"He missed the point of blogs,"she said. "Food blogs are not meant to be slick and shiny like food magazines. They are meant to be whatever that particular writer wants it to be. People write them for all different kinds of reasons, and some are writing them just for self-expression."
And what may seem boring to one reader might be intriguing to another. There are blogs devoted to every type of food topic, such as The Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen (www.blog.fatfreevegan.com) or Gluten-Free Girl (www.glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com). The site foodpornwatch.arrr.net lists most of the food blogs in existence.
Denny has a program that tracks the number of visitors, what they read and how long they stay on her site. She has found there are two types of visitors: People simply seeking recipes, and those who enjoy the interaction of posting comments, sharing recipes and feeling part of the food-blogging community.She doesn't think that blogs will ever replace the food writing in cookbooks, magazines and newspapers. "They all have their place, but with blogs there's more interaction with people creating the food."
Denny isn't the only Utahn bitten by the food blog bug. At Blog.josephhall.com, Joseph Hall combined his interests in cooking and computers with the tag line, "Computer geek gone chef and back again."
A graduate of the Atlantic Culinary Academy in Dover, N.H., Hall was often asked for his recipes. "I already had a blogger account, so I decided to post some recipes every so often. It quickly grew, and more recently it's had an emphasis on teaching people how to cook.
His content includes tutorials, such as how to separate eggs, and commentary called "Recipes: Rules versus Guidelines" on how closely a recipe needs to be followed.
Blogs lead to other writing outlets. With The Julie/Julia Project, Julie Powell chronicled her challenge cooking her way through Julia Child's tome, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."Powell became an Internet celebrity and the blog became a book, "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes and 1 Tiny Apartment" (Little, Brown and Company, $23.95).
For would-be bloggers, Denny advises: "Be clear about what your goals are. One of the beauties of blogging is that there's no one correct way to do it, but decisions you make at the very beginning are going to partly determine what your site can become. You need to decide whether this site is just for you and a small group of people, or whether you're hoping to attract lots of readers."
If you're starting a blog mainly for fun, there are plenty of free hosting options that are adequate, she said.
"But if you're hoping to create a 'professional' blog, you want a template design with more options, which means more to learn and possibly paying for hosting."
She adds that there are literally millions of abandoned blogs, because people lost interest or didn't have time to keep them going."Have fun, but don't forget that there's a lot to learn, and it's very time-consuming to do it well," she said.