The Twittersphere is all a buzz, because the McRib is back. I personally have never had a McRib. I have heard that they are delicious, or at least that’s what social media tells me.
Food is one of the great equalizers. Food drives more community than any other topic that I’m aware of. Facebook has over 123,000 groups dedicated to food. Ice Cream has been a trending topic on Twitter all summer. The biggest food trend of 2009/2010, food carts, is marketed almost exclusively through social media. Food blogs are rivaled in number only by technology blogs.
There are some things that Social Media does much better than traditional media and food is one of those items. It’s universality is critical. Everyone is an expert. Some have different palates, but even the most finicky eaters have an opinion.
I have a couple of rules for community building that plays nicely with food, but applies to any topic.
- You must have a common interest (eating).
- You must have a common psychological or knowledge based need that is not met elsewhere (example, you can’t get your need to discuss pre-formed pork patties in shiny sythetic sauce from Southern Living).
- You have to periodically give the community something to talk about (for example, announce that you are bringing the McRib back)
Besides the McRib and food carts, there are a couple of other food trends that I’d like to seed the community with. The foremost among these, is the proper way to eat a cupcake.
The best way to eat cupcakes is by cutting them in half and stacking the bottom piece over the top. It ensures consistent frosting to cake ratio, and protects your nose from the frosting. Please share with your friends. I don’t pretend to belive that this will ever be as popular as the McRib, but its my little contribution to humanity.