Food52's fan function - what does it do? Is it just a way to compliment the chef, or does it alert you when those cooks post new recipes?
Now, THAT would be a cool function! But really, i don't think it does anything.
Good question, BlissfulBaker! The answer, as mrslarkin pointed out, is that the fan function doesn't do much -- yet (though you can view anyone's fan network, including your own, on food52 profile pages).
Here's the 'yet' part: The fan function is laying the groundwork for fun updates for the site that we're working on, which will allow you to keep up with the activity of cooks you like. If you have any ideas or requests for how this should work, we're all ears!
I would love to see more options in email notifications in general (more than just "yes to all" or "no to all".) There are 2 ways I can see this working. One would be a list of choices on our profile preferences. For example, a list with checkboxes: (1) receive emails when someone comments on one of your recipes (2) receive emails from comment threads on other recipes & articles (3) receive emails when a cook you've fanned has posted a new recipe. Another way it could work is to have subscribe/unsubscribe links on all threads on Food52 - basically anywhere there's a comment box. That way, we can choose which threads we want to follow. I think we'd all love to receive emails anytime someone posts on our recipe, but don't necessarily like to receive 50 emails when people post on a thread where we've merely left a comment. I love this website. Thanks for all you're doing to keep making it better & better.
I'd really like to get links to comments that the people I have fanned have posted here. It's hard to keep up with all of the recipes, and particularly to follow activity that's been posted on recipes that were posted some time ago . . . the hidden treasures, the recipes that passed you by, but that someone else saved and/or printed, then tried. All of that great knowledge is not available, and not easily searched. Actually, it would be even better if that activity were somehow searchable, instead of getting email notices. (With all the recipes I've commented on over the past fifteen months, especially ones that created a lot of interest, I can receive as many as a hundred or more messages in the course of a day or two, which can be overwhelming.) I have about a dozen more ideas for new functionality, but I'll send those separately, or perhaps post foodpickle "questions" to get others in on the collaboration, when I have time over the next few weeks. ;o)
I just thought of another great website upgrade to add to the list: basically a "reverse" pedal on Food 52 (the ability to delete your own comments or recipes, the ability to unfan someone, to unsubmit from a contest when you realize you don't meet the rules, etc.)