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Sep 19, 2006 07:40 AM

Somebody get this sysadmin a sandwich

Okay, I reply to this post over on the California board. The poster is planning a trip from LA to Seattle, has five days to make the trip, and wants suggestions for interesting and tasty eating along the way.

I reply with a few things I have run across in California. Next thing I know, this post appears:

If you read the link above, as I did, perhaps one of the things that would pop into your mind is "Okay, so what if I recommend stops in LA, the central valley, San Francisco, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Washington?"

Must one so carefully phrase questions on this board that one must anticipate the answer before it is given? Must one so carefully answer as to avoid the slightest hint of crossing a county line or municipal boundary?

This has got to be one of the dumbest "do be carefuls" I have ever run across in all of my long days.

Folks, sysadmins, readers, and writers; the world does not array itself perfectly for us, geographically or syntactically. Some posts are not going to fit perfectly into the well-organized cnet bin.


Grossly off-topic posts and replies are easily moderated.


Road trips gotta start somewhere and end somewhere, and they may not take straight lines. Juking some dude around for failing to cross post across 4 possible boards,(LA, San Fran, Cal, PNW) and possibly more, depending on how you classify Idaho, strikes me as very, very, dull. I am new here. Please tell me this is not the norm. If I have to argue with the Presbyter every time I want to talk about a road trip, or inquire of those of others then please, please, tell me now.

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  1. You probably won't make a lot of friends by titling your post like that.

    One of the long-held traditions of Chowhound has been to keep boards separate by geography and topic (i.e., when people post recipes in region or city threads, the moderators usually jump on that and refer people to Home Cooking). If you really think about it, it makes sense. First, if the road-trip discussion on the California thread veers into discussion of Washington and Oregon chow, that is going to annoy the users who focus on California. Moreover, the responses will be useless to people in Oregon and Washington who might want reccs between Portland and Seattle, but wouldn't get that information from a California board. It really isn't the end of the world to post on multiple boards. It actually is pretty common for posters going from San Diego to San Francisco to post on three different boards -- California, Los Angeles, and Bay Area -- for the relevant leg of each trip.

    1. Thanks for the reply, Jwsel. How would I craft a post requesting the best possible eats for a road trip from San Diego, California, to Matawaska, Maine?

      I am a long distance motorcycle rider who likes to eat, let's say. And I want to choose my route depending upon the expertise of this board, chowhoundwise. I can take the 10 all the way across the South and work my way up the seaboard from JAX, or I could duck up through Arizona and Nevada and eventually migrate into Canada if the eats are right. I could take the 40 and hit the breadbasket or stick to the 80 for the straight shot across.

      How many boards must I cross-post this request to?

      Do you see the problem here?

      And finally, yes, if the culture here is so strict as to prohibit the asking and answering of reasonable questions reasonably, and if people are going to get angry because I suggest that someone get the sysadmin a sandwich, then it is better for all of us that I know this now.

      I will point you, as a last comment, to the FAQ of this board:

      "What is a Chowhound?
      A Chowhound is someone who spends nearly every waking moment planning her or his next meal. Whether eating in a white-tablecloth restaurant or grabbing takeout on the way to work, Chowhounds hate to ingest anything undelicious. They won't hesitate to go far, far out of their way for even slightly better."

      "Far, far out of their way"

      Well, which way, Jwsel? Which way, sysadmin who needs a sandwich?

      1 Reply
      1. re: axesbowledaslove

        If you're trying to choose a route from city X to city Y and pick route that will have the best food along the way, seems like that would be a topic for the General board.

      2. We agree, Chowhound isn't best configured for a discussion of road trips that span multiple areas. But we're not a trip planning site, so we're OK with that.

        If you want good chow tips, you'll configure your query as we suggest. Hounds on the California board aren't clued in to the best chow in Seattle. Or Arizona, or Jacksonville. There isn't one board you can post to that's going to give you all the best tips for all the areas you plan to visit.

        Yes, you're going to have to do some more work and break your query up onto multiple boards. Maybe your best option, before you even post, is to browse the millions of postings that already exist on our site to give you some basic idea of how to plan your trip. You'll certainly find enough info to help you decide which route will yield the best chow, and then you can post to the relevant boards for specific inquiries.

        Please do feel free to send us the best sandwiches you find along the way. Anything with pork is especially welcome.

        1. Yes, but the question remains: where's the harm in a thread of this type? It's not truly a "trip planning" thread, so not actually off-topic, but a food inquiry post about areas with which the original poster may be unfamiliar. The thread will almost certainly contain chowish information potentially of interest to those who live in those areas, as well as those who travel through them. So, while it may violate the letter of Chowhound law, it certainly doesn't seem to violate the spirit, and to quash it with a "beware" message because it might cross some arbitrary geographic line (which has nothing to do with food) just seems unduly petty, harsh, and over-reactive.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Woodside Al

            If you write a post recommending a restaurant that's covered by another board then it's very likely that the people who live in that area will never see it. That's the harm.

            If you posted a link on the original board to the detailed posts on the local board then the OP would be able to find it as well as regular readers.

            As the mods said, the board isn't really optimized to handle trip recommendations. Then again, if I was traveling through territory covered by 3 different boards I would want to post my request in 3 different spots. That would give me the best chance of getting knowledgeable replies. If I was taking a road trip from Chicago to New Orleans the odds would be a lot better on getting good tips on the New Orleans board than having a single thread on the Chicago board.

            1. re: Woodside Al

              I've seen posts that said something like "I'm going from Los Angeles to Sacramento and would like recommendations along the way. Please post to the Los Angeles, San Francisco, or California board as appropriate." The moderators don't seem to have any problem with that.

              I still think we should have an Airports board, as the people who know the best food at airports are mostly people passing through, not locals.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Ooooh, an airports board, what a great idea. In the absence of one though, I go here -

                It's good user-generated info/reviews, but you have to really dig to find out anything about the food :-/

            2. The original comment has been removed