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Dec 30, 2012 10:19 PM

Would CHOW ever put together a "Chowhound Cookbook"?

As in a compilation of all the relevant posts and threads from the Home Cooking board, along with tips and advice from posters?

Is that Morris Press holding on line one?

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  1. Years ago, published several cookbooks featuring popular recipes by members of that forum. One of my recipes for bbq ran in one addition and then wound up appearing all over the Net (even on a famous chicken website) without permission. The books didn't sell well and created a host of ownership issues. It's hard to imagine the infancy of that website today because so many redesigns have taken place over the years. In the early days, pre advertising stream the site was very home grown.

    Hindsight being what it is, and what eventually became the norm at, is offering grander recipe file options for anyone visiting the site, free of charge, while the company improved its own revenue stream.

    Today, is a terrific case study and cautionary tale for reprinting popular material (recipes) reworked on camera or in print and the very definition of community sharing.

    Another example is the recent publication of recipes from The Chew. Permissions to reprint galore.

    It should not surprise you ips that people begin to feel differently when their work is shared freely and then suddenly used and reused in other mediums for someone else's profit.

    6 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      As I read the CHOW User Submission agreement we the posters give CHOW a license to distribute and sell our posts.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Yes, I've read it too. And in the case of they have their own member agreement. But that didn't change the reality of third-party reprints after publication without permissions being honored and when real money changed hands some posters felt differently.

        Soon after the cookbooks were published, AllRecipes didn't point to the member agreement and end the conversation there, they actually changed their member agreement to allow for greater sharing btwn members free of charge and raised $$$ for their business model another way.

        That's my point.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I undestand covering your arse. And, the use of free space to share information. Printing a cookbook of reprinted material or on camera tested popular favorites already in print or sharing technical approaches/tips not really a recipe is another interesting animal.

          As for a book of CHOWhound stories..well, aren't the highlights on the CHOW blog covering CH recipe tips and restaurant suggestions already. Why not expand that?

          Would you buy a Chowhound cookbook?

          1. re: HillJ

            I don't buy cookbooks.

            But depending on how it is formatted, a Chowhound Cookbook might make for an interesting coffee table addition.

            But I'd imagine there might be a market for such a thing.

            Also, CHOW is quite different from I'm pretty sure CBS would have no qualms with shoving the User Agreement in front of anyone raising a stink about using their content posted on in a published manuscript.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Who knows, ips. I wouldn't buy such a book. A 24/7 live community is providing tons of coffee table chat/info and remains the mainstay of this site. As for going up against the likes of CBS--that's a turn off not a turn on for members/users providing content for this site. Given the number of times CHOW staffers have mentioned their limited budget/resources to members when asking about new toys, it's hard not to wonder how the operation here truly works. Sure, CBS is a flashy name to throw around but the CHOW team sure works hard to keep this site going.

              Don't be too quick to discount They've been online a good while, have millions of members, community share in every way that CH's do beautifully.
              They command attention in their own right. A good deal could be learned from their operation.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                ips, the Meredith Corporation owns
                Enjoy the read.

        2. Instead, I'd go for a well formatted Chow recipe app. That would kick ass.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MplsM ary

            Me too, let's see some ass kicking personal recipe file options for 2013. App or in profiles. Great idea.

            1. re: MplsM ary

              I think that's a great idea. But I would like to see more to it than that. I do not like sites where I have to wade through 40 recipes for <insert dish here>. I would like commentary along with the recipes. Here you could even add in video about cooking technique, and final pictures of the product. This would fit into an app (especially if it were for ipad/android tablet). You could make it the beginning as a way to add either subscriber content to chow, or charge for it via an app, so it should at least be a way to advertise the sight, or going further be profitable.

              1. re: cwdonald

                cwd, have you checked out the file share apps over at They pretty much offer all of your excellent suggestions and more...and its FREE.