CHOW/Chowhound banner confusion
It looks like some changes just pushed out...
on Hot Posts (http://www.chowhound.com/new_posts/show), the banner is for CHOW right now. It seems to be Chowhound on other pages I'm on. However, even when it is Chowhound, the little house icon on the left goes to chow.com.
I THINK I understand what you are going for- the top NAV bar on the entire site (CHOW and Chowhound) is the same. "Boards" always brings you to the Chowhound Home page, and the house always brings you to the CHOW homepage. I agree that it makes sense to have a mechanism which ensures you can always get to the Chow and Chowhound homepages no matter where you are, but disagree with the implementation.
I associate a house with "home", meaning the main page of the site I'm on. Someone browsing Chowhound and unfamiliar with the site setup is going to be confused and lost if they click that icon, and won't understand how to get back to Chowhound. So why not have that icon just be the word "CHOW"? That wouldn't take up much more room.
The next top nav link should be the one that always brings you to Chowhound's home page. "Boards" is a bit jargony if you are using it to refer to "the portion of this site which contains food discussions" aka "Chowhound". So, why not change that word to be "Chowhound"?
Next, "Recipes" is fine, but I think it's a big oversight not to also have a link to the Home Cooking board, which is one of our most vibrant and informational boards (with, I'd imagine, LOTS more recipes than is currently in the CHOW recipe database- I wish there was some way to index that wealth of info!)
And I think there's been a lot of feedback that using the little down arrow as the only way to get to the discussion boards is tooconfusing. So I suggest renaming that link to be "Discussions", or "Discussion Boards" and clicking on it would bring up the drop down box.
I know you want to keep that interface clean but I'm sure you don't want to do it at the cost of making it confusing, and I think that's where we are right now.
My 2 cents, hope it gives some things to think about.