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Chocolategourmand.com is finally under way!

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OK, so after more than 5 years of sitting on chocolategourmand.com, I finally decided it was time to get the website going. I've been making candies for some 7 years now, and this last holiday season I really wished I could direct the 40 recipients of candies to a website to share how they are made and gather feedback to help shape the next candy run.

I've already built the database and am populating metadata about pages, links and user comments. I had considered using a blog such as this as the base, but I don't want the site to be run like a conversation, and I don't like how inflexible blogs are with respect to one off pages and so on. I do want people to be able to leave comments specific to a page with the ability for me to approve/decline/respond/rate the comment. I've got this functionality basically done now, and have started working on a good design. I put together a color palette last fall and then nothing happened, but I've been working hard on the site for several weeks now.

I've also compiled pages and pages of notes, recipes, antecdotes and tips for making candies, cookies, and ice cream. This has been a good outlet for my writing skills and I look forward to a lot of content being available with the launch this Summer--hopefully sooner. Over the holidays I took hundreds of pictures of the candy production--it will be so much work to crop, edit and resize them for the site. Meanwhile, I continue to take more and more pictures every time I bake now. It will be a challenge to keep a classy look to the site when there are pictures of our kitchen on it--photoshop to the rescue!

This will be my first public website that isn't work related. My kids' sites have kept me busy with updates, not to mention the kids and family. Having been a web developer for some 10 years for companies like Design Within Reach, Comergent, Hitachi Data Systems and reviews.com, it is about time to start authoring in public with my own voice. Who knows where this chocolate production/website will go?

I've also submitted account requests with google and amazon.com for their advertising banners and associate program. I just hope the cheezy under construction page at www.chocolategourmand.com does not cause them to decline my account request. Wish me luck!

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