What's a newbie to do?!
- Chris VR May 28, 2008 05:50 AM
There was some kvetching in this topic about the topic http://www.chowhound.com/topics/523144 being rehashed for the 12 gazillionth time. And I feel like I see many people tell others "do a search, this topic has already been discussed!"
It prompted me to post this rant (which I thought better of, and edited out of my post).
"Boy, you know, people are damned if they do, damned if they don't. People bitch about it when old threads get resurrected and then they bitch again when new threads are started! Where are the newbies supposed to ask questions and share opinions?! It's not like there are THAT many topics for us to hash out in Boston, and new people with new opinions come along all the time- if you've got an opinion, add it, if not, read the next thread."
I just wish people who are "old-timers" here would cut some slack. It's the nature of a site like this that topics are going to be revisited. Over, and over and over. I've been here for over 6 years, and yes, I get tired of seeing the same topics come up. Do I read every thread that rehashes a discussion I've already added my twenty cents to, over the years? No, but it doesn't bother me if other people do. So why do people feel the need to jump down the throats of posters who dare to ask a question that's already been asked more than once? (And then it's probably the same people who go ballistic when people resurrect a 7 year old topic to add their input!)
This rant isn't directed to anyone in particular, just the posting community in general. All I'm trying to say is I wish people would mellow out here. Post on the topics that interest you. Don't posts on the topics that don't. It's that easy.
Gazillionth time Newbie threads are perfect vessels for finding and linking a couple of voluminous recent threads which cover the territory being inquired about. That shows the N's in question:
1. CH archives are not just for wall papering your kitchen with and that they, (the N's) can actually find information to answer their question if they are so inclined
2. How to be better informed if they still want to ask the question by "refining" their query somewhat
3. There is probably nothing much new under the CH sun, but it doesn't keep us from staring directly into it, be we Newbies or Grizzled Veterans.
"Do I read every thread that rehashes a discussion I've already added my twenty cents to, over the years?"
Wow, "twenty cents", my opinions are only worth twp cents, or are you adjusting for inflation?
My two cents regarding "newbie repetition": Any one, newbie or not, should be encouraged to ask any question, start any topic they wish, no one is forced to read it, and you never know when someone does add some new, previously unknown gem of information. This is a discussion forum, not a lecture venue.
I can't speak for anybody else, but I find it personally annoying when someone new comes on asking a question that has obviously been asked and answered numerous times before. All they need do is search the old topics and find what they are looking for. It is obvious that the "newbie" has devoted no time to solving their own question on their own.
Unfortunately, a lot of new posters don't realize that there is a search function or that it works. On the Manhattan and Home Cooking boards, to which I post the most, I reply to those posts with a link to a search that I've done, in the hope that it will "nudge" new posters to searching further on their own. My thought is that this is a way to encourage newbies without putting them off the site.
Those links are very helpful, MMRuth. Thank you for being so kind - I can tell you it is appreciated.
The Search function can be a little awkward to use. I am only a partial newbie, and I think I've figured out a few things on the site. But as an example, I tried to refer someone to RGR's LES tour in Manhattan. Then I did the search myself, and it took a long time to find a copy of the actual text. It was referred to a lot, but no links were included. I finally found the copy and gave the link to the other poster. RGR's tour has been reposted many times on the Manhattan board, and yet I found it very tedious to actually find it, and I knew what I was looking for!
A little kindness goes a long way. The whole point is that the newbie is new - they shouldn't be expected to know that their topic may have already been covered. It is easy to get annoyed and frustrated, but we should try to be understanding. After all, we were all newbies once upon a time. So here's to slack! And here's to the very friendly veteran Chowhounders who make this place so much fun!
I have to say that I've been a part of Chowhound before it was purchased by CNET (and now CBS) and I was alerted to the Site Board by another hound. And I just discovered over the weekend that there is a Technical Board. And I also recently learned how to work that damn Search engine. I definitely think it's possible for newbies to totally miss stickies, the search engine, not knowing how to use the search engine, etc. So I feel that Ruth's idea of "nudging" posters is great.
The "How do I search for something?" section of FAQ would be a very helpful sticky on the Site Talk page. Not everyone, newbie or experience CH, remembers where that tiny little FAQ is located. Anything that makes the experience better/faster/experiential for all is a help as far as this newbie is concerned. MMRuth you are a gem!
I can see this has been bothering you, Chris_VR, if only because the occasion that has inspired this rant seems so innocent: one poster cheekily lamented the return of what is clearly a repeated topic (where to get the best NYC-style bagels in the Boston area) and then contributed his vote. Not 'jumping down throat' behaviour at all-- especially not when I consider some other responses over the years.
It's hard to read the post ( 'My "VOTE!" is that this has been hashed over 12 gazillion times. And you left out Katz's in Chelsea which is probably the best') as 'bitching' or 'throat jumping'. A jab, possibly, with further information given. cheeky, a bit cranky, but giving something.
From what you wrote, I was wondering if someone had let loose on the recent 'What do Chowhounds think about tipping?' thread, which would deserve a bit of a go, if you ask me. The Not about Food boards are lousy with tipping threads, and it seems that if anyone wants to know, any number of those would let us know-- and from reading them I often think I don't want to know :)
I think we have to be 'mellow' about all kinds of posters here and know that personalities and feelings will come up, especially from those who have been around here for a while. Goodness knows how many times I let out a loud sigh whenever a new person starts a 'best pizza in NYC/Brooklyn' thread-- or the 'oh no not again' worthy 'Best Burgers in Park Slope' (can we expect the usual Bonnie's love followed by dissenters?). If someone says something (within reason) I cut it slack, especially if opinion as to where to get food is also given. Can't say I'm too impressed with the 'fav foodie movies' that has started on 'Not About Food' given the multiple threads in the appropriate place. I do not understand the mods, so will not comment on its continued existence or placement.
Meanwhile, on the whole I see very generous activity from hounds when such things arise. Yes, someone may be cranky, but more often than not, I also see helpful information given in the form of posts or links. Other comments are there to educate the person into e-community citizenship; without asides, people might continue to post in ALL CAPS or post queries about food that fail to specify area, type of food preferred, or financial parameters.
More importantly, I'm just happy that the thread you cited mentions Rosenfeld's Bagels. Those really are some splendid bagels-- or they were the last time I had them.