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Jul 3, 2006 02:19 AM

To Start a New Thread or Not Start a New Thread?

Here's my philosophical question.

Tonight, I went to a restaurant in Manhattan called Crispo. With the great new advanced search mechanism, it was easy for me to see this most recent thread about it. Here was the original post of the thread:

"Went to Crispo last night and had a great meal. The carbonara was great, as were the risotto balls. The waiter was attentive and helpful. The bill for 2 people with 2 apps, 2 pastas and a bottle of wine was $100 (incl tip). The back garden is a hidden gem. The interior is also very welcoming."

This was posted in June 22 and it received three or four replies, the most recent ten days ago. I went with two friends and as it happened, I ordered the risotto balls and carbonara (and enjoyed them). I have a few things to add. If I were to post on the old software, I think I almost certainly would start a new thread, as a reply this late would find primarily folks using Hot Posts (the reply would be buried). On the new software, a new reply would send the thread up to the top for those people who choose to sort by new reply rather than when a thread is originated.

I understand why some old threads are being dredged up. It's not original posters bumping up their posts, but rather, I assume, folks who used the search mechanism. As a user who is sorting by latest reply, all things being equal, I'd just as soon folks reply to old threads if they are just reviewing the restaurant.

My take on the restaurant is very similar to the O.P.'s. I have a couple of other things to recommend, and a general piece of advice about what I might not order there. What would you do if you were me? Start a new thread or reply to the old one (FWIW, this restaurant seems to generate many O.P.'s but relatively few replies to them).

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  1. Personally, I like the option to sort threads by latest post, and, therefore, the bubbling up of old threads when new insights are brought into them. The one problem is having to scroll way down the thread to find the new posts. I'm opposed to sorting in reverse chronological order because it makes the "tree" too confusing, but I think there should be a button for jumping to the latest post in a thread.

    I guess what I am saying is "don't start a new thread" when in doubt.

    1. If the old thread were short I'd post there. If long, I'd start a new one and post a link to the old one. Although 6/22 doesn't strike me as old.

      1. It is more efficient to reply to the original topic, I think, especially if what you have to say fits well within the original topic (which it sounds like it does) -- otherwise if somebody reads your new post, and wants to find out what earlier people have said about the place, s/he will need to do a site search, duplicating the work you put into finding the old post. (If you reply to the old post, s/he may well still be doing a site search to find if there are any other comments about the place, but will come up with one fewer result so have less work required to read everything.)

        1. Generally I agree with the above, but have a few concerns about adding to an older thread. It may be confusing when a search result pops up that says it was updated recently, yet the initial posts in the thread are all old. Does anyone know how the Chow News editors are sifting through topics, i.e., by date of most recent reply or by date the topic started? Wouldn't want to miss stuff that should be in the weekly digest. And, lastly, the limit on nesting of replies gives one level of advantage to starting a new post and linking to an old one.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            You bring up a good point. We're at the point where everything is new so we don't know how things are sorted/sifted. Eventually I assume a pattern will emerge and we'll have a better idea. It will be interesting to see how people's posting habits will change and how the new Chowhounds will become intergrated with the old and new.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I dont think the functionality of the Boards and their user-friendliness should be driven by chownews, tho its continued production is certainly a concern.

              Personally, Id rather have the info concentrated on one thread with a lot of info - tho info on a place is always going to be spread around among reports, responses to queries, etc.

            2. I know this sounds like a very noncommittal answer but I think it all depends. Personally, I would use time as a rule of thumb for a restaurant report. If you are adding a comment or a short piece of advice then I would tack it on (reply) to your most recent post. If the restaurant you are reporting about changes their menu with the season, moon phase or the chef's whims then I'd start a new thread. I'd definitely post a new thread if a restaurant that you previously reported in glowing terms changed, such as they closed, went downhill/uphill or had serious health code violations.

              As for the other boards I don't think the time rule applies. I remember on the old board where posters would have Detective Columbo moments and post a second or third time with "just one more thing".

              Lastly, bumping a post up for self aggrandizement is very wrong but that is where thinking before we write should come in.

              P.S. With so many recent posts about carbonara, I now have an extreme craving for carbonara.