgiving and Christmas is the time of year that a lot of pies and cookies get made (and eaten). I couldn’t have hoped for a better start to a forum, and I certainly have high hopes for the next two years of Rose’s blog.