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54 • Digital Blonde

Learn SORTEDfood

Digital marketing expert Karen Fewell takes a look at the new social cooking platform that is set to take the world by storm

I have just attended the launch of the world’s fi rst truly social cooking platform. I have been wondering for a while who would be the one to start a social network around cooking and I’m rather pleased to see the boys from SORTEDfood do just that.

Who is SORTEDfood? SORTEDfood is YouTube’s most engaged cooking channel. With 800,000 YouTube subscribers, over 9,000 hours of their content being watched every day, and more than 60m views since 2010’s debut recipe video, SORTEDfood already hosts the world’s largest online conversation around cooking, and is now making it more accessible, fun and interactive.

How did SORTEDfood start? A group of school friends, including Jamie, Ben and Barry, all headed off to university to study completely different subjects. Ben, who was studying culinary arts management in Birmingham, couldn’t believe the stories his mates told him during university holidays. “Other than Ben, none of us could cook,” says Jamie. So Ben started teaching his friends

to cook. He would write recipes on beer mats and his friends would experiment and see who could make them cheaper and healthier. On a drunken weekend away in Cornwall, Barry, who was studying photography, came up with the idea that they should produce a book as a bit of a CV booster. So in 2010 they self-published Sorted: a recipe for student survival. To share the recipes with more people,

they asked Jamie’s housemate who was studying television production to help create videos and then put them up on platforms where they already spent a lot of time, such as YouTube. “When we realised that we

had more people watching the videos than we had friends that was quite amazing,” Jamie recalls. That was the start of SORTEDfood. From there they did some

YouTube collaborations with other people who had large YouTube audiences. This raised the profi le of SORTEDfood and doubled the channel’s subscribers. The group all left university and went into full time employment. They continued making recipe videos in their spare time and the channel kept growing. Amazingly, they now

all work full time at SORTEDfood and have some very exciting plans for the future, which includes their latest project – the social cooking platform.

Why do I like SORTEDfood so much? I love the fact that the guys at SORTED didn’t expect to end up where they are today. I believe they have because they always put their online community fi rst and continually learn about the behaviour of their audience. “Every single recipe we have ever

produced has been a request from our audience,” says Jamie. “In the early days our development chef Ben would come up with the answer or recipe and we would fi lm it. Now we take the community involvement further.

launches social cooking platform

“ Every post will kick off a new conversation, with users able to rate and comment on recipes, or even upload an image of their own version”

You can contact Karen with any your questions by tweeting @DigitalBlonde or emailing July 2014

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