Watch: an incredible song about why recipe blog preambles are so long

Originally published at: Watch: an incredible song about why recipe blog preambles are so long | Boing Boing


Whinging about that SEO and self-indulgent cruft is silly at this point. So are the foodbloggers’ complaints about the various client-side browser plugins like Recipe Filter that strip it all away.


He lists three main reasons

  1. SEO
  2. Intellectual Property
  3. Advertising rights

Only his SEO comment is entirely right.

The recipe is no more protectable by copyright with the long preamble that without it. The preamble would stop wholesale copying of the blog, but if some parts of the recipe are non-protectable adding protectable text around it doesn’t make those non-protectable parts protectable.

“Advertising rights” is a misdirection, it’s not about the right to advertise, it’s about getting the metrics right for getting paid more for advertising. Ad placement companies want ads on pages people are “engaged” with, scrolling thought a J. Peterman style story about the trip to some place that inspired this recipe might manipulate the tracking JavaScript on the page to make it look like your more engaged.

This is basically just a very content specific dark pattern. While the complaints about recipe preamble stories have gotten almost as numerous and obnoxious as the recipe preamble stories, I don’t think I will ever tell people to stop complaining about any dark pattern.


So after this site did the right thing other sites stepped up.

We have nothing but respect and admiration for the time, money and effort that go into creating great recipes & websites. We don’t want to minimize the results for all that hard work.

We realize we’re not demonstrating the huge respect we have for recipe creators. We missed the mark big time today and we’re sorry.

Given the feedback, we are taking down as we re-examine our impact. We commit to making changes where we have fallen short.

I have just discovered that the hatred I feel toward insipid food blogs is transferrable to people who write insipid songs defending insipid food blogs.


No kidding. There are plenty of long winded, dense complaints about long and dense terms and conditions requirements you encounter all the time.

The fact that there might be an explanation for 30 page Ts and Cs detailing opaque arbitration rules in Tallahassee doesn’t somehow mean people should stop complaining about them.

It would be wonderful if people carefully honed in on all of the proper issues and expressed themselves in sparkling prose, but I’m not going to moan if they’re complaining about something that is genuinely annoying, even if the root causes aren’t what they think.


Awwww. I wanted to hear rest of the song. Maybe my browser extension filtered it away. :frowning_face:


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This BoingBoing article linked to a Twitter post that linked to the TikTok video. If you click through to TikTok you can see the whole song. (The link in the tweet goes to it directly.)

Or just click here:


Thanks. Now I got to hear the closing refrain “If you don’t know what you’re talking about then you shouldn’t talk at all.”

Love the autotune.

I think what he means is that the copyright protection for the pre-amble and perhaps the recipe (if it is new and unique) can be used to take down re-posts. Screen-scraping and reposting of these things is pretty rampant from what I have seen. A DMCA take-down for a word-for-word repost is easy, given that.

Advertising “rights” is probably the wrong way to put it. Ad placement automation these days is driven by looking for keywords in the page content. So the more content that you can provide that will drive the ad placements algorithms to place high-bidding ads the more ad revenue you will get.

Is this guy one of the people that makes up Axis of Awesome? [looks it up] YES!

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That’s so funny, I thought I was the only one who hated the dumb stories before the recipe.

All that is nothing compared to the hatred I have of eCommerce websites.

the song kept sounding like it was about to hit a chorus or bridge or beat drop and then it never really cashed that check

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Well spotted!

This feels a lot like “People complain about TV commercials and how stupid they are, but guess what? It works! Without TV commercials we wouldn’t have TV, get it? So stop complaining, everyone complains and it’s the same non-witty complaint, so shut up!”

Or maybe even, “People complain about Facebook feeds being optimized for viewing engagement but guess what? It works! So stop complaining, everyone slams Facebook and it’s the same complaints all the time, you’re not even being original, so shut up!”


Yah, I don’t care for arguments like that. Just because a tactic is effective for business goals doesn’t mean it isn’t making the world a worse place to live or that other, better, methods don’t also exist.


This. The recipe blog genre (typically carrying enough javascript trackers to bring an average iPad to its knees) is a scourge. Defending it because it is effective just makes the song writer a dick.

It would be like saying “Well, FaceBook may be harming society, but it’s really effective at selling advertising, so therefore it’s okay!”

It’s not okay.