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Creating an Ontario/Toronto Sticky -- Your feedback

Jacquilynne Nov 8, 2007 10:17 AM

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

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  1. pescatarian Nov 8, 2007 06:08 PM

    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

    3 Replies
    1. re: pescatarian
      m
      Mila Nov 14, 2007 05:07 AM

      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.

      1. re: pescatarian
        l
        lamaranthe Dec 5, 2007 12:46 PM

        Good idea butr, please do not forget Midtown.

        1. re: lamaranthe
          m
          Mila Dec 6, 2007 12:44 PM

          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.

      2. spades Nov 9, 2007 06:53 AM

        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...

        1. Jacquilynne Nov 9, 2007 11:09 AM

          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.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Jacquilynne
            pescatarian Nov 9, 2007 11:36 AM

            Jacquilynne, I'm not sure exactly what you are looking for based on your post. It sounds to me like you are simply looking for a way of explaining to a newcomer how to search effectively.

            1. re: pescatarian
              Jacquilynne Nov 9, 2007 12:15 PM

              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.

              1. re: Jacquilynne
                pescatarian Nov 9, 2007 12:19 PM

                Thanks, what I meant by Best...etc. is how it's referred to in the FAQs on the Manhattan sticky.
                I do think it would be worthwhile to create boundaries for certain areas often referred to in the TO board.

          2. JamieK Nov 9, 2007 03:19 PM

            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.

            1. yayadave Nov 10, 2007 05:09 PM

              The ones I've seen a lot of (because I use them, teehee) are "Where to eat in Niagara Falls/NOTL"

              1. m
                Mila Nov 16, 2007 06:01 AM

                Better add TTC to the acronyms based on a recent post. LOL.

                TTC - Toronto Transit Commision - includes all buses, streetcars and subway system
                http://www.toronto.ca/ttc/schedules/

                1 Reply
                1. re: Mila
                  JamieK Nov 21, 2007 01:39 PM

                  perhaps also LCBO - Liquor Board of Ontario
                  government-run wine and liquor shops

                2. l
                  lamaranthe Nov 21, 2007 09:17 AM

                  chowhound.com is an excellent spot where to ask questions and get answers whenever you plan a trip or just explore the city. I, for one, got lots of very good tips re Manhattan, and I sent my reviews to help others.
                  I wish there would be a site on chowhound where we could exchange infos re Hotels and places where to stay. May be there is such a site but I did not discover it yet. As an example, last w-e we stayed at the Marriott East side and we had a fabulous breakfast at their Shelton Grill (all inc.) for $25. Who knows about it?

                  1. l
                    lamaranthe Nov 23, 2007 09:37 AM

                    Hi Jacquilynne, Thanks for the good work. Chowhound is very-very helpful, as well as those who contribute to it. IMO people who are visiting a city (or looking for something new) should say : (1) where they will be staying; (2) give us a couple of days advance notice for us to forward infos; (3) say in what part of the city they want to go (breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?); (4) what type of cuisine they are looking for; (5) what their budget is for their outing.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lamaranthe
                      yayadave Nov 23, 2007 10:55 AM

                      Before doing all that, a simple search will glean a lot of sound info.

                    2. c
                      cocolou Nov 25, 2007 09:12 AM

                      In MO, common sense should prevail. You cannot expect realistic answers to a question such as ''Best steak in TO'' - It calls for questions, in answer, such as ''Are your from out of town? What area are you looking for? Budget?'' - Nevertheless, I think that we can sort thru que requests and answer only when we have a suggestion. Thanks Jacquilynne! Good job.

                      1. xtal Dec 5, 2007 12:26 PM

                        The sticky sounds like a great idea. In addition to the abbreviations and links mentioned, in order for people to better navigate Toronto by neighbourhood names (which often come up in discussions by locals) I propose attaching a link to Toronto's Business Improvement Areas listing:
                        http://www.toronto-bia.com/bias/index...

                        If there's something similar for other Ontario cities, it would help as well.

                        1. v
                          VP of Feeling Groovy Dec 8, 2007 02:29 PM

                          I agree this is a great suggestion. The idea of including local abbreviations and common references is particularly helpful to newbies and out-of-towners. I visited Duluth, Milwaukee and Chicago this summer and searched the local chowhound boards for suggestions. I found it quite frustrating as lots of the references were to neighbourhoods that I wasn't familiar with. And since most of the boards are regional, I often couldn't even gauge which city they were talking about. I'm sure visitors or new settlers to Toronto feel similarly frustrated with our board.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: VP of Feeling Groovy
                            pancake Dec 13, 2007 05:18 AM

                            In response to original post. Definately a good idea! I vote yes to all of the suggestions..

                          2. p
                            placebo Jan 21, 2008 05:17 PM

                            What's a sticky?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: placebo
                              The Chowhound Team Jan 21, 2008 05:28 PM

                              A posting that is made to "stick" at the top of a discussion thread. Take a look at the top of this board (Site Talk) to see examples.

                            2. Paulustrious Jan 29, 2008 03:46 AM

                              TIC (Tongue in cheek)
                              And don't forget to say if it appears on your GPS and under what name.

                              1. abscissa Mar 16, 2008 04:51 PM

                                Sushi threads are VERY VERY VERY common. At least once a week. Reccomendations are almost always the same: For Toronto Zen, Aoyama, Kaji, seem to be the three most popular.

                                1. m
                                  Mila Mar 24, 2008 09:53 AM

                                  Thanks Jacquilynne and Chowhound. Nice work on the sticky.

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