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Hater topics now OK?

Re the "Overrated disappointments" topic on the SF Bay Area board:


I've been active on that board for several years and negative topics of this "don't you just hate" or "what's the worst" school have consistently been removed.

The term "overrated" isn't about the posters' opinion of the food; it's a value judgment on other people's opinions. Consequently I don't see how discussion of which places are overrated is going to help anyone find great food.

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  1. It certainly looks like it got a good conversation going - albeit a negatively slanted one. I've seen this on other boards, and as a way to get the conversation started, I think it's as good as any. It's not a personal challenge, but rather a challenge to a group consensus. It makes the responder think of specifics to answer with, and that's always good.

    Several years ago, after a seemingly Boston hound mass agreement on the wonders of East Coast Grill, my first visit was a dissapointment and I said so. Lots of people responded, gave me things to try and to think about, and I appreciated every bit of information I got out of that post. I have been many times since, and feel that the consensus was right - it is a great place.

    1. When people report details of a bad meal at a particular restaurant, that can be helpful in finding good chow.

      But topic 321944 is mostly vague comments that certain places are overrated (i.e. that most posts alegedly recommended them) without reports on what people ate or what specifically they found disappointing.

      Melanie Wong, one of the most active longtime participants on that board, made a similar observation:


      5 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        I agree with Robert that there is an important distinction between balanced critique and unfounded dismissal. Saying that a place "is not worth the hype" or rattling off a list of "overrated" restaurants does nothing to help others find good chow and creates a negative, unproductive atmosphere. In the thread in question there are maybe three negative comments that actually include reasoned criticism and about 25 negative comments that provide no useful information at all.

        These types of threads are also just begging for flaming and trolling.

        1. re: Morton the Mousse

          Well said, MtM, I agree with Robert as well. A perfect example is the post that merely listed four places they considered to fit the criteria, however rworange posted that she agreed with the list but added links that explained why. The former had absolutely no value.

          I'm reminded of a few years ago a certain poster/flamer took me to task for questioning her habit of automatically including all places IHNSHO to avoid in any given area along with her suggestions to the OPs that addressed their requests.

          My point was why even bother to mention/list places you dislike unless the poster specifically asks about those places. Likewise, it seems to me that asking whether a specific place lives up to the hype it receives along with the whys and why nots has value and supports our CH mission, long lists of opinions (e.g. the LA thread) are just a waste of electrons.

        2. re: Robert Lauriston

          From 321944:
          "I recommend Bodega Bistro all the time because it has some of the best Vietnamese food I've found and unlike a lot of its competitors it's open at my dinnertime. The papay salad is tops. The spring rolls, pork bun, fried mushroom and crab rolls, pad thai, and crepe were all first-rate."

          Good, decently specific info there...

          Question is - would someone have been looking at this negative megathread for that kind of info? Would you have posted this info separately in a positive review thread if not so prompted by this negative question? Thankfully, it's searchable, regardless.

          I guess that I just don't see what you guys are getting at. Negative is as important to me as positive. Details to back up both are absolutely necessary to create any credibility. Ultimately, my personal filters hone in on responses I want to care about and weed out those I don't - I'm sure it's the same for everyone else, and I'm equally sure that all our filters aren't the same.

          Reichl hands out more 2-stars than 3 or certainly, 4. I want to read the 2-star reports as much as the others.

          1. re: applehome

            Speaking of hater threads and weeding out, that's ultimately the purpose for reading those threads for me. I can read through one long thread and weed out many posters whose posts I no longer need to bother reading. There's bunch of 'em in that LA "overhyped" thread.

            1. re: applehome

              That information was abridged directly from my report on my first visit to Bodega Bistro.

              I was responding to, "I don't understand why people rave about Bodega Bistro, which is very good but not overwhelming."

              What does that tell you about Bodega Bistro's food? It's very good, so you'd want to eat there, right?

              So what's the point of going on about how other posters allegedly rave about the place, with no links to the alleged raves, and no specific criticisms to explain why the "very good" food didn't merit them? How does that serve Chowhound's mission of helping people find good eats?

          2. I wonder if the moderators are all in a meeting today or something. Normally topics that are only about service problems with no comment on the food (as in, "they screwed up my reservation so we didn't eat there") get removed soon after I report them.

            Wait, I know that's not true, since one of my posts was removed from 321944.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Hi.. Robert: your post above, where you mention reporting other's posts that do not serve 'Chowhound's mission' really got me thinking. All along, I've been seeing three shades of red in regard to the zealous mods itchy delete fingers. But now it occurs to me that perhaps it's much more common for other CHers to be the ones initiating the deletion process, via the 'report this post' link on every post. I speculate that many many others probably share the mission of feeding the mods with suitable grist for the deletion mill. This makes alot more sense now...

              1. re: silence9

                When moderators delete replies, sometimes they'll send (or at least used to send) an email saying, "please don't respond to posts like this, just report them."

                So I have been.

            2. Negative threads can tend to get rambly and ranty, and also very long. In the past, we've removed them early to preserve bandwidth, and also to prevent the tedious work of removing the entire thread post by post if it later got out of hand. The new software solved those problems, so our approach is evolving as we have better technology to deal with threads. Avoiding bad food and questioning hype is part of chowhounding, along with seeking out deliciousness, so as long as discussion remains civil and chowy, we'll leave the thread up.

              The 'report this post' feature is very helpful, in that it lets users bring our attention to potential problems we wouldn't otherwise see (it's not possible for us to read every post made to the boards, there are just too many) but it's not a 'delete this post' button. The feedback goes to the moderators who make the decision on whether the post needs to be removed. The users who flag posts aren't responsible for those decisions.

              16 Replies
              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                I don't think you understand my complaint.

                "Overrated" is not a quality of a restaurant. In this case, it's a value judgment about about me and other posters who have eaten well in certain places and recommended them, on Chowhound.

                I find such criticism impertient and offensive. I don't follow the logic of allowing such rudeness while removing responses that object to it on that basis.

                If somebody has a different opinion about a restaurant, they should say what they ate and what they liked and didn't like about it. If they have an opinion about other people's posts, they should shut the hell up.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  "I find such criticism impertient and offensive."

                  Please. These are restaurants, not sacred icons. There's a bright line between giving clear reasons why a restaurant is bad and pure mudslinging. It's up to the reader to figure out which is which.

                  Besides, what about all those positive posts that are completely unsupported by any real detail. "Go to Gino's - it rocks." Aren't they just as bad?

                  On boards like this sometimes a herd mentality takes over and places receive undeserved praise. I give credit for someone who's willing to buck the trend as long as they can support their opinion by giving detailed reasons.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    But that's precisely my point. People in topic 321944 aren't giving any reasons. In fact, in many cases they say they had a good meal but were disappointed because they expected better.

                    What's the lesson from that information? Don't read Chowhound, it might get your hopes up too high?

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I just looked at the thread you originally linked to. While people are getting pretty passionate most are making some attempt to justify their positions by supplying relevant details. It looks like there's some good information there.

                      Maybe you saw some bad things that have since gotten deleted by the impression I got from skimming the thread is that a lot of people were just venting about bad meals.

                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I don't think the posts indicate the parties responsible for the overrating. It could just as easily refer to the impression about the restaurants from the local press. As much as I enjoy this site, it's not the only source of ratings.

                    1. re: limster

                      Discussion of reviews elsewhere are off-topic to the regional boards. They go on the Food Media and News board.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        >>"Overrated" is not a quality of a restaurant. In this case, it's a value judgment about about me and other posters who have eaten well in certain places and recommended them, on Chowhound.<<

                        My point is that saying a place overrated is not necessarily a value judgement of you or other posters who have recommend it. They may not even be referring your post or that of other posters. Just because it was posted on a regional board doesn't mean it was referring to specific or general posters on that board. I don't judge whether posts are off topic or not, I leave that to the moderators.

                  3. re: The Chowhound Team

                    Also If I have had bad experiences at places reccomended by a particular chowhound shouldn't I be allowed to express an opinion about the recommendations of that hound. These are deleted all the time. The result is that the tin-palate gets no criticism which reduces the value of the site and all well thought out opinions.

                    1. re: Curmudgeon

                      Attack others opinions all you want. And, it's much more useful if you append the opposing opinion in the same thread where the wayward rec was made so that the two sides can be weighed together in context. Engaging in name-calling and taking the "you ignorant slut" attitude has and will get you deleted.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Actually, please don't attack anyone's opinion. Feel free to disagree and offer your own opposing opinion, but that can easily be done without attacking another poster's review. If you just don't like what another poster has to say, please keep it to yourself.

                        For example, if a poster writes "I think Crabby's House of Crabs has the best crabs I've ever had", feel free to write "Crabby's House of Crabs serves slop with a side of garbage. The worst crabs ever." However, you may not post something like "Your taste buds are defunct if you think Crabby's House of Crabs is good." Keep your posts about the chow and we'll all get along just fine.

                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                          If every opinion is equal, and you can't express an opinion about an opinion then Chowhound is useless. An opinion that I increasingly weigh as I look at these pages. I also feel that the opinions are overly generous in general, particularly about mediocre food. It's sad but I increasingly look for a few posters who I think are better judges than the rest, Melanie being one of them.

                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                            Thanks ChowTeam for stating more temperately what I meant to say. (g)

                            For Curmudgeon, every opinion isn't equal. Many are just noise, but have an equal opportunity to state their case. The value of an opinion is in the eye of the reader who will judge whom to believe or not and weigh them accordingly. If you feel that someone has lead you to mediocre food, please post your opinion about the spot and help others to become more chowhoundly about discerning good from bad. We're here to learn from each other.

                      2. re: The Chowhound Team

                        Could you please comment on where complaints about service should be posted? In the past service issues and how to deal with them were deemed "Not about Food". The thread under discussion has many complaints about service, which seems to be where expectations are highest and often dashed, yet these posts have remained on the SF board even though they are not chowy. Previously, the service issues were felt to be largely idiosyncratic to a ranting customer or one-offs, and not worth keeping on the local boards. So, I'm curious if this is an intentional change in posting direction to make the regional boards part of SERVICEhound.com and dilute the chow mission.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Im curious about this too, since we seem to have an inordinate number of discussions on the NY boards lately which comment only on service issues and not at all on food. the usual track is a initial complaint post that people pile onto or dispute. I hate to see the focus of the board shift in this direction.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Service is part of the restaurant experience, and specific service issues at local restaurants are on topic for local boards.

                            That said, service tends to be the target of hit-and-run, ranty posters who are angry and need to share their anger with the world. Those posts will be removed. Thoughtful, rant-free comments from board regulars about local restaurants are okay. General service questions and etiquette issues and 'how should I handle it when X happens?' posts that aren't about a specific restaurant belong on Not About Food.

                          2. re: The Chowhound Team

                            The thread I'm complaining about is rambling, getting ranty, and has grown to 64 posts on over 20 restaurants in a little over a day, plus another 35 posts here, plus who knows how many posts the moderator has deleted (at least two).

                            Some of the subthreads in both the original topic and this meta spinoff are hitting the nesting limit so its getting confusing to tell who's responding to which post.

                          3. I dont think its out of line for someone to say that they believe that some place is overrated on chowhound and follow up with a "because" and their personal experience.

                            But just throwing around vague phrases like overrated and underrated without context just creates formless frustrating chatty discussions, with no real frame of reference. Bad questions generate bad discussion and bad answers. So even if we want to help out maybe the answer is simply to stay away from these threads.

                            1. I also think those "worst of", "overrated"; "I am Andy Rooney and I am going to tell you what chaps my hide, whether you want to hear it or not." threads are a useless waste. And I agree with what has been said about recognizing what posters I want to see more from, and which posters to avoid. As I said in another thread, when you see some thread with 200 replies and it has one of those titles in it, just avoid it.

                              I think we may see more of this, as Chowhound becomes more of a widely known "name". I believe that in the early years Chowhound was sort of a hip refuge for the cognoscetti (sp?). Now I don't mean to get in to a debate about who is a Chowhound and who isn't or what is a Chowhound vs a Foodie, that is also a stupid waste of our time. I just am trying to say that as more people become aware of Chowhound, as it reaches more sets of eyes, I think the demographic will change, especially if Chow Magazine online takes off.

                              You may or may not consider that a "good thing" (sorry, I know who that term conjures up, but it fits here), but what it will do is provide for the continued ability of Chowhound, as a forum for us to discuss and exchange tips, to live on. So to get some of the value we have always gotten out of it, we have to allow some of what we don't value to co-exist. I think the trade off is worth it.

                              I admire and respect the knowledge and experience of quite a few Chowhounds around here, some of which have chimed in on this thread. There is a lot I can learn from other Chowhounds, a lot of just pure enjoyment I can get, spending some time around here. So I stay around, and I scan almost all of the boards frequently, looking for topic titles that might pique my interest, or the names of Chowhounds posting to those threads that I have come to enjoy reading. When I come across one of what I consider a useless thread, I just move on, some posters, and their tendency to post things that I find of no value, I eventually recognize, and don't bother reading their stuff.

                              The other principal that I think is very important, is that Chowhound is the sum of all of the participating Chowhounds. The discussion here is what ever we make of it. So if I expect certain "standards" out of Chowhound, I have a responsiblity to contribute to that. Whether it is a full on report of a restaurant visit, a brief response to a query, encouragement to a newbie, kudos to a fellow Chowhound who has posted something I appreciate, or just a thank you for receiving some useful or interesting or entertaining, or learning information.

                              It is all up to us.

                              18 Replies
                              1. re: ChinoWayne

                                "Chowhound is the sum of all of the participating Chowhounds"

                                More precisely, it's the sum of all their posts, minus those that moderators delete.

                                Both have been essential to making the site what the site is today. Looser moderation of bilious topics and posts may give the site a sour aftertaste.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  There is a place for sour, just as there is a place for sweet. Sweet and sour are both tastes we enjoy. What I don't enjoy is sacharrine--eating out on the opinion of a vocal moron.

                                  1. re: Curmudgeon

                                    Each of us experiences "Sweet and Sour" diffirently.....if your tastes don't coincide with a particular persons', realize it is YOUR tastes... and others' may agree or disagree with you...and that is fine...what is NOT fine, is for your to characterize someone whose tastes differ from yours.....a vocal moron!
                                    I am not interested in your opinion of the poster, just your experience of the food.

                                    1. re: Curmudgeon

                                      I'm not objecting to posts slamming restaurants for bad food.

                                      The posts in question that don't say anything about the food. There's a place for that sort of thing, and it's called ba.food.

                                  2. re: ChinoWayne

                                    "I just am trying to say that as more people become aware of Chowhound, as it reaches more sets of eyes, I think the demographic will change, especially if Chow Magazine online takes off."

                                    I don't agree that this is inevitable. We certainly got a taste of this when the new software launched with an onslaught of new posters and "ask jeeves" like questions. But what has happened is that the non-chowish folks have fallen away and the chowish ones who like what they see here stick around. The number of good tips coming in is better than ever, IMO. The key to this is to keep the discussion at cognescenti levels, encourage the newbies who speak that same language, and ignore the others, as you state. I feel that it is possible to fight back the tide and preserve chowhound culture.

                                    The SF board still has one of the highest, if not the highest, signal to noise ratios on this site. But unfortunately, threads like the ones we're discussing encourage laziness and bring out the folks who just have an ax to grind. Like begets like, and that's is a bad model for creating new chowhounds.

                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                      "The number of good tips coming in is better than ever, IMO." I wish I felt the same, Melanie. Maybe true for SF, but we're drowning out here in NYC in the banal.

                                      "I feel that it is possible to fight back the tide and preserve chowhound culture." I'm heartened by your optimism. I'm hoping that Outer Boroughs can survive, but I've pretty much cut off the gangrenous Manhattan board. Only the lobotomized can patiently scroll through most of those request threads.

                                      1. re: Pupster

                                        Pupster, I just spent 10 minutes on the Manhattan board. It's terrible! You're drowning in drek out there! Us SF Hounds have taken this situation for granted because our board is so good. But if the SF board looked anything like Manhattan I wouldn't be using Chowhound any more.

                                        1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                          I agree with you for the most part. But it was in that state before the software change over.

                                          We reap what we sow, and I'm grateful to you Morton and the other SF hounds who have kept the level of discourse high. This brings in new participants who stick around when they like what they see and contribute the same. That's how it's always been.

                                          1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                            Thanks, Morton, for feeling our pain, even for a short while. I don't like being a complainer, but the Manhattan board really sucks the big one and it's only gotten worse since the format change. It makes me sad because there really are plenty of unsung and underserved chow-hasheries to be mentioned and discussed, but the deluge of touristy requests, lunchtime near work queries and the umpteenth discussion of a Batali joint really is too much to fight.

                                            1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                              Pupster and Linda:
                                              The "Help Me" posts on the Manhattan board can certainly be kind of wearing. To make things easier I click on the name of the OP to see their posting history. I'm very inclined to help a Midwest hound with a long posting history who is making a trip to New York. They've contributed to the site and they're entitled to get something back. OTOH questions from people who register and immediately treat the board as a kind of "Ask Jeeves" aren't likely to get any replies from me.

                                              Harsh? Maybe, but the moderators always say to ignore posts that don't interest you. By clicking on the posting history you get a more accurate basis to make those decisions.

                                              Of course there are exceptions. Thoughtful well written questions from first time posters get replies from me as well.

                                              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                Bob, At this point I am parked out on the other boards; I feel like Manhattan can happily fall into the void and I wouldn't miss it a bit. I tried to hang in there for a while and sympathetically tried to contribute when I could regardless of redundancy, but no more.

                                                I personally think that veterans should take over the What's My Craving and The Best boards in proxy for Manhattan, but in many ways I think it might be too late. So many have wandered away to other food sites altogether (and I can't blame them) finding no more value in this one.

                                                Even the Outer Boroughs are missing some familiar names: Sir Gawain, Jason Carey, Elaine Snutteplutten(?) and many many others. Some, like me, have just reduced their postings -- I see Lambretta less. Too bad.

                                                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                  Pupster -
                                                  Sir Gawain moved to Europe and is really pretty busy right now. I expect we will hear from her again.

                                                  For me the Outer Boroughs board is pretty much as it always was. You take the bad with the good. I was a member of 3 other food boards at one time and I still belong to two. In the end, I haven't found another board that has as much info on ethnic and casual dining as CH.

                                                  If you want more details please email me. My address is on MyChow.

                                                  1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                    Ah, I knew an important voice was missing from the Home Cooking board. I hope Sir Gawain finds her way back after the move.

                                                  2. re: Pupster

                                                    I agree, completely. People will not use the search function and the same questions come up over and over and over again. You want to get lunch in Midtown? Chances are someone before you pondered that exact question.

                                                    1. re: erikka

                                                      So why don't the regulars ignore them and continue posting about the hidden gems out there? Yes, you might get pegged as uppity and snotty, but it just might weed out the repetitive same-old/same-old questions. (I'm sure the Mods won't like this "ignore" comment, but it's the first thing that popped to my mind, and thought I'd post it.)

                                                      1. re: erikka

                                                        The manhattan board has been this way for some time - Im not sure its getting worse, but since our "view" is now so limited, it might look worse. One of the reasons is that most of Manhattan has upscaled and doesnt have as many interesting ethnic restaurants as it once had. Another factor is that Chowhound, for whatever reason, has never been a dominant venue for postings on upscale restaurants, which dominate in manhattan. There are other venues where people go to talk about the 4* and aspirant places. Thats not to say that you cant get good advice from chowhounds on these places, its just not a dominant theme of our boards.

                                                        I personally would plump for a limited Manattan FAQ which would pick off say 20 of the dominant and perhaps not very chowhoundy themes and make some suggestions. They wouldnt have to be definitive or for all time but they might answer some of the recurring questions, i.e. theater district, midtown lunch, boys or girls night out, dinner with parents, eating with kids, best thai, dim sum, etc. A hound or incipient hound might have more questions/not be satisfied after this, but someone who is just skimming by would have the info they need or a starting place. Even some exerpts from the chowhound guide might serve.

                                                        1. re: erikka

                                                          LindaWhit replied to erikka

                                                          "So why don't the regulars ignore them and continue posting about the hidden gems out there? Yes, you might get pegged as uppity and snotty, but it just might weed out the repetitive same-old/same-old questions. (I'm sure the Mods won't like this "ignore" comment, but it's the first thing that popped to my mind, and thought I'd post it.)"

                                                          Actually that's just what we suggest you do- ignore the threads that aren't interesting to you, or the posters who annoy you. Look, this is supposed to be fun- if you're not enjoying answering the same questions, don't! Spend your time posting about the great and unique hidden gems, and set examples for the new posters who may have just discovered the site. Lead by example and we'll all eat better!

                                                          1. re: erikka

                                                            Yup, I'm ignoring. In fact, I'm ignoring and ignoring and found myself ignoring the whole darn board!

                                                            Look, those of us who still have any interest in your 'manifesto' (a humble minority, I assure you) don't want to shout in a vacuum; it would be nice to get some feedback and discussion with others like-minded (by like-minded I mean with a similar chowhound interest in food). That kind of interest is less and less apparent among these boards.

                                                            In the old format, I could 'ignore' everybody but those whose responses I specifically clicked. Now we must troll through tens of inane comments to get to the one response I'm interested in (even when using the My Chow feature).

                                                            I'm trying really hard to not sound like a snob, like this is my board or only an old-timers' board, because I don't feel that way. I just want to get useful information and discussion, and that seems to no longer be available. If new posters followed the CH credo instead of using this as a convenient answering service, it would be much better. But since the moderators will do little to encourage better content, and instead delete anything controversial, well, people are speaking volumes by absenting themselves from the site.

                                                    2. I'm a bit confused, Robert. If you don't like the thread, why do you have so many posts on it?

                                                      I can imagine you answering that your posts are specific, and or designed to elicit further information, but in fact you do counter some arguments with those of your own. (as in a discussion as to whether or not Aziza's food is 'bland'). And that's fine. (I think). However, if you don't think it is fine, why encourage the continued conversation by adding to it?

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: susancinsf

                                                        Good point. I think it would be very cool if the folks who've piled on that thread would rethink whether that's the type of conversation they want to have on this site. If it's not, then they could ask the mods to remove their posts and make it go away.

                                                        The last post I read was the pan of Impala. I wish that some of the specifics like that post could be snipped off by the Moderators to start new threads appropriately titled so that those individual conversations could draw in thoughtful participants and continue. The details about Aziza, pro and con, deserve its own discussion. Or any of the other restaurants being discussed. As it is now, I'm sure I'm not the only one who has stopped following the conversation. The topic with the current heading and number of posts makes it a poor candidate for searching and the thread's content thus becomes irrelevant.

                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                          yes, you make a good point too...I had originally read the thread as being specific to the OP's trip report, which is why I mentioned at one point that I thought it was getting a bit off track, but then I realized that it was expanding (and in fact the OP answered my post to say that it *was* his/her intention to turn it into a bigger discussion.)

                                                          I think I will take your (gentle :-)) advice and ask to have some of my own removed (but will keep the posts on Aziza, because I do think it was worhwhile to give the perspective of someone who had been on been on both sides of that fence, in response to the OP's lack of enthusiasm...)

                                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                                            At one point this morning, the number of replies in the thread did seem to shrink, one way or another. But unfortunately, it's growing again and popping back up to the top of the index and is just going to get more attention and piling on by those who can't resist baiting.

                                                        2. re: susancinsf

                                                          Does letting that kind of vague negativity go unanswered not gives the impression that it's OK?

                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                            No. It's a form of shunning. Believe it or not, the regulars exert some "power" by _not_ participating in threads. By participating, you are legitimizing the very activity you despise.

                                                        3. "I think it would be very cool if the folks who've piled on that thread would rethink whether that's the type of conversation they want to have on this site."

                                                          I agree with the "scroll on by" philosphy of discouraging posts you don't like. Every time you post in a thread, it bounces to the top of the forum, inviting more curiousity and more comments. If you don't respond, it sinks to the bottom. One of the best ways to discourage topics you find unproductive is to ignore them.


                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            > One of the best ways to discourage topics you find
                                                            > unproductive is to ignore them.

                                                            This is how I keep CH readable and enjoyable, too. So what if it reaches 148 messages within a two-day period. If a restaurant or tip is CH-worthy, it'll get its own thread. If not, an eventual search using key-words will reveal it. It doesn't dilute or contribute to the killing-off of CH anymore than randomness of some of the applied moderation.

                                                          2. The LA board's counterpart topic's title seeems likely to inspire more useful comments:

                                                            "What are your least favorite restaurants that a lot of people seem to really like?"


                                                            1. A few random comments:

                                                              1. I find the distinction between attacking the chow and not the chowhound to be worthwhile, and one of the most valuable reasons for moderators to "get busy."

                                                              2. I think the reason why the thread is so popular isn't the "overrated" part of the equation, but because it is a poll question. Poll questions are always popular because a much higher proportion of Chowhounds can contribute (compared to a discussion of any particular restaurant, even a popular one).

                                                              3. I just read the entire thread. I don't know whether replies have been yanked, but if this is the worst thread on the SF board, it helps explain why your board is so terrific. There's some good info there, and it's a civil discussion.