I was reading the “Dear Abby” section of the Kansas City Star recently when I came across a heartfelt exchange concerning secret family recipes.
‘Craving the Cakes’ in Florida was upset that her sister-in-law would not reveal the secret ingredient in a late relative’s pancake recipe.
From Charleston, S.C. a reader responded. “As a cook who has many of my own kitchen secrets, I’d be upset if one of my family members were to reveal them to anyone I didn’t authorize…believe it or not recipes are intellectual property.”
But Lisa in Reno had a different perspective: “Sometimes it’s good to share something if only with one other person. That way treasures aren’t lost forever.”
Many businesses struggle with the question of how much to reveal in their content.
I recently attended a Content Strategy webinar hosted by Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 and Ann Handley of Marketingprofs. Both experts believe in creating content that freely shares knowledge. They maintain that it is one of the best methods to promote one’s expertise in a specific subject matter. In fact Joe’s advice during the webinar was:
“Give almost everything away.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of Martha Stewart’s recipes. I pay good money to buy her cookbooks, I follow her on Twitter and I’m a fervent fan on Facebook. This despite the fact that she gives everything away on her TV show (which I try to watch every Sunday).
My point is this. In our internet environment where public sharing of information is the ‘Standard Operating Procedure’, I think it’s safe to conclude that there are no ‘secret recipes’. Everything is out there. If you’re not sharing some of your secret recipes, how will I know to buy your cook book. I think Lisa in Reno is on to something…
What do you think – secret recipes or open secrets?