Some of my readers may have already noticed that I have put up a poll on the right side of the blog. If you have a moment, I'd appreciate any replies you'd care to give or comments you'd care to leave on the subject.
The reason for this poll is that I'd like to widen the scope of what I've been reviewing to some extent. There are sometimes foods that I buy and consume that I could review which I do not review because they aren't the sorts of things that most of my readers (who are not living in Japan) can find from their respective locations.
Mainly, I've been avoiding reviewing things like packaged pastries or traditional sweets which are sold relatively fresh (with expiration dates that are within a few weeks) and unlikely to be exported. Though I will occasionally review such things, my main focus has generally been on the sort of packaged food with longevity that may be sold by various exporters of Asian food.
The poll asks if readers are looking to be informed so they can make purchases because this has been my default assumption for the most part. However, I've started to wonder if the main reason people read is simply curiosity about Japanese food or food in general and that the ability to actually purchase the foods I review is of far lesser importance to my readers than I have imagined. If the poll reveals that few people actually use this blog as a resource for information on purchases, chances are I will expand to covering more of the types of foods that are unlikely to be available via exporters or Asian food selling agents.
Changing the scope of the blog to encompass more fresh foods wouldn't affect the general composition of the blog dramatically. Certainly, I would not avoid reviewing the popular items like KitKats, oddball Coke and Pepsi releases, etc. It would, however, cut down on the number of similar products that get reviewed (like the number of variations on flavor themes like sweet potato, chestnut, chocolate, banana Country Ma'am flavors). Frankly, I think that expansion would be good from the viewpoint of not repeating reviews of so many of the same products in their various incarnations. Again though, I'll sample what I want to sample. I'm looking to the poll's results more with an eye toward what I will actually take the time to write reviews of.
Thanks in advance for any feedback you care to give me. I really appreciate all of the people who follow this blog and read it regularly. The fact that it keeps growing (slowly, but surely) is very encouraging to me. At the moment, I'm averaging about 1,100 independent visitors per day (and heading toward 800 subscribers via RSS), and that makes me very happy indeed. Thank you for your support and readership!