4 Years of the JFG. So…What’s Next?
Hello there, JFNation. It’s me, Eric. Not the Junk Food Guy, not the JFG, just me – Eric. How’s it going? Good, good. Oh, me? I’m good. Just sittin’ here, reflectin’. This year has brought some big big changes in my life: work, personal, the blog. It seems like just yesterday I was this little runt:
Yep, that’s me. That’s your friendly neighborhood JFG at…4, 5 years old? I think I was doing Eldridge Knots back then, even.
I’m especially nostalgic today because, well, today is June 24th, and that means that it’s been officially FOUR YEARS since I started this blog waaaaaaay back in 2011. Back when I had three unique readers a day. Back when my co-workers, even some of my closest friends, told me, “This’ll never work.” My natural reaction was pretty cliche: “I’ll show them!” But honestly, the main reason I think this blog took off (which I am surprised no one realized) is because: what else did I have to do? I was working, dating, drinking on weekends, working out…I didn’t have kids, I didn’t have any real obligations to ANYONE. I wasn’t disarming detonators in my off time; it was either the blog or watch Family Guy again. Why wouldn’t this work? All I needed to do was…well, do it. And so I did.
And then the blog turned 1 year old:
And then the blog turned 2 years old:
And then the blog turned 3 years old:
And 365 days after that…here we are again. FOUR YEARS:
It’s an odd feeling, knowing that I’ve written this blog for as long as my college career. For longer than my law school career. For longer than I’ve stayed at almost every job I’ve ever had. Over the past four years, I’ve published about 1083 posts – if each post took an hour, that’s a little over 45 days of straight junk food fandom.
The feedback over the years has always been a little hard to decipher. For some, the reviews were always the reason to come. When I started MICRO-reviewing, many of you said, “THANK GOD STOP TALKING ABOUT SPORTS AND JUST GIMME THE GOODS NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR SUBWAY RIDE LOSER.” Others have told via comment and direct emails, “The schtick and random stuff is the main reason I come back. Keep that sh*t up.”
For whatever reason you came here, JFNation, bless your heart, you guys stuck with me through all of it. You saw me go behind the scenes at Turkey Hill:
You’ve followed my food exploits in Vegas:
And, of course, you were able to experience the Live Aqua in Cancun with me, right down to the 3 AM binges:
Despite all of my gum flappin’ and finger typin’ over the past four years, there’s still SO MUCH I want to tell you guys! I mean, I haven’t even told you about how I chased down a SUPER-AWKWARD Gheorghe Muresan:
…or that one time where I competed in a Tater Tot eating contest:
(I came in 4th. It was awful.)
Ok, now I’m just going down memory lane for no reason and getting off track. ANYWAYS, the point is, well, after four years of doing ANYTHING, you have to evaluate things. (It sounds like we’re breaking up, doesn’t it? “It’s not me, it’s you. It’s ALWAYS been effing *you*. Wash the dishes once in a while, could you? I’m outta here.”)
The point is, when you reach benchmarks like a birthday, an anniversary, whatever, you start asking yourself questions. What do I enjoy about this blog? What do I not? What do I want to continue doing? And where do I want to go from here? And what is that goddamn smell? Didn’t you do the dishes? ARGH.
These are all questions I’ve been asking myself since I got back from Cancun until now. And I think I’ve reached some answers.
I guess this is the important part so I’m bolding and underlining this lead-in sentence:
THIS WEBSITE WILL GO ON. Phew – that’s the easy part. No, I’m not going anywhere. You lovely readers are so awesome, and I love interacting with you all in the comments, via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You like junk food? So do I! Thanks for sticking with me all these years.
Now, the hard part – this blog is going to undergo some pretty significant changes over the next couple months. Like, very significant. And when it drops, you’re gonna be like: WHOA. I know, I know – you hate change. Do me a favor, back away from the ledge:
I’ve wrestled with this decision. I know I will lose some of you who just wanna come here and find out what those Brownie Batter Oreos tasted like. (Which, by the way, WHERE THE EFF ARE THEY, OREO?? C’mon now.) Don’t worry; the junk food reviews will still happen, but there will be other stuff going on. Other things I just wanna DO. Hopefully, many of you will stay, and will appreciate the direction I take this little blog that could. That’s the hope. I mean, what do I have to lose? Twitter followers? I think I’ll live.
Look at that smile! You trust me, don’t you? All I want is for the next four years of the JFG to be big. To be moving upward. To be evolving, always, into something even bigger. For me. For you. For all of us in this wonderful JFNation. Or is it JFG Nation? Whatever.
So just a preview of what’s coming up:
1) The rest of this week: normal reviews, per usual.
2) Next week is my annual pilgrimage to the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City! BINGE FEST 2015 IS MORE LIKE IT AMIRIGHT GUYS. Cough. You’ll be able to follow all my exploits on social media; I’ll remind you all Friday.
3) Following that show, I’ll blog all about my experiences. It’ll be fun. It’ll be like you were there right next to me, munching on those truffle ice creams (gag.)
4) And THEN…well, then I’ll be going on a little hiatus. For reals. I might drop in now and then to review something really good (BROWNIE BATTER OREOS, I’M WAITING), but I’ll be working hard, the rest of the summer, on the next step. The next level. We’re taking this up a notch.
So…yeah. Four years. It’s been a crazy ride. So hold on – it’s about to get a little bumpier, but I promise there’s something unhealthy and awesome at the end of this road. Be easy, Nation.
Junk Food Guy