Look, if you’re going to make a pizza, you’re going to want a perfect three-cheese blend. And if you think that’s as simple as picking out three cheeses and blending them, buddy … well, it is. But experienced Tucson-based personal chef Mike Neylan made this instructional video anyway, just to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Very kind of him.
To be fair to chef Mike, this video was part of an entire series on making pizza, created in 2012 for archetypal content farm eHow. There was a time in the not-so-distant past, before the ascension of Facebook was complete, when websites like this would divide their content into the smallest possible chunks in order to jockey for search-engine traffic. Is anyone searching “how to make a three-cheese blend” instead of “how to make a three-cheese pizza”? Probably not, but if they do, content farms want those clicks.
Is chef Mike capable of making a single video covering all of the pizza basics, including how to mix three shredded cheeses in a bowl and how to cut a pizza with scissors? Certainly. He’s been a personal chef for more than 20 years. But you’re thinking like a human — in the content-farm era, the key was to think like a machine.
And so the cheese video stands alone, a perfect, crystalline artifact of its time.
Ironically, the plan worked, but not thanks to search engines. The video has been seen 500,000 times after getting popular on Reddit’s /r/videos, where it was mocked mercilessly. Turns out this cheesy nugget of content was built for humans after all, whether the publisher intended it or not. Can you imagine a complete, useful, non-absurd pizza video achieving such popularity?
Chef Mike didn’t respond to an email requesting comment about his days as a video pizza instructor.