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feature request: number of posts

Sorry if this has been requested or discussed before. I searched on the topic but didn't find any mention of it.

Other boards I'm on list poster's # of posts along with their screennames. This helps us differentiate newcomers from long time members. New folks are always welcomed, of course, but their opinions don't carry quite as much weight as more experienced posters. It helps highlight trolls, those with an ax to grind, or those who are just posting to advertise their own restaurant. Because I read the board regularly, I know whose posts are most valuable to me. But most people just pop in every once in awhile and don't know who might have many posts and who has just one. Yes, every opinion is valuable, but some folks just post to stir the pot. So to speak.

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  1. There have been a few threads on this kind of idea over the past few months. Basically, the response has been (and I find it a good one) that exactly what you're doing (making your own decisions about who posts things you want to listen to) is what they want users to do. Though you're entirely correct that some people post for reasons other than finding or pointing to chow, a new poster isn't necessarily going to be doing that and many users might summarily skip a good new post because they come from someone with a low total.

    it also encourages people to post comments as often as possible regardless of their usefulness in order to drive up their total.

    1. as an alternative to number of posts, perhaps the date someone joined Chowhound would be interesting.Lots of boards list that. It would be nice to see who some of the real veterans are. Also easy to spot somebody who pops in just to promote or trash one thing.

      7 Replies
      1. re: MakingSense

        I think the date someone joined would also be likely to lead to automatic discounting of new users' posts, which is clearly something the CH team seems to be trying to avoid. You can click on a screenname and see the person's recent posts, which I find can give me a very good idea of whether they're just pursuing a bone to pick or shilling for something or whether they're someone I want to listen to.

        I do think it would be fun to know how long some of the long time vets have been around...though really only because I wonder if I'm right about the handful of folks I think have been around a long time :)

        1. re: ccbweb

          Since this software could only track signups since last June (when this software was launched), there wouldn't be any real way to have those dates be accurate.

          1. re: ccbweb

            Isn't "date joined" a common feature on many boards that you can't turn off? Yahoo boards include it whether you want it or not if I'm not mistaken. Even if the dates here only started from last June, it would show who had been here when this software launched. You gotta start somewhere.

            Everybody is new when they first sign up and it's up to them to establish their credibility. They do that by participating and posting well. When people know they've been here awhile, where they're from, etc. it adds to their credibility when they post. Of course, new users shouldn't be discounted but it serves no purpose to deny them tools that make it possible to establish themselves. Soon, they'll be the old-timers.

            Good posters generally list on their profiles where they are from, live, etc. and often something about themselves. They post in a variety of topics and usually include enough personal material that, after awhile, you get to know a bit about them. Those are the people I'll trust.

            1. re: MakingSense

              I agree. I don't really care when someone signed up. A "newbie", to my mind, can establish a certain "credibility" in a couple of posts as far as I'm concerned. Obviously, not one that just says "Go to Chez Whatever." But one that talks about why Chez Whatever (or Stand Whatever, for that matter) is so wonderful, in a way that conveys the deliciousness of what they've eaten, can tell me that this person loves food etc. Maybe I won't rush out to Chez or Stand after that first post, but after a couple, I might start putting the places they recommend on my "list to try". I don't have much in my profile - really don't know what to say to some of them(!) - but yes, a full profile does tell me something about a poster - or at least what they want me to know about them. I've been around for a couple of years now I guess, and have certainly observed newcomers who have quickly established themselves (in a good way!).

              1. re: MakingSense

                It's been my experience, on the Boston & New England boards, that our top Hounds only fill-out their profiles at a little over a 50% rate, including "joke" fill-ins.

                1. re: Harp00n

                  Haven't noticed the "joke" fill-ins! Maybe I should consider that myself for the questions I don't know how to answer!

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    You missing part of the Hounds humor then, because there's a lot of wit going on with some of their answers :-))

          2. Friends, dress it up under any heading and it still sounds like elite thinking. Many long timers don't use the profile area but the # of avatars reading them certainly says something about their "fan base." Personally I don't see anything other than the desire to separate this community by what a few regulars want for their own "ease of use." Phoowie! Give a newbie a chance! Weren't you a newbie once?

            Can someone tell me what is wrong with stopping by...and not camping out...at the CH we all enjoy?

            1 Reply
            1. re: HillJ

              Yes. I note when posters like dishes I like or recommend restaurants that I go to regularly. Then I get a sense that I can trust other recommendations they are making. They don't have to say much, or have a filled in profile (or maybe they do long posts and have detailed profiles) -- it just doesn't matter. In fact, I try to respond to newbies, or to a good post that is going uncommented upon for whatever reason. We don't need or want a caste system here. It could very well send us back to those days of the High School clique, where many were miserable and with the results being just as damaging to the site.

            2. I don't know of a way for a new person to become a "valued" regular without putting some opinions out there and learning as they go. After this post, I can see why they might be hesitant to.

              1. The number of posts listed is a false illusion. Quantity does not insure quality and there is no way to differentiate in a post count between a well-crafted review of a local restaurant and one that simply says "Ditto" or "I agree."

                2 Replies
                1. re: Seth Chadwick

                  Ditto what Seth said. ;)

                  I have seen plenty of boards that have post counts (or poster levels) shown between each users name...and you always end up with people just posting excessively (spamming) the board in order to get their post count up and gain that next level or hit the next 1,000 post mark.

                  1. re: mangorita

                    Very good point - and one that hadn't occurred to me since I don't really participate on other boards. I'd much rather have fewer, more thoughtful posts, than the simple one liners that give me no idea why someone is recommending a place (I'm trying to work on that myself!).