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We’re listening... we always have been

  • Tatum Jan 23, 2007 06:14 PM
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LOCKED DISCUSSION

First, let me say on behalf of the moderators and developers that we wish we could have posted something earlier than the end of the day....but it has been a seriously long day. Let me also recognize upfront that we could have done even more to message the changes to you prior to the switch, but we didn’t have the capabilities in the software to do group messaging and we didn’t want to spam you. In the future, we will have better methods for messaging and rolling out changes.

We understand the changes we made yesterday have been tough for many of you, and we would like to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Let me start by telling you why we made these changes. We wanted to fix many of the problems we both were having with the site since we relaunched Chowhound in June last year. You had issues with long threads breaking, limited topics per page, no images, no location data, general readability and messaging issues. We needed to make the change to address some business and operational issues we were having with the site and the code. What we didn’t expect was the proxy errors and performance issues that plagued us last night and this morning. We tested and the issues *still* happened, and for that, we are truly sorry.

We are reading all of your feedback, and taking it to heart. We would specifically like to thank those that stayed constructive and distilled the opinions of many into easily digestible feedback. For those of you who remembered that we have been really responsive in the past, reassured your fellow ‘hounds that we wouldn’t purposely inflict pain on them, and that we would probably quickly roll out improvements, we are truly grateful for your support.

Let me address the business side for the changes, and I will defer to our moderators and engineering team for more details on how our changes will help them better serve you. When we relaunched Chowhound the first time, we did it under serious duress. The software was breaking. Bob and Jim had done a heroic things to keep the software from breaking on a daily basis.... for 10 years. It was a fire drill from the very first day Chowhound came to CNET to make sure we didn’t lose posts or have the whole site shutdown. Boards would literally “fold over” on themselves, wiping out days of valuable chow tips. So we rebuilt the site from scratch in a couple of months so that we could meet as many of the requests from Jim and the mods as possible. Many of the wish list never got implemented, and both you and the mods have been very patient and understanding of our inability to address your requests. Thank you.

We also have a business to run. We’ve been working on two code bases, with the same handful of people. Improvements we would make to the editorial side of the house, CHOW, would not be reflected in the community side of the house, Chowhound. This was inefficient and annoying, not to mention costly. More importantly, we should go on record as saying that CHOW and Chowhound are more than sister sites, they share a house. Our engineers, designers, editors, sales team, et al think about both sites each and every day under a singular “best food web sites”. And we do think that we offer something very unique in both sites. In Chowhound, we have the most useful community forum for sharing food tips in the world. Sure we take a lot of flack for our moderation methods, but you will not find a more dedicated group of contributors and moderators in the world focused on the singular mission of keeping signal higher than noise for sharing deliciousness. Like you, I’m constantly blown away by the passion of the people who make Chowhound. My life is better because of it. How many websites can you really say that about?

With CHOW, we believe we are approaching editorial (recipes, how-to’s and videos) in the spirit Jane Goldman and the rest of the magazine started out on several years ago. Sure, we catch grief for our irreverent titles and topics, as well as our general disregard for celebrity worship and lack of food porn visuals. Being different is hard. An intelligent and real point of view on the food lifestyle is interesting to us, and we believe to a great number of other people as well. We are still refining our voice on CHOW, and we are looking forward to producing great editorial and product features that entertains our growing daily readership. That hopefully includes many Chowhounds, but we understand not all of you. We have really tried to make the boards that boards, and the editorial the editorial- even if they are a little closer in design now than they were yesterday.

Together, we hope that CHOW and Chowhound will make your online food life with us enjoyable, but we also hope that it will be a successful business that will let us work on a product and in a subject area each and every one of us loves. Your hobby is our hobby- but it is also our livelihood. We hope that you will support our marketing partners who support our site, and we will do our best to work with marketing partners who you find interesting. We are just ramping up our sales efforts, and we look forward to your feedback on what you would like to see from our marketing partners. For those of you not interested in commercial messages, we understand, but we hope you will at least be tolerant and understanding of the commercial relationships we make to support the efforts that bring you these sites each day.

But as Keith Richards says, talk is cheap, and we’ve been talking about addressing a lot of the changes we’ve wanted to make for awhile now. We aim to take to action now, therefore this change. Also, as a company, we made a promise to Jim to take the best care of Chowhound that we possibly could, while allowing him to focus more on his writing (as opposed to every little thing!). These recent changes help us take care of our business, and your site. We promise to continue to do the best job we possibly can. You will see a large number of changes over the coming days and weeks. Again, we are listening. We always have been. Please try to stay constructive and civil, to us and one another. Life is too short for hate, and not long enough to enjoy all the chowhounding in front of us.

Thanks.

  1. Thanks Tatum

    Your response has a lot of words, but let me ask a question I ask at this point in every meeting. OK what do we do next? It would be helpful to those of us who have also had a long day to understand which of the Top-10 list are being addressed first. A time line (very generic) would also be well received by many.

    1. Engineering is rolling out some new changes and a product roadmap here shortly...

      1. Tatum, glad you responded.
        Not everyone will agree Im totally sure, but certainly many of us understood that there would be an effort for more integration between Chowhound and Chow (otherwise, why bother with Chowhound and continue to find a home for our community to gather?)
        Honestly I dont care very much as long as there is a good, usable interface for discussions, a decent search function. If Im exposed more to CHOW editorial content thats not a problem though I think there is a bit of dissonance between CHOWHOUND passion and the CHOW jokiness - it feels shallow to me a lot of the time. Maybe as I see more of it I will change my view on this. There has to be some synergies between these sites and a bit more integration - as youve done, makes it more likely that CHOW content will get discussed on the Boards which may make more hounds read CHOW, etc.

        But its really really important that discussion not be impeded and content findable through search. AND that we can stand to look at the page. Realistically Im not going to spend as much time here if it hurts my eyes and runs slowly. We do thank you guys for the MY CHOW innovation (as it was - hope we will get it back)

        1. Thanks for checking in Tatum. It's much appreciated.

          1. Search is a top priority for us. You'll see some major search and presentation of results very soon.

            1. Tatum,
              When my husband does something that makes me angry and then he apologizes and explains himself, I try to hear him but it takes me a little while to get over being upset with him.

              What I'm saying is I'm still mad at you, but thanks for explaining and I'll move past it soon. Validating is important and I feel like you honestly are trying to validate how a lot of us felt today.

              I'm glad you understand the inconvenience and frustration some of us felt and why that might be expressed through anger that grew as the day went on. When anyone feels ignored, it simply harbors frustration and anger.

              So like my husband and I do after we fight, let's talk about how maybe we can all avoid this in the future?

              When this many people are upset, please take the time to give us one sentence in a sticky post that says "We're here, we're listening, we're talking, we'll get back to by the end of the day". That would have appeased a lot of souls who felt like they were being ignored (we can't know you're listening unless you tell us and '...always have been' doesn't mean much after the fact).

              The design is frustrating because it is causing people pain and when physical pain is ignored people feel like they have little choice but to leave or get more frustrated. Can you understand this? Will this be addressed? Whether it is meant this way or not, when you ignore physical discomfort it FEELS disrespectful to us. Again, one line in a sticky post that you heard us would have garnered a lot more patience.

              I have personally never had a problem with the ads, I get that sites need to make money. Point taken and understood.

              You say that you're trying to keep the boards the boards but from my perspective this looks like chow.com which happens to have a message board. Is this going to be addressed? Will it stay like it is but just with bug fixes? I was excited to check out chow in the beginning (the old new site) but I found it uninteresting - there was nothing there I can't get elsewhere and with better content. So you can understand why it might be frustrating to open a site and feel like it's all chow and a little chowhound.

              I'm glad you say that our hobby is your hobby. I'll keep my eye on that to make sure that our love of deliciousness is actually part of the priority for you and your colleagues. I really hope that's true.

              When the old new site went up, I was a solid cheerleader. I loved the site and I saw few of the problems you mention. I wasn't worried then or now about your ability to fix bugs and said as much - I am more concerned about the direction CNET seems to be taking the site. That's what feels disturbing and frustrating. Please understand that what some of us are worried about is chowhound losing it's organic, passionate edge and becoming a slick, corporate site. Can organic and passionate just not make enough money?

              Thanks again for your response and I hope you can continue this dialogue with us. The rabble was in fact roused, but I think a lot of us felt like we needed to bang on the gates so that we don't lose a voice in this community we love.

              1. Krissy, you sound a lot like my wife- a very big compliment btw. ;-)

                We're working on the design issue right now...as in tonight. It will continue to evolve as we are not happy with it still. Also, we are going to do a better job of bringing you guys in on beta testing and messaging. I hate to sound like a broken record, but the merged code/databases will help us do that.

                So thanks for the message and the willingness to hear us out and forgive us. I would send flowers, but that usual only gets me in more trouble...

                10 Replies
                1. re: Tatum

                  Not krissywats, but for me - no flowers are needed. Just give us a heads-up AHEAD of time instead of springing it on us out of the blue! Oh and when you give us something good - please don't take it away in a redesign!

                  And please - PLEASE? Change the background color?

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Yes, we will do a better job of messaging... promise. You will see some relief on the color front very soon! Hang in there please.

                    1. re: Tatum

                      Tatum:

                      It seems to me you're making things too complicated re: sending messages/spamming us. No messaging is required.

                      Just do what the old chowhound did and give us a splash page that we must click through before proceeding to the chowhound boards. Simple solution... Jim did it before the big changeover to CNET and you should have done it before this rollout.

                      Please remember that what made Chowhound great was its simplicity. We loved CH without ANY technological marvels.

                      Simplicity.

                      Mr Taster

                      P.S. My greatest fear is that the addition of avatars (and in future Rich Text, Smileys, etc.) will attract a MySpace element to CH, which could ultimately turn this forum into brainless palaver. PLEASE remove the avatars before this slippery slope gets out of control.

                      -----------------------------
                      Protect Chowhound.
                      Boycott Avatars.
                      -----------------------------
                      Please copy & paste to your posts!

                  2. re: Tatum

                    Thanks Tatum - I'll take the compliment.

                    I do appreciate all you guys are trying to do.

                    And can you tell my husband about the flowers when I'm mad at him? I'd totally dig that....

                    1. re: Tatum

                      Forget flowers, we're CHOWHOUNDS. Send chocolates. Or bacon.

                      1. re: Chris VR

                        Or chocolate AND bacon.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Or bacon-wrapped chocolate.

                          You know what, let's go back to the flowers. :p

                          1. re: SauceSupreme

                            What, no chicken liver encased in chocolate?

                            1. re: ChinoWayne

                              Ooh, how romantic. :(

                              When that chef misses, he misses _badly_.

                              1. re: ChinoWayne

                                "chicken livers encased in chocolate"
                                Hoo Boy, don't need a gag-reflex for that one! :-)

                      2. Fair enough. Question though. I thought Jane Goldman was the leader of the show. Why hasn't she contributed anything today?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fooddrinkfun

                          My understanding was she was being brought on board in the same capacity.

                          1. re: fooddrinkfun

                            Jane is our editor in chief, and was contributing quite a bit today. We will also do a better job of messaging who is responsible for what on the site. As this post says, I felt I needed to address the business side of the changes, as ultimately that is my responsibility. Jane will discuss more product and editorial developments in the future I'm sure.

                          2. Thank you for this response. Thank you also for already addressing some of the problems. And certainly you folks have been working incredibly hard today.

                            Please keep this kind of communication coming when changes are planned/made. It doesn't even have to be as detailed and articulate as your post here. A quick note of acknowledgment early during conflict will go so far with so many people.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: debbiel

                              Thanks Debbie. I think that is the major lesson here, and we will do what we can in the future to keep you guys informed. Again, some of the structural changes we made today will definitely help us do that.

                            2. BTW, I live in SF and would be more than happy to volunteer as a guinea pig for any user studies. I loved CNET radio back in the '90s when e-commerce was my focus of study, hold no ill will towards commerce, and love this community. Whatever it takes... And Halsey was a great guy.

                              1. Thanks for being very responsive to the vocal mob.

                                In the future, might I suggest running software like Chariot to debug your servers under heavy duress?

                                1. Thanks Tatum. I was pretty critical in a few posts yesterday and I see this morning that you've addressed a number of the worst sore points. Well done.

                                  1. Tatum

                                    What was revealed yesterday was a profound ignorance of both the Chowhound community and its relationship to CNET/CHOW. And that ignorance will send many Chowhounds elsewhere. As I said in one of my initial posts, it became manifest that CNET/CHOW intends Chowhounds to serve this site rather than the other way around. So far, the communications from CNET/CHOW have yet to engage that issue properly; at best, the issue is finessed. At worst, whoever thought the idea of having Dunn play apologist/PR liaison yesterday should have his or her head examined, as he signally worsened matters for CNET/CHOW.

                                    15 Replies
                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      Karl, there has always been links to CHOW from Chowhound. Nothing more has changed except some CSS normalization that makes it easier for us to manage the site. As of this morning, you can change the color back to the original tan colors if you prefer it over the red. Looking back, our big regrets were not launching with the color switcher immediately and not spamming each member and board about the change. We did make several posts about it on Site Talk, but obviously that wasn't a good enough effort. We will continue to address our messaging and testing methods.

                                      Also, we have no idea who Dunn may be. Really. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a friend or loved on of someone from the site, but if it is, they were absolutely not instructed to defend us. I promise, we responded as soon as we had a moment of air.

                                      1. re: Tatum

                                        I know it's water under the bridge but I am not sure there were any posts during the day when the posters felt that were speaking to an unnamed corporate ogre. The only person seeming to represent CNET was this guy/gal Dunn who made some wildly contradictory statements up to and including he was "friends with the whole team" and culminating with the use of the word "us." If there would have been a true spokesperson from CNET during the day, it would have gone much, much smoother.

                                        Today is a new day and the communication has already gone from non-existent to constant.

                                        Thank you for gbeginning the dialogue last night and let's keep the positive energy going for all involved.

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          I've seen it posted a number of times that there was no communication before and during this changeover. But it's not true. The changeover was extensively discussed here on site talk long before it happened. And, the day of the changeover, I posted a ton (what am I, chopped liver?). Other members of the Chowhound Team did likewise.

                                          We didn't get postings by the engineers right away because they were FIXING THE PROBLEMS (sorry, all caps came off harsh...not my intention!). That's also why we weren't able to assure what would be changed and when. The engineers were working on stuff, rather than talking to us about working on stuff. Which is good.

                                          When there are tech snafus, you don't want explanations and apologies. You want the problems fixed. And the past two days have seen more snappy and impressive problem fixing than any of us could have hoped for.

                                          1. re: Jim Leff

                                            JL, thanks for the feedback.

                                            I do not hit the "Site Talk" board very often, but will in the future, my fault but an easy correction. And to be honest many of your postings took some hits as well as to what did Jim do?

                                            As I said in one of my posts on Monday, we will work through this as a community, as yes we did. I actually feel a closer affinity to many posters, gained respect for those who were passionate, both for and against certain changes and now look forward to returning to the food boards and into the zone. Now that calm has appeared, the Engineers can proceed to fix, change, undo, improve and move this community forward together with the posters.

                                            I think everyone learned about the passion many feel about this site and the engineers moved mountains over the last 48 hours and received their just kudos. Let's keep thepositive energy going (as I posted yesterday).

                                            As for chopped liver, I always wondered why this is the benchmark for nothingness, I love the stuff.

                                            1. re: Jim Leff

                                              I agree that we have seen some impressive bug-fixing going on over the last couple of days. I only have a couple of comments:

                                              If lots of people (myself included) are posting about a communications breakdown, it means the communication process is broken -- regardless of whether it SHOULD work, it didn't. Obviously, posting on Site Talk didn't work as well as it should have. It doesn't mean that was a bad idea, it simply means that there may be ways to improve it.

                                              People don't go seeking information unless they have a reason to -- so a sticky post (or whatever) in every board saying, "Go to [Site Talk thread URL] and read about what changes are coming," would have been my suggestion.

                                              I dispute your assertion that we don't want explanations and apologies -- "hello, we heard you, and we're listening" works wonders. Well, go look at the sticky posts in this board and you can SEE when people backed off to let the tech team do their jobs.

                                              As I said to Engineering earlier, having a junior, or even a volunteer, as the "go-between" would have calmed a lot of the panic. "We know 'my CHOW' is broken and we are fixing it right now, please stand by." That could come from someone with no technical skills whatsoever. Granted, that person is going to pounced on, but the right person will brush it off. That keeps the technical resources concentrating on where they are best able to help -- in the technical work.

                                              Most of this, by the way, could have been avoided with testing -- another place where a junior or a volunteer (this time with some technical chops) could run a small pilot, just to make sure critical functionality was not lost. (I use "critical" in a relative sense here -- if 'my CHOW' is broken, it's not like the sun will fail to rise in the morning).

                                              Finally, you did post quite a lot, but what you didn't give were specifics. Maybe you couldn't -- I'm not sure -- but what people were looking for was: "My CHOW is being fixed."

                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                There aren't enough engineers for one to play spokesman. In fact, I'm not sure there are enough engineers in the world for one to be spared to play that role when users are being as freaked out as they were on Tuesday. The guys were gulping and pulling all-nighters to fix stuff. No extra hands. If it had taken an extra day to fix, that'd have been an extra day of disruption on Chowhound, which is bad for the chowishness of the site. So all energy went into fixing. And they did a beyond-awesome job.

                                                Speaking of which, if we could transition back to food talk, that'd be great. Good points have been made, good fixes have been implemented, but it's all meaningless if the focus is discussing the discussion of food rather than discussing food! ;)

                                                I'll start. Must post about my New Haven Italian meal.

                                                ciao

                                                1. re: Jim Leff

                                                  Please do post.... I look forward to reading it

                                                  By the way, my Taiwanese girlf... eh fiancee and I would be happy to take you on a Chinese food tour of LA the next time you're here... we recently returned from 7 months in Asia and we're chock-a-blok with Asian food info that you might find interesting. There's some obscure and fascinating deliciousness here if you know where to look.

                                                  http://www.travelpod.com/members/adam...

                                                  (incomplete... still in Vietnam but China pics coming soon

                                                  )

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    Last time in LA I got massive massive food poisoning (you'll read about it in the Chow Tour...no photos, though, don't worry!). I need to get over my lingering feeling of aversion before I come back!

                                                    ciao

                                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                                      Oh no. Please don't hold it against us; we have so much to offer.

                                                      On that note, I've always wondered how often food critics, especially of the chowhound variety, get food poisoning. Seems like an occupational hazard.

                                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                                        You're kidding me.... where did you eat? That's never happened to me...

                                                        However I ate local food all over Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and China without so much as a belly burple, so maybe my immune system is fortified.

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                          It's definitely happened to me in LA, but never at the places my mother said it would (taco tables, roving tepache carts, dirty Chinese holes-in-the-wall, khlav kalash stands, and the like) but usually at larger, er, chain restaurants.

                                                2. re: Jim Leff

                                                  Jim-

                                                  I'm guessing that very small percentage of site users look at the Site Talk board very often (except, of course, when people's cheese is moved.)

                                                  I know you're hesitant to email everyone with notifications but why not a line or two of text inserted at the top of every page for the week leading up to the change?

                                                  Many sites do it in this manner. That way the large percentage of casual users aren't bothered with an email and the regular users who stop by most days are sure to be informed.

                                                  Keep up the great work!

                                                  Peter

                                                  1. re: Peter

                                                    Yes, I agree that simply having what amount private discussions on Site Talk is useless to the larger Chowhound community that is not prompted to go over there in some significant way. The general sticky post on all boards would indeed be the commonsensical approach, rather than spam. Don't put the message in sidebars, topbars or whatnot, as most experienced board users hardly ever look at anything other than hard content, ie, the message boards themselves. Our eyes are trained not to look at the margins.

                                                    1. re: Peter

                                                      We've been talking about how to do this better next time a lot here this morning - and the idea of building in an 'announcement' feature is definitely on the list of things we're considering. Right now, we have no way of doing a site wide announcement other than actually making a post on every board - but we'll definitely try to do that better next time around.

                                                      - Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                                                    2. re: Jim Leff

                                                      I have not visited Site Talk much in the past and, frankly, I hope I won't need to in the future. I'd rather talk about, well, chow.

                                                      Lots of stuff belongs in Site Talk. But radical changes deserved sticky posts to every board, with some advance warning of what was to come.

                                                      It also would have been appropriate to ask openly for volunteers to test the new site before going live. They could have done this under non-disclosure, though I don't personally see a need to have gone that far.

                                                      Das Ubergeek has already covered the rest of what I planned to say, but the bottom line is that the communication and testing processes didn't work.

                                              2. Morning all, new day!
                                                Appreciate the updates/feedback/perspective from Team & fellow 'hounds.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I agree, HillJ! New day. Thanks, Chowhound, for the fixes. A good start.

                                                2. I had a dream last night that I was cooking in the kitchen and I slipped and fell and knocked myself out cold. When I came to, my husband was standing over me and he said, "Are you okay?" and I said, "No, baby... they've completely messed up Chowhound!" If that doesn't tell you how upsetting this was, I don't know what will!

                                                  I appreciate all the hard work and, I'm sure, late hours that went into this, but in the future would appreciate even more just a one liner that says your listening, fixing problems, etc.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                                    Thanks Katie and we are truly sorry we caused you to have sleep issues! ;-)

                                                    Also, I read much of your feedback and we appreciated it. Again, we'll do a better job going forward.

                                                  2. Thanks for the response. You're not going to win everyone over and have it be roses and champagne right away, but they'll get there.

                                                    I'm still concerned about your processes -- but that's because I'm a geek who minds everyone else's business. I will only say this -- one of the best uses a technical team has for the "junior", the person whose technical chops aren't quite as advanced as others', is to serve as the communicator... the designated whuppin' boy, the liaison, call it what you will.

                                                    While the technical folks plug along and try and shrink the bugzilla list, the comms person posts and says, "We hear you, we're working on it." Even that would have been a big step forward. Granted, that person needs to be thick-skinned, because they're going to get a lot of "YOU SUCK I HATE YOU HOW COULD YOU DO THIS I BET YOU EAT YOUR OWN BABIES" and will need to transmute that into "People are upset" for the technical team.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                      Looking for a job? ;-)

                                                      Thanks, and we appreciate the feedback.

                                                    2. Thanks for the detailed check-in. Now that I can get rid of that painful god-awful red and use the MyChow Posts functionality, I feel much better.

                                                      1. I lot of technical issues can and should be changed as noted frequently in the last several days.

                                                        But what I think may now be broken beyond repair is the sense of community that the former chowhound site once engendered. I fear you will be unable to restore that. And that's a damn shame.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: livetotravel

                                                          The Chowhound community is what each and everyone of us makes of it. There is no physical limitation imposed by the user interface that prevents us from continuing to share chow tips like we always have.

                                                          As far as all of the interface functional issues that surfaced since Monday, let's give it some time, as in the intial launch via Cnet last June, the change (as most change is) was difficult for many to accept, but accept it we did, and over time Cnet listened and improved things.

                                                          So our assignment, if we are willing to take it, is to continue participating in the normal chow dicussion. That "data trove" and that sense of community will still be there, no matter what "garb" it may be draped in.

                                                        2. I'd just like to say that the RE-revised myCHOW, which now puts every thread you've ever posted in on one page and has an actual flag that says NEW rather than just the color change, is a big improvement over how it used to be.

                                                          1. Tatum, et al....
                                                            I guess because I am new to this site, I was able to adjust to the changes more easily. Still, I admit, I was confused at first. However, I have noticed that in just a day, the site has already improved. For ME, that red was tooooo toooo harsh, so I thank you for providing us with a theme choice. Thanks too, for allowing to us vent, hearing us (and in a lot of cases, personally responding back) and considering our views and opinions. IMO, some of the changes today seem an improvement to the format I had first come across. I do agree, the surprise tactic was tough to take, but I fully understand now. I can imagine if it was tough for me as a "newbie" to adjust to this change, I'm certain that for your "old timers" they have it tougher and it MAY take them longer to adjust. Gonna Hang on.......Over all, thanks for a great site, I love discovering it! O=:) Mermazon

                                                            1. - Jacquilynne
                                                              - Tatum
                                                              - Engineering
                                                              - Jim Leff

                                                              First off, giant kudos to the entire team for responding swiftly and effectively.

                                                              Next, please take the following as a genuine request for information or improvement. I'm not trying to cast blame.

                                                              I've seen posts from all of you responding with information over the past few days. What I can't figure out is who is the "product manager" or whatever he/she is called at CNET who's tying everyone together within your organization to what the Chowhound audience wants and needs. I think you responded fantastically to what was obviously a crisis situation....but who's supposed to guide the process or make a new process to make sure it doesn't happen again?

                                                              Just my thoughts.

                                                              1. Thank GOD!
                                                                I've been posting "end of the world as we know it" posts regarding the site changes, and for the first time, seen my posts deleted, and received a (just a little bit) nasty reply from a moderator. But I was really worried, 'cause I love CH! When I returned from a few weeks away, and saw the changes, I freaked. All of the negative posts, a "tone" from the CH Team (I get it now--you were overwhelmed!) made me think there was a massive takeover of the site, and that Jim was being forced out. Now that I've found this thread, with the very good information, and familiar tone from Tatum and from Jim, I'm reassured. I had thought that Now I see I was jumping the gun, and almost jumped the ship prematurely. I'm going to do some deep breathing, now, and wait for you guys to fix the search engine. My confidence in your motives and abilities is restored.