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Reporting Back On Your Question Posts - [moved from General Topics]

I find it very frustrating when someone posts a question on Chowhound and then get a ton of recommendations or advice, and then never reports back on the results of their query. It drives me crazy. I often think that many of these posts are writers just fishing around for stories or who knows what. Granted something may have happened to that person and they can't write back, but this seems it would be a rare occurrence.
Here's a post that exhibits one scenerio of what I am talking about. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/489087 This person posted one question, 82 replies later they never replied back. Looking up their handle this was the 1st and only time this person ever posted to Chowhound. I could read a lot into their motivation, but looking back their initial motivation seems phony and not the real reason why they were posting the question. The upside is that it did provide for a lot of interesting advice and stories.
I just wish people would get back to the board and let us know what they ended up doing. Did they go to any of the restaurants suggested? Did they cook any of the dishes suggested? Etc.

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  1. MC

    Jfood agrees 100%. He always tries to respond with feedback, but sometimes it does fall through the cracks.

    What is more infuriating to jfood is the fly-by, one-time poster who trashes a places and that's their contribution. There is one poster out here in the Tri-State area that has exactly 2 posts in the last year, both trashing a place and then moves on. They are as bad as the shills.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood

      Report the *seagulls and the mod's will handle it.

      *They fly in, poop all over the place and then fly back out

    2. In that sort of case, it doesn't really bother me, but I do wish posters on the regional and home cooking boards, who get lots of suggestions etc., would post back about their experiences.

      1. I know I've been guilty of that on at least one occasion until I was gently reminded by another poster... Ever since then, I've tried really hard to give feedback. The times I've had the biggest challenge reporting back is when I didn't enjoy my meal...

        Anyway, whenever I reply with recommendations to a newcomer or visitor I always try to end my post with, "Please report back and let us know how things worked out for you." I think it helps...


        2 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I do that to, and they still never reply back. That's when I get suspicious.

          1. re: michele cindy

            I feel bad for them (the people who don't report back) because they seem to be missing the point, not to mention at least half the fun, of Chowhound. Maybe I need to get a life, but I quite look forward to writing up comments on a place (though I agree with TDQ that it's a bit tougher if you don't like your meal). It tickles me pink to think that the fun I get out of reporting back may actually be helpful or entertaining to others. I guess that goes for offering advice when people ask for it too -- I find it enjoyable or I wouldn't do it. But it still would be nice to hear back from the askers :-).

        2. I agree with you completely in theory, and always try to follow up when I make a request (and thanks for the reminder, I owe at least one follow up on the LA boards now...)

          That said, I am not sure you gave the best example. Another equally plausible explanation for the lack of a follow-up in the thread you link is that she said 'no'....

          50 Replies
          1. re: susancinsf

            Never thought about that scenario! I guess we will never know. If it were me, I'd still post back just to get some well needed consoling, and advice on the best place to drown my sorrows!

            1. re: michele cindy

              I think this is where a weighted ranking system could provide a lot of insight into the poster, based on how long the poster has been a member, how many posts made, etc. If this info were easily viewable next to their name, it would be easier to skim past the shills and seagulls (and inexperienced posters too... but if they're legitimate posters, their ranking will grow whereas the shills will not).

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                It's easy enough to click on a poster's name and get an idea of his/her posting history. Put me firmly in the camp against rankings. It's one of the things I hate most about Yelp, the concept that some posters are "Elite" because they post a lot, or are first to review or whatever. The last thing I think we need to do is recreate the hierarchy of reviewers that these types of opinion sites are intended to replace.

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  Tastes, opinions and knowledge in food are very complex information that can't really be boiled down to ranks. The number of posts a person tell us how many posts the person had made. It gives very little insight into the tastes etc. of the poster.

                  Moreover, different people have different expertise, and a weighted average does not describe knowledge etc. accurately enough to be useful. (e.g. Einstein, as smart as he is, wouldn't be my first choice to ask about char kuay teow.)

                  Plus, different people would want to interpret the information in different ways, based on shared tastes in different areas.

                  If one wants an accurate picture, it's can't be described in a useful way by a rank number. It requires some effort to sieve through the information on the boards, but the rewards are worth it.

                  I would much prefer that people think critically and independently about the chow info we have here. Having it dumbed down to a number will only encourage people who like things dumbed down and simplified. And that wouldn't attract the type of chowhounds who are willing to go that extra mile to seek out good stuff.

                  Instead, we should encourage people who are willing to dig deeper, because that's an important attribute of a chowhound.

                  1. re: limster

                    Certainly I agree with most of your points about a weighted ranking system. I would never advise that anyone use a ranking system exclusively to determine a poster's chow acumen... rather it would be an extra tool by which to make your judgment about the poster's opinions.

                    More and more often I find myself reading a rather lengthy thread, and I'll read an opinion that tweaks me one way or another, for good or bad. I then have to:

                    1) click on the poster's name
                    2) wait for screen to load
                    3) check to see how many posts the person has and if they seem to have an authority of knowledge about what they are speaking of
                    4) Then I have to click the back button on the browser
                    5) Wait for the page to reload
                    6) Repeat until thread is done

                    Especially when reading particularly lengthy posts where I may have to do this several times, it gets rather annoying. A well-designed, at-your-fingertips assesment of the poster next to their name would make reading long topics like this easier and more enjoyable.

                    Again, I am not advocating that anyone use even a well-designed ranking system exclusively. My point is simply that it would be an additional tool to streamline browsing and make the chowhound experience more enjoyable.

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      I feel that the ranking system doesn't add any useful information, or that the amount that it adds is very tiny, compared to doing an in-depth look at what the poster has posted, or better yet, what many posters have posted about place. And if one were to show that ranking next to the name, it gets a prominence that is vastly disproportionate to its utility.

                      I don't think that a well-designed, at-your-fingertips assesment is possible. There's no way to encapsulate the complex information into a simple rank that is all things to all people; it's like trying to answer "what is the value of pi" with "yes" or "no." To get a sense for the poster's opinions/tastes/knowledge, I feel that there is no reliable substitute for browsing through a reasonable sample of their posts.

                      It would be better perhaps to have the website load faster (it's super slow to me) and with less errors.

                      Also, I tend to load stuff into new tabs in my browser, so that I don't have reload with a back button. That enables me to skip steps 4-5. Most new browsers can do that now, and it's been a huge plus for surfing the web, not just CH.

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        I definately would not want a ranking system. It is way to elitist for my taste. It would really take away from what chowhound is all about for me. Chowhound in it's previous version with all of it's quirks had a bit of a rough and tumble edge to it, we don't have that anymore. I've gotten used to this new format, and find it to be more informative in many ways then the previous, and easier to use, but if you were to start ranking folks it would change the site into a completely different animal, nothing like what chowhound is all about (for me anyway). I want to make my own opinions up about what someone says or reports, I don't need someone else to do it for me.

                        1. re: michele cindy

                          As I see it, the real issue is that back in the old chowhound days, there were far fewer people and users were generally easier to juggle around in my head. At least on the LA board, we were a tight knit bunch, and when a new person would post, there was plenty of time to get to know them and parse their opinions into a greater community picture. I think the stark, unappealing look of the old Chowhound page and the intimidating manifesto splash screen scared away a lot of the yelper/citysearch types who write things like "OMG!!!!!!!!!I LUV THAT PLACE, THE BEST!!!!!!!!", and the people that stayed were the hardcore ones who were really there for love of food. Now granted, I'm exaggerating to make a point-- even in its current incarnation, the discussion on Chowhound is leagues beyond that sort of adolescent drivel. But I have noticed that with the massive increase in sheer volume of postings, there are of course quite a lot more "one off" seagull posters who swoop in, poop, and fly away, like someone described elsewhere. Imagine if there were a little seagull icon next to people who posted 15 or less postings, with criteria that each one of those 15 posts needed to have a minimu of X words or more in order to count towards taking the seagull icon off. The mods would take care of unnecessary posts trying to "bulk up" to meet the minimum, as well as a lot of the shills, and I think we'd be left with a pretty good indicator of people who take time and care in constructing their reviews and opinions. Of course it wouldn't be a perfect indicator of the poster's tastes, opinions, etc. but I think it would be a pretty valuable tool to help quickly evaluate where an opinion is coming from without having to get into lengthy clicks and background research on the poster in question.

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            If they are one time posters it is easy enough to click on their user name and see that immediately.

                            The Mod's have enough to do as it is without them trying to take care of posters who may be trying to "pad" their CH resumes. No need to turn CH into Facebook or one of the other social popularity sites. And nothing to be gained, as Limster so adroitly put it.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              I suppose it all comes down to browsing preference, really. I am usually in it for a quick browse for a specific type of food. Occasionally I get sucked in to an in-depth conversation like this one, or I make a long, detailed review post. But for my everyday browsing, I'd absolutely love to have a way to see immediately who the newbies are. It's not so that I can disregard them. It's so that I have a better picture, during my quick browsing sessions, of who might not know the lay of the land, so to speak.

                              Look, when I first started posting on chowhound, I knew little to nothing about mexican food (it's still not my forte, but that's another issue). I made this long, loving post about La Super Rica in Santa Barbara being the pinnacle of authentic mexican food. Now I still really like the food at La Super Rica... but over the last 8 years or so that I've been chowhounding, I've lost my gringo-centric inhibitions and grubbed at many a taco truck and east LA taqueria. I've even backpacked through Mexico a bit, fueled by a passion for discovering authentic Mexican food. My perspective has serioiusly changed. The difference between my perspective then and now is that back then, my frame of reference for Mexican food was suburban New Jersey... Old El Paso and Taco Bell. By comparison, to a chowhound newbie as I was back then, La Super Rica is the holy grail of Mexican food. At the time I might have been offended if someone put a seagull next to my name, but now? Hell, I deserved a flock of seagulls (and my hairstyle at the time may have reflected that :).

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                " I'd absolutely love to have a way to see immediately who the newbies are. It's not so that I can disregard them. It's so that I have a better picture, during my quick browsing sessions, of who might not know the lay of the land, so to speak."

                                Shall we also include an icon to indicate if they are from LA, NYC or some other Chow-worthy area? You know, so we can ignore the nutso poster from Montreal who keeps on complaining about cheese rind videos? :)

                                Quite seriously, I think labeling or ranking posters is unnecessary and demeaning. Let their content speak for itself. Let the discussion afterwards help you to decide whether this poster works for you. Try their chow tip and see if it is happening. We don't need ratings or rankings, I'd rather think for myself.

                                1. re: moh

                                  "Shall we also include an icon to indicate if they are from LA, NYC or some other Chow-worthy area? You know, so we can ignore the nutso poster from Montreal who keeps on complaining about cheese rind videos? :)"

                                  That's hysterical! Even though you're Canadian, we all love you! : )

                                  I agree about the whole ranking thing. I think it's unnecessary and could potentially turn Chowhound into some sort of popularity contest. I can picture some people writing pithy one word responses to amp up their ranking. Remember the disaster with those Chow recipe contests? Ugh! The editors quickly had to change the parameters of the contest to discourage the idiotic voting. The contest became stupid and meaningless and it affected all the chowhound boards as stupid people started clogging up the bandwidth with their votes. I even am not crazy about the whole "reading posters" thing. I think it's great if Chowhound gives you the option to follow some of your favorite posters. But I wish that information would be kept private so that only the poster could see who he/she was following.

                                  I really like Chowhound because it's not as cliquish as some of the other sites out there. Having features as "friends" or "rankings" can contribute to more cliques forming. For example, I registered on a recipe site last week just because somebody took one of hannone's recipes and did not give him credit. I made one comment on that site, saying that she should have given him proper credit. From that one comment, I already got a few requests from people for me to be their "friend."

                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                    moh and Miss Needle,

                                    You know, in general I really do agree with you. I have never understood the appeal of those myspace/facebook social networking sites. It annoys me when someone wants to share a picture with me and I have to create an account just to see it. And the "People Reading Me" annoys the hell out of me too. We're really on the same page, overall.

                                    But that's not what I'm talking about. Reread what my suggestion was. The idea is that a newbie is marked until such time that he or she writes enough content that they have gotten to understand chowhound a little more... X number of days over X number of posts with a minimum of X number of words per post. We are a moderated site, so people who try to bulk up their minimum by posting rubbish would be filtered out anyway, and this would be a red flag to the moderators anyway.

                                    The ultimate idea would be that after X criteria is met, the "newbie" flag would disappear. I don't see how this is elitist anymore than an employee with a "Trainee" badge is elitist. It's certainly leagues away from "social networking" or a popularity contest... that's not what I was talking about at all.

                                    Mr Taster

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      Mr. T, I think I understand what you're talking about -- it's like the whole ebay thing. You see, I think there would be some posters hesitant to post because the newbie flag would make them feel like they're not part of the "group." We want to make new posters feel welcome as opposed to making them feel like they've got to put in their dues before they're one of "us." There was an awesome tamale post on the Manhattan board put up by a brand new poster. If there was a newbie system in place, I can see some hounds avoiding reading that treasure. Conversely, I can see some posters despising the newbie flag and post X number of stupid things just to rid themselves of it. The moderators already have enough work, and I can see this leading to them having a mental breakdown. : )

                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                        I don't know... those moderators seem to have plenty of time to find and delete my posts :)

                                        But here's the beauty of chowhound with a flag system like this. Let's say the tamale post at first goes unnoticed by Manhattan hounds becuase it has a "newbie" flag. (plenty of posts go ignored on Chowhound anyway.) Well, if this poster sticks with us, that flag will disappear, and future people searching the manhattan board for tamales will see this post, no longer pegged with a newbie flag, and might well reactivate the post. You could even have a "newbie promotion" section which earmarks all the newbie posts that have been recently converted into full members... a place to highlight the discoveries of new members of our community.

                                        Mr Taster

                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                          I'm not really a fan of the "us" versus "them" scenario. We really are one large community. I'd hate to see anything that differentiates us. In fact, I got a bit upset by a long-time Outer Boroughs poster yesterday who asked for recs from the Manhattan board. She asked us for recs with very stringent parameters and shot down all the responses we gave, responding with things like, "You're kidding, right? This is pathetic! The suggestions are absurd!" and followed it up with, "We don't help people out like this on the outer boroughs board. Maybe the outer borough folks can help me out." Even though we're in the same city, the poster created a division between "her" board and "my" board. It was incredibly frustrating, and I did my best to be helpful and not run my smart mouth. Ooh -- I've learned to exercise a lot of self control posting on this board.

                                          While what you're suggesting isn't anything like this, I'm just not a fan of anything that promotes differentiation within this great chowhound community.

                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                            But we are different... and sometimes when you're in Los Angeles and looking desperately for a New York eggroll like they make in every single danged Chinese restaurant in the tristate area, the only way to get accurate results is to say "please, only people who lived or grew up in the New York metro area reply!"

                                            But the thing is, even when you do, you get inevitably get replies from well meaning chowhounds who didn't grow up there, and as such are making suggestions based on wild approximations. One guy sent me to a place whose eggrolls were actually deep fried meatballs, served with ketchup. (If you're from New York, you're gagging now.... if you're not from NY and are thinking "so what's the problem?", then you've proved my point :)

                                            Sometimes when you want something really regionally specific, there just is an "us" and "them" category, and no amount of egalitarian wishing will get someone to actually know what a New York eggroll actually is :)

                                            Is it elitist to decide not to ask a blind man for directions? I'm a progressive/liberal guy, but I also admit that there are practical limitations to this philosophy.


                                            Mr Taster

                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                            And by then, that tamale vendor may have disappeared as well ... due to lack of CH customers who, absent seagulls or whatnot next to posters' names, would have flocked to the place.

                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                          I understand where you are coming from, and yes, I think we are on the same page. But I must admit that if I was starting to post now, and I had a newbie flag on all my posts for the first 15 posts or so, I'd be very intimidated! It can be a bit frightening to start posting. ( I also recall having the equivalent of a "Trainee" badge, it was also intimidating).

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            Having a "newbie" label is based on the assumption that there is some important or useful distinction in the information offered by "newbies" vs "veterans". From personal experience, I don't feel that this assumption is valid. Creating such labels would make them more prominent than any other type of information about the poster, and would encourage people to judge the quality of the post by newbie/veteran status, rather than by reading through the posts critically.

                                            You've mentioned that there were barriers in the old site that discouraged the less "hardcore" and that kept the quality of the boards high. If that's a situation that you liked, consider that the need to go through posts in detail presently constitutes a similar barrier in CH. Weaken or remove that barrier by making it easier for people to decide what to eat with less in-depth research, and the demographics of the boards may change in a way that you might not like.

                                            As for moderation, it's apparent to me that moderators already miss stuff. It's not a perfect filter. Encouraging one-time shillers to post more to get rid of their "newbie" label doesn't reduce work for moderators, it just gives them more shilly posts to delete.

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              I think it's easy enough to tell from the content of the post whether or not a poster knows what he/she talks about. I added at least 2 or 3 of the people on my "reading list" before they had even hit 10 posts, because I could tell right away that they liked the same food I do.

                                              I've noticed that a lot of newer posters post a few times on the Bay Area Board, then disappear and post predominantly in General Chowhounding or Food Media and News. One actually mentioned in another thread that it was because she was discouraged at what she perceived as a lack of reception from the regional board. Maybe posting "# of posts" could actually be helpful in helping regulars write welcoming responses to newcomers who've written substantial first posts (I think a lot of us are still in the "writing thank you clogs up bandwidth" mentality from the old board).

                                              In any case, it would be easy enough to bump your total number of posts to 15 just by jumping into one of those useless "what's the most disgusting thing you've ever eaten" threads in General Chowhounding... you *still* need to look at "All Activity" to see the content of their posts to get an idea of they're writing worthwhile stuff. I quite like the "All Activity" tab - it's made it way easier to identify shills - and it's made it easier for me to identify posters who share the same interests and tastes as me.

                                        3. re: Mr Taster

                                          This board explains why sometimes when we post, we don't always report back. The original topic gets hijacked and turns into a intramural discussion of some nugget that somebody posted. By the time the poster goes to read the recs, there sometimes isn't much to read about the topic we hoped to talk about. Like the discussion below about "newbies."

                                          1. re: brendastarlet

                                            This is the moment where instead of complaining, you alert the moderators to move the divergent thread to the "site talk" board :)

                                            Mr Taster

                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                            "But for my everyday browsing, I'd absolutely love to have a way to see immediately who the newbies are. It's not so that I can disregard them. It's so that I have a better picture, during my quick browsing sessions, of who might not know the lay of the land, so to speak."

                                            I would advise caution...a newbie to chowhound.com (a website) may not be a newbie to chowhounding (a lifelong obssession). Chowhounds existed long before chowhound.com. There are tons of people who know and love food that may have never posted on these boards. The ability or desire to use this site may have nothing to do with their chowy natures. An example here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/519145

                                            1. re: limster

                                              Sure that's true, but I'd say that of all the potential new people who come to this site, only a tiny percentage really fit into the definition of a chowhound :)


                                              Seriously though, I would say that the yakitori bincho example is a wild exception to the rule.

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                In my experience, on average, the quality of information I get from newbies or veterans do not differ significantly, and I wouldn't consider the yakitori bincho example as something too out of the ordinary. In some cases the information I get from new posters tend to be more refreshing and fall less into the rut of board favourites that get continually recycled.

                                                1. re: limster

                                                  You make a good point about getting into a rut with chowhound faves. In my case, I don't have a lot of expendable income, and I can't stand the idea of paying for an average or bad meal, so I tend to wait until there is a raving consensus of opinion before I try a new Chowhound recommended place. This is part of the reason why I'd prefer a newbie flag system... it would make it much easier to identify recs that have not been adequately "vouched for" by other chowhounds. It doesn't mean I'm not interested to read it... I might file the name of the restaurant away in the back of my mind. If I see it reappear several times by posters whose opinions I know and respect, I'll give it a shot.

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    I can understand not wanting to spend your income for a mediocre or bad meal. But I find that I don't always agree with the Chowhound faves, and am much better finding posters that I sync with in terms of food preferences. Just because they have a zillion posts doesn't necessarily mean that what they recommend will be to your taste.

                                                    And I have noticed that some posters sound very authoritative when they post about something. They seem like an "expert" (whether they are or not). But that doesn't necessarily mean it will be to my liking either. I'd rather take the time to search out for those posters that I feel share my tastes on food.

                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                      In my experience, chowhound consensus has *rarely* led me astray. Seriously, I've leared so much and tried so many new kinds of foods that I've learned about from this board, and I can't really remember having a single mediocre meal from any of them. (Well, okay, Zankou Chicken on a bad day :)

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        Oh, you didn't like Zankou chicken! There must be something wrong with you. ; )

                                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                                          The problem is that Zankou Chicken is wildly inconsistent. I've had it on some days when it's awesome and on others it's just fair to good. So when it's not *incredible*, I feel ripped off. I'd rather spend my money somewhere that I'm guaranteed a great meal every time.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                        4. re: Mr Taster

                                          I feel like letting newbies we think their first 15 posts are equivalent to "poop" would be pretty unwelcoming.

                                          1. re: Chris VR

                                            Hey, you're working across logical points here. I never said that newbies posts are poop... on the contrary, for someone who is actually a pooper, his "newbie" flag would never disappear... whereas an earnest newbie chowhound would.

                                            How about this-- If the newbie flag doesn't disappear after a long period of time, it turns red. That was all the one timer posters and shills that the chowhound team misses would be clearly marked. That way you give the real chowhound newbies a chance to grow, and the shills and one time hacks posts become branded with a cautionary mark. I love this idea. Jacqueline? :)

                                            Mr Taster

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              You still have to click but once on a posters name to see their posting history back as far as 60 + pages on CH. One click seems pretty easy to do.

                                              And for someone who once worried about the negative effect of avatars on CH you seem pretty sanguine about the potential negative effects (which I think has a far greater chance for real life negative consequences) of your request.

                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                You mean:

                                                one click repeated dozens or hundreds of times over a single chowhounding session.

                                                It gets old pretty fast.


                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  Maybe I'm naive, or maybe I just spend too much time on the boards (well, the latter is a given), but I "know" whose been around for awhile on the Manhattan/OB/Home Cooking boards. I know who has tastes similar to mine, and not. I know that there are some poster who post all the time, and some who chime in infrequently, but whose tips I'm always happy to see. Very little clicking involved, other than to look for the next chow tip.

                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                    Oh, man, I'm so guilty of the latter. I would actually be kind of embarrassed to have a ranking system as people may think I have no life other than these boards. ; )

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      This has been my thought too as I've been reading this thread. I probably cover 6 boards daily, another 3 or 4 on occasion. Many of the posters I've become familiar with. When it is someone new and they post something that gets my attention, it really just takes a few moments to look at their info for background.

                                                      Maybe this is the reward for reading here frequently - you get to know the team and decide who is "Most Valuable" for your needs, spot promising rookies and help nurture their journey
                                                      into chowland!

                                                    2. re: Mr Taster

                                                      I click (maybe) a few times a day when I don't recognize a posters handle. I can't conceive of a situation in which I would do that dozens of times (and hundreds doesn't even enter into the equation) in one day.

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        Aside from clicking on the person's name, it just takes a few clicks if you were to enter the persons name in the search field in parenthesis, to find out anything you want to know about the person's posts. You can sort it anyway you want, from oldest to most frequent etc. This takes only SECONDS to do. Then you can form your own opinion based on the comments you want to read of theirs.

                                                        1. re: michele cindy

                                                          Right - and you can even search on a particular regional board, etc., and use the user:[username] search term.

                                                          1. re: michele cindy

                                                            Yes but repeated over and over and over and over...... that's been my whole point through this thread. It's not that it can't be done... it's a matter of being able to scan quickly and only doing the more in-depth research you suggest when the scanning data warrants it.

                                                            Mr Taster

                                                      2. re: Mr Taster

                                                        We don't even display sign-up dates or post-counts for a very distinct reason. We're not interested in creating game-able, uninformative bits of information for the sake of creating them. On most message boards, the people who post the most have the least to say, and while that's not quite true here, I will say that new people who run up their post count the most quickly tend not to have a lot to actually say in their many posts.

                                                        The behaviour that surrounds various weighting and counting widgets on most other sites is really antithetical to the friendly, sharing spirit of Chowhound. However noble the motives might be, karma-whoring, postcount++ing, newbie-disregarding tone of many sites seems pretty much inevitable when those functions come into place, and I'd hate to see that happen here.

                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                          I am very new here, so forgive me in advance if I say obvious or silly things. I only wanted to let you know that I had the very opposite experience: I would have loved to follow up to a list of replies to my post requiring help on choosing the right place for my first birthday in San Antonio but I must be among the very few here who did not get a single one ! :-D (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/539100 ).
                                                          Like I said I am new here (in the U.S. and in this particular community) so I probably did something wrong when I posted my request, or maybe it was inappropriate or badly expressed, or simply I sould have just found the reply to my needs in the previously posted message...I don't know. Can I take advantage of this thread and ask for advices on how to better fit the forum or where to document myself better? If this is off topic, please just let me know: I would completely understand. Thank you in advance and ciao to everybody, Daniela (as "food-obsessed" as only an Italian could be ;-) )

                                                          1. re: damo267

                                                            Hi Daniela,

                                                            Welcome! I read your request and found it quite reasonable. You described all the parameters you were looking for. Sometimes we get posts where people are looking for restaurants but give almost no information -- ie. price, location, ambiance, etc. I'm sorry you didn't get any responses, but I don't know how well trafficked your regional board is. I hate to say it, but some posters may not take the time to read your thread if it's a name they don't recognize. All I can say is to continue posting -- not just posting questions but post about your favorite restaurants, chime in on the General Boards, Not About Food, Home Cooking, boards. Pretty soon people will start recognizing your handle and perhaps be more receptive to responding.

                                                            btw, just because nobody responds doesn't necessarily mean that people are avoiding you or anything. There are some long-time posters whose posts go unanswered for various reasons -- very esoteric topic, nobody can think of anything to add, nobody knows the answer, etc. So please don't feel discouraged! : )

                                                            There seems to be an error with the url you've posted. I think what you were meaning to post is this one:


                                                            1. re: damo267

                                                              (I fixed your link for you.)

                                                              Seemed like a pretty reasonable question to me -- good job of defining the parameters you were looking for. My best guess is that the subject and the request don't match.

                                                              Perhaps people who know great Italian opened your thread and found that you were looking for not-Italian, so didn't reply, while people who might have recommended non-Italian places to you didn't open the thread, because the title implies you're looking for Italian.

                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                Thank you Miss Needle and Jacquilynne. Yeah, among other things I shouldn't have probably done the Italian/Not Italian thing: that's what I get for trying and be funny in a language that's not mine.
                                                                Again, thanks for the reply: at least I know I did not do anything wrong. I'll just keep staying around and get a little more familiar with how things work,
                                                                Btw: at the end my husband surprised me taking me to a nice steakhouse (Ruth's Chris) and I had good food and a good time too, so it's all good... :-). Thank you again

                                                              2. re: damo267

                                                                Sometimes the day of the week or the time of the post has some bearing. There is a lot of activity around lunch M-F , a fair amount around dinner time, then another spurt later in the evening. Some boards get little attention over the weekend. Keep watching to figure out the times that will bring your post to the largest number of readers!

                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                  weekends are light.

                                                                  also in some towns, there aren't just many hounds posting. i find this true for north fort myers and cape coral for florida.

                                          2. I'm guilty of this, but I've tried to become better at it. I guess I've been on the board slightly longer, so I'm no longer newbie-ish, but you need to cut us some flak (I'm not replying to MC per se, but to the long thread about newbies doing this-and-that blah blah), because although I've been on this board for a while, I've only recently discovered the "my chow" thing.

                                            If you're just starting out (or heck, if you have other things that occupy your time), you may not have as much of a vested interest in the site, so often, it takes a while to figure out the etiquette, protocol, etc. (e.g. like looking at My Chow to see if I need to reply to a post).

                                            Sometimes I just forget. I go out of town, come back, and the first thing on my mind is not, omg. Let me rifle through several pages of old posts to see if I need to reply to someone's post. I go through phases of checking CH every day, but other times, if life gets in the way, I'm not nec. checking CH, and may be off for days/weeks.

                                            Also, as I mentioned elsewhere, I've posted very sparsely on my home board, and in general, I've found my home board sort of clique-ish, where there are always the same people replying. So I've posted questions/reviews/comments in the past and either a) noone replies (or maybe they did after all; I guess I could check via My Chow now that I know I can check up on my posts), or get very few replies, or several times, my replies/suggestions were just plain shot down. I don't mind disagreement, but it makes you kindof not want to offer up opinions when people say things like "They make the most horrible doughnuts, bleh" after you've just suggested it. Maybe it's the tone or maybe I'm being thin-skinned. But I've also read things like "Whoever says they like more than 70 percent chocolate must be a snob, b/c I can't imagine anyone being able to taste more than 60 percent" (I'm paraphrasing, roughly) from people on my home board. So yes, I do go on that board sometimes to read, but for the most part, I still feel like an outsider and so less likely to remember to respond.

                                            For the other boards, again, I am sometimes remiss, but I generally find the tone much friendlier, and the board culture is noticably different. People on the home cooking board are much more likely to respond to queries, for example, and I feel more comfortable digressing, so I'm more likely to reply as well.

                                            But sometimes I've not followed up and replied just b/c I've lost the thread and forgot where a random recipe was posted. So I might say something like, "thanks. I'll have to give that a try." and if I try it that weekend, then the thread is close enough to the top that I can find it, but if I try a recipe a few months later (as I'm more likely to do) and flip through the first few pages and can't find the particular reference, I'm more likely to forget to follow up.

                                            Btw, apologies if I have done that to some of you.