interviewed Justin Farber
to find out more about CollegeRecipes
Describe CollegeRecipes.com in under 50 words.
CollegeRecipes.com serves as a transitional tool for young adults learning to cook for themselves. It provides recipes and cooking related information to the college demographic. Built by and for college students, it’s educational while entertaining. Featuring mouthwatering photographs and a great user interface, this food-porn platform is aesthetic and worthwhile.
How and when did the idea for CollegeRecipes.com come about?
We conceived the idea for the site in the summer of 2011. Laura and I were hungry for our evening meal but we didn’t have much food in stock and didn’t feel like going to the grocery store. Laura had her leftovers from the night before, and I found an already-opened brick of Top Ramen noodles. Laura explained that she had used the seasoning packet the other day for noodle-less soup. I began boiling the noodles anyway and sprinkled in some Red Robin seasoning instead. Laura asked me where I learned to do that, I replied jokingly, “CollegeRecipes.com”. She responded, “Does that exist?” We then searched for it online, found that the domain was for sale and bought it. I talked to Ron the next day, he liked the idea and we began work on the site.
A question for the designer (Ronald Farber): What are your design inspirations?
I love clean design, but I also fancy in-your-face stylistic design from time to time. The whole minimalism/clean design trend is great, but sometimes its taken too far. Users want a design that’s pleasant to look at and I’m of the thinking that it’s possible to meld clean with stylized and have the best of both worlds.
What are the long term plans for CollegeRecipes.com? Any plans for Monetization?
Our long term plans are somewhat undefined but our goal for now is to build our audience by adding fresh content every week. Ron and I have talked about eventually developing additional websites as part of a larger network, but want CollegeRecipes to be well-established before doing so. As for Monetization, we’ve applied for AdSense and will hopefully have ads up within a week. We intend on testing other Monetization options including other advertising networks, working directly with individual advertisers and affiliate networks. We need to find what works best for our site and our demographic. We will never prioritize monetization over the user experience and will avoid pop-ups and otherwise invasive forms of ads. Another long-term goal is to develop our own product line to build our brand. Finally, once we have a well established user-base and a large amount of quality content on the site, we will try to package our content neatly and publish a book or ebook.
Getting a great idea for a site is easy – actually turning that idea into a real site is the tricky bit. It is especially hard to build websites that need to deliver great content week after week. CollegeRecipes already seems to have an impressive amount of content for a site that only recently launched so it’s both inspiring and motivating to see a project like this come to life.