So this week I'm doing what I usually do when I'm in a rut: I'm shaking things up!
Don't worry, I'll spare you my rendition of Donna Summer's smash tune from the 80s. (That would be too scary!) I'm just taking a break from the usual Saturday Spotlight tradition . . .
Rather than posting the top ten images on the site or in any given category, I'm sharing all of the hottest stuff from this week! And by "stuff", I mean the most viewed-liked-and-commented content of each type - blog post, forum post, chat, image, video, tutorial, etc. If you're anything like me, your tendency is to stay glued to the top ten photos on the home page. But as awesome and inspiring as those cookies always are, Cookie Connection offers so much more!
So, pull those noses off the home page, and follow along with me on this inaugural multi-media roundup . . .
Hottest Forum Post: Another Mystery Cutter by b
Help b figure out what this cutter is, will you, please?! She's been kind enough to share with us every possible angle, yet I'm still mystified!
Hottest Blog Post: Practice Bakes Perfect - Inspiration Challenge #1 by The Cookie Architect
Yes, we're very lucky! Rebecca Weld of The Cookie Architect has joined the Cookie Connection contributors team to host monthly decorating challenges under the Practice Bakes Perfect moniker. If you haven't yet entered this challenge, there's still time to stretch your skills. It's open until May 31. P.S. For quick access to all of the entries, click on the link in the Practice Bakes Perfect area on the home page (left side) or here.
Just this morning, we hosted the lovely Jaci, as the second chat in our ongoing series with Cookie'sCool instructors. I experienced at least two ah-ha moments (one related to vibrating icing and another to clipping paint brushes)! Read the transcript (link. above) and prepare to learn all about Jaci's distinctive vintage cookie decorating style, and more!
Hottest File: Decorator Directory
Not familiar with this file (snippet, below)? Well then, you might want to be! It's a sortable list of all Cookie Connection members who sell cookies (sorted by default by geography). Here are just a few reasons you might want to access it: to give your cookie business more visibility; to find a cookie decorator to help you with an order; to enlist someone to make special cookies for you! Currently, there are over 140 decorators, from all over the world, on the list. If you'd like to join (I know there are more of you selling cookies out there!), click here. Please note that the directory is updated once a week.
Hottest Video: How to Make 3-D Cookie May Day Baskets by moi, Julia M Usher
Seeing as I'm the only one posting video tutorials to the site right now, this is a dubious honor! But I've included this category with the hope that more of you will share your cookie videos here. Videos upload like normal image clips, from the Clips area of the site, and they must be 100 MB or less.
Hottest Image Accompanied by a Tutorial: Root Beer Float Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies
Yeah, fun cookies, right? Plus, Melissa was thoughtful enough to share a link to her site (in the first comment under the photo, link above), where she shares exactly how she made them. Here on Cookie Connection, we encourage you to link off to tutorials related to the images you post. Just be sure to locate the link in the first comment under the image (it will not hyperlink in the title or subtitle fields). Also place the image in the "Tips, Techniques, and Templates" clip set and tag it with "tutorial". This way, people will be able to quickly locate your image among all the others with tutorials on the site.
(Pssst . . . Melissa will be joining our contributors team very soon. Stay tuned for the official announcement!)
And, last but not least . . .
Hottest Image of the Week, Period!: Dance by mmmcookies
This image was first posted to the site on December 23, 2013, and in the last few months, experienced a huge surge in interest. With over 33,300 views (astounding!), it's been sitting at the top of several hot lists (including the month's hottest cookies) for many weeks. Way to go, mmmcookies! Such a clever design.
* As a reminder, a word about how the rankings are determined: The rankings are not at all subjective. In fact, they are determined essentially by you, our members, and the activity (number of views, likes, and comments) you've bestowed on each photo. The site uses a top-secret algorithm that weighs these various factors to determine which photos are trending most quickly (i.e., are the "hottest") over specified periods of time. As such, the hot list at the time of this announcement may look a little different a few hours or a day from now as more photos are added to the site.
So that no one has an unfair advantage in making it onto a hot list, the algorithm is secret even to site administrators. Only our platform developers know the code, which has been exhaustively tested by those developers and Cookie Connection staff.
All photos shown here are the courtesy (and copyright) of the designers listed.
To check out our other hot lists, at any time of day, visit our Hot Spot, also found in the site's main navigation line.