Tales of the Future and the Past: Goodbye Slashfood, Hello Digital Girl Scouts

Back in the day, Slashfood was the place for getting the big national food news. It won awards. It got some serious traffic. And it was owned by that avatar of Internet-age modernity, AOL.

Even back-er in the day (like in 1917), the Girl Scouts turned seasonal retail and door-to-door cookie sales into a cash cow of unbelievable size. Rough estimates put the take from an average year of cookie sales somewhere in the $700,000,000 range, with the actual Girl Scouts taking in anywhere from 10 to 60% of that total. 700 million dollars, all brought home by an army of little girls in green uniforms. That's impressive.

But things change. In this day and age, no one (and no company) can stand still for a minute without getting lapped by technology. And the weird thing is, guess which of these two organizations is really keeping ahead of the curve?

Yeah, it's the Girl Scouts.

Two announcements have come down in recent days. The first was from AOL, which, in the wake of its $315 million acquisition of The Huffington Post, said that Slashfood was going to be phased out, with some existing content merged into the HuffPo site. Eater.com got a part of the memo announcing the change, and it basically said that while HuffPo was going to be eating Slashfood whole, some part of the original AOL food blog might live on.

"Word is that the old content will likely be merged into HuffPo Food, and we were assured that the flame will live on in some manner: Slashfood, the brand, will not be entirely erased from the Internet," according to eater. But still, to paraphrase that weird scientist guy from Contact, if Slashfood isn't already out the door, it is certainly being handed its hat.

On the other side of the evolve-or-die equation are the Girl Scouts, who announced today that they were going to be taking cookie sales into the 21st century with the release of their new Official Girl Scouts of the USA Cookie Finder for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

"With the app, the iPhone's GPS will read your location and show you cookie sales nearby," says the press release and Girl Scouts blog. "All search results are easy to sort and view. All listings are sorted by date, radius, or you can view them all on a map. The app includes the most comprehensive information available and contains cookie sale data from around the country, including the start and end of local cookie sales."

The Girl Scouts see this as just another way for them to connect with the community. And by "community" they mean total cookie addicts who will literally use this app like a dowsing wand to find cookies and go running at the tables with big fistfuls of cash in their hands. And I know this because ANYTHING having to do with Girl Scout cookies drives some people completely crazy with lust, as evidenced by the massive response we got to our post from back in January about making your own Girl Scout cookies at home.

And just think, with $700 million or so in sales and all that cash on hand, the Girl Scouts could've bought The Huffington Post themselves and used the entire thing as just one big virtual bake sale.

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