Posted Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:44:09 AM by Zoe Gillenwater
You'd think that the perfect Web 2.0 recipe organizer would already exist online — after all, they have a tool for everything else! — but I have yet to find it.
Food blogs are really big now, and though I don't food blog myself, I have gotten hooked on reading them. In fact, I pretty much get all my recipes these days from food blogs and never look in my cookbooks. Why would I? They're not searchable, they don't have beautiful full color photos of every recipe, recipes aren't backed up by real people's comments of how they liked it or adapted it, etc. Online recipes really are the way to go.
I began bookmarking each individual recipe in del.icio.us, as do many other food bloggers and their readers, because you can tag each recipe bookmark with all of its main ingredients or other characteristics (like "low fat," "easy," "Indian") and then use those tags to search for recipes that contain the mixture of characteristics you are looking for. So, I could find all recipes tagged with the combination of "dinner," "low carb," "chicken," and "garlic" by using the plus signs by each tag listed as a "related tag" to further filter down. I could also just do a search within my bookmarks if I was looking for something very specific.
This system worked exactly as I wanted, with these exceptions:
- no photos of recipes from the pages
- no rating ability
- no ability to add items to my list that aren't online
The rating ability wasn't a big deal to me, and I could also do without the ability to add my own recipes (I was fine with maintaining both an online and offline paper recipe collection) but I really, really wanted the photos. I searched high and low for an online tool that had the abilities of del.icio.us but with the added ability to choose a picture from the page you're bookmarking to associate with the bookmark. I found a number of online recipe organizers that came nowhere close to what I needed, and a number of social bookmarking tools that let you have a thumbnail of the whole page associated with the bookmark but not an individual picture that you can choose from within the page itself.
Finally I found Kaboodle, which is billed mainly as a wish list and shopping site. I thought it did everything I wanted except the rating, so I was thrilled. But I was wrong — it actually lacks the essential search tool of combining multiple tags to search that is the strength of my current system in del.icio.us. You can view all your items with a specific tag, but then can only filter those by keywords within their titles, instead of by further tags.
So, I'm still without the perfect online recipe manager, and undecided whether to stick with del.icio.us or Kaboodle. If anyone has a suggestion for what to use, I'd love to hear it! In the meantime, I have no problem with someone stealing my idea for the perfect online recipe manager and becoming the next big Web 2.0 success story — just please let me be the first person in your beta.