What I Want This Year

After all my active campaigning for the Shorty Awards, I decided today that I want to take a couple minutes to share a few words about the way I use Twitter to both expand Always Order Dessert and my own personal brand, but even more importantly, about my (many!) goals for the site this year. This is a little different from my usual posts, but one that I hope will fill you in a bit on how I see and use and view my presence here on the Web.

I joined Twitter back in June of 2007 when I heard about it from a fellow blogger in the NY Bloggers Meetup group I created and used to run. He was raving about it so I decided to check it out. My first tweet was something along the lines of "Just setting up my Twitter..." but, I confess, that was probably about it for the next year or so.

Then, sometime in the middle of 2008, I started up again. I honestly don't remember why; I just remember that I suddenly really liked it. I loved the instant connection with people all over the globe. I followed every food blogger, food writer, chef, etc., that I could find and reveled in the direct access that I now had at my fingertips. I started conversations with bloggers I had previously only read, and it wasn't long before we were chatting regularly and helping each other out with recipes and ideas. The phrase "my Twitter friend" became a regular part of my vocabulary.

I know there are plenty of people out there who think it's a waste of time, but it really isn't. I've had some pretty incredible things happen in my life 100% because of Twitter. I've met great people that I now consider my friends. I've been invited to events I would have never heard about. I've gotten dinner reservations that I couldn't get through the phone. I made a pretty important Mashable list of Foodies to follow on Twitter that brought Always Order Dessert and my writing to the attention of reporters, publicists, and agents who have encouraged me to take further steps with my career. Even simply being linked to a great article or story that inspired me or moved me in some way--a link that I would have never seen had I not been on Twitter. These things (and a heck of a lot more) are proof to me that this site is anything but a waste of time.

I use the site to communicate and share about my day and what I'm doing. I also ask for help. Twitter can sometimes be like an amazing global customer service. Any question you have, guaranteed, there is someone out there who can answer it. Usually several people! I try to foster this by answering as many questions as I possibly can, and generously (I hope!) sharing my own different kinds of expertise (or even just experience) with the community.

If I had to pick between Facebook and Twitter, I'd pick Twitter without hesitation. I'd pick it because no other medium (not even this blog) gives me the kind of direct one-on-one communication with so many people. If you ask me something on Twitter, I will answer you. If you just drop me a note to say hi, I will respond. If you ask for help with a recipe or for suggestions on what to do with an ingredient, I'll gladly give it.

I will let you know right away that I'm not one of those people who instantly follow everyone back, but I have a good reason. Since I want Twitter to be about more than just collecting "friends," I need there to be some kind of connection before I will take that step. I really like to have at least some kind of basis before I follow someone. I want to open the conversation first. But I promise you that if you respond to me a few times or send me a quick hello and introduce yourself and are open in a way that's beyond simply sending out links or self-promotion, then I will follow you, guaranteed. Every now and then I send out a message that says "introduce yourself" and when I do it's because I really do want to know who is following me. I want to get to know you!

(And if you notice that we've been chatting, but I'm still not following you. Well then just ask me to! I probably just assumed that I already was. That's the amazing thing about the Web: nearly everything you want can be yours just by asking. The trick is figuring the who and how, of course)

I should also note that I'm the same way when it comes to e-mail. If you ever have any recipe questions, ideas for something you'd like to see on the site, questions about what to do with an ingredient, or are even looking for some party planning or entertaining ideas, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Seriously. I freaking love answering those kinds of messages. Sometimes it might take me a few days to get back to you if I've gotten a lot of mail, but you can totally just forward me the note and follow-up. Nudge me all you want!

I've got a lot planned for Always Order Dessert in 2010. It's my goal to post twice as many original recipes as I did last year. I've already started working on articles about entertaining (primarily about entertaining in small apartment spaces like the one that I, and probably most of you, live in) that I'm really excited to share with you. I'm planning more videos, playlists, and events. It's my dream to have this site become major this year and I hope you'll all stick along for the ride.

I'm not sure if I've ever shared this with you guys, but I love this blog. I mean that. I love what I do here more than anything else that I do in my day (I'm including the cooking as part of what I "do" here). I joke around about it, but this site is totally my baby. Even when I'm at work and totally committed to what I'm doing there, the plans and ideas keep unfolding in the back of my head. Over the holidays I took a lot of time to think about the things I want to achieve this year and I've laid them all out here. You're welcome to take a look. Let me know what you think. Let me know if you have any ideas.

One of the best things about always ordering dessert after a great meal, besides the deliciousness of course, is that it gives you a little more time to relax and extend the conversation.

So let's do that. Let's keep talking. And (most importantly!) let's have fun!

New to Always Order Dessert? Consider subscribing to my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates by filling in your address in the box on the right. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me.


  1. I really enjoyed this post and, after reading them just now, your goals for 2010. What I like is that you're setting very specific, tangible goals and things you're aiming for - inspiring! I am much better at the broad, grand, sweeping generalizations of goals, but the sub-goals are the best way to make those happen. You've got me thinking at least.

    I also like how you're setting your sights on what you want and going after it - kudos to you! I have enjoyed getting to know your blog better over the last year and anticipate an exciting ride in the coming months. To 2010!

  2. I had read your goals for this year when you had posted it, and honestly I myself feel inspired!
    These were some of the things I had in mind when I started blogging last year..but it kind of slowed down as I got busy with work
    Anyways, I want to wish you good luck with the targets for 2010. I am sure you will achieve them!

  3. You have inspired me for a long time. I don't know how I found your blog many moons ago - and I may not always comment - but I always read (and I kept checking it even though there weren't new posts for a while :-)). I'm now trying to blog a few times a week. Even if it isn't the most poetic or wonderfully written piece and if it is just rosie style rant -- it feels good to put it down. Happy New Year.

    Jenny (@icywit on twitter).

  4. Great post, I'm a long way from getting to where I'd like to be with my own blog and am making a conscious effort this year to change that. I love your blog and you always have amazing pics.

    On that note, I got totally distracted by that gorgeous-looking cake! What is it and can you point me to the recipe?!

    Hungry Jenny x

  5. Hi Babe! So happy to read about your goals for the future! I know you're going to accomplish those and many more. I knew it back in high school ;) I also agree with Jenny above.. what cake is that? And did you ever post the recipe for that cake that you made when I was last at your place? It had some type of fruit in it but I think it was mainly a sponge cake. I just remember annihilating it during "breakfast" that morning. xoxo

  6. I read your goals for 2010 the other day (cute tumblr page btw!) and you made me feel really bad (okay okay, I made myself feel really bad)for not having made any specific resolutions or goals for 2010...but you you also inspired me! I thought Twitter was total bs when I first heard of it, but I love it now! Best of luck with all your goals for the year! I'm looking forward to your future posts :)

  7. Thank yu for this post and for your blog! I follow you on twitter! And I have a small apartment! Cozy! Nice Photos!
    Love~ Radha

  8. Just thought this was such a sweet, thoughtful, and inspiring post! Your food photog looks beyond mediocre. :)

  9. This post is absolutely "Magnifico". One of my greatest joys in life is to see others around me (especially my children)happy, fulfilled, and achieving success, and I know that you will always accomplish each one of your goals. "whatever your hands finds to do, do it with all your might" Eccl:9:10. Love, Mama

  10. I love how forthcoming and honest you are in this article! It's not as if those tactics are superficial strategies designed to increase traffic for no good reason; you are not mercenary in applying any of them. No, you are the real thing, Alejandra! Your passion for the subject matter you write about comes right through every time. I discovered your blog only a few days ago, and I simply can't figure out what took me so long to find it, You're such a fine writer, and your blog is so lovely and polished, yet it still manages to stay so down to earth. Your voice shines. Clearly, you have such a full and wonderful future ahead of you. I very much look forward to following along and enjoying the ride.


  11. Hi - have been following your blog for a while now. I dont always read your recipes but I like your entertaining (retro party) and other posts (julia childs kitchen visit)... Wish you all the best for your hopes and dreams for the blog. I will be reading :)


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