Creating an Ontario/Toronto Sticky -- Your feedback
We've been trying out a new sticky format on the Manhattan Board for awhile now, and while it hasn't completely eliminated 'Coming to town for the weekend, where should I eat?', it also hasn't caused any problems, so we're going to go ahead and start working on these stickies for some others of the boards, beginning with our most active regional boards. This thread is for feedback on what should go into the sticky for the Ontario board.
Check out the sticky on the Manhattan board ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/444453 ) for an example, and then let us know:
1. What are the most repetitive (yet generally on topic) questions that get asked? Are there specific events or attractions people are always asking for recommendations near? Specific restaurants that have been discussed in great detail? We're not trying to totally eliminate these questions, just help people to find the information that already exists. The really general 'Coming to town for the weekend, where should I eat?' questions that are an issue on every board are a given for this list--you don't need to suggest them here.
2. Any board specific vocabulary, abbreviations or habits that people should know? On the multi-state boards, this might be the habit of using airport codes in titles to note the town, locally it might be that putting the airport code in the title means you want to eat near the airport. On Manhattan, we mentioned that prices there are generally higher than average so people should try to use clear cost descriptions if they have budget limits.
3. Are there any off board chowdown lists/groups that people should be aware of? How can they sign up?
If you've got any other feedback about the stickies, let us know that, too.
We probably won't be able to use everything that gets suggested, but we will try to incorporate as much feedback as possible while still keeping the stickies manageable.
-- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound
1. Best of...Pizza, Burgers, Deli, Indian, Sushi, Italian, Chinese .
2. SLM (St. Lawrence Market), GTA (Greater Toronto Area), Perhaps we could define the boundaries of Downtown , Leslieville, The Beach(es), Roncancesville Village, Kensington Market and Chinatown, Little India and Chinatown Eastw etc.
3. Chowhound Toronto meetups on Google Groups
Toronto board has been actively pursuing the "Best of ... " topics lately. I think a section covering these posts would be great. The "Great Pizza Debate" was a perfect example. It would be good if the moderator could update votes in the initial topic when activity has died down.
The issue that has to be recognized is that these kind of posts can quickly become out of date and some sort of system to revisit them would make them more useful.
Board specific vocabulary
416 - Generally indicates downtown and surrounding areas
905 - Indicates outlying or suburban area.
And thanks for doing this. It is frustrating to get the same questions again and again. Also visitors must get frustrated (and sometimes mad) when no one can be bothered to repeat answers again.
Lol lamaranthe, I'm not even going to attempt to define midtown. I'd get in trouble for leaving someone out. Give it a go.
I'd define downtown as bounded by the lake, Bloor St, Spadina Ave and the DVP (oops, another acronym - Don Valley Parkway - major north / south highway). That, I think is a very strict definition of downtown and certainly open to revision.
I think it's a great idea and would add Mexican (or lack thereof) to the list of frequent questions. Let's just accept there is no good Mexican and move on. I definitely agree that we should finalize what the definitions for the areas are. Downtown means different things to different people and it may confuse newcomers, so people shouldn't ask for "downtown recs", but should specify the specific neighbourhood (e.g., Annex, Cabbagetown, Entertainment District, the Beach[es], etc.). People should also know that Corsa Italia is NOT Little Italy, and there are TWO Chinatowns (Richmond/Spadina and Broadview/Gerrard). I also see a lot of "where to eat for under $____" and, "drinks after work", and "girls night out".
It should be noted that even though it's an "Ontario (Toronto)" board, at least 90% of topics are about places in the 416 area code. If someone posts about another city, they should preface the post with the name, e.g., "Oakville: great new sushi on Lakeshore".
Also, sometimes I see posts about something "Close to the TTC". If you count buses and streetcars, that's most of Toronto. So again, if newcomers just mention the neighbourhood they want, chances are there's at least a TTC bus swinging through there. This link may be helpful: http://crazedmonkey.com/toronto-trans...
One thing I want to clarify (and I'm posting this in every thread, it's not specific to this one) is that we're not looking to elevate specific topics or answers to sticky status, or even link them within the stickies. Nor are we looking to completely eliminate repetition from the boards. Repetition is still good--it brings out new answers (whether from new posters or about new restaurants) and ensures that things are updated. A single sticky (or otherwise annointed as official) thread for a given popular topic wouldn't do that job as well.
From the perspective of the new user, we're trying to help them find the information that's already out there, as well as help them craft a good question that will get them the information they need if they can't find it.
From the perspective of our regulars, we're trying to cut back a moderate amount on the repetitive questions, as well as help to ensure you get the information you need, rather than having to ask a bunch of clarifying questions every time someone new comes along.
The Manhattan sticky is a pretty solid example of what I have in mind.
I'm not looking to appoint a single discussion (whether by stickying it or linking to it in a sticky) and say 'This thread shall be the thread for the discussion of where to find the best hamburger.' (Or the best Sushi, or the best eats near the MTCC or whatever.) Rather, I want to make new people aware that while they're new, 'best hamburger' threads are not, and that they might like to read some of the many that currently exist rather than start a new one. And then, yes, help them search effectively to find them.
There will still be new 'best hamburger' threads created--just hopefully not quite so often.
I think a sticky similar to the Manhattan one is a great idea. Anything that encourages newcomers to do some searching first and be more specific and provide more details in their requests would be helpful and prompt more responses.
I would suggest adding a reminder or prompt to check place links. A search of the Ontario board will (hopefully) generate a place link or more as well as mentions on topics/threads on the main board.
I'm not just talking about names of restaurants. A search for "brunch" or "patio" or "kid-friendly" or "Financial District" or "private" would (or should) bring up some options in place links. Not ALL such options in Ontario, but at least a starting point.
Also, for the first question, some of the "nearby" attractions questions I've noticed are -- Casa Loma, Air Canada Centre, Hummingbird/Sony, Four Seasons opera centre.
The ones I've seen a lot of (because I use them, teehee) are "Where to eat in Niagara Falls/NOTL"