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Local city F.A.Q. for out of towners?

Would be great if each city had an anchored, updatable post that gave a quick rundown of the city's offerings. Just a thought since some cities, like NY, LA and SF have a billion posts titled "Coming to town next week -- what do you recommend?" and so on.

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  1. Dining scenes change very rapidly - places go downhill, new places open, old places improve. A stickied FAQ would rapidly go out of date without the constant review of the topic.

    3 Replies
    1. re: The Chowhound Team

      hence the word "updatable." the locals would update it because it would save them having to re-recommend the same places over and over again.

      1. re: The Chowhound Team

        Chowhound Team--something has to be done in this area I believe. What's happening is that sites like tripadvisor are specifically referring out of towners to NY boards in particular. Its really becoming frustrating as this isnt about the best food anymore. Its about give me any place to eat for a bridal party or near MOMA. There's no regard for good, unique food but rather an emphasis on tourism. Chowhound is losing the golden voices of food due to to this problem. The site is a lot less interesting because of this.

        1. re: Ora

          The new "Places" function and wiki features appear to be a first step in the direction of being able to develop and maintain an ever-changing FAQ.

      2. Maybe a wiki F.A.Q. would work.

        This idea, however, could kill almost all the traffic on some boards.

        It's true, though, that too many boards are endless repeats of the same recommendation.

        1. I feel your pain. Lots (not all) of the local boards have the same requests day after day. But I think that pupster is right- obviously the morons asking the question do not take the time to search the boards.
          The Boston boards have repeated requests for wither seafood or Italian. I am surprised they even get a reply. I spend most of my time on the cooking and not about food boards, these days.

          1. The San Francisco board used to have one but it was too much work to keep up to date.

            1. From my experience on non-Chowhound boards, even if you have a topic stickied to the top of the forum with a title "READ THIS FIRST!" and in that thread list out FAQ's with links to related topics etc... new people still come along and post new topics that are covered in that stickied thread.

              It is just the way of the internet.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mangorita

                Then you simply refer them to the FAQ.

                1. re: mangorita

                  It didn't used to be that way. People were interested in finding new exciting(and frequently unknown) places to eat. Not now. Glamour has taken over from substance.
                  Change is not always for the better.

                2. And then you tell them to read the thread.

                  The more I think about it, the more I like idea of a FAQ wiki. It would be a great place to send folks with the "I'm visiting, where is the one place I must eat" question.

                  Come on Chowhound Team, what do you think? It's a Web 2.0 world. Starting thinking outside the forum!

                  1. Here are some of my thoughts for why we shouldn't make it easier for or cater to the "tourists" (no pejorative intended, just using it as a convenient term). What I say there about polls essentially applies to my opinion on FAQs.


                    1. A: How in god's name would anyone be able to agree on the ``correct'' answers for an FAQ? The joy of chowhound is the diverse answers to any question.
                      B: As has been said, things change very quickly
                      C: What a pain in the backside it would be to update

                        1. Reviving this discussion secondary to a recent onslaught of "where do I eat in SF" posts...

                          Is it possible to put up a sticky with just suggestions to posters on how to make their queries more useful? Just a friendly "Welcome to the SF Board, please help us help you", and a list of the things people like to know in order to give better, more tailored answers (whether they have a car, where they're staying, where they're from, which restaurants they like from their home town, dollar range for meals, cuisine preferences).

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: daveena

                            I tthink that's already pretty well laid out in the Posting Etiquette, which is already stickied at the top of many boards. People (newbies and regulars included) just don't like to read stickies, everyone wants to jump in and just post.

                            1. re: Chris VR

                              I know people don't read the Posting Etiquette sticky - it's long to begin with, and has multiple links to links - that's why I think it would be good to have that specific part on a separate sticky, with a title directed at visitors ("First time in SF? Please read this first!") Also, that would give us a quick and easy way to link to that information when people post vague requests. Finally, I think different boards may find different pieces of info useful - in SF/Bay Area, we need to know if they have a car - in Manhattan, it's assumed that they don't, and in other places, it's assumed that they do.

                            2. re: daveena

                              I think that this would be a great idea, especially if it's a short and sweet list. Like others, I have no problem with visitors asking for advice, but the fifth "Coming to town soon, need recs on good and reasonable breakfasts, lunches and dinners, thanks!" post in as many days gets very old.

                              1. re: JasmineG

                                Also, we could put up links to good outside resources, like the Chronicle's online Wine Country guide, the Chronicle's Top 100, East Bay Express' restaurant guide, etc. Plus tips on using the search function (including the year 2007 in the search terms, using Google instead, etc).

                                1. re: JasmineG

                                  I honestly think that a default sort by date search feature would help prevent a lot of those immediate repeat questions.

                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                    I agree. The number of vague "I have two days, where should I eat" new topics increased exponentially right after the default search switched to the inappropriate all-Chowound-forever.

                                    On the bright side, the improved search means that it's easy to respond by posting an appropriate search URL.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      True -- I think that this kind of FAQ would be really good, though, to point these kinds of posters to if they start with a vague question, and might help decrease the vague questions.

                                      1. re: JasmineG

                                        Amen, and amen. We had yet another "Anywhere good to eat in Kansas City?" post today, with no info about price point, meals, etc. The search feature can't even be limited to a particular board (for example, the Midwest board), so a search for "Kansas City" turns up BBQ restaurants across the country. I'd like to be hospitable, but how do you even begin?

                                        1. re: heatherkay

                                          Actually, the search feature can be limited to a particular board. To the right of the board name at the top of the page is a link to search only on that board - the default parameters limit results to the last year, and are sorted by newest posts first.

                                          Also, by using the "show options" function and opting to sort on Boards only, you can then use the drop down menus to select "Board Group" (e.g., Midwest) and then "Board" (Midwest).

                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                            Oh -- thanks! That makes my life a lot easier. Now we just have to figure out a way to make people actually do a search before they ask!

                              2. I'm thinking that this issue may be addressed by the proposed (?) Hub feature.
                                As I said elsewhere, CHers need the ability to create something like a Google map with all Place pointers for a given neighborhood AND/OR food type OR category of the creators choosing. Think drilling down from Hub map to Place to Topic.

                                See an example map at: http://www.chow.com/topics/407568

                                We still have a LONG way to go trying to convince folks to use the Place feature (except on the SFBA board). I'll post a tragic example topic later.