Telling people to Search.
I agree with you about Faidley's, but not about the search feature. Mr. Leff has been pretty clear in the past that continuous updating is what keeps the recommendations fresh. If a place starts going downhill, I trust this board to let me know about it first, and that's one of the reasons why.
I do miss Angelina's crabcakes.
Who knows anymore? Let's get out there and eat! I swear I'll post findings to Manhattan and Outer Boros this weekend! Right now I'm too full from a shockingly all right shnitzel sandwich from Hoomoos Asli (in the city at Kenmare and Lafayette). tDQ - perhaps we'll share a Lambic at the Bryant Bowl someday!
Lowbar, Jen, tDQ (I wish you and CH were around when I was frequently visiting Mpls/St. Paul years ago!), Jacquilynne, and earlier posters to this thread - seems there might actually be some consensus. Lowbar, I might be taking a deserved hit from you (re: my knock on those pimping the Slope), but I think we're in agreement in that searching is a GREAT thing. I do it all the time! And don't you people realize how super smart and excellent and amazing I am? Or am I alone again in my own superiority? :)...
...uh, anyhoo, I'm just happy I got a tiny pet peeve off my shoulders.
Cut and pasted from my response about searches on a different thread: "Melanie Wong has an excellent way of pointing out that a search would be beneficial without it coming off as snarky. All I am saying is add something to the 'do a search.' Like 'There have been a lot of posts on that topic, do a search. My personal favorite is Cafe X.'"
Suggesting a search is perfectly reasonable. As Melly said, just do it nicely.
Yeah, I guess the way I did it in the original thread (here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...) was interpereted by some to be mean...but I did preface it with "no offense:" which some people automatically take to mean "the following statement is offensive:"
I have since edited it to debunch the collective panty.
I'm sorry about all this, I certainly didn't mean to start a discourse on the merits of the chowhound site or the stature of one chowhound vs another. I think we all get something out of this site or else we wouldn't be here. Some people like the advice they get, new haunts discovered etc. Others get a sense of satisfcation out of delivering said advice and sharing their finds with like-minded (or otherwise-minded) folks...and there are those who get to reinforce their self-importance by calling the recommendations of others pedestrian or stupid (the aforementioned ego-coddling which some people certainly glean from these pages). They all have a place here. As long as this site is free and access is unrestricted...which is how it should be in my meaningless opinion...and as long as moderators are actively trolling the boards to remove posts which are overly offensive, aggressive, or inappropriate (though if someone really does want to share with me how to MAKE THOUSANDS IN TWO WEEKS WHILE I EAT $$$$$$ please do)...I think people should freely and openly express whatever food-related and board-related opinions, suggestions, complaints, etc they have in these threads.
In that spirit, I offered my opinion that people should use the search feature before they post questions, especially general questoins. I knew it would not be too popular...after all I like Egg McMuffins so clearly I know nothing about food or the ways of a chowhound. Lost apparently on the original audience was the intent of that post...that the question-asker will be better served by asking more specific questions after reading the available information out there on their topic, and reviewing the information that has accumulated over recent months or even years rather than relying upon the people who find time to reply in the immediate timeframe. True, I also find the same discussion in 3 separate threads in the same week personally annoying...out of my own lame sense of obligation to weigh in and advise these folks to the best of my ability...and I really want people to get what they are looking for. Search and ye shall find *something* (usually), then ask a question that can actually be adressed with worthwhile insight.
So, maybe instead of telling people to use the damn search if they want the best information they can get, I should have requested that they ask better questions.
I need to add procratination enabler to that list of chowhound's many benefits to enlightened society.
Thanks for the compliment, tDQ. However, I'm not at all living up to my own exacting and facistic standards. I don't think its necessarily about having an extremely advanced palette (which I don't have), but about doing the footwork and sharing. And I haven't been.
Of course, I grok Chris VR's point - and up until now, I didn't reply. Actually, I still don't reply to those largely innocuous posts. What really gets me though is that, I assume, some newbies think this is a service or a blog, perhaps generating income or ego coddling to those who do provide the actual information. And on a completely bitchy label, I don't get how said newbies would assume the rest of us haven't been talking about this crap for years - and it's all right there on the servers.
This just feels so damn familiar to me.
Sorry! No harm intended. But we are talking about the ".com" not the "ing". I think with the exception of Jen Kalb, and some others I don't see posting anymore, we'd all do better by more frequently hitting the streets then hitting the keyboards, and using good Subject lines. I'm the first one I'd blame for inaction. I need to my food where my mouth is. (That's a joke.)
Thank you for the reassurance Jacqilynne and noisejoke. I am willing to do the footwork and search out, but I feel my palate is still in training, compared to those whose palates are already very well-trained. But, I don't mean to diminish the hard work of those who have the advanced and well-trained palates who also pound the pavement and end up eating a lot of yuck in search of deliciousness. I think the best chowhounds are those who have the well-trained palates AND do the hard work of being on the leading edge of discovery. It's those 'hounds I try my best to emulate, with varying degrees of success. We all have room to grow.
noisejoke, that was so beautifully-written, thank you. You have the heart of a true chowhound. Sadly, I don't think I do. I'll confess, although I suspect everyone already knows, I'm not a born chowhound, but an adapted one. I try really hard to listen to and learn from folks like you. I hope you and the other "true" 'hounds are patient with me.
I'll never forget hearing from another chowhound how more rich the experience was for her for when she tasted a soup made with turkey stock rather than chicken stock. (More refined, I think she said.) That's when I knew the difference between real 'hound and me. If it were me, I'd know it tasted better, but I wouldn't know why or be able to articulate how the experience was different. How the heck could she tell? I want to know. I want to learn at the knee of you and her and people like both of you. I'll listen, I just hope you don't mind telling.
re: The Dairy Queen
I don't think having a supertaster palate is all there is to, or even a significant part of, being a chowhound, TDQ. Being willing to search out new things and decide if you like them, and then search out more better or different things is all that's needed. Deliciousness is deliciousness, even if you can't say quite why.
I tried so, SO hard to resist...yet, must reply:
My feelings about these issues fall squarely on the side of impatience and intolerance. Individuals can work to remain true to an ideal, but large groups are not built to maintain inspiration and sensual excellence. Social and aesthetic scenes get bigger, and as is frequently a natural progression, grow mediocre and lose the distinct charms that characterized them in the first place. I'm sad that I feel it happening here. There are worse things going on in the world, and after all it's just a forum on the web. It's just too bad.
Chowhound is not a service. It's for people who really, REALLY dig food and have great and deep ability to differentiate and experience the myriad sensations; people who spend a lot of time seeking out the frequently mentioned "deliciousness". But, if you're that picky, you're gonna really, REALLY hate bad food and spend a lot of time avoiding it. I perceive Chowhound to be, ideally, based on the opposite of my concept of music that utilizes improvisation. Where the participants in the latter should strive towards a "pure" reaction, some large aspect of the former should have the participants striving towards action. This community involves sharing, but it's built on finding. If nobody's doing the discovery, there'd be nothing to talk about.Chowhound, in my estimation, travels on it's belly - of experimentation, experience, and Subject lines! You don't have to be a good writer, just a good eater. And more than willing to find new restaurants, stores, recipes and report on them.
I'm a failed Chowhound. For a long time discouraged by the previous technology, I didn't bother reporting. Now, with less time and opportunity for discovery, I'm seeking to catch up on what I've missed. I've researched boards outside of NY preceding travel, taking advantage of expertise I consider greater than mine. Back home, however, I find myself faced with generalized and bland requests for tips, and even worse perhaps, responses to them by those less snarky/more recent CHers, who are only too happy to spend ten minutes listing all the damn crappy restaurants on 7th Ave in the Slope and Smith St. Better they should be encouraged to spend some time and do some work to search, and perhaps even hit the street and find a new place for all of us. Why would I be required to do the work and find them the link. If they found Chowhound, they can find something within it.
I'm sorry if my attitude would discourage those who post, "Need romantic but inexpensive spot Brooklyn, Help!" Were they really ever going to be telling us about an amazing new Ecuadorian seafood place in Sunset Park or the best Bolivian Bakery under the 7?
My mom just gave me the 101 Cheap Eats issue of New York. We've been eating at half those places for years. All the answers are there, right? Who needs Chowhound? (I do.)
I see suggesting that people search as more positive - it after all chowhound is (or aims to be) a trove of info and not just a chat- if I suggest that somebody search its not because Im bored its because I KNOW there is good info there for them to find, which might or might not be provided in their new thread.
Second, beyond a certain point, repeating recommendations or info I have already posted is boring to the other ongoing forum participants. I know I get bored when the same info (especially when it is unrelated to food) gets posted over and over again. We also know when others have made great posts that would be unearthed by a search. So suggesting a search serves both the newbie and the forum
The heart of this is the "repetition is good" mantra. That type of thinking says it's good to ask the same question 4 times a week because something new might surface.
You know what? It hardly ever does, especially in places like Park Slope or Smith St. which are picked over constantly. What repetition does do is clutter the boards with redundant threads. When valuable new information is occasionally posted (and it does happen every once in a while) it gets buried in one of the 70 threads on the same topic. Anyone who didn't read that particular thread on that particular day is not likely to find that nugget.
The board policy is that redundant threads make it more welcoming for new posters. Well, yes and no. If a new poster shows up and asks a question that was asked last week and gets a smattering of replies which *don't* contain the great information that was posted on a similar thread last week, how does that help them? Are they really better off not having that information?
I know why the policy of "repetition is good" was devised but the site outgrew it a long time ago.
It would make a lot of sense to have lists of board favorites for specific neigborhoods and topics (most romantic, best for groups, etc.) that new users could read. First, it's what the new users *want* - lots of detail all in one place. It would also encourage the regulars to put their detailed info in one place instead of offering brief opinions in a hundred different threads.
I don't think there's any danger that these "favorites" lists would stifle dissenting opinions and new finds. The people here are way too opinionated to be put off by the fact that a list exists. They'll dissent when they feel like it and be encouraged to offer new information because there's a greater chance that the information will be read instead of getting lost on last weeks thread.
You know what drives me nuts? When I'm doing a search, looking for tips, and every damn post that comes up says "just do a search, we already discussed this" with no link! I'm doing a search and your post is wasting my time! If you feel a post is redundant than direct the poster to a previous thread by posting a link so that the thread becomes useful in the archive. If you don't want to go to the trouble of posting a link or a valuable tip than don't bother replying.
re: Morton the Mousse
To clarify, this discussion was moved from another board...and started from a post where I suggested that people use the search AFTER providing my personal recommendations in the same post and noting that we had been engaged in several discussion on the original poster's subject. I think my manner of saying it initially "people really need to start using that search feature up there" or something like that rubbed people the wrong way.
Or, better yet, people can search before posting and pile on to that discussion (if its recent), keeping it in one place, rather than posting without searching and starting a new, redundant thread...so you have two separate threads with valuable yet often different information which is fine for those of us who live and breathe the local food scene but makes it difficult to visitors to our fair cities looking for tips. Condolidation is good. Fear not the tech-nology. Some pointers for using the search as you suggested in another thread would also be good.
The search does not replace direct reply but certainly can give someone a big head start and allow them to ask targeted questions which will return them information more specific to their individual needs from the friendly chowhound community. Instead of "where should I go in Baltimore," armed with a little information from a basic search a person can ask "I am coming into Baltimore and I hear you have good crabs. I will have two young kids and grandma in tow. I have read that Kelly's, Mr. Bill's, Costas, Bo Brooks, Lowbar's mom's house, etc are good for crabs. We don't like things that are particularly salty and my kids scream constantly. Which of those places would best suit our needs...or are there any others you could recommend?" The person would likely end up at a place they would be much more satisfied with based on the responses and pointers provided.
I (obviously) did not read the original thread this is broken from. My comments were not directed at you personally. The tendency of certain veteran posters to write "do a search" with no additional tips, information or links has become a real pet peeve of mine. It can turn off new posters, some of whom have the potential to become valuable contributors, and it does nothing to improve the archive.
I agree with you that it would be ideal if everyone posted highly specific queries and searched before posting so they could add to existing threads. But contributors fluctuate enough that this will never realistically happen without Draconian moderation. As it is, the redundancy of certain subjects doesn't really bother me because I don't have to read every post.
re: Morton the Mousse
How to post a link:
1) Go to the thread in question.
2) Highlight the URL at the top of your browser
3) Copy the text of the URL into your message (using ctrl+c, ctrl+v)
So instead of writing, "we just discussed this, do a search." You write, "we just discussed this, here's the thread." And any future hounds who stumble upon the post while searching can immediately link to the thread you were referring to.
whatever, not worth debate/censure
just gets afully boring to read the same damn discussion 3 times within a week, not to mention harder for users searching for information/suggestions contained therein to find it. there have been at leats two separate debates of baltimore-area crab houses in Baltimore threads within the past 10 days. I think this meet's anyone's standard of currency.