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What's up with the ads covering the board index?

Can't close or move the ads--where did the board index go?

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  1. Thank goodness it isn't just me.

    2 Replies
    1. I have the same problem.

      1. Just click on the 'Boards' icon in the top row under the Chowhound logo.

        6 Replies
          1. re: slowrider

            tried clicking on BOARDS, didn't help.

            VERY annoying...

            1. re: slowrider

              You actually have to click on the small triangle to the right of "Boards" - that will bring up the list.

            2. Same here -- the only way to get the board index is to click on the drop down menu. You can no longer see the latest posts with the board index next to it.

              I also find that the "back" key is not working.

              I think both of these problems are due to the "streaming video" panel on the middle righthand side of the page. Please, please, please chowhound, please do NOT start featuring streaming video on the main pages!!! It makes it incredibly difficult for those of us with older computers to navigate and use the site. Thanks.

              3 Replies
                1. re: Densible

                  ITA, but also for those of us with really slow land lines. And a growing hatred of enforced videos.

                2. re: DanaB

                  I just noticed the "back" key issue too.

                  Not sure what the function of advertising "CHOW" on the Chowhound home page is--kind of preaching to the choir, isn't it?

                3. When we originally launched that board cloud on the front page, people hated it. Replacing it with the media player didn't seem like a potential problem because everyone had been so vehemently against it from the start. We'll see if we can give you a better list of boards on the front page.

                  The main way to get the board list, however, has always been to use the menu -- select the arrow to the right of the word boards in the navigation bar. It'll drop down a list of boards organized by geography. If there's anyone who actually can't get that dropdown to work, please let me know. If you can, include details on what does happen when you click on the arrow, and on what browser version and operating system you're using.

                  -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                  22 Replies
                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                    If we are the frogs in the skillet and you are now acclimating us to a partial life of commercial bombardment as the price we'll have to pay to play, this old frog will jump first. The Tuesday monitors already loathe me.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      The video player isn't playing advertising, it's playing editorial content--things like technique demos, interviews with various food personalities, that sort of thing.

                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                        Why can't you just have a link so people who want to access streaming video can do so?? As I stated above, having streaming video download on every page I view on chowhound is going to make it impossible for me to use this site any more. I have an older computer which does not have the video capabilities to handle streaming video. I will be heartbroken if chowhound makes it so their site is only accessible to people with the latest cutting edge computer technology -- it's already happening with sites like yahoo and bravo, etc., but I never expected to encounter that here.

                        I'm not at all opposed to your offering it as an option to people who want to see it, but placing a streaming video box on every page is just not fair to people with older computers.

                        1. re: DanaB

                          The video shouldn't start streaming automatically--it should just load as a place holder until you press the play button. If you have real problems with the pages (the front page and the index pages, but not the actual thread pages at this point) loading, please let me know.

                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                            The video doesn't start streaming, but the fact of the video player being there has interfered. I cannot use the "go back" key on any page that the video player is on. When I try to use the back key, it goes to the video player.

                            I don't think anyone had a problem with the board listing being on the right side of the page, they just didn't like the way they were listed, i.e. the silly fonts and the way the names of places were displayed. People got used to it over time, though.

                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                              Please, please remove this and replace it with a link. Not all of us have computers or connections to deal with this. It isn't streaming but it is bringing my computer to its knees and slowing everything I'm doing.

                              As long as we are taling videos, I wish there could be a brief summary in text of some of those videos. I could never play them on the North American chow tour and to tell you the truth, I would like a brief explanation on how to eliminate fruit flies. My connection cant deal with those videos.

                              1. re: rworange

                                If your connection can't deal with videos, install FlashBlock or whatever the equivalent is for your browser.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  Not my computer and I can't install unautorized software. It is a work computer. Saying I want to install this to read Chowhound isn't an acceptable option. Everytime I hit one of the videos I have to keep clicking on links that don't have the video to free up the pc again.

                          2. re: Jacquilynne

                            And you aren't planning to put ads in before those segments run, once you're able to sell ads? I have a hard time believing that. Video ads are where the $ are at right now, and I can only understand this as a way of preparing for that capability.

                            Ads are necessary to support free content, I for one accept that, and I'm sure the ads on Chowhound will be high-quality. But I will reiterate that they shouldn't come at the expense of functionality. Were you really getting more hits on the top board nav menu instead of the visible tag cloud? Plus the tag cloud showed the relative sizes of the boards/communities, which was also interesting.

                            1. re: hollerhither

                              Personally I hated that tag cloud, never used it. But if it was being used (even if by not as many people as were using the "secret" dropdown menu) then I don't think it should have been summarily booted off the site.

                          3. re: Veggo

                            They may do - but those of us who hang on your every word do not.
                            Handing out Mae Wests?

                          4. re: Jacquilynne

                            ??? i dont understand. I dont see the South board there. and what about like, the Not ABout Food Board and the Chains board, etc. I cant see any of those. this is really frustraing.

                            1. re: Chocolate Toe

                              The South Board is at the very bottom of the first column. The Not About Food and Chains board are in the 'Topical' section in the third column. Does that help?

                            2. re: Jacquilynne

                              I, for one, have never used that dropdown menu. In fact, I never even knew it existed! Obviously, there are plenty of others like me who have always used the board listings on the right.

                              1. re: RGR

                                Agreeing once more with DanaB-good suggestion about making streaming video a link instead of obliterating the boards listing on the right, which, as RGR states is the only way (and very convenient too), until today I accessed the boards. I will adapt accordingly (hrumph).

                              2. re: Jacquilynne

                                That new box on the upper right hand side is getting me thrown off the site at work because it's getting picked up as a "Game!" The Board List is a MUCH better idea!

                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                  Booo. I relied on that tag cloud and I greatly dislike the type size of the board list, plus that requires an extra click. As a decision-making employee of a web publisher, I understand the desire for ad revenue but you should *never* replace functional navigational tools with advertising. I hope this decision is reconsidered.

                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                    I don't know if you're relying on quantitative research when you say "everyone had been so vehemently against it from the start"...................I liked it and it seems utterly incongruous to have a "board" driven site that doesn't have links to the boards on the main home page.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      If you make the Boards front page like the Places front page, with the list at the top above the "recent" list, no one will be confused.

                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                          I for one have, for a long while now, been using the fold-out lists to access things like the boards (primarily), recipes (sometimes), etc... It seemed fairly logical to me.

                                          It's a way to have that sort of stuff out of the way when you're reading boards and/or posts, but have a standard way to access these that is the same across the whole site.

                                          Now, some education is in need I think, when people first sign up for chowhound (and probably reset everyone so they see it once if/when it's implemented). I think that some form of box indicating "Click here to get a list of the boards", etc.. would be good - that can be easily turned off, or auto-turned off 1 day after the first view or some-such.

                                          Also - to alleviate the issues with the front page, why not initially show the drop-down when you go to the front page -- pretty much visually as it is changed now with the interim fix, but actually using the dropdown code that is in place today - just initially in the open position.

                                          I've also got a video gripe, but I'll put it in a separate post, since these are somewhat separate topics.

                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                            I have been seeing a bug that I believe is related to the media player feature.

                                            When I load any page, it endlessly loads -- never completing the HTTP connection, and stopping the load animation in my browser. I think this coincides with the "scrolling slanted hash line" that one other reported being annoyed by. When I hit escape (killing the page load), the rolling stripe stops.

                                            Specs: Windows XP SP2, Firefox (verified with too)

                                          2. Please, please, please get rid of the streaming video? This is a food site, not a techie/entertainment/look what we can do with computers site.

                                            Most of us know how to navigate the site and will happily view the streaming video IF that's what we WANT. If we just want the boards, let it be easy. And whoever said upthread that some of us have older technology is right on. (Heck, my favorite piece of technology is a wooden spoon.) Can we please tone down the yippie-skippie cool stuff, please?


                                            1. You have to click on the drop down menu to access the boards.

                                              The administrators might get the hint to remove them if you fill out the add feedback questionnaire. I already did.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Kelli2006

                                                where is this located and can you provide a link so I can fill it out!

                                                1. re: KarenNYC

                                                  As we indicated in our response to your post on CHOW Feedback - you click on the small triangle to the right of "Boards" at the top of the page.

                                                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                    I think the question KarenNYC is asking is, where is the "add feedback" questionnaire. I've never seen it, so I can't help.

                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                      Here's the link to the Ad Feedback page. My browser's set to block it, so I had to look for it.

                                                2. re: Kelli2006

                                                  I filled it out too. Not very nicely. I am glad I saw this thread because I have been really aggravated.

                                                3. I have the Buca di Beppo ad covering my original Boards section. This is not right.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: septocaine_queen

                                                    Same for me, Buca di Beppo is so far from being a choworthy restaurant it isnt even funny. I guess CH will sell space to anyone who has $$$, no matter how crappy the food is.. } : o

                                                    Whats next a Mcdonalds, or Chipotle ad...? ; )

                                                  2. This is a problem. Some of the browsers I use (not sure which: safari, firefox, and opera) do not show the arrow next to "boards"

                                                    Also, not sure what the deal is, but I keep getting pages where it appears the css isn't loading - the html appears to work, but no divs, ads, or formatting. It's mostly late at night so maybe someone's loading new?

                                                    1. While clicking on "boards" is a little awkward, the scrolling slanted hash line is really distracting, to the point I put a napkin over that side of my screen! (A CH always has a napkin at the ready!) But really, most things don't bug me, but it is distracting like a dive-bombing fat mosquito on a hot muggy night. Also, it was interesting to visually see which boards have the most usage. Lastly, someone new to the site may not readily realize how comprehensive CH is with the board options less noticeable.

                                                      1. I agree that there is a need for the boards on the side. I personally don't like the extra steps, have no interest in watching the streaming video, etc., etc., etc. I come to the boards for one simple reason....so i can get the newest, most comprehensive information on restaurants, foods. trends, etc., DIRECTLY from the great people that post on these boards. Now it seems that CNET has gotten us used to many of their format changes, they are continuing to try to bring in more commercial influences and move us further away from the posts themselves. Sorry, but that does not really work for me.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: mshpook

                                                          With the disappearence of the Board directory' can anyone instruct me how to get the the topic board that I wanted to read and post?

                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                            click on the arrow to the right of the topic you want to reach the drop down menu will appear. Pain in the butt!!!

                                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                                              Clicking on the white triangle will drop down a menu listing all the boards.

                                                          2. I would prefer to have the boards list back as well. Given how long the list of "latest posts" is - there should be plenty of room on the right hand side for both the video (thank you for not making it start automatically - that is one of my biggest pet peeves for websites) and the boards list (maybe the boards list could go right above or right below the video).

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: LauraB

                                                              Count me in as one who thinks the board operators really screwed up a good thing. Why fix what ain't broken. This new method is just too much trouble. Problem is, here in Austin the Austin Statesman newspaper, or so they call it, had a food message board on the website Austin360. They remodeled the website, provided no clear links to the message board and it just died. The site operators eventually took it off altogether but want answer my emails as to why. It seems to me that you had a good thing going but just had to tinke with it for some reason. Put it back the wayit was, please. joe

                                                            2. I've now discovered something else that's really, really, really annoying. When I'm on a page that includes that video thingy, backspacing does not work!!

                                                              Why is it that the folks running Chowhound insist on constantly changing functions? Just when I've become accustomed to the latest change, along comes something else. No other food forum makes its members jump through constantly changing technical hoops the way Chowhound does.

                                                              If those who run Chowhound want to make changes, how about giving us some that are really useful? Like the ability to edit *before* posting to the open board. And a p.m. system so those of us who don't care to publish our private e-mail addresses have a way of contacting other Hounds via this site. As I said, useful additions that will make life on Chowhound more enjoyable instead of sending members up the proverbial wall with changes that drive them crazy.

                                                              Edited to add: And maybe they could spend some time fixing the "Save" function so that I can see the edited text after I've saved it?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: RGR

                                                                Yeah, I noticed that backspacing thing, too. Definitely a pain. Extra steps are going to make people post less often. (I for one am only visiting right now to watch this thread grow...too much of a hassle to go to the other boards from here.)

                                                              2. I can't get to the index, either.
                                                                Please get rid of these intrusive ads! Please return the board index! This is INCREDIBLY annoying!

                                                                1. I'll jump on to this topic and say PLEASE bring the boards back. I don't care for this at all.

                                                                  1. I jsut posted about this as well - what is the deal? there is NO way to find boards now unless someone recently posted on them or you have posted in the past. the aera it used to be is covered up with ads or streaming video - HELP!

                                                                    1. Another vote here for bringing the board list back. In fact, why not just make the main board page be just the board list? I've never found the list of new posts across all of chowhound to be at all useful -- I always want to go straight to a particular board.

                                                                      1. Please bring back the links on the side of the page. It is much easier to use.

                                                                        1. Maybe someone will notice that not one message has been posted on the UK board since this loathsome change went into effect. There was no notice things would change that I saw. Please... reverse this or you are going to lose a lot of faithful people on this site.

                                                                          1. Something else just struck me. In her post upthread, Jacquilynne said this:

                                                                            "The main way to get the board list, however, has always been to use the menu -- select the arrow to the right of the word boards in the navigation bar."

                                                                            Well, if that was the intention from the start, why were we provided the other, *much* *more* *obvious* way to access the various boards? Seems to me the dropdown menu was a very well-guarded secrect since, as I said in one of my preivous posts, I didn't even know it existed!

                                                                            The fact is, every other food forum I participate in shows an easily accessible list of all boards on the front page. And that's the way I think it should be on Chowhound -- which it was until this current insanity started.

                                                                            1. Just a quick update -- engineering and design are working on a quick and dirty update to make the boards list visible on the front page again. It won't be what was there before, with it's random sizes and colours, it will more closely resemble the current dropdown menu list (which will likely change to match the new front page list).

                                                                              We'll revisit the front page design again in the future to see where we can improve it and make it useful for both new visitors and regularly returning chowhounds, but hopefully this interim step will help with the problems introduced by the addition of the media player.

                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                  Thanks-appreciate the feedback! Thank you thank you!

                                                                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                      Thanks, Jacqueline, this sounds like a good solution.

                                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                          Thanks to you folks for being responsive to our complaints. Who would thought that clicking on the little triangle after the word "Boards" would allow access to the geographical groups. The Austin Statesman , a newspaper, or so they say, is bringing back their food message board too.

                                                                                          1. re: singlemalt

                                                                                            It's funny - b/c I always use that little triangle and always ignored the other list!

                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                              MMRuth, I never even noticed the triangle until it was pointed out by Jacquilynne during this latest brouhaha. So, I'm curious. Did you know from the start about its function? Or did you discover it by accident?

                                                                                              1. re: RGR

                                                                                                I just happened across it as I recall - trying to figure out what the different functions were generally when the changes were rolled out .... back in January or whenever that was.

                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                  Thanks for the explanation, MMRuth. Obviously, I wasn't as curious as you. I saw the (now missing but soon to be reinstated) geographical menu board to the right and just plunged ahead. Even now, I don't pay much attention to anything else on the site.

                                                                                        2. Okay, we've introduced a new board list to the front page. It's pushing the 'Latest Posts' down below the fold, so you'll need to scroll to get to them, but it should make finding your boards easier for everyone.

                                                                                          As always, if you want to switch to a specific board from anywhere in the site, you can use the menu (the arrow to the right of the word boards) which will drop down the list, as well.

                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                            I like it! Thanks, Tech Team, for giving Hounds what we asked for. :-)

                                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                              This is a pretty useful move forward, thanks! It means that now clicking
                                                                                              the "boards" link gets you to a listing of the boards! So the thousands of
                                                                                              users who don't know the "down arrow" trick now will be less astonished
                                                                                              when they click on "boards".

                                                                                              As a temporary fix for the video problem, anyone using blocker software
                                                                                              can block mavenapps.net which seems to be the source.

                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                I know you are totally sick of hearing about this, but I have one other functionality question. The other thing I liked about the tag cloud was that the topics were alphabetical. The way they are organized in this list seems weirdly arbitrary and not very browse-friendly. So...if there is ever any additional tweaking...would love to have an alpha listing again someday. Thanks.

                                                                                                1. re: hollerhither

                                                                                                  It's organized by geography (as the drop down list always has been) which we've found actually helps people to find the right board, by keeping the ones that belong together near each other.

                                                                                                  As a counterpoint to that, we have lots of problems with people posting Vancouver and Calgary threads on the Canada board, because the "International" section is so poorly organized that the three main Canada boards are far away from the relatively recently added Western Canada board.

                                                                                                  The old board cloud does still exist on the hot posts page: http://www.chowhound.com/new_posts/show so if you're really dedicated to it, you can still find it, but I hope you'll give the new (to you) organization a try, and see if you grow to like it.

                                                                                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                    Okay, so you can all brand me a "dinosaur" but i really liked the organization of the old page, and even with the improvement of showing the boards first up on this new iteration, I'm still not buying it. It forces me to scroll down to be able to get a view of the posts that previously came with the board listing on the side. The link you provided to the hot posts page gives me pretty much the view that I want, so I have now made this one of my favorite places - so I can skip all other views. I understand that this is not the trend you want to see for this, but it is much appreciated, at least by me, be able to see the information just the way i like. Thanks.

                                                                                                    1. re: mshpook

                                                                                                      We're fine with people who prefer the hotposts view--we're not against it at all.

                                                                                                      We'll also readdress the front page at some point in the future so that we can include both a boards view and a recent posts view in a better way. The current view is definitely not permanent.

                                                                                                2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                  Thanks for listening although I think I liked it better without it at all. Current trend in web design is to put repetitive/static information such as navigation bars in a sidebar so that it can be on the screen but leave room for the real content. The "cloud" depiction was small and streamlined and didn't waste a lot of space. The list as currently displayed takes way more space than it really needs to and blocks out actual content.