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Site updates

Here's some of the stuff we've pushed out tonight:

-Who's Talking, a list of all of the participants in a topic in the sidebar
-All of the topic lists now show the last person to post along with the time, instead of just who created the topic.
-Dates are now relative for two days and then the real date is displayed. We love you, too, Bob :-)
-Infinite threading! You'll still only see 5 levels of threading, but you're now able to respond regardless of the post's position.

For those of you that stuck with the site for these last couple of months, we truly appreciate it, and for those that left, we hope that we can win you back now that we're not scrambling to build CHOW.com.

It's only going to get better now.

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  1. Now I like being able to see, at a glance, who has participated in a topic.

    The next stage would be to signal which of those people is currently signed in (and possibly when they last posted) so you could post immediate responses.


    1. Thanks very much - the keg of beer is on the way. :-) I suspected that the Chow.com launch was taking a good deal of your time and appreciate all the work you've put in.

      1. Thanks, engineers! I like what you've done.

        I appreciate that you were responsive to all the feedback, and agree with other folks who lament the loss of community feeling on the new board. I think that the "Who's Talking" box helps, but might be better if clicking on a user name would take you to a person's post in the particular thread you're reading. That might also help with the issue of needing to scroll and scroll through long threads.

        5 Replies
        1. re: rose water

          I fully agree with rose water's suggestion.

          Or at least highlight in a different color all of the responses of the name clicked.

          1. re: Pupster

            Er, I third it. Does that mean it passes?


              1. re: Aromatherapy

                I actually "clicked" the names expecting just that...nothing happened. This feature would be great.

            1. re: rose water

              Another suggestion along the same lines, highlight those names in the Who's Talking list that have new postings since our last visit. That would be really handy.

            2. Great work team. Now if we only had the "Mark All as Read" link on top of the drop down box at the end of the Hot Post pages to avoid having to scroll back to the top when the number of entries is lengthy. Keep up the good work.



              2 Replies
              1. re: PolarBear

                The "Mark All" link is now next to the drop down at the top and bottom.

                1. re: Engineering

                  I'm impressed, as the younger generations say "You guys rock".

                  Cheers and happy chowing,


              2. All improvements -- thanks!

                I also like rose water's suggestion and propose one other. Although it's nice to be able to find the links to the mychow pages of the folks in "Who's Talking," I think it would be even more useful if they were color-coded so that you could tell whether there are unread replies by that member.

                1. Thanks - wonderful additions etc. - I did find the "Who's Talking" appellation confusing until I read here what it means - I thought that some kind of IM function had been added.

                  1. Nice improvements.

                    Are nesting levels past 5 preserved in the post metadata so deeper trees can be built by features still to come, or is it flat at the fifth level?

                    1 Reply
                    1. I love you all! :-) Thank you so much for the relative-to-real date conversion. I can deal with relative dating for 2 days.

                      These are all great "adds" to the site; I didn't know what the "Who's Talking" sidebar meant, and hoped to find out what it was here. Excellent idea.

                      Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

                      1. guys, what would you suggest as a clearer title for "who's talking"? I'm trying to think of an alternative, but am stuck.

                        "who's participating" is a bit clunky and long.

                        12 Replies
                            1. re: Pat Hammond

                              "who's posting" might work (not to state the obvious - smile - it took me a minute to come up w/ it).

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                I like TDQ's suggesting below - "Who's Chewing the Fat?" is perfectly houndish. ;-)

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Yes - that's definitely houndish (or chowish, for those who prefer that word!).

                            2. re: Jim Leff



                              You don't need the "W" word in there.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                You are right - so it could just be "Posters".

                              2. re: Jim Leff

                                "Posters on this Thread"?
                                "Chowhounds on this Thread"?

                                Neither is exciting, but definitely clearer.

                              3. Hey, cool! Thanks for taking our wish lists to heart. I hate to be seem ungrateful for asking for an additional change, but it would be nice to have the "Who's talking" (Who's chewing the fat?") be something that pops up when you scroll over the title of a post with your mouse. That way, you don't have to open the thread to discover --upon reviewing the who's talking list--that you're not interested in, say, TDQ's opinions on sushi.

                                P.S. Love the relative dates, in spite of my paranoia.


                                3 Replies
                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  I agree with you. A popup with the names so we wouldn't have to open the thread to see who's participating would be much, much better although the sidebar is an improvement over having nothing at all.

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    Sorry, I meant to say above, "Love the real dates..."


                                    1. Thanks for the real dates -- and other improvements!

                                      1. Nice work, I noticed and appreciated most of the changes immediately.

                                        1. Nice work! Thanks for the summary of changes.

                                          One quibble: you said, "All of the topic lists now show the last person to post along with the time, instead of just who created the topic."

                                          But the topic lists now show ONLY the poster/date of the last update to the thread. I would really like to see the creator and date for the original thread, also.

                                          Knowing the OP helps me decide whether to read a thread (for example, ones started by The Dairy Queen are always lively and fun). And the original posting date would help us recognize those threads we've read already (like those strangely-resurrected ancient threads).


                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                                            I totally agreee with this -- I really liked seeing who created a thread, and I don't like seeing only who the last poster was instead.

                                            1. re: JasmineG

                                              I agree that both would be nice - but if I had to choose, I'd choose to see the most recent poster's name.

                                              1. re: JasmineG

                                                I also agree with that suggestion. And thanks for the changes!

                                                1. re: abrocadabro

                                                  Oops, I should have read this first. My husband was just so upset by the change that I posted about that immediately.

                                                  1. re: theotherhalfofdh

                                                    I read your post, and while for my own reasons as a frequent (compulsive) reader of CH I would choose to see "last poster" over "original poster" if that were the choice, I can understand why less frequent browsers/posters would prefer the latter.

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      I hope it doesn't have to be either or. It would be better to drop the date and add the OP. I don't know how difficult this will be. I just know for right now my husband won't post about our trip because of the other problem mentioned

                                                      1. re: theotherhalfofdh

                                                        Over time, the main way people will access the post will be via the search engine, and "last post by" won't show up. If that's the only reason he's not posting, maybe that will change his mind.

                                                        However I agree that in an ideal world I'd want to know who started the thread, when it was started, who the last post was from and when that post came in. But if I had to choose one I prefer to see last poster and last activity date.

                                            2. Thanks for the improvements. Getting better. :-)

                                              1. Once again, LOUD APPLAUSE ! ! ! !

                                                You have carefully listened with BOTH ears, consistently operated with integrity, and responded with amazing ingenuity to make this an even better site...thanks!

                                                1. Have you ever thought of having email notifications so posters know when someone has added a post to a "subscribed" thread without having to be online in the forum?

                                                  1. Someone has probably already complained, but I HATE the "New" and posting info being to the right of the topic. One, it's harder for my eyes to pick up on and two, it makes it harder to scan the topics to see if it's something I'm interested in, especially if they are longer topic titles. Just my two cents!

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: Katie Nell

                                                      I agree; it doesn't work for my brain either. Now my eyes are darting back and forth trying to integrate the info, and I feel more "fatigued." It doesn't look as aesthetically elegant either IMO...

                                                      On the old board, I really liked how titles would turn a different color once a post was read. Of course, those were individual posts whereas here we just have the thread title.

                                                      I think that distinguishing whether a topic that I'm interested in has new posts is the most important thing (OP and last post by are secondary) and having the title change color is the most direct, efficient way of communicating that. If not, then having the color change somewhere on the left near the title (like how it once was) would work for me.

                                                      1. re: Carb Lover

                                                        The change just happened. Of course your eye will take some time to adjust. Give it a chance before you complain right away. I've been scanning for the last hour, and although at first it was jarring as you say, now it seems fine.

                                                        I like the change a lot.

                                                        1. re: Pupster

                                                          Well, the change happened last night so I've already used it this way for a few hours. Granted, I'm just starting to wake up and get my bearings, but this is the first site feature that I've felt the need to complain about.

                                                          See team, you can't win. Whatever happens, I'll deal w/ it.

                                                          1. re: Carb Lover

                                                            Isn't it funny. When I went on the board, I noticed you were the last responder on this thread and I knew you were responding to me! So I clicked on right away!

                                                            I'm loving this change. ; )

                                                            1. re: Pupster

                                                              To be clear, I like the addition of "last post by" too (makes a thread and thus the dialogue feel more palpable and "alive"), but I don't necessarily like how the "new" and yellow color change is on the right under last poster. For those that aren't "new", there's now this faint grey color, whereas I liked the simplicity of white (not new) or yellow (new).

                                                              And Katie, it does feel good to be the squeaky wheel once in a while. :-)

                                                              1. re: Carb Lover

                                                                I saw you again! Carb Lover, we can do this forever!

                                                                So are you saying you just want the grey to be white and all is right with the world?

                                                                1. re: Pupster

                                                                  I saw you too! This "last post by" is very valuable in facilitating immediate dialogue.

                                                                  Well, yes, getting rid of the grey is a step. But again, I want to be able to quickly see the title and "new" w/o having to scan from right to left (or vice versa). It should be in the same field of vision. Maybe my brain is just defective...

                                                                  Web design is clearly challenging w/ a host of options that won't satisfy everyone. I defer to the professionals out there.

                                                                  1. re: Carb Lover

                                                                    Nope - your brain is the same as most people's. They've even done studies to quantify how unusual it is to look to the right when reading a web page.

                                                                    I just started a new thread about the new location of the NEW icon (because I didn't see these posts first).



                                                            2. re: Carb Lover

                                                              Me too, regarding first site feature I've felt the need to complain about. Actually, I felt bad posting originally because they do get so many complaints, but then I thought, hey, I never complain!

                                                      2. Thanks! You are appreciated!!

                                                          1. Clicking on the little new button should take you to the first new post in the thread. A button for the most recent post would also be nice.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: DavisSquare

                                                              I don't understand why people think this would be a good feature. This isn't a flat format, so clicking for the first new post in the thread really doesn't gain you much. The first new post may be high up on the thread, but the rest of the new stuff is likely to be at the bottom. Same thing with clicking to go to most recent post. If that option were available, it would likely bring me to the bottom of the page and I'd have to scroll upwards to see the other new posts that came in before that most recent post.

                                                              This feels to me like another feature that sounds good but won't actually translate well to this software, and if the developers did actually implement it, I suspect they'd be inundated with complaints about it.

                                                              1. re: Chris VR

                                                                It depends what you and DavisSquare mean by "first" new post. It could mean first chronologically by time/datestamp or first physically on the page. The ability to go to the physically uppermost new post in a thread seems like it could be a useful option, allowing one to at least skip over all old posts at the top.

                                                                I agree with what you say about navigating to the most recent post. It would be an almost useless feature in threads with a large quantity of very recent activity.

                                                                1. re: Chris VR

                                                                  True that it won't always get you what you want, but I find myself doing a lot of scrolling in long threads, looking manually for the first hint of yellow. I think the computer could do a better job of that.

                                                                  1. re: DavisSquare

                                                                    I agree I'd like a better way of finding new posts (the color contrast isn't contrasting enough for me) but I don't think this software is going to be able to offer an easy way to go through a thread and easily find all the new posts without scrolling. But hey what do I know- surprise me, Chowhound Engineering :-)

                                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                                      I was hoping there would be a way to hide "read" posts and only show those that are new in a topic, plus have a toggle option for revealing the whole thing.

                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                        From previous announcements, some method of making long topics easier to navigate is in the works, but it's a more challenging project so will take longer.

                                                                  2. re: Chris VR

                                                                    If there were an option for a straight chronological view of threads, then clicking to the first new post would be much more useful, but even without that option, I could envision "click on first new post," "click on next new post."