I just picked up the August issue of Gourmet, and the editor’s letter is all about their website, which won a James Beard Award for journalism in the category “Multimedia Writing on Food.” What stands out isn’t that Ruth Reichl, the editor-in-chief, is writing about the cooking videos available on gourmet.com – it isn’t unusual for an editor to tell readers about site features. What really struck me was how she discussed them in such personalized detail, from how the video on washing and chopping fresh herbs “changed my life” to how she repeatedly watches chef Steven Yan’s video on how to make hand-pulled Chinese noodles “over and over again because it’s such a fascinating sight.”
Whether Reichl actually watches the site’s videos so religiously isn’t the question here – realistically, we know she’s as busy as any of us. But what I love is that she’s writing about the website with such passion, and with a real knowledge of what it offers to its readers. And it made me think: how many of us are that proud of our websites? How many of us are truly taking enough care in site content that we could write about it in such a way?
Obviously Canadian magazines don’t have the resources of Gourmet or similar publications, recession notwithstanding. But this is a good argument for doing less things well, and truly being proud of what you produce.