Chowtimes.com Turns Four


Time flies.

It had been four years now. Suanne and I said Hello World on January 5th, 2006. Looking back on all this time, chowtimes.com had changed a lot. So had Suanne and I.

image from wordle.net

image from wordle.net

2009 had been a year of tremendous growth for the site. Last year, we had managed to doubled the traffic from the previous 3 years combined. Some of you will remember that chowtimes.com disappeared from the blogosphere in May 2009. That was when we were kicked out (without warning!) by our cheap hosting company for having too much traffic. So we were forced offline for 8 days while we migrated the entire blog (49GB and 39,000 files). And during the 8 days, Google thought that we no longer existed and dropped us entirely from their indexes. Our readership plummeted  and we were back to square one. Long story short, it took 6 months for the traffic to recover entirely.

Suanne and I enjoyed blogging a lot. Often it also felt like a real second job with deadlines and projects. What we enjoyed most is the interactions we had with our readers. In the process, we had learned a lot not just about food and in many other ways. If there is just ONE thing that we are thankful for, it is all the great friends we had made along the way.

Suanne and I tell ourselves that we will one day wake up and decide that we will do something else. Nothing in this world is permanent. But that day is still way beyond the horizon.

For this 4th anniversary of chowtimes.com, Suanne and I want to say a big thank you for all the support each of you have given us … fully realizing that without your support, chowtimes.com would not have been where we are today. Please continue to give us your feedback on how we can improve.

Anyway, I thought I pull together some lists (I love lists!) of the happenings on chowtimes.com:

Most Read Posts (Q4 2009)

Top Commenters (All Time)

  1. LotusRapper (317)
  2. Chubbypanda (305)
  3. Jessica (153)
  4. RobynT (95)
  5. Windy (92)
  6. Jennifer (85)
  7. Chris (80)
  8. sally (70)
  9. Erick (59)
  10. etranger (56)
  11. Rosa (52)
  12. tigerfish (52)
  13. kevin (51)
  14. chinchyesek (48)
  15. fmed (46)
  16. Jonnek (46)
  17. Koji (41)
  18. Gigi (39)
  19. Kirk (38)
  20. ET (37)

50 Most Commented Posts (All Time):

  1. Moist Chocolate Cake – 103 comments
  2. Steamed Banana Cake – 85 comments
  3. Steamed Rice Cakes (Pak Thong Koh) – 62 comments
  4. Sweet Soy Pudding (Tou Foo Fa) – 58 comments
  5. How Much Do You Tip? – 51 comments
  6. Chinese Sponge Cake – 48 comments
  7. Any Tips For Vacation To Seattle? – 45 comments
  8. Fresh Fruit Cake – 42 comments
  9. Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle in Aberdeen Centre, Richmond – 42 comments
  10. Wilton Cake Decorating Level 1 – 40 comments
  11. Shawarma from Abdul’s on Kingsway – 37 comments
  12. Shredded Dried Pork (a.k.a. Meat Floss) – 35 comments
  13. Steamed Rice Cake – 35 comments
  14. Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Old Town Kopitiam – 34 comments
  15. 12B Underground Kitchen – 34 comments
  16. Kuejadas (Portuguese Tart) – 30 comments
  17. Bak Kwa – 29 comments
  18. Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake – 29 comments
  19. Tenku Bakudanyaki — Richmond’s Answer to Vancouver’s Japadog? – 27 comments
  20. Farewell Merienda and Balut – 25 comments
  21. Dulcinea Chocolate Cafe on Denman, Vancouver – 25 comments
  22. Kah Hee, 1933 – 2006 – 24 comments
  23. chowtimes.com Turns Two – 24 comments
  24. Japadog in Downtown Vancouver – 24 comments
  25. Pineapple Bun (Polo Bun) – 23 comments
  26. Hawker’s Delight on Main St, Vancouver – 22 comments
  27. Oyster Motoyaki – 22 comments
  28. Taiwanese Cuisine on Sexsmith Road, Richmond – 22 comments
  29. Chocolate Yogurt Cake – 21 comments
  30. Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Wing Heong Dried Meat – 21 comments
  31. Ziploc Omelette – 21 comments
  32. Tim Tam – 20 comments
  33. Seville: Bullfighting – 20 comments
  34. Man Ri Sung Korean Restaurant on Clarke Road, Coquitlam – 19 comments
  35. Chowtimes Readers Dinner: Anyone Interested? – 19 comments
  36. Garlicky Spinach Balls – 19 comments
  37. Lam Hoa Quan on Victoria Drive at East 34th Ave, Vancouver – 19 comments
  38. Egg Custard Tarts – 18 comments
  39. Mango Pudding – 18 comments
  40. Pho 99 Restaurant in Richmond – 18 comments
  41. Frappe Bliss in Aberdeen Center (And What Happened To Chowtimes) – 18 comments
  42. Bool Chul Pan Korean Hot Grill on North Road, Coquitlam – 18 comments
  43. Cassava Cake (Kuih Ubi Kayu) – 17 comments
  44. Seattle: Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits in Burlington – 17 comments
  45. Steamed Pandan Cake – 17 comments
  46. Splitz Grill on Main St in Vancouver – 17 comments
  47. Cho Sun Korean BBQ on Kingsway, Vancouver – 17 comments
  48. Jumbo Sushi on No 3 Road, Richmond – 17 comments
  49. Meok Ja Gol (MJG) Korean Barbeque Restaurant on Kingsway and Nelson, Burnaby – 17 comments
  50. Teahouse in Stanley Park – 17 comments

16 thoughts on “Chowtimes.com Turns Four

  1. Happy Anniversary! It’s always great to visit your site as I get a glimpse of Canada, and your photos are always inspiring🙂. Haven’t been to Canada before and I want to go!

    I hope that my blog will also be 4+ years old later on. Just reached one🙂. Quite shocked at the amount of spam you had; I guess I’ll be getting more as time goes on?

  2. Happy anniversary Chowtimes! I enjoy reading your blog tremendously and have got a few others addicted as well hehe. Keep up the great work🙂

  3. Happy Birthday Chowtimes! Thanks to a friend I discovered CT in early summer this year and I visit almost everyday. It’s fun to both read (and often drool at) the reviews/recipes and actually trying them out.

    Hope to see 4 more years and more!

  4. Ben & Suanne, visiting your site is often the highlight of my day! Please continue to share your food experiences and treasured recipes with us!

    As for suggestions for improvement, I refer you to the idea I sent a few months back: indexing just the titles (hyperlinked) of each post for quicker browsing. 🙂

    • Hi Marike: I still remember that suggestion. As a matter of fact, I was working on it on Sunday. It will be along the lines of what you see when you click on “Site” at the top of chowtimes.com. I need programming help for sure. This is actually on my top three site improvement because I know there are so many posts on the site now that I must find a way for the new reader to keep track of what is read and what is not. Stay tuned.
      Ben

  5. You and Suanne are true pioneers in the food blogging scene (…and not just here in Vancouver). Congratulations on a very inspirational four years!

  6. Happy 4th, Chowtimes !!! It seems just like yesterday that you were a newb blogger [wink]

    OMG … I’m the most frequent commenter ?!? [blush] GO, Chubbypanda …. GO !!!

  7. Keep up the great work! I have followed the blog for awhile and found the reviews to be invaluable whenever I’m in town.

  8. Congratulations on your 4th year anniversary.

    Hey, I noticed I tied fmed with 46 comments. I would have beaten him if my previous comments using my old handle were added.🙂

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