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Jul 24, 2006 01:10 AM

nice, stable site with tons of features. too bad it's not as much fun as the old chowhound.

i know all the infrastucture problems with chowhound and, yes, something had to be done. just didn't figure that a radical soul-ectomy was the answer. pity. i'll keep posting and stuff but i guess it's time to pass the torch and shuffle on.

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  1. I think we're giving too much credit to the web designers and engineers. Soul is not found in the ability to track users, list 40 topics per page or have a working search engine, and there never will be. It's found in the chow tips that hungry hounds contribute. just provides a website, soul from chowhounds themselves.

      1. re: Dave Feldman

        Ah, but that raises the proverbial question faced by all implantees, which should I get, a brain, a heart, or an appendage?

        Me, I am not interested in any implants, or plastic surgery for that matter, I'm happy working with what I got out of the box, I can always make something interesting out of that.

        1. re: ChinoWayne

          Perhaps the OP was one of those kids that had more fun playing with the box than with what came in it.

          1. re: ChinoWayne

            "Ah, but that raises the proverbial question faced by all implantees, which should I get, a brain, a heart, or an appendage?"

            When a man's an empty kettle
            He should be on his mettle
            And yet I'm torn apart
            Just because I'm presumin'
            That I could be kind-a human
            If I only had a heart.

            I'd be tender, I'd be gentle
            And awful sentimental
            Regarding love and art
            I'd be friends with the sparrows
            And the boy who shoots the arrows,
            If I only had a heart.

            1. re: Bob Martinez

              'Remember, my friend' said the Wizard to the Tin Man; 'A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others'

              I'm relatively new here so I don't know what is different, but I find the site to be fun, entertaining and informative and only because of the people who are on it. Site features aside, the heart of any website is its devoted users.

              1. re: cooknKate

                You are EXACTLY right. Any community like this is what the participants make of it, the infrastructure is relatively unimportant. I found value with the old set-up and I find as much, or more value with the current set-up.

                I think may of us have been focussing too much on what we don't like or think does not work on the new site. It just might be a good idea if we devoted that time and effort to reading and posting to the FOOD related forums, that would help to continue to foster a site that is useful, focussed, somewhat educational and entertaining.

        2. I have to agree. I used to visit chowhound 3 or 4 times a day, now it's not unusual to go a whole week without visiting.

          I may be wrong on this, but I get the feeling that the new design is intended to primarily to help boost the number of page views. The only thing keeping me from being 100% sure of this is the lack of banner advertising, but still...

          4 Replies
          1. re: creamfinger

            I find I'm able to visit less often and get even more out of it, add that to the number of new posters I'm seeing on multiple boards, you'll have to pardon me if I'm missing something. To sum up what was so eloquently stated by limster and Gary Soup, consume and/or contribute but don't bitch about the silverware.

            1. re: PolarBear

              its worth assuming the silverware is still a work in progress until told otherwise.

            2. re: creamfinger

              >I get the feeling that the new design is intended to primarily to help boost the number of page views. <

              You have to be kidding. On the old site, EVERY POST was a separate page view.

              What fun that was.

              1. re: creamfinger

                Er, with all postings of a thread now on one page we've drastically slashed the number of page views (old software was one page per individual posting) in order to provide our users with more convenience.

              2. I don't agree at all. I found a large percentage of the time I spent on the old board was a waste of time necessitated by the outdated software. Now I can visit more often, see if there's anything new I'm interested in, and get off much more quickly. I don't see the "soul" in having to scroll through huge amounts just to see if there's something I'm interested in.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Mick Ruthven

                  Agree w/ Mick. I frequently threatened to build a chowhound competitor because it was so sickeningly bad. This appears to be a fantastic leap in the right direction. It was several years past due. Well done, chowhound.

                  Reading the whining above I'm reminded there are some still nostalgic for the old text-only games (Infocom's Zork). Let me assure you that these people are crusty Luddites clinging to VHS, vinyl and decrepit underwear. It's time for a change.

                  1. re: plasticman

                    The very first computer game I ever played was the best. It was all text, in DOS, and I don't recall its name right now, but it predated the first Leisure Suit Larry from the late 80s by at least a year. It was a game that required the MIND of the participant, let me tell you! ;-)

                    Just kinda only kidding! Love the new chowhound, not kidding about the game ;-)

                  2. re: Mick Ruthven

                    That's funny, I find just the opposite. Now if I see there's a reply to a thread I'm following I have to scroll through the whole thread to find it, only to find that it's not something I'm interested in. On the old software, I could pick and choose exactly what I wanted to read.

                    It's not so bad with short threads, but when they get up around 20 posts they're just not worth wading through anymore. I'm probably missing stuff I'd like to see because it's buried in the middle of a large thread. Even if I'm tracking a poster, it might not be worth it. I'd know that Poster X posted in Thread Y, and that there's a new post on Thread Y, but is it from Poster X? Is it in response to Poster X? Or is it in response to some completely different branch of the thread? Similarly, I may be interested in only one branch of a thread. Say, on Home Cooking, there's a long discussion about what to make in hot weather. There's one particular subdiscussion I'm interested in -- let's say, cold soups -- but there's no way to see if the new replies are to that subdiscussion or not. So I just give up.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      On the old site you could tell whether you wanted to read a post just by the timestamp and name of the poster?

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        To some extent. I could tell by the name of the poster and by looking at where it was on the "tree" (whether it was in reply to a post I'd read and whether it was in a part of the thread I was following).

                        As I said, for a short thread it doesn't make much difference, but on a long, multi-branched one, it makes a huge difference. As I noted during the first week of the new software, I've pretty much given up on General Topics, because the long threads there are too unweildy.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          I think choosing which posts to read by the name of the poster is anti-Chowhound in spirit. You probably end up cherry-picking responses of people you already know will think like you.

                          I do agree that it would be nice to be able to collapse threads into single lines. One of the endearing features of the old software was the ASCII "graph" of activity. I'd tend to migrate to hot sub-discussions, not to specific posters' pearls of wisdom.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            I agree the long threads are cumbersome to navigate through. In the old days people would eventually move on from a topic, nowadays, the same topics keep resurfacing and more and more replies are being added. I think the bookmarking of topics and my chow page are partially to blame because it allows people to revisit the same topic too much.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Yes, I agree and with a slight change in focus I object to ancient posts being resurected and presented as "new" ie the most recent item or topic. And back to your point, there were a number of very reliable posters on various boards whose name gave you confidence of the worth of their comments as it had been born out over time and sometimes confirmed your own experience. Now I can't conveniently look for those names if indeed they still post without pouring through the entire series of posts. I find this "new" board definitely inferior.

                          2. re: Mick Ruthven

                            I agree with Mick as well. Old chowhound would sometimes have me fuming, getting off it before I had read anything. The new way is much easier, saves time and moreover, my mood.

                            1. re: Mick Ruthven

                              Exactly! I was away from the site all summer, but finally logged in again. I love this new layout, and the fact that we have RSS feeds. Now I can keep track of any good chow recommendations as they come through.

                              1. re: Mick Ruthven

                                I'm pretty happy with the new site. One "feature" of the old site was that one could scroll through a large number of topics quickly. With the new site showing only 40 topics per page, some posts to the high traffic boards (L.A. & S.F.) tend to get pushed off the front pages, sometimes within a few hours.

                                I'd like to be able to see a higher density overview, maybe hundreds of topics on a page, with sort, search and filtering - something like a webmail UI.

                              2. New version is lightyears better for searching specific information, and probably for monitoring a particular board.

                                Old version was falling apart and had to be replaced but (for me, anyway) it was better for random browsing. I miss in particular the old hotposts which allowed one to quickly scan, on one long page, who had posted that day on all the boards. So I basically never drop in on the other boards around the country and world. I am probably going to my regular boards as often as I used to, but I am still looking for a strategy that will enable me to check out all the other boards in a time-efficient and informative fashion. (Just looking at the names of the threads on the new "HotPosts" doesn't really convey the same level of information that the old one-page format did.) I hope to find one, and would certainly be interested in how others are dealing with this.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: PayOrPlay

                                  Yup, well put. I really miss the old threaded "tree" view of Hot Posts. I could see which parts of a long thread looked interesting, and I miss the serendipity.