Hello readers! Remember me? I’m not sure whether a 7 week break can really be called a hiatus, but that’s what I’m going with. I’ve probably gone on about this too much recently, but things have been really busy over the last few months! There have been all kinds of adventures – lots and lots of food tours, recruiting new staff, dabbling in a little catering, changing accountants and getting boring businessey stuff organised, working with a major US broadcaster, preparing for an upcoming trip to Mexico and also working on the brand new Eat Rio website. Oh yeah, and it looks like an actual physical book with my name on it could possibly be appearing next year!
The book thing has not been confirmed yet so we’ll have to see how that goes, but the new website is almost upon us. Now then, long-term readers will read the last part of that last sentence with a certain amount of (justified) scepticism. Over the last 18 months I’ve mentioned this ‘new website’ many times but until now it has been all talk. But the time has finally come! With the help of Tamara at Just Add Glitter, the new site is finally done!
Eat Rio – The story so far
OK, so let’s just do a quick recap on the history of Eat Rio. Back in 2011, Tom (a newcomer to Rio with a lot of time on his hands) decides that starting a blog might be fun. With the help his mentor/sensei/wife, Mrs Eat Rio, Tom learns more and more about Rio and Brazil and is mostly enchanted (he still thinks brigadeiro sucks). He records his findings and recommendations in a somewhat flaky looking Blogspot blog.
Then, in early 2012, Eat Rio moves to its own domain, gets a fancy facelift and is set-up on the Wordpress platform.
In 2013, Tom and his friend Diana take a group out on a food tour and it goes pretty well. Over the following months Tom and Diana refine the tours and eventually they are listed on TripAdvisor. Things start to take off. Diana leaves Rio for new adventures in the US and Tom decides to quit his day job to concentrate on all things related to Eat Rio. It’s scary, but the 4 hour daily commute that he would leave behind helps him take the leap of faith.
The tours go from strength to strength, bolstered by the massive influx of new visitors coming to Rio for the FIFA World Cup. It slowly dawns on Tom that the single ‘Food Tours’ page on the blog isn’t really good enough. As hobby becomes livelihood Tom realises Eat Rio should be a business website with the blog on the side, not a blog with a business page tacked on. Tom decides to have a go at making a brand new Eat Rio website – as an IT professional of 10 years he assumes it will be child’s play.
Things don’t go well. Progress on the new site is slow. Progress grinds to a halt. Progress stutters back to life. Tom’s laptop dies permanently and Tom finally realises it’s time to get a professional on the case. Tamara steps in and does an amazing job – the new website is completed in 2 months.
The New Eat Rio
As I mentioned in that last section, the idea with the new website is that its prime purpose will be to support the new business ventures of Eat Rio (“business ventures” sounds fancy doesn’t it?). As well as the food tours, we’re hoping to start some other fun, culinary exploits in the next year and the new site will be ready to handle it. But the blogging definitely isn’t finished! In fact I’m hoping that the new site will help free up some time so that I can get back to writing regularly.
The main structural difference between the old site and the new one will be the front page. Previously when you went to our homepage you would have been confronted with the latest blog post. With the new site our homepage will be a showcase of the various services/activities we offer. However, the blog will still be there – accessible from a link on the top menu bar. And if you don’t want to keep clicking that link then you can just bookmark the blog page to go straight there without having to deal with the front page every time. Simple!
The new site also has some new sections – there’s a “Where to stay” section where I’ve listed some of my favourite hotels, guest-houses and hostels. There’s also a “Where next” section which lists a few of my recommendations for popular onward destinations such as São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Salvador (these are by no means exhaustive and I’m always looking for new recommendations so please feel free to mail me your suggestions).
The switch over will begin tomorrow (Saturday 12th September) and should be fully finished by the end of the weekend. If things look a bit wonky during this time then bear with us – Tamara will be doing clever technical stuff that is beyond the understanding of mere mortals such as we.
I hope the newest incarnation of Eat Rio meets with your approval. I have a locker full of posts just ready to go so hopefully they’ll be following along soon after.