The Food Network Learns About The Power of User-Generated Content

    February 4, 2011

A silly recipe suggestion has been stricken from the pages of, thanks to a bunch of sarcastic, derision-filled responses.  Hopefully, Food Network’s instructional experience about just how powerful user-generated content is has come to an end and they’ll try a little harder next time.

The issue has to do with the Food Network listing “Dark Chocolate” as a snack.  That’s it.  Nothing more.  There were no suggestions about what to make with said dark chocolate; although, there was a serving size suggestion (1 oz for those you who want some dark chocolate).

Essentially, the page was a lazy attempt to snare web traffic, and the Food Network got called on it by their legion of recipe reviewers.  That being said, Ellie Krieger might have gotten away with it if the ladies at Food Network Humor hadn’t caught on.

Not only did FNH highlight the lazy recipe, they also followed up with screenshots of Food Network members’ reviews of the offeding page after their initial post went up.  Needless to say, hilarity ensued, although, I’m not sure Food Network was laughing.

Food Network Reviews

Food Network Reviews

In fact, considering their response — removal of the page completely — it’s safe to say the Food Network was shamed into action.  While the page address redirects to Krieger’s recipe for Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters, “Dark Chocolate as a Snack” still appears in FN’s search results for the term "dark chocolate" (result number 6), which I’ve screenshot’ed for posterity purposes.

Dark Chocolate as a Snack

We should extend a warm welcome to the Food Network’s web site as our latest victim of an outspoken, sarcastic Internet crowd.  Fishing for pageviews is all fine and good, just make sure the page doing the fishing is a legitimate offering, otherwise, your audience can (and in many cases, will) swiftly make a mockery of it.