R.I.P. HSB

During it’s day, and I was only a lurker back then, the Hot Sauce Blog(HSB) was the Facebook for chileheads. People wanted to be informed about spicy products, food, recipes, shows or just wanted a place to share their love of fiery foods, the HSB was the place to go. It inspired other blogs like mine to branch off and continue to blaze a trail of spicy information to the masses. I do not think that type of atmosphere will ever be replaced again as Facebook has taken over. TastetheFear had a really nice run in it’s fast and friendly pace a couple of years ago, but Facebook gobbled up the posts as well. That might have been the last great stand for chile blogs.

Most of the present blogs are good for a click now and then, but to sustain that type of lively chat, that just isn’t going to happen unless Facebook gets a scandal and then I am sure Google+ will be a suitable replacement. For now we have the Chileheads group on Facebook which in it’s own right has become the new version of the HSB. It is very friendly and active, and the people are so passionate about chile peppers and their love of spicy food. All the chile blogs, as well as some companies and events use it to promote their own endeavors. I am quite guilty of that, but it is why I created the group, so we could create a hub for the chile world. Something I tried to do with the HSB months before I started ILIS. To show my commitment I started a spicy bacon product contest, but the site was on life support at that point and the contest was not well received. I heard nothing back from the HSB moderators so I moved onto ILIS.

After 2+ years of rumors on the reemergence of the HSB, it is clear that the rumors were nothing more than a pipe dream. Even if it did zombify itself at this point, I am not sure there would be a welcoming yelp throughout the chilehead community. Speaking with a few companies here and there over the years that were left high and dry for product reviews, I think there are some unhappy at how things ended with a lack of contact. The previous owner Nick Lindauer has moved on and from his Facebook page, and he is a happier man for it with a lovely wife of 1 year and a brand new bouncing baby to prove it. Nick made a great blog, but sometimes life changes and you change with it.

The HSB was a great blog, but it is now time to sing it’s praises and honor it with our stories. I know there would be no ILIS if it wasn’t for a desire to bring back a taste of the HSB’s greatness. I have met so many great people because of my interest in the HSB, and for that I am forever thankful. Let me share a little story about my first comment on the HSB.

I was a lurker off and on for some time, but never had posted anything until I was home a month from stomach surgery. I could have nothing more than chicken stock for 10 days, and was adding Tabasco to my soup for heat and flavor. It had hit me that I wasn’t getting much of a buzz off the heat of Tabasco anymore, so I decided to ask about other products I could get my hands on that were hotter and still tasty. I got a load of suggestions, and wrote them down. What I did not know was the majority of them were from the product makers themselves. I bought many of them in my first visit to Peppers of Rehoboth Beach where I met the one and only Creator of Defcon Sauces. It was my induction into the community, and I have been on a spicy roll ever since.

Please share your memories if you have any good ones. We are here to celebrate the HSB and remember it for what it did to help enhance the great chilehead community we have today.

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24 thoughts on “R.I.P. HSB

  • December 2, 2011 at 10:43 am
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    My question is why keep the dead site up? It takes away links to active sites…it’s obviously dead, why not take it down?

  • December 2, 2011 at 10:46 am
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    My first interaction with other chileheads was on HSB and Taste the Fear. It certainly was a different kind of environment than FB is.

  • December 2, 2011 at 11:07 am
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    Just like Xero. My first interaction with chileheads was on TTF and HSB. Bill and I were just talking about it the other night. They were so different than FB is. And in a lot of ways much better. You would get 100’s of comments and discussions going on within a single post. Everyone had fun and kept up with it. We met a lot of wonderful people thanks to those blogs. People I would have never met through FB.

  • December 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm
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    I don’t know that it’s really your place to call something over without a call or email to/from Nick, is it?
    I know you have your finger on the pulse, but still, I think Nick is owed the courtesy of calling it over, don’t you? And honestly, why does it need to be given a RIP thread? Is it still blipping on your radar that often that it warrants a thread about it’s perceived demise?

    I loved HSB, it was truly the pioneering chilehead site. I fought epic battles on that site, laughed cried and kissed my dignity goodbye many times. Made so many friends from there, Buddah included.
    There has never been anything since then that has even come close to duplicating that community and the reviews and general content. I know all you folks try, but you have to admit, HSB was THE place to be, the rest only came to the forefront once HSB faded into the shadows. It just proves that anyone can call themselves an authority on spicy food, because they say they are…but I digress…

    The Facebook Chileheads groups is ok, but mostly meandering stuff I don’t care too much about, weird photos of peppers from people with their shirts off, etc The Facebook format doesn’t allow for the characters to come through and besides that, the real personalities from HSB don’t participate there either. It’s lacking a lot to be honest, no offence Al, that’s no reflection on you.

    You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone as they say…

  • December 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm
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    No offense taken UB. The Facebook compares to the HSB in activity alone, but things take time to develop. It is the only consistent meeting spot for spicy food nuts like ourselves.

    As for creating this post, I relate it to Dr Kervorkian(so?). Someone needs to pull the plug. Maybe it isn’t my place, but its time to let go. The HSB served its purpose and wont ever be replaced. Leave flowers if you must.

  • December 3, 2011 at 7:13 am
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    I agree with Big, why did you have to give the HSB an RIP thread? Honestly, it’s fun to go to the site every once in a while and read some of the comments from ‘back in the day’, a lot of it is pretty funny. I also agree that the Chileheads thing on Facebook is rather meandering and kind of floats all over the place. I’ll check it out every now and then, but that’s about it.

    As for the HSB never being able to rekindle the flame, I disagree. If it ever came back, I think people would flock to it again. The only reason it went away in the first place was because of a few people starting idiotic fights, and Nick got tired of all the bullsh*t.

  • December 3, 2011 at 7:55 am
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    John, I welcome your opinion as always. This thread was honestly started to create dialogue, good or bad. I will disagree that the HSB died strictly because there were too many arguments going on. Nick was going through a rough patch at the time and left the blog in the hands of moderators with bad people skills. By then a few of the dissidents who were also the ones with the most comments had left to play on TTF. Reviews stopped, posting slowed down, and ultimately there was no caretaker to handle the fighting. Nick’s disinterest ultimately might be traced back to when he left NY and sold Sweat ‘N Spice.

    If I went through what Nick had gone through personally, I might have done the same thing and lost my vim and vigor to keep the site going. I have been there myself, and once you go to that place, you close the door and turn people off. After he removed himself from HSB, it died because none of his mods wanted to keep it going for him. I very much go through this myself every other month. Why do I keep a blog going where people hardly post? I think about closing the door here quite a bit. I say to myself, this is the last year, then I get that bug again to keep it going. Sooner or later it will be over, but for now I keep churning stuff out, hoping something here will benefit the reader or a company or festival that I am posting about.

  • December 3, 2011 at 8:14 am
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    Trust me, Nick and I were good friends during the bullsh*t uprise, and spoke to each other quite often about it. It was the childish personal attack crap that led to the demise of the HSB. The HSB was the absolute go-to place for anything chile related and everyone knew it. It stayed that way until a wave of personal attacks started by a said few turned the entire site into a sh*t-throwing contest. Each honest review would have a couple honest replies, and then the sh*t would start, which completely turned off a majority of the regulars. Nick got sick of it as well, as his once great site was taken down by a handful of sh*t-throwers.

  • December 3, 2011 at 8:25 am
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    I remember quite well about the crap tossing. I tried very much to stem it from getting worse, but it also wasn’t my place. It got tired and old real fast. You said, “Nick and I were good friends”. There was a period when he shut out many of his good friends, and stopped communicating with them. At least that is what I was told. Third hand info might not be the most reliable. I am sure he is still good friends with many of those people, but he turned off life for a while. The arguments might have been a HUGE factor in his decision to stop working on the site, but it wasn’t the reason he stopped communicating with his friends.

  • December 3, 2011 at 8:52 am
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    Yeah, and the period was after everyone got on his case about not having control over his own website, and at the same time, people getting pissed off when he would delete comments. Kind of a lose, lose situation, don’t you think? As for when the crap started on his site, everything was fine with his life. Myself and Maggie would meet him a number of times in NYC and go to shows together like the Fancy Food Show, or meet in Hoboken for a couple of beers every now and then. Personally, I think he felt slighted, after all the effort he went through (most of it single-handedly) to keep everything up to date, just to have it turn into a kindergarten romper room, with absolutely no respect given to him by the few sh*t-throwers, which killed the site, as people got tired, really fast, of nothing but insults being thrown around.

  • December 3, 2011 at 9:15 am
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    There was definitely piling on effect going on with Nick. The last thing I am sure he wanted when he was having personal issues was to come to his once respected site, and see it trashed day in and day out. Must have been a spiraling effect on him. Like I said above, I came to him before I ever wanted to start my own site here, and gave him a proposal to bring back the HSB. Our communications were quite positive, and I thought we were going to do something. He told me several times he would call, but it never came. I tried to communicate with Anthony too, but that was a waste as well. Eventually I gave up, and jump started ILIS. I would have loved to bring back the flavor of both the HSB and TTF without treading on anyone’s toes with the other chile blogs. The enjoyment, as you can attest to, is the interaction within this great community. At least the positive tones. When I am in my humdrum job, I think about the fun I have had and look forward to the next event. In between, the gap was the HSB, now it is Facebook. Maybe not with the old skool chileheads, but it still carries on. I don’t get pumped about pics of chiles, the throng of videos recently of people eating the world’s hottest peppers, and the discussions about growing. Others do, so there is an outlet for that at least for people who have grown weary of THP. I find myself getting in less and less discussions because of a lack of interest. The HSB type of interaction is sorely missed, but I do not think if it did make a return, the following would be there. Social media is too strong. It would be interesting to see though how long people would visit over time.

  • December 4, 2011 at 8:55 am
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    Always starting shit…….I agree Big…John…. Dam Al leave it alone already…….

  • December 4, 2011 at 9:31 am
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    Always starting shit? That coming from you? What shit have I started Doug? If this lights a fire under Nick to get the HSB back, is that a bad thing? Maybe for you, but not for the people that miss it. I have always tried to work with you and all the other sites that wanted to work with me. There is no shit started here, it is simply to call a spade a spade, and recognize it just is a dead site with no signs of life. Pay your respects and talk about the good times.

  • December 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm
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    Al..Where did Nick say the blog was dead??? WHEN? Light a fire under Nicks ass???? That needs to come from you??? Ahhh NO!!! Not sure what you are talking about when you say you tried to work with me??? Al really You of all people should have nothing to say about HSB Period.The word Shit thrower was used in this thread…I love it

  • December 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm
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    Nick doesn’t have to say answer, actions speak louder than words. I was just saying that if the HSB suddenly made a comeback because I said it was dead, then this post is a good thing. Although I do not think I would take credit for it even if it was attributed to me.

    As for the working with other sites comment, I meant that I enjoy pushing the united help one another front. I have worked with your site, THP, THZO, Scott’s, HSD/HSW and several other ones. I would welcome HSB back, and would hope to push their agenda as well. Now why say, “Al really You of all people should have nothing to say about HSB Period”? Do you think I was one of the few people that created all the drama over there before it collapsed? Do you need a reminder of the Truth?

  • December 6, 2011 at 1:08 am
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    What is the HSB? I don’t remember….. I remember a collector sauce called the Death Blog.

    Oh what fun it was……… Doug I love you please be my friend.

  • December 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm
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    Its slow at work so I am going to jump in here. Really don’t care if this old blog is dead or not. But Al you could have titled your post “The Good Old Days of the Hot Sauce Blog” then nobody would get offended. I went there and your right nothing is going on. Maybe some of you missed it but right now you, Doug and Scott etc have plenty of news and reviews between you all that I can’t keep up with it all. You guys all have day jobs and I am surprised and amazed at all the work you get done on your blogs. Now I hope someone listens to this. If a blog goes inactive I won’t lose sleep. But when a product maker has inactive pages so I can’t spend my money then I get pissed. So Doug tell your buddy John (Fat Kids) to fix his ordering page or he will never see my money. I have went their 3 times and its still down! I called contact number at top of homepage and its somebody elses number. You product makers make sure your site works regularly. Next sauce maker I run into with this issue loses my business for good! I like to buy a lot. I like to share and promote what I buy!

  • December 8, 2011 at 11:21 pm
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    I think they keep it up because my photos were so awesome.

  • December 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm
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    Damn………………..that is all. :_punk: Been a while since I posted anything on a hot sauce type site. I remember the HSB very well. Some of you might still actually remember who I am. LOL

  • December 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm
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    Welcome back and to ILIS Scott. If you have a Facebook account you should join the “Chileheads” group.

  • December 13, 2011 at 10:40 am
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    Im already in it. 🙂

  • July 9, 2012 at 8:14 am
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    Buddha, you might want to delete this thread, Nick has brought the Hot Sauce Blog back on line.

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