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Jan 16, 2007 08:43 PM

FAQ: About this Not About Food Board


Whether you're new to Chowhound or a longtime poster, please be sure you've seen our Posting Etiquette at

We realize that the title of this board is awfully tempting, and so we periodically take a moment to remind folks that this one board isn't meant to handle all the various non-food interests of Chowhounds. Nor is it meant to cover anything that comes to mind that even might be food related. Threads where we all pile on with jokes, anecdotes and various cultural references about food are sort of fun to participate in, but no one gets any value from going back and reading them later.

If you value as a no-nonsense, high signal-to-noise resource, please consider, when posting, whether your post improves this information trove or dilutes it. The latter degrades the usefulness of the resource for all. And, worse, it sets an example for new hounds that is merely a general chat room rather than a unique and essential resource. So they start chatting, too. It's a vicious circle, and eventually, the good stuff about the site gets lost in the chat.

So we ask for it to be used with restraint, mostly to address almost-but-not-quite food related matters, or to continue threads from other boards that have digressed from topic. By all means, continue all current discussions. We just ask that hounds please refrain from freely launching all sorts of topics. Our site is busy enough with the chow discussions; we can't also be a clearinghouse for non-chow talk too. Please just hold back a bit!

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        1. We've had to lock a great number of threads on Not About Food that tell stories or ask questions about rude or generally unpleasant ways that people have been treated by their friends, family, restaurant staff, etc. While it can be fun or cathartic to trade stories about the worst of personal behavior, all of these threads go rapidly downhill, with some people trolling for reactions and others engaging in name calling and personal attacks.

          These issues are at best tangentially related to food, are often just rants thinly disguised as questions, and rarely come to any useful conclusion, but they're generating a huge amount of ill will amongst members of the community. Given that, we're putting a moratorium on threads of this nature. We'll close the current ones if they get out of hand, and we'd ask that no one start new threads in this vein.

          As we mention above, Not About Food is really not meant to be a clearing house for everything under the sun -- it's primarily meant to be a place for us to redirect conversations that almost but don't quite fit on other boards. We're asking that everyone please think carefully before starting any threads on Not About Food, and in particular take care to avoid the type of problem threads we've outlined in this post.