The Activity Log; Why I Stopped Voting; How Do You Vote?

I stopped voting in contests for two reasons:

1. I used to make both recipes each week, casting a vote for the one that got the majority vote of my family. The weeks that I had ran out of ingredients or time, I didn't vote, and then I stopped voting at all because

2. the Activity Log shows who I voted for. Even if it's only seen for a split second, I don't want anyone's feelings to be hurt if they see I voted for someone else's recipe instead of theirs.

Do you make each recipe before voting? If not, how do you arrive at your choice?



Food52 June 16, 2011
Hi everyone -- please help us out by sending any questions or concerns about food52 to [email protected], instead of posting them here. We designed foodpickle as a place for questions about food and cooking to be answered quickly -- but lately, we've seen it veer off course with conversations about food52's inner workings. This is confusing to new visitors and, worst of all, some urgent pickles have been buried before they can get an answer -- that's no good! Thanks for understanding and for helping us keep foodpickle doing what it does best.
innoabrd June 16, 2011
I never even noticed the activity log showing who I vote for. The activity log is just something the doesn't interest me, so I tune it out.

I've never cooked recipes just in anticipation of voting. I have a look and see which I'd rather eat and cook. I only vote for stuff I'd actually make. If there's nothing I'd make, I don't vote. For example, I have no interest in toddys, so I just passed that week...
inpatskitchen June 16, 2011
Thanks Peter...I think I just like the element of surprise!
Panfusine June 16, 2011
Stopping the billboard style % tally on the whole foods cooking would be fabulous..Made me completely lose sleep during those 4 days that the voting was open, not to mention friends pointing out the tally on my FB page!
susan G. June 16, 2011
Peter, it's more than what we're used to. It's an issue like that in national elections -- does reporting on the outcome of east coast voting change people's votes farther west. I'm glad not to know (in this case).
Peter June 16, 2011
sdebrango, inpatskitchen, you're welcome. And Pat, we're changing the Whole Foods site as well -- no more revealing of what you voted for.

As far as the big percentages on the 2 entries during voting, we've had a few people dislike those but they've all been Food52 people. None of the users of the Whole Foods site have said anything. I expect it's more a matter of what you're used to.
ChefJune June 16, 2011
Wow, BetteIrene, I'm impressed!

I have never made both recipes before voting. I usually read both of the recipes and then decide.
inpatskitchen June 16, 2011
Thank you Peter...I wish the Whole Foods Rockville site would stop it too...along with their running tally of the percentage of votes for each finalist!
sdebrango June 16, 2011
Thank you Peter, I am so glad that you (food52) are implementing anonymous voting. I always vote but feel badly because both candidates produce excellent recipes. I vote on the recipe I would be more apt to make although both are good. This will make it more comfortable and hopefully more members of the community will vote. Thanks again!
Sadassa_Ulna June 16, 2011
Kudos betteirene! That is truly amazing! The few times I have voted I only did so in the wee morning hours of EST, precisely because I did not like that my vote was public even for that short moment in the activity log (if only there were a little virtual curtain). And when I have voted it was because it was a recipe that I felt I would love to make and thought I could imagine the flavors, textures, etc. Or sometimes it was just one concept appealed to me more than another. Not very objective if the idea of voting is based on taste and experience alone. When food52 gets those lickable screens we can all vote objectively - may I suggest a palate cleanser photo (saltines, coffee beans) between the two photos?
Peter June 16, 2011
Wow. I got to sleep for a measly 8 hours and look at all the conversation I miss!

Just wanted to give an update on that very topic -- the revealing of who you voted for. That's something Food52 had been doing for eons -- both in that little activity log and if you were connected to Facebook, on your Facebook wall.

You'll be happy to know that we stopped posting that to Facebook a few weeks ago and will stop posting who you voted for to the activity log within the next 24 hours. Also, as we greatly expand the activity log in the coming months, who you vote for will remain secret.

Why the change? Because who you voted for is no one's business but your own. That's just the way voting should be. :-)
drbabs June 16, 2011
Once again, betteirene, you impress the hell out of me. I'd love to be a member of your family! I always vote but I don't always make both finalists' dishes. Last year for the pizza contest I made both pizzas when my sister-and brother-in-law were in town, and we had so much fun discussing and deciding between the two. If I don't make the dishes, I vote based on my tastes and whether I think I would be able to make it and my family and friends would like it. There are also foods that we just don't eat (octopus? ugh, I couldn't even look at the home page when that was the contest), and then I don't vote at all. Sometimes it's really hard to decide. Now that I feel like I have friends in the community, it's hard not to be swayed by the recipe author, but I try not to because it defeats the purpose of creating a cookbook that we all love. For that reason, I would also prefer that voting didn't show up in the activity log.
nutcakes June 16, 2011
Oooh, I didn't know about that contest. I have mixed feelings about CI, sometimes I find a good one, but not always. I find them a bit pedestrian. But their Best Repice For a Crowd is really good, I think it is out of print, but I could really use it. (Anyone?anyone?) And I did not know our votes will show--don't like that at all. I only vote when I have made and liked one very much--Don't often make both, that's not always practical. C'est la vie. But I do like challenging recipes as well as simple ones.
hardlikearmour June 16, 2011
The activity log is on the front page on the right side of the page, about 1/2 way down. It has 3 tabs associated with it - Activity Log, Top Picks, and Active Cooks.
mcd2 June 16, 2011
so i just went out to find the activity log-finally found it on recipe page but when i picked one of the items, i was sent to facebook to log in. is this activity log only associated with facebook users?
mcd2 June 16, 2011
thanks for clarifying for me panfusion. i never even noticed the activity log-so much to take in here!
i guess i agree that the activity log seems redundant & would bother me when i voted-anonymity seems less problematic to me-why potentially cause bad feelings for anyone..
enbe June 16, 2011
But great question, because I've always wondered the same thing myself.
enbe June 16, 2011
I have to say that the reason I first looked at Food52 was when had the Food52/Cooks Illustrated cookoff. Having previously been a CI devotee, I was convinced those cookies would win.I made both sugar cookies (couldn't make the meat recipe- I'm veg) and I was SO WON OVER by mrslarkin's Chewy sugar cookies #2 that I became a convert. Haven't stopped cooking from Food52 since. Point is, that was the only time I made both recipes for a contest. That said, infrequently do I vote unless I have a really good idea of the recipes (have made one, really drawn to one, etc...)
Panfusine June 16, 2011
@mcd2: the food52 staff shortlist 2 finalists and some other recipes that they tried out along with these 2 are then nominated as editors picks (EP). they also pick about 20 recipes out of the hundreds submitted and ask the members (i.e all of us) to try them out & email them the tasting notes. those that get liked by the testers get the EP tag as well. the winner is decided by voting for either of the 2 finalist recipes.
the contests are announced on Fridays, & we have until thursday night to submit entries. The finalists & EPs are announced the following thursday and the following tuesday is the deadline for voting & submissions. the winners are announced on thursday along with the next weeks finalists & EP nominees.
The activity log is a ticker that runs on the side of the page displaying who is seeing what recipe or commenting on or voting..
boulangere June 16, 2011
Gosh, great question. No, I don't think I have ever made both finalists. Sometimes it's a close question between the two, and other times, no question at all. Vegetarian usually holds a sway, though not strictly, and other times it's simply a preference of flavor profile. Generally, I trust the food52 editors to narrow down recipes on the basis of adherence to contest guidelines and go from there.
mcd2 June 15, 2011
i didn't even know that we voted! i've only been involved with this community for a few months. i still find it difficult to understand how everything works here. i think i have figured out that three weeks after a contest is announced, a winner is chosen but i thought the winners were chosen by staff. what is the editors pick and then testing have to do with voting for a winner? what is this activity log?
mrslarkin June 15, 2011
Betteirene, you are inspiring! I do not make each recipe before voting. Sometimes, I don’t make either. I vote every week.

For the most part, I arrive at my choice based on:

Is it easy?

If both of these items were on a restaurant menu, which would I order?

Would my family eat it or at least try it?

Do I have all the ingredients, or can I easily find them without driving a half-hour to and from Whole Foods?

Would I ever make this again?

Honestly, I think we can omit the "xx just voted for blah blah" part of the activity log. What's the purpose, besides spying on people? I like to see when there's a comment on something, but the voting aspect can go away.
vvvanessa June 15, 2011
i've always thought it was strange that the activity box shows who voted for whom. anonymity seems like it should be a given.

Panfusine June 15, 2011
I usually pick a recipe that has ingredients that I can eat, I'm a vegetarian. If the top two has 2 recipes with meat, I do not vote. if one is a meatless one & the other is not, I usually vote for the meatless one since I would be able to make it. I try not to see the authors name (or atleast look them up in detail on their page). like the fresh spring vegetable contest, my vote went for the shaved asparagus salad simply because it had no bacon like the dandelion recipe had. if the choice is between 2 meatless recipes, its the simpler one that appears to have an interesting flavor profile with the ingredients used.
hardlikearmour June 15, 2011
Wow, betteirene! Props to you for making the recipes before voting. Plus how lucky is your family?
I typically vote for the recipe that's more appealing to me personally. I will on occasion be swayed by the person who's recipe it is (though I know it's wrong, it's hard not to vote for friends!) The only contest I recall where I made both recipes was the A&M hot toddy! (What does that say about me??)
I agree with you about the activity log thing - I hope the entrants aren't watching when I cast my vote (especially the one I'm not voting for!)
Recommended by Food52