Open Source Food is a social network focused on sharing and creating recipes. The site entices new users with images of dishes on its homepage and recipe pages. Clicking an image lets the user access the recipe (which was submitted by others in the Open Source Food community). Recipes include detailed instructions, ingredient lists, user comments, related recipes and tabs that lets the user see votes, overview, the contributor’s profile and who is following the recipe. A built in search tool helps users find specific recipes by name or keyword. Users can develop a food-focused profile on the site as well. Profiles feature an image of the user along with activity on the profile and links to each recipe the user contributed (which appear as images of the dish).Show more screenshots »
Open Source Food was founded in March of 2007 by Jon Yongfook Cockle. The application was acquired by Tsavo Media in February of 2009. The application hasn’t been widely discussed, but has earned itself a sizable community. Activity feeds reveal a bustling online network of users who love recipes as well as those searching for the occasional new dish. As far as recipe varieties go, Open Source Food is eclipsed by alternative sites such as AllRecipes.com, but still has a lot to offer an interested newcomer.
The main draw to Open Source Food is the way the site focuses on social networking rather than pure recipe sharing. The site certainly has plenty of recipe sharing going on as well as numerous dishes for every meal of the day, however it also encourages social interactions. Users can post comments on recipes and browse each other’s profiles to see who has similar tastes. Follow features let users track new recipes posted by contributors whose recipes they particularly enjoy.
Open Source Food takes a different approach compared to other recipe websites. A black header creates a dramatic contrast against the fried egg logo. A majority of the content favors color images of delicious dishes posted throughout the community. This is a great approach for a website focused on food. Visitors cannot smell the sweet or savory aromas of each dish, but they can see each up close in mouthwatering detail.
A new user can join the Open Source Food community by clicking the blue “New?” link in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The link is very small and visible to the right of the green “Login” button. The form on the following page asks for a username, email address, password, country location, gender, terms acceptance and Captcha code entry. Users can also upload an image to go with their profile (this is optional). A note appears, advising the user that they must check their email inbox for a confirmation message before logging in. This message disappears rather quickly, so it is easy to miss.
Open Source Food opens the doors of its social network to anyone who is willing to register. There are no subscription fees and the user doesn’t have to make any purchases to maintain account access. The site doesn’t list any activity requirements to keep accounts active, either. Anyone can stop by and join Open Source Food’s recipe-based community. All users receive the same level of access to all current features.
Open Source Food is an attractive application for anyone who loves to find recipes online. Users who frequent social networks will get the most use out of the application. The site manages to combine recipes and food with social networking to give users more reasons to return (even when they aren’t hungry). Users should beware that they may be enticed to spend more on their weekly grocery shopping list after viewing some of the recipe images posted on the site.