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How to respond to really clueless posts and posters

Every so often a clueless post will make my blood boil.

What is the optimum way for the site of handling these? Any thoughts, other than ignoring or making alternative suggestions?

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  1. I think personally if it makes your blood boil, you're better off just trying to ignore it. I'm not aware of "clueless" posts that I've made, but I've obviously annoyed a few people (not hard to do, evidently) and have had a few really mean, nasty remarks directed at me. They serve no purpose other than to make ME mad. And it seems to me that this community shouldn't be about being ugly to each other and seeing how badly you can hurt someone's feelings.

    On the occasions that I've been insulted, the comments are usually removed, and when they haven't been, I've reported them, and they've been removed. If it's something like that, then report it. If it's just something that ticks you off because of someone else's ignorance, I would try to ignore it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Andiereid

      Personally, I can't imagine a post on a food website from a total stranger making my blood boil. OTOH, that might be because I myself was once treated as clueless by a fellow poster who attempted to engage me in an argument over fish vera cruz. I'd like to suggest that life is short and it just isn't worth getting worked up over such things. JMO, of course. Yours may vary...:)

      Edited to add: Talk about being clueless, I didn't mean to post this comment under another reply. Apologies all around.

      1. re: Andiereid

        Very good! We probably all get annoyed with a post, especially because you can’t always infer the emotion, detect the level of sarcasm of the poster or is it just good-spirited ribbing.

        Resurrecting old posts is not a popular thing around here, but I was ticked and figured others might feel the same way from time to time ... and I really liked what Andiereid had to say about it.

        1. re: cuccubear

          Um, you got ticked because something got under my skin a couple of years ago? I thought Andie's comment was good too, but I was just looking for a solution to a practical problem as the rest of the thread indicates. Maybe the language was a bit more colorful than necessary.

          1. re: jen kalb

            No, not necessarily... :-)

            I, myself was feeling ticked and a little annoyed about some threads and went searching for others who have felt the same way. But it's all good now.

      2. If a comment is insulting and directed at you or another poster, please use 'report this post' to let the moderators know about it.

        If you're going to take issue with a post on the boards, please remember to debate only the food opinions - not the poster's credibility or right to hold their opinion or the way it was expressed.

        But generally, if something makes you mad, it's best not to respond - Chowhound is supposed to be fun, not upsetting.

        1. Please give an example of what you would consider to be a "clueless post". P.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Polecat

            I, too, am curious. I might have been born under the sign of "there's no such thing as a stupid question."

            Sometimes we're all clueless about an ingredient or technique or a long-lost recipe. I assume that is why boards such as CH exist. I'd hate to think we're all in it for mutual admiration vis-vis knowledge of hot restaurants or gadgets, or the like.

            Can the CH Team weigh in on this?


          2. Why not just mutter to yourself "This one is Clueless!!!"
            and move on. (I'd suggest you might try & clue them in, but somehow I don't think you would..)

            21 Replies
            1. re: genie

              there's a thread going on elsewhere on the board where the discussion turned to the everlasting concerns about signal to noise ratio - so I guess my question was really geared to whether there is any optimum way we can discourage or instill site ethos into non-chowish posters - without being snarky, of course. One example is the person who treats the board like a neighborhood chat and will recommend just any place - the posts in Outer Boroughs about my own downtown brooklyn community get this way sometimes. Probably in many cases there isnt a way and moving on to the next post is best.

              Hopefully, if we can get some wikis going we can divert some of the repetitive traffic - requests for party locations or "help, I cant get in at Babbo, what do I do" to a wiki instead.

              1. re: jen kalb

                At the risk of seeming clueless...what exactly is a wiki?

                1. re: Polecat

                  Definition: A wiki is a web application that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Adding to that - WIKI is an acronym for What I Know Is.

                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                      its a way of accumulating or presenting content that doesnt wouldnt involve the need to post and ask a question on the Board, like a FAQ but editable. So for example there could be an entry on "Indain Restaurants in Queens" or "Best Pizza in Brooklyn" Best Thai or Rte 80 Roadtrip Eats, say with a list, addresses, description and comments, which could be edited by site participants.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        I'm not sure why you feel these types of posts should be placed in another category. A great many knowledgable and experienced hounds add a great deal to the discussions on these types of posts. I think what you are suggesting has some merit, as a means to, perhaps, update a cumulative 10-best list for any given food or neighborhood, that would include address, phone, etc, based on cumulative vote or opinion. I don't think what you are suggesting, though, would put a stop to the types of repetitive posts that you mention. I am also not so sure, when you speak of editing, whether you mean that any given user can edit what another user has just posted, or whether the moderators would be doing so (?); if this is the case, then I would much rather respond to an inaccurate post, or receive responses to my own, than to edit or be edited by another user.

                        1. re: Polecat

                          Im not saying at all that there shouldnt be board discussion on these topics only that in certain circumstances that keep recurring, this type of info trove could be useful.

                          As far as the editing go, wikis typically can be edited by participants - mostly factually - it would be abusive to edit other people's opinions. if you ever use wikipedia, its an exemple of the wiki format. An example - lets say you added a restaurant name to a list but werent sure of the spelling or the address - someone could edit that.

                2. re: jen kalb

                  "Site ethos"? "Chowish" (vs. "non-Chowish")? Sounds like you are plumping for the elitist elements on chowhound. Personally, I'd rather see a "clueless" post than a smart-ass know-it-all post.

                    1. re: Gary Soup

                      Most of us are here because we think on some level this stuff about what we eat and whether it tastes good really matters on some level or other. Theres nothing elitist about that.

                    2. re: jen kalb

                      That was me, I think, addressing a phenomenon rather new to Chowhound. Basically, I live in a small Southern college town that doesn't attract many Chowhound visitors. The few times that anyone has posted with the typical questions about what to eat and where to eat it, there have been a few locals (including me :) who posted informed, accurate personal assesments of the local food scene. Unfortunately, there were also several folks who posted strong recommendations for restaurants that barely qualify as edible by any rational standard. By the time the threads petered out, someone had strongly recommended every single locally-owned restaurant in town. And that is absurd. That is just not what Chowhound is about.

                      Anyone reading those particular threads would find me and a few other local Chowhounds disagreeing politely about the merits of a few spots while continuing a lively discussion about the local food scene and generally agreeing on most things. So there's obviously plenty of room for differing opinions here, particularly when discussing the merits of a small college town, where one must necessarily make culinary compromises due to a general lack of excellence.

                      But to find Chowhound becoming a forum where anybody with a computer can badly mislead others is disturbing to me. It's a betrayal of trust, and of the Chowhound mission. And there has been an influx recently of folks who just don't seem to understand the Chowhound mission at all. And for the record, any attempt to paint those adhering to the Chowhound Mission Statement as being elitist is just silly. This is "Chowhound.com", not "It's awesome because it was cheap and edible back in my college days.com", you know?

                      I do think the problem is a little worse in the boards devoted to less fodd-obsessed parts of the country, for sure. I do think that politeness and civility are always in style, but sometimes folks post some pretty ludicrous stuff on my regional board...

                      1. re: uptown jimmy

                        Sometimes these posts sound a lot like "Wowie, Zowie, it's AWESOME because I work there."

                        1. re: uptown jimmy

                          Here's my slightly different perspective on the issue, which is that hounds are ultimately responsible for the level of deliciousness they attain, regardless of who gives out the chowtips.

                          I think hounds who come here to ask for chowtips should not blindly settle for whatever is recommended here (or anywhere else) but apply their own critical thinking and chowing skills to tease out which suggestions best match their taste or use the information as a rough guide for actual on the ground reconnaissance.

                          The content on Chowhound.com is not only FROM chowhounds, but it's also FOR chowhounds. If anyone wants to score deliciousness, they've got to use that information critically and do a bit of legwork themselves because they're world experts on their own tastes and preferences.

                          1. re: uptown jimmy

                            exactly what evoked my post. Believe me, it happens everywhere.

                            1. re: uptown jimmy

                              " Unfortunately, there were also several folks who posted strong recommendations for restaurants that barely qualify as edible by any rational standard."

                              Who determines the "rational standard"? Believe me, I know what you mean. Presumably, everyone on this site has high standards. That said, although there might be a consensus about what that means, vis-a-vis The Chowhound Manifesto, we can't control what other people construe as being high standards of cuisine. If you feel, in your heart, that so-and-so's recommendation of their hood's best and only pizzeria is coming from a limited perspective, or lack of knowledge/experience, that doesn't negate the fact that so-and-so has a right to post that opinion on this board.

                              1. re: Polecat

                                The "rational standard" should be critically determined on by the hounds who are seeking the chowtips. Different hounds may have different standards; by adhering to their own standards, they can decide on where they want to eat.

                                1. re: Polecat

                                  In this case, "rational standards" would certainly NOT include heartily recommending restaurants that serve, say, vegetables out of a can, or frozen french fries and Tator Tots, or mystery meat, or microwaved burritos.

                                  I'm sorry, but everything is NOT a matter of opinion, contrary to the post-modern attitude so prevalent today.

                                  1. re: uptown jimmy

                                    With regard to standards, I don't think it's an issue of how low one goes, but rather how high. There are hounds that would think of non-artisan produce the way others might consider vegetables out of a can. That is going to be a matter of opinion; it's not the extremes where that becomes important but the gray areas in the middle.

                                    1. re: limster

                                      I disagree. Veggies out of a can is gross, cheap, and unnecessary. One can make great food from quality fresh vegetables of any sort; one cannot make great food from canned vegetables. Tomatoes, sure, but as for the rest...not so much....

                                      People who poo-poo non-organic vegetables are probably those who can afford to. And that's fine. I wish I could afford to. But nobody in their right mind is going to equate non-organic fresh produce with canned produce. That's silly.

                                      Reletavity is only useful in physics. We should learn to keep it there. :)

                                      1. re: uptown jimmy

                                        Woops, sorry, I wasn't clear. What I'm saying is that folks will draw the line at different points - for some, the line is drawn at canned vegetables, anything above that is ok; for others, they might expect more, anything out of season would not be fine. Not saying that the two are equal, merely that they might be both considered below standard by certain people.

                                        re: "afford to" -- Taste is not always limited by the ability to pay for something. Some of my friends may not be able to afford $1000 bottles of wine, but they are more than capable of evaluating them. I know people who say that they can only afford crap. It's not about financial ability or about being a snob but rather about evaluating something carefully, based on knowledge and experience.

                                        At the end of the day, people should not be told what they like or not, but they should be responsible for making their own *critical* choices as opposed to blindly following what they're told without thinking for themselves.

                                2. re: uptown jimmy

                                  "I do think the problem is a little worse in the boards devoted to less fodd-obsessed parts of the country, for sure."

                                  What part of the country is that, if I may ask?

                            2. How about responding with kindness. This wonderful site has a lot to offer everyone. A community of giving & sharing ideas is why CH is suppose to be a great site for food lovers. Judging others (unless of course Mod's need to do their thing) is just unkind and doesn't help anyone "get" a clue.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: HillJ

                                How about some examples..... mine is the " What to get at Babbo?" although I would never lash out at somebody it secretly boils the blood.

                                1. re: sgny

                                  sgny, I can't say I am familiar with that specific post. I'm sure we each can name a thread that wasn't our cup of tea but we all have the option of ignoring/not participating in threads that do not appeal.

                                  Having said that, it was my understanding that it is up to the site owners or moderators as to what is considered bad form/unacceptable CH topic.

                                  Again, a little tolerance for a site clearly going thru growing pains would help all of us enjoy the experience.

                                  Thank you for responding to my post.

                                  1. re: sgny

                                    Can you explain why this type of post annoys you so much? Isn't Chowhound a forum for finding out such things? There are tons of posts like this on this site, asking what to order and where. Please clarify - why does it make your blood boil?

                                2. Jen has not defined what "clueless posts and posters" mean to her. So these comments are given in general terms.

                                  Haven't we all been clueless newbies at one time? It would seem to me that some tolerance for the clueless newbies would be part and parcel of the character of veteran 'hounds. Maybe we should give the cluess some slack, and if we can clear up some of their cluelessness, maybe a gentle response. If it is just too irksome to tolerate, simply ignore their posts, it has been real easy for me to remember those posters who's thoughts I appreciate, and also those posters who I find of no value to my participation around here, and I "mouse click accordingly".

                                  By the same token, anyone who may be new around here, just might want to consider lurking for a while, and see if you can "get the lay of the land", as there does seem to be a certain culture around here, that once you understand it, you can easily "fit in". If you are not sure about something, you can always post a question on Site Talk or User Help, or even contact the Chowhound Team via email: moderators@chowhound.com.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: ChinoWayne

                                    Am glad you put "fit in" inside quotation marks, so I'm taking your meaning to be somewhat ironic. I don't think people need to fit in at all - we express opinions here, dissent, and often disagree. Newbies and veterans have every right to be clueless, or to take this site in unforseen directions. The discourse here is, more often than not, interesting and helpful. I'm glad that, with the moderators' help, this site has remained civil, a place for grown-ups. If anyone wants to see what might happen if the moderators bowed out, check out the responses on some other public food blogs. A lot of places outside of Chowhound are like the wall of a high school men's room.

                                    1. re: ChinoWayne

                                      Chino Wayne, I like how you see both sides of the story. There are times on this site that i feel like a newbie, while other times I feel like the experienced one. I totally agree that we do no good by being rude to those who are appearing "clueless." However, I also feel that if you are part of a community, it is your responsiblity to behave in a manner that most members of the community feel is acceptable most of the time. The Chowhound community is no exception. With that said, it is not unreasonable to gently remind someone when appropriate. There are times when posts make me crazy. However, if I'm not able to say what I need to say to let this person know in a constructive, non-offensive way (sometimes I'm just too tired to think of the nice words), then I let the post pass and go drink another glass of wine!

                                    2. Are you refering to inane answers to easily answered questions?
                                      I've politely corrected, or made alternate suggestions several times when an apparently desperate questioner receives a misguided response. On several occasions less than 24 hours later my reponse has been removed by the powers that be-because it was "reported".
                                      The result: a waste of my time and words with the original question unanswered and the poser still in the dark.
                                      I'm begining to wonder, after many years here, if I would be better off elsewhere. It's a shame, really.

                                      1. A clueless reply?

                                        This is a public blog with many, many readers, with various levels of knowledge, abilities and social skills. But one thing we all do is break bread at some point.

                                        Let that guide you. Your post is clueless to many, rude to others, but we read on and learn.

                                        Maybe you can do the same? Or not?

                                        2 Replies
                                          1. re: Peter Cuce

                                            Indeed. This is not a blog. Frogs are not lettuce. Pay attention! :)

                                        1. "... then I let the post pass and go drink another glass of wine!" Hear, hear! Spoken like a real 'hound.

                                          1. Why would a "clueless" post make anyone's "blood boil"? Unless by clueless you mean rude or mean-spirited.

                                            I found this site two weeks ago, and was delighted by the literate, friendly, helpful posts. But if a diversity of opinion, experience and expertise is unwelcome, CH can do without me.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: malone14

                                              What I love about CH is exactly the diversity of opinion, experience and expertise. Obviously, I can't speak for what Jen Kalb finds clueless, but certainly on the Manhattan board, there are often posts that suggest that the poster (often a newer poster) hasn't searched for the information they are looking for (either because they can't be bothered or don't know how - I was guilty of both when I started using CH), and therefore asks a question that gets asked every week or so - i.e., Is Babbo good? What should I eat at Babbo? Can I get a reservation at Babbo? That said, the search function isn't perfect. When I see those posts (and I've not been to Babbo!), I either ignore, or do a quick search myself and post a link, in an effort to be helpful, maybe with a nice sentence along the lines of "there's lots of information here that's responsive to your question - here's a link to some of it." Then there are the posts along the lines of "Coming to Manhattan, looking for great chow, what do you recommend?" - difficult to respond w/o more information and suggests a lack of understanding that there are thousands of places in NYC to eat - in that case, if I feel like it, I, as I know some others do, post a "what price range, cuisines, geographic areas are you looking for post". If for some reason I feel like posting a snarky response, I just don't post ... no need to clutter up the boards with unhelpfulness IMHO.

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                Well Said!

                                                I can say with absolute certainty that I posted a "how to get in to Babbo?" question on the Manhattan board a few years ago.

                                                Before the new site format, I found searching to be more or less impossible.

                                                Anyhow, I received a number of helpful, pleasantly worded suggestions as to how to get in Babbo, and subsequently, I got into Babbo...on a weekend. Isn't that how it's supposed to work? This, along w/ many other successful meals aided by Chowhound, is why I'm so in love with the site. If somebody's blood was boiling when they scrolled past the post....

                                            2. If someone is personally obscene, report it to the moderator, otherwise assume that the reason that the majority of individuals are on these forums is to both learn from and enlighten others. A few are exhibitionists who just like to spout off and provoke responses. They usually get bored, and don't stick around.

                                              For many years, I have been involved with lists and forums from everthing from BBQ to Elizabethan harpsichord music.
                                              Since I don't know everything, I am sure I ask some pretty stupid questions myself, sometimes!

                                              1. Ignore. For the sake of your blood pressure, for everyone else's, and for the sake of not adding to existing inanity. The only thing worse than a really stupid (I don't say ignorant) post, is a really stupid thread based on it. ;) An unanswered post disappears REALLY quickly on most of the boards, and that's the best solution. No one ever "learns" and there's a huge in and outflux here, so there's always some netiquettely-challenged person floating by - it's just the nature of the beast, so "instructional" rants don't get you anywhere.

                                                In that vein, I'll skip the list of my pet peeves. ;)

                                                It might help to wwrite a response and then delete it, or save it for further consideration and/or editing. Usually that makes the feeling pass. For me anyway, I do it myself not infrequently. LOL

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: MikeG

                                                  "It might help to write a response and then delete it"

                                                  I find myself doing exactly that lately. I write a response, then hit the back button instead of "post my reply." It does seem to help get it out of my system.

                                                  An example of a post that got me so peeved I haven't forgotten it was a response to one of those ad-nauseum threads on the best steak in NYC. I politely posted a link to a lengthy and very recent discussion of the subject and the OP replied "If I had wanted to pore through a bunch of old threads I wouldn't have started a new discussion." My snarky response to that was immediately--and appropriately--deleted. I decided there are those who aren't so much interested in offering or eliciting information as they are in hearing themselves "talk." Sometimes it's hard for me to just walk on by--but I'm trying.

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    You guys are definitely onto something - Ive started and not finished a fair number of posts recently, and and it does work.

                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                      Joan N, I often do the same thing (reply and then delete) and you're right - it enables me to vent without slamming someone and wasting other 'hounders time reading my not-always-nice response.

                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                        I've been known to post those replies and then immediately report myself. Probably better just not to post though...

                                                    2. Look this is America freedom of speech and the press. Everone on this site has good input. Including the newbies.A question may sound stupid to you but may be important to another. If you do not like the post or the way it is going just don't reply a post. Do not get your blood pressure up over it.Hey sometimes I write a reply or a post and CH removes it. I do not freak out about it. That's the way the site is I am greatful for it. Happy New Year everone.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: FAL

                                                        yes, thank you. and i cannot fathom why someone would get all pissed off about a newb when there are plenty of intentionally irritating people in life and on CH.

                                                      2. Something I was guilty of when I first discovered Chowhound was posts like: "Any good restaurants in Paris???" Responders were kind, and I gradually became a little more educated and realized there was a wealth of info in past threads. Though I should know better than to weigh in on topics like food history or the world's three greatest cuisines...

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: whs

                                                          I've been guilty of that, too (among other things...), but there were enough kind CHers who took pity on a newbie and didn't make me feel stupid. I remember that and try to do the same. Some people are new to message boards, some just to CH but everyone's been there. There is such a wealth of information out there and it's great to see how many people are willing to spend the time and energy to share it.

                                                        2. i think much can be misinterpreted by written communication when you consider that many people are often being sarcastic or have an exceedingly dry sense of humor...therefore, i feel a well placed smiley can often take the sting out of any seemingly offensive comment. for example:

                                                          that is the most inane comment i've ever heard! :o)
                                                          were you dropped on your head several times as a young child? :o)

                                                          see how nice that is? just kidding. :o)

                                                          1. If someone really infuriates me I click on their name to see their other posts. More often than not the post that pisses me off is rare for the poster and they usually write pretty level headed posts. By doing this I think I gain a little perspective about the person and their point of view. In fact, there is one person who used to annoy the heck out of me but I have grown to apprecaite their posts because every now and then they write a doozey and instead of getting mad I get a good chuckle. If only I could have the ability to do this at work.

                                                            1. Just checking here...when you join CH, does the etiquette say that it is considerate of your fellow CHers to search thru the existing posts before posting a "what's the best restaurant in ____?" type of post? I think it would be helpful, as I have found myself somewhat tired of answering yet another "what's the best restaurant in Ft Lauderdale?" question. However, I understand that the poster does not often check the Florida boards, so how would he/she know that it had just been asked. So, I guess I'm saying that the wikis are a good idea. In fact, if we had travelers had searched first, the posts could then be more along the lines of "what's better? Restaurant A vs Restaurant B?" So much more fun! Also, putting soemthing into the initial email that we get when we join about how to search and the types of quesitons that are usually answered with a search is a good idea.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: amyvc

                                                                Well, if you look for a couple of recent threads, you might find the information you want already there, rather than starting a new thread and waiting for the information to materialize.

                                                                What I find ludicrous is a question like "What is the VERY BEST Ethiopian/Thai fusion restaurant in downtown Altoona?"

                                                                1. re: yayadave

                                                                  That is truly a funny post!!!!

                                                              2. thanks to all for basically confirming my thinking on this matter. Its hard to frame up this type of question, which is basically "what can we do to protect this great resource" more than anything personal to me, in non-annoying terms. I guess I annoyed some Im glad that Chowhound is such a civil and friendly place with so many kind people watching over it. Happy New Year to All!

                                                                1. My two passions are cycling and cooking, so I love reading on-line about both. Unfortunately, cycling related boards have a snobby conceit about them that makes this site look like a church social. How refreshing it was to find this site with so much tolerance and regard for other users, in the know or not. I LOVE this site.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: cafesimile

                                                                    Hey, me too! I haven't noticed any more snobby conceit on the cycling pages than I do here. However, the spelling and grammar are much superior on Chowhound.

                                                                  2. As someone who has written a number of posts that I now regret (I try not to think about how many), I try to be nice and control myself and remember that I have been occasionally clueless myself.

                                                                    On the other hand, I get irritated when someone who may be relying upon these boards to plan a vacation or a special weekend is steered toward second-rate and mediocre restaurants by people who obviously don't know the local restaurant scene. I like to be polite, but I also fear that a visitor may not be able to differentiate between sound and silly advice.

                                                                    I just wish folks (including myself) would ask, "Do I really have any expertise about this issue?" before posting.


                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Ed Dibble

                                                                      That was well-said. Humble and well-said. The last line is especially appropos. I have made it my mantra for years. Thanks for the clarity.

                                                                      These days, everybody is an expert. And on that note, let us reflect upon the meaning of the term "contradiction in terms".....

                                                                      1. re: Ed Dibble

                                                                        I don't know if "expertise" is right. Sometimes a comment that isn't expert, but intended to solicit input and start a conversation is appropriate. I often ask myself, "Do I have anything new to contribute?" Even if I am expert (or think I am), if everything that needs to be said has been said, I don't need to chime in.

                                                                        My wish is the opposite from most - I hate civility and propriety when it gets in the way of learning. I think that the solution isn't to be nicer, but to have thicker skins. The way most folks learn best is through a true dialectic - a process of arguing pro and con, not necessarily to win an argument, but to air all points of view. I'm not saying that we should go around saying, "that's bullsxxt" every other post - but in an honest and fruitful way, we ought to challenge posts that are way off the mark. And if it turns out that we're the ones with the crazy ideas, others will happily tell us so. Everybody benefits!

                                                                        A side benefit would be that a clueless poster, challenged and shown to be clueless or wrong, might not post so cluelessly next time. Result: improved SNR for everybody.

                                                                        1. re: applehome

                                                                          You address one of my pet peeves about this site: Some people need to read the responses already given before posting their own. If the question's been answered, there's no need to chime in! This mainly applies to questions seeking specific info, of course. It happens a lot on Home Cooking.

                                                                        2. re: Ed Dibble

                                                                          "I just wish folks (including myself) would ask, "Do I really have any expertise about this issue?" before posting."
                                                                          That's a pretty good first question. A good second question might be "Can I answer the question that's being asked?"

                                                                          1. re: yayadave

                                                                            That about sums it up for me. I think these two questions should be included with th CH etiquette guidelines.

                                                                        3. I usually write the response, hit Ctrl-A, and then Del.

                                                                          The clueless ones will figure out that, to use an LA example, their suggestion of Maggiano's for best Italian restaurant in Mid-City is not being well-received.

                                                                          What drives me more crazy are the people who can't even scan the first page of threads for what they're looking for -- at one point recently we had no fewer than three "WHAT IS THE BEST SUSHI IN LOS ANGELES" threads going at one time. It's important to rehash the "best of", but those threads always turn into quagmires and ad restaurantem attacks ("I wouldn't eat at Sasabune if it were the last sushi restaurant on earth" "Obviously you've never had good sushi if you like Hide").

                                                                          It also irks me when someone says "What's the best [whatever], from Calabasas to Burbank" and the first three posts are something downtown, or out in San Gabriel. I try to just swallow and move on.

                                                                          And then there are the trolls, like the current one about how there's no good cheese in America.

                                                                          1. I've often wondered why people rarely report back after having asked for places to go.

                                                                            then I reported back, got slapped down, and understand why others might be hesitant to say they liked a humble meal in a humble place.

                                                                            There is a difference in a reccommendation, and a report.

                                                                            This new format is so much easier to search, I also hoped that it would cut down on the "where should I go in Paris" and "why can't I find great Thai in the Oklahoma Panhandle?" questions. Or "where can I find a good recipe for toast?"

                                                                            1. Since I really never knew what a troll was (god, the internet makes me feel old sometimes), I googled it.

                                                                              Came up with an article on the straight dope, and there was a line in it that I think applies nicely here

                                                                              "Besides, this is the Internet, the closest we've come to a free marketplace of ideas. The prevailing ethic here is that it's best to let everyone have his say, and rely on the good sense of other participants to sort out sound ideas from stupid ones. Which means it all comes down to you."