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Sep 20, 2006 11:43 PM

'Hound Favoritism

May I quickly remind everyone that when we were first asking Chowhounder's how to build this site, it was made very clear to us that favoritism has no place in Chowhound. Yet, the ability to quickly scan threads to see if their favorite hounds are posting is at the top of almost everyone's wish list.

We'll build the site however you'd like, but I'd appreciate some clarification.

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  1. The multiple opinions have got to be frustrating for you folks building the site.

    I think overall you'll usually find consensus opinions with a vocal minority disagreeing. Those egalitarian positions (No favoritism!) sound swell but over time most people come up with lists of posters they find trustworthy. If you make it easy to find their comments people will be grateful.

    One option, already suggested by at least one person, is to hot link from the "Who's talking" sidebar directly to the posts of specific individuals *in that thread*. (Right now the hot link goes to their MyChow page.) In addition there ought to be some indication (either by color or a "new" indicator, etc.) as to whether you've read those posts so you don't re-click someone's posts on a given thread repeatedly.

    I suggest you wait for a consensus to build before making further changes. The process is messy and drawn out but in the end it has the best chance of pleasing the most people.

    As you well know, you'll never please everybody. Don't worry about it too much - the next time you're reincarnated you'll come back as a user. :-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      My thought exactly, some of these topics have hundreds of replies, it would be much better to navigate through them all if you could link to the person's response you want to see. Sounds like some of these changes are contentious. Can a poll feature be built into CH?

      1. re: Bob Martinez

        "One option, already suggested by at least one person, is to hot link from the "Who's talking" sidebar directly to the posts of specific individuals *in that thread*. (Right now the hot link goes to their MyChow page.)"

        Excellent suggestion Bob, that was my first thought on seeing the upgrade. The other was, why not put it at the top of the right margin so that scrolling down wasn't necessary? (BTW, I hate scrolling, almost as much as a multiple click trail).

      2. People probably weren't conscious of their snobbery.

        Skipping over the unknowns to focus on posts from your established favorites ... doesn't quite seem to fit with "Chowhounds spurn established opinion."

        7 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          All posts are created equal, eh? I don't think you really believe that.

          People get to pick their favorites, people they find especially trustworthy. Maybe my favorites are different from yours. That's fine - that's democracy. But to force every person to read *every single post* on a thread is pure political correctness.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            I don't track users because I try to read every single post on my local board; you never know where the next good chow tip is going to come from and I'd rather not generalize; I'd miss stuff otherwise.

            1. re: limster

              That's great for you, but that's not everyone's choice nor does everyone have the kind of time (or patience) like you do to read every single post.

              Frankly, if I was forced to go through every single dumb post put up by unthinking people or those who have proven themselves to have tastes different from mine, I would quit reading CH altogether. Lots of people feel that way, which is why you see fewer posts and less traffic by veterans on some of the boards.

              Democracy means the ability to choose whom you want to read. Not being forced to read everyone -- that's fascism!

              1. re: Pupster

                I'm not insisting that everyone read every single post or read only posts from certain posters. All I'm saying is that if you only read posts from a limited set of people, you will miss good chow tips because there are pitfalls to generalizing. We're still free to choose our reading habits on the boards; just hoping that the choice is informed and that the pros and cons are evident.

            2. re: Bob Martinez

              I read topics that interest me rather than who the poster is.

              1. re: Bob Martinez

                I go to boards that interest me and look at threads that interest me and never feel that I have to read every post. In fact, I think I am more likely to avoid some posters than I am to look for some. I don't think I need a programmed filter to do this.

                1. re: yayadave

                  It's not a filter, it's a tool. You can use it or not as you please. But to say "This doesn't interest me therefore no one should have it" means that you are imposing your wishes on other people.

                  Some boards are bigger than others. For example the Mid-Atlantic board gets only a moderate amount of activity every day. It's easy to read everything. OTOH the Manhattan board gets a flood of posts and it's impossible to read them all. Many are repeated "tourist" type requests that come up repeatedly. Often I skip those threads out of hand but I'd be inclined to read the posts of someone who is of special interest to me.

                  Reading the full New York board every single day requires an enormous amount of time. This is only only one example of how a "direct link" feature would work. At it's heart it just makes it easier to go directly to someone's posts. There's nothing to stop you from reading anything you want.

                  Edited to add:
                  The old board software, for all it's faults, allowed people to just open the posts of people they followed yet the earth stayed in it's orbit and the stars didn't fall from the skies. Great new posters managed to get noticed all the time.

                  Under the new software even if you zoom to the post of osmeone you're following the posts immediately before and after will clearly be visible so the post will be in context.

                  If the proposed "direct link" feature was going to have a bad effect it would have been seen under the old software. It worked fine.

            3. I am not sure I would go so far as to declare it favoritism. I see it more as familiarity leading to trust. I don't see familiarity and/or trust as negatives.

              That does lead me to this question, however. If scanning posts for familiar and trusted names is "favoritism," then why wouldn't you apply the same term to those of us using "user tracking" on our myCHOW pages?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Seth Chadwick

                Wanting to be sure to read all of one person's posts is pretty different from not wanting to see other people's.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  That assumes people are wanting the feature for that purpose. PJ said, "Yet, the ability to quickly scan threads to see if their favorite hounds are posting is at the top of almost everyone's wish list."

                  Wanting to see if my "favorite hound" is posting does not imply that I am not interested in the posts of others.

              2. Since we already have tracking, aren’t more bells and whistles un-necessary?

                1. Elitism and cliquishness are unfortunately part of the makeup of Chowhounds as a group. But fingering the latest posters can be useful in any case once you've learned who the leader-follower role players are and who the non-aligned thinkers are.