DDD definitely got its inspiration directly from Roadfood as, if I remember correctly, one of the producers had posted on Roadfood a number of years ago looking for suggestions of places to check out.
DDD is certainly outpacing RF for a few reasons:
1.) They have an entire staff dedicated to researching where to go plus they reach a far wider audience than RF and they get tons of viewer suggestions.
2.) As much as I love RF, there seem to be very few active members. According to what I just read on this site, there are 114,520 registered users but I would guess there are less than 100 users who are regular contributers to the forums/boards and who have submitted multiple reviews and posted multiple Trip Reports. It has been this way for quite some time. Why? Some folks are "lurkers" on the site and just like to read and get suggestions of places to go. Others, maybe due to various circumstances, cannot afford to eat out very often or travel. Some people don't feel comfortable taking pictures in restaurants or drawing attention to themselves. Some people may not want to put forth the effort from start to finish to submit a review or post a Trip Report. Not the hardest thing in the world, but a labor of love nonetheless.
3.) I've seen many posts asking the why the Sterns have not been to "City X" to try a particular restaurant. They are only two people and have various commitments for book readings, signings, obligations at home, articles to write, etc. Most, if not all of, the rest of the Roadfood team is here on a volunteer basis. They can only do so much. To that, I say what I have always said, "Be an ambassador for your city/town/favorite restaurant". If there's a special place that you think should be on the site and you feel passionately about it, create an opportunity to share it with the online (and real world) at large. Grab a pen, a pad of paper and a camera and get out there to give us the scoop!
Recently, I had started a thread in the Roadfood News column about the Frito Pie dust-up with Anthony Bourdain and it received almost 100 responses in a very short short period of time. Sadly, it didn't take long for the conversation to take a negative turn and I believe the thread has since been deleted. Some had voiced concern in the past about not enough members taking a more active role in contributing to Roadfood and how there seems to be a focus on more somewhat "non-Roadfood" centric threads. To be honest I really didn't notice it too much until this recent thread. I sat back and thought, "Wow, I wish my Trip Reports would get this many replies!". I realize that eveyone has an opnion about something/somebody and it's not always easy to relate to places one may have not yet visited or may never visit, but if trading barbs back and forth on a thread can routinely generate THAT much interest, then perhaps we're forgetting what it's really all about.
I have always viewed Roadfood as a celebration of and a tribute to all of the wonderful quirkiness and uniqueness that defines so many regions of this country. It has been an amazing journey and a brilliant education for me as well as an honor to sit across from so many wonderful Roadfooders and share their food traditions with them as well as introduce them to some of mine. I've also met many fantastic and talented restaurateurs along the way who have woken up my taste buds with countless dishes I would never have thought to try. It's a journey I plan to be on for a very long time and if I may borrow a phrase (somewhat) from the Boston-based rock band, Aerosmith, "Roadfood's a journey, not a destination. And I just can't tell just what tomorrow brings." That sense of wonder and excitement at what new-to-me Roadfood awaits is a HUGE part of the appeal. May I never lose it!
Just really felt the need to share...thanks for listening.
<message edited by billyboy on Tue, 10/8/13 5:03 AM>