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New Feature: CHOW Lists

We’re happy to announce that we’re launching CHOW Lists as a beta feature. CHOW Lists will allow users to create lists of places that will appear on one page, with a map and with descriptions of what the list is and of each item on the list.

For instance, users can create a list of places they want to go on their vacation in Oregon, or their 10 favorite pizza places in New York, of favorite brunch places in Los Angeles, etc. and set those lists as private or make them public and share them with everyone.

The lists will be promoted on the boards, restaurants&bars pages, and in the navigation bar under My Chow and under Restaurants&Bars.

The home page is http://www.chow.com/lists

You can find a FAQ about this new feature at http://www.chow.com/chowlists-faq

We’re really excited about releasing this, but please keep in mind it is in beta, so we’re likely to encounter some problems, and there are a number of improvements planned for the next release.

Please take a look, give it a try and let us know here if you have any feedback.

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  1. http://www.chow.com/lists/edit/15

    I just made my first list but I am outside [San Diego] of the available regions on the side of the page - how will it be found?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu

      I clicked the link for see all and got Most Recent and Regions, but that was it.
      I did find your list by going to your profile and clicking the "lists" link at the top of the page.
      That is the only place I could see it.
      "See All" should list all public lists the same as "See All Member Recipes" lists every member recipe submitted.

      1. re: kare_raisu

        Well, the existing See All options aren't very useful, just big unsorted lists.
        By rep I know to go to kare_raisu's profile where I'll find some good lists. Easy as pie.

        Yes, for now we need an 'Other' region.
        Regions are a difficult abstraction to quantify and implement, hopefully the CH Design team will consider alternatives in the future.

      2. I love this feature. I made a list which has 26 places, and when I tried to add another (i.e., the 27th), I got a message that one can only have 25 items on a list.

        Also, 'Outer Boroughs' is spelled incorrectly here:


        Thanks for adding this feature - I can see it being useful in so many ways.

        1. Yes, I'm a Lists Fanboy. So far, I'm really liking it and its possibilities.

          - Lists by Region - should be Very Useful, a keeper - maybe drill down by City?
          - Search for text in Lists - how? - need to add 'Find A List' and add as subcategory to regular search

          - On the public Chow Lists page, showing My Lists is completely UNnecessary - it takes up too much space at the top - I can already see them under MyChow.
          - Featured List - meh. The CH equivalent of 'Chefs Choice'.
          - Recently Added Lists - Useless - just as Place Region 'Latest Updated Places' map is. Design Team - please take a hint :).

          Not to be greedy :-) but if CH can come up with a feature that PRINTS A) the selected map area 1/2 or full page and/or B) the list of places with addresses and descriptions I'll be REAL happy.

          Assuming some of these features are added, Lists will take off like a Monster. CH should consider combining Lists with Places (a.k.a. R & B) main page (Lists and Places) and poll us (danger Will Robinson) on what parts of each existing page are unnecessary.

          Been waiting a long time for this. Big Thumbs Up, CH!

          BTW shouldn't this topic be under Site Talk, it is Beta and under development.

          2 Replies
          1. re: DiveFan

            Yes - I agree with your printing suggestions - would be wonderful.

            1. re: DiveFan

              OK, after a few days and about 10 lists

              .>>>> On the public Chow Lists page, showing My Lists is completely UNnecessary - it takes up too much space at the top - I can already see them under MyChow.

              Totally agree. Just leave the link "See all my lists".

              After four lists, you have to click on that anyway. They are listed by date. A year from now, looking at my first four lists does nothing for me. Actually,having more than four lists, I don't care about these anyway.

              >>>>> - Featured List

              What is the selection criteria for these? Is it just the most clicks or are staff actually going in like for Chow Digest and actually cherry picking the best lists?

              If it is the first, maybe adding a ... sigh ... vote feature would be a good idea ... "Was this list useful?" and a yes/no counter.

              The featured list is one of those things that set the tone for this section. Even yelp has backed off somewhat recently on the 'attitude' and going for content. They now have a review snapshot section that features snippets of actual information. That could possible change the tone of Yelp, making it more useful. If featured lists are just selected by clicks, some really stupid lists could be selected because they have an in-your-face title, vague title (what's that all about? let me click on it). or ... well, lots of stuff creates clicks. Doesn't make it good or useful.

            2. Nice feature, but it's helpful only when users explain why they've listed their places - e.g. http://www.chow.com/lists/5 or http://www.chow.com/lists/15

              Lists that omit that information - no links, no rationale, no other comment - are just lists, and difficult for the rest of us to assess.

              9 Replies
              1. re: squid kun

                I'm of two minds about that. I see the lists as a useful tool, and I agree that a quick descriptive comment is good, but I wouldn't want the lists to displace the boards. My thought was that people would look at the list, click on places, and go to the threads where the places are discussed for more information. But, to that end, I'm still hopelessly confused about how I continue to create duplicates:


                I know that in each instance I chose the top place that came up, assuming it matched what I was looking for, and yet I have created 7 duplicates. Any insights you have into avoiding that would be greatly appreciated, because I certainly think these duplicates are diluting the usefulness of Places.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Huh - I went back to my list, deleted the duplicate for Despana, went to add the right one using 'Despaña', and it didn't get added. Since I had 25 items on the list, I removed Ceci-Cela (another duplicate), and tried twice again to add Despaña, but it didn't work and I did not get any error message.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    And, I just realized, when I search for 'Despaña', nothing comes up, so I'm sure I just created another duplicate. I'd actually be in favor of not using accents etc. in places, because it seems to cause problems both in adding places and searching for them. And, to be honest, I don't even know how to add the tilde myself, and I imagine that's the case with many other users. I'm generally all for using accents properly, but think it's a barrier here.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      The accent bug is frustrating. I've tended to include accents when adding places, but maybe I should stop since they don't play well with other site features (search, link to a place, and now lists).

                      Then again, maybe they'll fix the bug, so we don't have to enter incorrect place names as a workaround - and then have to correct them later once the thing works properly. That would be the best outcome. But I'm not holding my breath.

                  2. re: MMRuth

                    >>> Any insights you have into avoiding that would be greatly appreciated, because I certainly think these duplicates are diluting the usefulness of Places.

                    Until this is fixed, enter the least information possible for the name.

                    This is similar but a little different from the current problem with places. If too much info is entered, the place record isn't found.

                    For example, "Traktir-Skazka Restaurant" is in the Places database as "Traktir-Skazka"

                    When I had the word "restaurnt" in the name, it didn't match with a Place record and created a duplicate

                    When I dropped the word 'restaurant' from the search, it found the Place record.

                    Occasionaly a mismatch between the Place name and List search results will cause lists to refuse to enter a record ... without a message. It just doesn't add it.

                    "Renata's Bakery & Cafe" is in the Place database as "Renata's Bakery"

                    The List search result was 'Renata's Bakery & Cafe", yet clicking "done" created nothing.

                    It wasn't till I just entered "Renata's" in the name and did a search that the Place record was found and the record FINALLY added to the list

                  3. re: squid kun

                    My feeling is if a list is devoid of much in the way of information (though even just a title might be enough info, if the title is something like 'My favorite places for brunch in Park Slope') it should probably be a private list. It's quite likely that people will create lists for their own benefit that aren't meant to have value or meaning to the larger community, but that's what 'private' is there for.

                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                      I was suggest that "private" be the default setting. Then most lists would be private unless the user made an effort to make it public.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        If private isn't the default, this should be changed from a check box to two radio buttons where one must be selected.

                    2. re: squid kun

                      squid kun, have you noticed that the new Places entries created via the Chow List feature omit a phone number? This is a HUGE bug. When I first noticed it, I thought it was due to users entering the address info and no phone contact. But I've tried creating a new Place record and 1) no phone number is included and 2) the address field adds commas. I hope the commas don't mess up searching, as there are already so many other punctuation-related problems with Places.

                      The Engineering teams should fix this one before too many more Place records are created. Or else devote a staff member or two to typing in phone numbers,correcting regional selection where it has defaulted incorrectly to "other" . . .

                      By region, I'm not referring to the list region. I mean the region for the Place record which assigns it to a hub. Better yet, why not have zip codes in the address and then map the region selection automatically.

                    3. There needs to be a serious change in the way that lists are created and changed. First, it's not intuitive how to change the name of the list to something other than "Please enter the name of your list" -- why is that text there in the first place? Can't there just be an empty box where you have to type in a name before you can go to the next screen? Second, as soon as you click on "Create a new list now" a list gets created, whether you do anything or not -- I went into the lists to see what it was about, saw the strange formatting, didn't add anything, didn't click save, and now there's a list by me called Please enter the name of your list with nothing added to it, which is obviously not what I intended, and there's no way to delete it. I don't understand why it's set up like this, but it just means that there are going to be a lot of useless lists.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: JasmineG

                        I don't know if it's in the FAQ, but Any list YOU create is under MyChow - Lists. Looks pretty intuitive to me.

                        If you want, click Delete to the right of the list name.
                        Click Edit to change the Title and Short Description.

                        I agree, they could choose better words for the default text.

                        Don't get freaked out by the ugly Lists main page. Everyone else is figuring this out too :).

                        1. re: DiveFan

                          I think that it's pretty non intuitive, given that there are a whole lot of empty lists with Please enter the name of your list as a title, and no delete button on the list -- I tried to go back into the list and delete it, and there wasn't a way. It's nice that if you go into My Chow and then Lists, you can delete it, but that's not where someone would think to look, particularly since this is a brand new feature, and that's an extra unnecessary step, especially since you can edit when you're on the list. There should be a delete button on the list itself, and it should not automatically save, especially if there has been no text typed in.

                          1. re: DiveFan

                            You're kind of making my other points posted elsewhere in this topic.

                            There are TWO pages with lists - the one under R&B and the one under MyChow.
                            - they look similar and have the SAME title - CHOW LISTS. Poor 'Design'.
                            - they both have My Lists at the TOP - VERY confusing. Both have Delete buttons.
                            - the one under R&B has the unhelpful and confusing 'Recently Added Lists' list BELOW the Featured List map. There are no Delete buttons there - it is ALL R.A.L., not just yours and mine.

                            Said another way, Lists and Recipes are 'owned' by you, are listed under your profile (MyChow) and can be edited or removed by you. OTOH Places are not 'owned' by individuals but may be edited by anyone.

                            We both agree that the text for the default Title and Short Description are confusing, right? Hopefully someone from the Design Team will Speak Up soon.

                            1. re: DiveFan

                              That entire paragraph confused me. There are two pages with lists? What's the point?

                              1. re: JasmineG

                                I think she's referring to Your myCHOW list page, which has just your lists, similar to your myCHOW favorites, recipes, etc, and the main lists page, which includes your lists at the top, but is also the main portal to everyone else's lists.

                          2. re: JasmineG

                            My powers of written description don't seem to be working well. Therefore, I've attached some markups of both pages with editorial commentary :-). Warning - non artist at work.
                            Hope this helps.

                            1. re: JasmineG

                              Update - if you can't read the pictures in the above post, the original images are here:
                              Chow Lists - http://members.dslextreme.com/~divefa...
                              My Lists - http://members.dslextreme.com/~divefa...

                            2. Another feature of Lists that seems to work better is adding Places - it seems much faster than LTAP.

                              If duplicate names appear, ALWAYS choose the top one to reuse the oldest (lowest numbered) Place.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DiveFan

                                It would be good if there were a way that the system would indicate that a place that comes up to be added to the list is already a 'Place' - I always picked the top one, and still ended up with some duplicates. Another tip is to make sure the one you pick has a zip code - if it doesn't, it's unlikely to be a 'Place'.

                              2. Fudge. I think I've found three bugs.

                                - The 'Add A Place' dialog looks Transparent in Opera 9.51, kinda distracting.

                                - Some places don't want to be Added. I tried to add this place http://www.chow.com/places/9440 repeatedly and it doesn't get added. Different browser, same problem. Yes, the list has fewer than 25 places.

                                - 'Add A Place' results do not always show an existing Place at the top of the list. I added this place http://www.chow.com/places/38190 which is a duplicate of http://www.chow.com/places/10202 . To make matters worse, the new Place is assigned a region of Other, not the one associated with the list. This is going to create a LOT of Duplicates.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: DiveFan

                                  DiveFan, thanks for taking the time to mark numerous duplicate entries. You need to type "duplicate" in the name field. Entering "Dup1" and/or "ditto" does not remove it from the database.

                                  1. re: DiveFan

                                    Due to the ongoing web site trauma and compounded by the immature Lists feature, I've been very cautious about consigning a Place to the 'duplicate' black hole.

                                    Despite my caution, I've created many duplicate Places when adding them to a List. When in doubt I immediately edit the Place to make sure that I can identify it uniquely. Then we have to wait >1 hour for the indexing cycle to confirm what is what. What a P.I.T.A.

                                    1. re: DiveFan

                                      Not less of a P.I.T.A but less wait time to confirm ... from your list, open the place record. Then do a separate search of places for that name and open. Check the URL of the Place record from the search against the Place record in the list. If they are the same all is well.

                                      At least you don't have to wait an hour ... or much, much ... much more for the newly created Place record to show up.

                                  2. For me -- can't speak for anyone else -- it seems a case of "The right hand giveth and the left hand taketh away." WHERE is my Reading List! It's gone. Can't find it anywhere. I'd like to have it back. PLEASE!!!

                                    EDIT NEVER MIND...! It's back. I guess you guys were just checking whether I was paying attention. Things sure get buggy around here at times.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      Hey - you are right - that menu option is gone when you are on your 'My Chow' page - but try using the drop down menu for 'My Chow' (the red text, next to blogs) - the option is still there, fortunately.

                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        You don't have the link in the small nav bar just under the main nav bar?

                                        1. re: hannaone

                                          I do now, but I didn't this morning when I checked for Caroline. At that point (and I was logged in) I only had 4 or so items on that nav bar.

                                    2. I have misspelled the tag on the restaurant list. I want to edit. I can edit other information except TAG. I can not find any place I can edit The TAG Words I have submitted. Please help or provide me the feature that I can fix it. Thanks

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: baanthai

                                        Where are you seeing tag words? I don't have that on my list.

                                      2. When you add a new list you can specify a region (e.g. Pennsylvania, Italy, etc.) but on the Lists main page it only lists the small number of regions that are in the 'Restaurants & Bars' list (minus 'other'). That needs to be fixed so all the regions are listed.

                                        Many more problems. It saves a list even though you hit 'cancel'. All you have to do is go into 'create a new list', very confusing to new person on what text needs to be edited, no spot to add the telephone number.......

                                        1. How do I search for a list? For example, I'm taking a trip to Minneapolis and I'd like to see what public lists have been made for there.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Carole

                                            I haven't figured out if you can search for them, but this is where they would show up:


                                            Edit - A glitch - I clicked on "See All CHow Lists" here - http://www.chow.com/places_list/show/44 - and it doesn't show all lists as far as I can tell.

                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                              How did you find that? I don't see any way to select the Midwest region.

                                              1. re: Carole

                                                I went here:


                                                Saw a list for the Midwest, clicked on Midwest, and there they were.

                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  You mean you had to hope that there was an entry for the region you need on the 'recently added lists' section?

                                                  I only see under 'lists by region' the limited number of region that are on the 'restaurants & bars' region list. Am I missing something?

                                                  1. re: Carole

                                                    I just saw your query and tried to figure out how to find it - hoped that if I clicked on 'Midwest' under the one list that it would bring up a list ... I don't think you are missing anything, and I think that it would be useful if there were a list of lists for each regions. It doesn't look like there is a search function for lists.

                                          2. Thanks for all of the feedback on CHOW Lists, it's very helpful and we're working to resolve the issues and make improvements. We've got a list of bugs & new feature requests we're working through that we'll keep you updated on on the list on this page:


                                            Thanks again.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: CHOW HQ

                                              This is a good start.

                                              But can you please squeeze some kind of search into your debug list? This feature is really a usage deal-breaker.

                                              1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                To reinterate, I hope that Lists are given equal 'status' to Places.

                                                Just for discussion purposes, I've cobbled up a page with some layout ideas:
                                                Obviously I know just enough HTML to be dangerous...

                                                Minor glitch - the Title field on the Add New List page is too short - please expand to at least one full line long (like the Description field).

                                                Other glitch - I've noticed that while clicking Add (A Place) To This List to my list it often acts like the dialog is transparent, which causes the list page to be refreshed. S l o w l y releasing the mouse button usually works.

                                                Design issue - Please standardize all button labels across the site that do the Exact Same Thing. Create New something, Add A New something, whatever.

                                                Minor design issue - when editing a List, the link at the top is for 'All Chow Lists'. This is illogical - substitute the link for the 'next higher' grouping (My Lists).

                                                List and individual Place maps rock! Others, ................................................

                                                Thanks for listening patiently to our noisy feedback.

                                              2. For our own lists we are always in edit mode.

                                                If I want to cut and paste a list I would have to be intuitive enough to change the URL. So I would have to change this

                                                to this

                                                I tried pasting the first url into a post and logged off to see what would happen if I clicked on it. It takes me to the log in page.

                                                I'm curious ... would someone who is logged in, click on the first link and tell me if they can then edit my list

                                                I think it might be better to have to hit an edit button rather than always being in edit mode.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  Clicking on your first url took me to the second - no edit capability.

                                                  1. re: hannaone

                                                    Thanks. Still if someone is not logged in and just a lurker, that first link will ask you to log in. Not a biggie, just a note.

                                                2. I assume there will be no editing time limit on lists like the 2 hour limit on posts. Or is there some sort of planned limit?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                    Lists are meant to be permanently editable. If you create a list of your top 10 breakfast places, that's going to change as place open and close, and you should be able to make those changes.

                                                  2. Excellent feature.

                                                    IMO, only second to second to Places as a good new thing on this site.

                                                    That is saying a lot since until Melanie mentioned that this was affecting Places, I had zilch interest in this option mainly because I am still so thoroughly annoyed about the text size and having to limit my Chowhound reading to short 15 minute bursts. I had NO intention on wasting my time on what seemed a pointless feature.

                                                    Wrong. This is a good thing on so many levels.

                                                    Anyway here are my thoughts … in list format

                                                    1.There is no way to add an item if “Not in list? Please try searching again” appears. *** see comments below

                                                    2.Need an error message if hitting ‘Done’ but no radio button is selected. See comments

                                                    3.Remove scroll bar from comments because there is a limit and the comments get cut off in an ugly way. See item number 7 here http://www.chow.com/lists/108

                                                    4.There should be a link to FAQ on the main list page and profile list page

                                                    5.Sometimes information is overwritten. For example, add item 1, add item 2. Comments from item 2 overwrite comments in item 1. This is annoying. .

                                                    6.Select a region should not be optional. Add ‘multi-regional’ to list

                                                    7.Should have information that clicking on list restaurant name will take them to the place (restaurant and bar) record for more info. It is not intuitive, especially with no underline to indicate a link.

                                                    8.After adding an item, the previous search list is displayed when adding the next item.

                                                    9.Info in the Location box should be kept like it is when adding a Place record on the board. I’m tired of keying “San Francisco, CA’ for each item in the list.

                                                    10.Done and Cancel buttons too close together. Or need a Cancel confirmation.

                                                    11.Needs a “Done” button on the main list page. Yes I know this is a dynamic, but it is confusing. I kept thinking “did I create a list?” and was afraid to navigate to a different part of the site for fear I’d lose the list.


                                                    Lori’s Diner on Sutter Street in SF is a valid place that doesn’t appear when doing a list search. http://www.chow.com/places/16433 . I added this record to Places in 2007, so selection is not coming from Places.

                                                    As to point #2 above, I assume it is tied to #!.

                                                    If I forget to click a radio button, enter a restaurant, address and comment and hit ‘Done’. Nothing gets added. No list item. No Place record. This gets annoying.

                                                    If radio button selection is optional, then I assume it is a way to add a new place not in the list.

                                                    If that is not the case, then there should be an edit when clicking “Done” to indicate selecting a restaurant from the list is required.

                                                    Did not see these on the FAQ ‘fix’ list though they were mentioned

                                                    - ‘Please enter the name of your list’ and ‘Please enter in a new description” need boxes. This is not intuitive.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                      Your observations are primary related to what I would call 'human factors'. IMO not much detailed attention was paid to this, but I can forgive it in a Beta release. Hopefully the next release will resolve most of these issues.

                                                      The symptoms described by Melanie Wong and the large number of blank lists point to a severe case of website induced Spastic Mouse Syndrome.

                                                    2. Comments on future release plans.

                                                      I hate the idea of comments on lists. Few of us are professional journalists and to have some yahoo criticizing my list makes me less likely to want to do this. IMO, if you don’t like my list, make your own don’t rip mine apart.

                                                      Also, if you go ahead and allow commenting, will I be notified if someone makes a comment? Will I be allowed to flag a comment to be deleted if it is obscene or attacks me? Will the moderators remove offending comments if emailed?

                                                      My inclination if I get some nasty comments is just to delete the whole list and re-enter it.

                                                      If you must have some comment just make it a 'useful' or 'not useful' option. This is not the discussion forum part of the site.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                        I agree. This questionable 'feature', like the 'Latest recent' Places and Lists, looks like direction to make CH look more like Yelp, MySpace, Facebook, etc.

                                                        OTOH the sidebar list of 'Latest CH Posts' I do scan. Fits nicely in between the ads.

                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                          I actually like the idea of comments on lists, just because I know I would have questions for the list maker if it's an interesting list. However, I would a) want there to be a notification if there are comments, and b) to be able to flag offensive comments.

                                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                                            Just a few thoughts after playing with this for a few days.

                                                            Unlike something like Google maps, where the only opportunity to offer thoughts is through a comment on someone's map, this site has a forum. Comments here would dilute some of the forum content. People who want more info can go to the boards and ask for more info, probably gaining some new info and benefitting the community as a whole.

                                                            Even if there is notification, there is no guarantee the list maker will reply to the comment. Like every site, there are one-time people, people who leave, etc.

                                                            The person who posted the comment would then need to be notified (if they wanted) whenever a new comment was made about that lists. Seems a tortured way to get dialogue about the list.

                                                        2. While I remember, a Phase Three suggestion.

                                                          - Make the individual Place page show 'LINKED USER LISTS'
                                                          This would allow us to navigate to the list(s) that link to the Place in question.
                                                          Hopefully the less permanent nature of user List links won't make the Places feature more unstable. LTAP is wonky enough.

                                                          1. For those looking for regions:

                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/1 = SF Bay Area
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/2 = Los Angeles Area
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/3 = California
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/4 = Pacific Northwest
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/5 = Texas
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/6 = Southwest
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/7 = Chicago
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/8 = Midwest
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/9 = New Orleans
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/10 = Florida
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/11 = South
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/12 = Boston Area
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/13 = New England
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/14 = WASHINGTON DC & BALTIMORE AREA
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/15 = Pennsylvania
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/16 = Mid-Atlantic
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/17 = What's My Craving
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/18 = Manhattan
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/19 = Outer Boroughs
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/20 = Tristate Region
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/21 = The Best
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/22 = Quebec (Including Montreal
                                                            )http://www.chow.com/lists/region/23 = Ontario (Including Toronto
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/24 = Canada
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/25 = Elsewhere in America
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/26 = International
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/27 = General Chowhounding Topics
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/28 = Kosher
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/29 = Not About Food
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/51 = Africa
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/61 = Austin
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/37 = Australia/New Zealand
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/54 = Caribbean
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/46 = China
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/49 = France
                                                            http://www.chow.com/lists/region/48 = Greater Asia

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: hannaone

                                                              So, the only way to find a list wheresomeone didn't assign a region is through the main lists page?

                                                              Is it possible that by clicking any of the above, that the most recent to oldest are displayed. Currently the order is oldest to newest.

                                                              1. re: hannaone

                                                                It seems to be impossible to make lists outside US/Canada, or am I missing something? Do items in the lists have to be from the "places" database? Is it possible to add places outside North America?

                                                                1. re: Robb S

                                                                  Here's a list from London

                                                                  If you look at the main list page there are a number of lists outside the US.

                                                                  I tried to add Blue Elephant which is in Londan to my list. I just entered London in the location. It isn't in the Places database but it did show up in the "not in the above list" section so I could have added it if I wanted to (I didn't)

                                                                  However, even in the US, some places show up neither in the chow database or the other section. Usually it is a restaurant that is very new or very obscure. In that case you would need to add the Place record first and then wait till it takes (about 1 hour to be sure) and then add it to your list.

                                                                  What were you trying to add?

                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                    Thanks for the reply. I noticed a number of lists outside North America, but they were all blank except for one created by the Chowhound staff.

                                                                    I was trying to add some restaurants in Japan. The places database gives me a choice of regions within the US.

                                                                    1. re: Robb S

                                                                      Use 'other' for the region if entering a Place record.

                                                                      However, if you are entering through lists and the restaurant doesn't currently exist in places, you can enter it there and it defaults to 'other'. You can assign 'Japan' though to the entire list ... if that's not too confusing.

                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                        OK, I tried to add a place, and it actually found the restaurant in "Other results by name and location" with the name and address in Japanese. But when I click on it, I get a popup error message saying "Unknown address: %u6771%u4EAC...". So I guess the form the Chow site uses can't read Japanese addresses, even though it displays them for me to click on.

                                                                        Then I tried adding the restaurant manually, but there seems to be no way to enter the latitude and longitude (which I know), and there's no other way to specify map coordinates.

                                                                        1. re: Robb S

                                                                          Hmm ...that's beyond me. Someone from Chow will have to help out.

                                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                                            Ah, I've figured out how to add restaurants, as long as they're in the Google database - I type the phone number in the "name" field instead of the name, and the search finds them. (The first restaurant I tried to add wasn't in the Google database, which was why I got stuck, but 12 out of 14 were.)

                                                                            However, I still can't figure out how to add location information for places I enter manually if they're not already in the Google database.

                                                              2. Again, thanks for the continued, detailed feedback and suggestions. It's very helpful to us.

                                                                One Completed Fix:
                                                                Restaurant & Bar (Places) pages are now displaying lists that they belong to in a module in the right column:
                                                                For instance: http://www.chow.com/places/351

                                                                11 Replies
                                                                1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                  Sorry, spoke to soon, there is a bug with the clickthrough on the list name. Will be fixed shortly.

                                                                    1. re: CHOW HQ


                                                                      It also seems the phone number problem is fixed.

                                                                      However there seems to be a new bug. When adding a business that doesn't exist in the Place database, the region is no longer being generated.

                                                                      I created this list for the SF Bay Area

                                                                      This new place record that was created, has the phone, but no region, though SF was assigned in the list.

                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                        The region assignment for each place is currently (and I believe has always been) set by the user, not by the system or the list region. We plan to eventually tie the regions to zip codes, so that they can be set automatically, but in the interim, they must be set manually.

                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                          Yes, I know that. However, when the user selects a region while creating a list, and one of their list selections creates a new place record, shouldn't the region from the list be added to the place record.

                                                                          If not, the place records are really lost for that region for future use.

                                                                          How many people creating lists will know if they are creating new placevrecords and then take the trouble to go in and update the region?

                                                                          When I selected SF for my list, that new bakery record that was automatically created with an 'other' region.

                                                                          When on a regional board like SF, there is a default region for that board. So if someone posts and creates a new Place record, SF BAY area is automatically added to the place record. That same thing should happen in lists.

                                                                          Otherwise, using this bakery as an example... the region is other. Someone who posts about it on the SF board and tries to link to it, will not find it, so will create a new Place record.

                                                                          There will be two records in the database. One with region 'other' and one with region 'SF'. The lists created will never show up on the latter place record.

                                                                          I'm just saying that lists should act just like posting currently does .. the region selected should be passed to a newly created Place record.

                                                                          1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                            However, when created via a List, there is no field on the dialog box to select a region. This is creating more duplicate Place records. Chow staffer "tatertot" just made this one, http://www.chow.com/places/42412 , which is a duplicate of an earlier record created via Places that had not been assigned to a region.

                                                                            What's the progress on a new Place record being tied to the region selected for the List? As rworange describes below, when a new Place record is created via the message boards, the region assignment is automatically assigned. This should be done with the Lists function as well, and is even more important because there is no field for the user to assign the region manually.

                                                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                              Again, how are you doing on tying the region on the Place record to the region selected for the List?

                                                                              People are starting to make lists again, and they're creating duplicates and new records that are not assigned to a region.

                                                                              MMRuth, could you please edit the new Places created for your lists today and add the region? Right now, many have defaulted to "Other" and won't be found if someone searches for Manhattan. You can view them easily by clicking on "Restaurants and Bars" on the top of the page menu bar and then choosing "see all" below the list of recently updated places (which only displays the ones assigned to region). The ones which default to "other" aren't shown on the face page. Or you can click here,

                                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                Thanks - I'll take a look at those - MMR.

                                                                                Edit - I noticed that it doesn't put the zip codes in either - I'll try to fix that tomorrow.

                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                  Before you add zip codes, please do verify that these aren't duplicates. I think the new Sherry-Lehmann record is a duplicate and there might be others. "squid kun" will probably take care of it tonight in his nightly pass through eliminating duplicates and adding zip codes.

                                                                                  And, I apologize for calling you out. I wanted to illustrate what a pain in the neck these List bugs are for everyone.

                                                                    2. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                      Thanks for pointing this feature out. More happiness!

                                                                    3. Another minor 'bug' - if you try to access a Private list, an inappropriate message appears:

                                                                      There's been a slight problem...
                                                                      Sorry, something's not working with this page. The CHOW team has been notified and will check it out.
                                                                      You can go to the CHOW home, or go back to the previous page.

                                                                      This access denial should have a more specific message. TIA!

                                                                      1. 1) Feels like I had to enter and save my list name twice before it got saved
                                                                        2) Ontario (including Toronto) is not an available choice on the places dropdown

                                                                        1. A number of times I could not change the description. I just get the red "saving' message. I cannont change the description on item 8 - Luce in in this list

                                                                          When I was putting the list together for a few items I did a cut and paste just to remind myself a little about the restaurant until I had time to rewrite the description. What is in that description is from the Chronicle ... without attribution. What I want to put in there is what I wrote ...

                                                                          Chef de Cuisine, Dominique Crenn was named as Esquire magazine’s one of America’s most promising “Chefs to Watch”. The cuisne is California Italian featuring the wines of Frescobaldi, The sophisticated, urban 130-seat restaurant is located in the new InterContinental,

                                                                          It will not change. I thought is was a server time out or proxy error, but nope ... signed off the computer, signed back on. Can change everything else but this.

                                                                          Actually this happened before with Gary Danko and I actually re-entered a new list to try to get around the problem.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                                            Another description that can't be changed for list item 9 - Hiser Bakery

                                                                            Just get the red 'saving' message and exit and reopen of list has old description. No pattern to this. I can change other items, just not this one.

                                                                            I wanted to change it to

                                                                            One of the better local Portuguese bakeries with a nice small selection of groceries, meats, fish and cheeses. Daily bread specials like bolo. Good “pastéis de nata" and cookies. Seasonal: malassadas (Fat Tuesday( folares (Easter bread), and Christmas bread.

                                                                          2. Design issue - the Add A Place dialog in Lists does not visually distinguish between existing Chow Places and what was found at Google Maps.

                                                                            Please make the dialog look more like the regular Add A Place dialog or put the Chow Place number in parens/italics next to the Place Title. Hopefully this will cut down on the number of duplicate Places created. If you want to increase the result list to more than four places, that would be a bonus.

                                                                            Thanks for listening.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: DiveFan

                                                                              Second this.

                                                                              Also, lists really needs to work like the rest of the site. There needs to be edit links, not just clicking on text to edit.. I know I mentioned that before, but the more I use lists, the harder it gets to deal with.

                                                                            2. On the "My List" page, the Delete really needs a confirmation. If you accidently click it instead of edit ... or click the wrong one ... whoosh .. your list is flushed.

                                                                              About those descriptions cutting off. Since there is a scroll bar, did you mean to have a 'more' link to see longer descriptions. If not, as mentioned before, that scroll bar needs to go.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: rworange

                                                                                Also, move the Delete button inside to the List Edit page. Put it off by itself, especially away from the dangerous rolldown ads. Yes, Confirmation is required.

                                                                                Maybe we could back Lists up in KMZ format? Definitely a low prioriity new feature.

                                                                              2. Adding places to the list in Safari 3.1.2 is borked. Why does so much of your stuff break in Safari? Don't you test?

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                  Firefox 3 on Mac is also not working.

                                                                                2. In addition to these three links at the bottom of the list

                                                                                  See All CHOW Lists
                                                                                  See My Lists
                                                                                  Create a New List

                                                                                  There should be another link to "Add to this List"

                                                                                  Records don't always add. Sometimes the wrong record is added.

                                                                                  So I always have to scroll down to the bottom of the list and check to see if the record was added. Then I have to scroll back up to get to the "add to this list" button

                                                                                  Frankly rather than a pop up window to add info, it would be better just to have a dialogue box like the reply box on posts that takes you to the end of the list. then you would be there.

                                                                                  Lists works so differently than the rest of the site. It makes it difficult. I hope this is just a design inconsistancy and not a prototype for making a change to posting on the forums. I would really dislike pop up windows like that if replying to posts. Why is lists designed so differently?

                                                                                  I really could do without the 'Create new list' at the bottom.I've created about 10 lists so far and that is the last place I would go to create a new lists. But doesn't really bother me. I think it might get in the way though if you add the new link How about just a 'top' link at the bottom and the requested "add to this list' Then the wrong link wouldn't be hit if adding a list item. Seriously I have never used those three links on the bottom.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                                    All makes sense to me, those would be very welcome improvements for user ease.

                                                                                    I've had the same problem with the wrong record added, and yes, I made sure that the prior record's info was deleted.

                                                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                      I'm doing clean up now when a wrong record is added. THe first few days though I had no clue that was happening.

                                                                                  2. Lists refuses to add Katia’s Russian Tea Room though it is in the Lists search results and exists in the Places database.

                                                                                    It is not just a lag. On my umteenth try, I added it, went off and had dinner, came back an hour or more later, still not added.

                                                                                    1. Thanks again for your continued, detailed feedback about CHOW Lists. It's very helpful. I'm happy to report that we've just released several fixes based on your feedback. They are:
                                                                                      1. User must now enter text and actively 'save' a list name and description. This should make it clearer how to get started creating a list, as well as reduce the number of incomplete lists.
                                                                                      2. We have added a 'delete this list' link to the bottom left corner of the list view/edit page.
                                                                                      3. Site search is now working from the list view page.
                                                                                      4. When adding a place to your list, the results from your previous search no longer appear in that popup window (this was confusing to many users).

                                                                                      We are continuing to work on other issues and expect to release additional fixes in a few days.

                                                                                      Thanks again.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                        And we can select a region - is that new too?

                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                          The region selection was there before, but it may have been less evident because of the presentation of the text in that box.

                                                                                        2. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                          1. User must now enter text and actively 'save' a list name and description.This should ... reduce the number of incomplete lists.

                                                                                          Very nice.

                                                                                          It would be nice if the default was private. There are still a lot of lists out there with nothing more than the title. If you click on too many of those, you don't wnat to really click on the lists. There are websites when I'm googling that I just don't bother with because there's too much junk with no info.

                                                                                          2. We have added a 'delete this list' link to the bottom left corner of the list view/edit page.

                                                                                          Please add a delete confirmation. Now there are two places I can accidentaly delete my list. Especially since there are those surveys you have to chase all over the page, the chance of killing your list grows.

                                                                                          4. When adding a place to your list, the results from your previous search no longer appear in that popup window (this was confusing to many users).

                                                                                          Could the location generate a drop down list like the name. It would be nice if after the first time I enter San Francisco, Ca I'd only have to enter 'S" to get a drop down list of past locations. Actually that would be nice in Places as well.

                                                                                          1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                            2. We have added a 'delete this list' link to the bottom left corner of the list view/edit page.

                                                                                            I forgot about this but if you use that delete it probably should take you back to your list rather than the main list page http://www.chow.com/lists

                                                                                          2. Three additional fixes released today:
                                                                                            - We have added region lists for the 32 regions with the most lists to http://chow.com/lists
                                                                                            - We have created a view of all lists: http://www.chow.com/lists/all
                                                                                            - Lists are now optimized for search engines, so they will be able to be found more easily in google, yahoo, etc.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                              How are you doing on getting Place records assigned to a region when they're created via lists or fixing the multiplying duplicates? Last night I scanned through Places updated in the last few days and noticed that squid kun was marking duplicates as well --- by the time I gave up, more than 100 duplicate places were identified and removed (based on the total Places before and after). New place records aren't assigned to a place hub when they're created via lists unlike when they're created via message board posts.

                                                                                              Is there a different programming team working on Lists vs. Places? I like that the phone number is displayed on the Places roll now. It would be helpful for it to display on Lists too.

                                                                                              Edited to add: Having "The Best" as one of the region selections is confusing to someone not familiar with the history of the NY area boards, don't you think? A new user would use it to tag a list of "best fruitvale taquerias" rather than a geographic assignment.

                                                                                              Any plan to add a counter for the number of Place records in an individual list? Right now, the majority of them are empty and it's a waste of time to open them. Maybe you could put a number next to the title on the roll of lists.

                                                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                > I like that the phone number is displayed on the Places roll now.

                                                                                                Yes, I noticed that too - good change.

                                                                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                  > New place records aren't assigned to a place hub when they're created via lists unlike when they're created via message board posts.

                                                                                                  Yes, please make this like on the message boards

                                                                                              2. PROBLEM WITH LISTS... I CURRENTLY HAVE 8 ITEMS ON THE LIST... WHEN I GO TO ADD.. IT DOES NOT SAVE MY CHANGES

                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                  What are you trying to add? Does it show up in the search? Is it only one place or is every record being rejected. If you give me names, I'll try to add them to my play list.

                                                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                                                    Well I am trying to add Hank's Haute Dogs in Honolulu... I can search it, find it, select it... but it doesn't update my list "My Oahu Joints To Try"

                                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                      I had a similar problem, but in this case it doesn't seem to be the same. I tried to had Hank's and though it comes up in the search, it just won't add.

                                                                                                      I just noticed there's no "Elsewhere in America" region in the drop down list of regions.

                                                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                        I can't add it to a list, either. I tried creating the place record (which didn't yet exist) via Link to a Place on a post, and then tried again, and I still can't get it to add. Anyone else have any specific mystery places that refuse to be listed? I'll create a problem ticket for them.

                                                                                                        -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                                                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                          How long did you wait after creating the new Place before you tried to link it? You need to wait until the system refreshes before it can be linked, which I've found in a couple cases. That said, there are still spots that are not already in Places and are found in search but can't be added/created via lists.

                                                                                                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                            Don't know if the Place record did it, but I was able to add Hank's just now to a list. Now I feel the need to fly to Hawaii for a duck dog.

                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                              Thanx... it works on my list as well!

                                                                                                            2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                              Do you have any examples of those that I could include in a problem ticket?

                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                Yes, I tried to add Zlfred's in Fresno to a list. It was not in the Places database yet. I tried about four times to add it via a list, and while it would turn up in a search result from the google datebase, it would not add to the list or create a new place record. Later I used "add a place" from the Restaurants and Bars pull down menu to create a record in the Places database and then a few hours later added it to the list.

                                                                                                    2. Something is wrong with this list that is displayed on the right of the page currently

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                        I opened wolfe's list last night when it first appeared and it was empty then. Then this morning it and most other list pages can't be accessed . . . Application Error pages.

                                                                                                      2. Two locations are displayed incorrectly on map. All locations are in Oakland CA, yet one is displayed on the map in Los Angeles and the other in NY.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                                                          For #17 on your list, I changed the "&" to "and" in the address field and that changed the map location to Oakland. You might try that with the others.

                                                                                                          This is another bug in Places. Lists is never going to be stable until the bugs in the Places function are corrected.

                                                                                                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                            Thank you very much ... but ... sheesh!!! ...!!!

                                                                                                            After changing 10 records, eight of which were application errors so I had to add 'edit' at the end of the url ... the map finally is ok.

                                                                                                            I have a headache not only from trying to read the small type (three weeks and counting) but also trying to remember all the tricks to be able to use the site.

                                                                                                            FWIW, I've had a lot of trouble trying to change list titles and descriptions. I get the red "saving' which turns to black and nothing is changed. I suspect that you have to used the edit link from the list to be able to change that, but at this point this is seriously starting to feel like work so I will leave that up to others to look into ... or not.

                                                                                                        2. I've tried several times to add a particular restaurant (Chat N' Chew) to my list (#386), but every time I click "Done" it doesn't save it to the list. Other restaurants save to the list, but not this one. Can someone please look into why? Maybe the punctuation in the restaurant name is throwing something off?


                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: PlomeekSoup

                                                                                                            Unfortunately this is a common problem, especially when the Places database seems flaky (far too often).

                                                                                                            Use regular search to find out if the place exists already.

                                                                                                            If it does, edit it to add zip code/country to make the address uniquely identifiable later.
                                                                                                            If it doesn't, add it using the Add A Place button under R&B, then wait at least an hour.

                                                                                                            Now use the Add To This List button -your place should be at or close to the top of the choices.

                                                                                                            1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                              The restaurant is in the Places database, and I'm able to choose it easily. However, the problem occurs when I click on "DONE!" - this particular restaurant never gets added to the list.

                                                                                                              1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                Hmmm. I guess that's why they call it Beta :-(.

                                                                                                                I think I've seen this glitch myself, but I think I kept trying a few times a day and eventually added the places in question.

                                                                                                                Please post your place # and we'll see if the issue is unique to you.
                                                                                                                Unfortunately, private lists for testing are broken (inaccessible) right now.

                                                                                                            2. I love this!
                                                                                                              But... I can't seem to get to my lists from my blackberry -- and when I'm out and about is exactly when I need it! I get as far as clicking on the list name after 'my lists' but instead of showing my restaurants it reloads the page and I'm back where I started. Is it my blackberry and possibly its browser settings? Then I'm really lost!

                                                                                                              1. Thank you for your continued comments & suggestions on lists. We released several additional changes in the past several days:
                                                                                                                1. We restored the Places user interface for selecting a place to add to your list, so that users will be much less likely to create duplicates
                                                                                                                2. We resolved the issue of the list item description text truncating.

                                                                                                                We are aware of (and apologize for) the issue of some of the private lists disappearing and are working on a fix for that right now.

                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                                                  Thank you.

                                                                                                                  Any progress on Places search recognizing common city abbreviations? Since the "location" doesn't instruct spelling out the name of the city, in San Francisco many of the dupes are created when users abbreviate it as SF and can't pull up an existing place, as shown in this screen shot for Zuni. I've removed dozens of duplicates for Zuni since Places was launched.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                    That bug is not resolved yet, but it's in line to be fixed. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                                                                                    1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                                                      Don't know if Places is still considered in beta or not, but since it is the underlying function that drives the Lists, it still needs a lot of work or the List functionality won't be stable. The link to a place search routine still fails to find existing Place records, whether generated through posts or list creation due to people factors. More effort needs to go into making Places look up easier and more reliable for users. Chow staff themselves are still making boo-boos, even after your fix noted above, so there are more flaws and quirks to work through.

                                                                                                                      Posters making lists like this one, http://www.chow.com/lists/513 , who have put a lot of time into them are gonna be disturbed to see "duplicate" all over the false records they've created, but there it is. In that example, out of 22 records in the list, 21 were false. If someone has typed in a lot of text, it's not an easy delete and replace.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                        Next issue with the multitude of duplicate Place records created in Lists --- now we're getting into a tug-of-war over marking false records as "duplicates". Here's an example,
                                                                                                                        http://www.chow.com/places/40077 , please check the editing back and forth. Here's the list where that duplicate Place record and several other duplicates are included, http://www.chow.com/lists/532 .

                                                                                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                          > Posters making lists like this one, http://www.chow.com/lists/513 , who have put a lot of time into them are gonna be disturbed to see "duplicate" all over the false records they've created, but there it is. In that example, out of 22 records in the list, 21 were false.

                                                                                                                          Agreed - thanks, Melanie. And the user who created this particular list is a veteran, savvy about the site as well as about food. Something about the list interface or the places search (as noted in this thread) still doesn't seem to be working.

                                                                                                                          Like Melanie I continue to see a slew of inadvertent duplicate place records from users entering lists. That forces other users to keep an eye on recently added places and flag the dupes, otherwise there'll be multiple records out there, accessible by search, undermining the wiki place feature.

                                                                                                                          I suggest the site take one of two courses: Assign a paid Chow employee to monitor newly entered places and flag the duplicates. Or shut down the list feature until Engineering can fix the places bugs. It doesn't work as it's supposed to, and its flaws are placing an unreasonable burden on users.

                                                                                                                          1. re: squid kun

                                                                                                                            I agree - it is disheartening to add places to the list, create duplicates even though you think you've 'done everything right', and know that (a) the duplicates on your list won't have the posts about the place linked to it because it's a duplicate and (b) you've now created more work for someone by creating a duplicate. After creating my first two lists, I just stopped doing it, though I love the concept of them.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                            The duplicate Places problem is so out of control and very depressing.
                                                                                                                            This topic updated by an experienced CHer has mostly duplicates: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/569742
                                                                                                                            The Chow staff will take the time to remove shill info, but SIX identical and obvious duplicates don't get prompt action: http://www.chow.com/places/40150

                                                                                                                            As I ranted elsewhere cleaning up duplicates in a small (~40K) database shouldn't be rocket science. Unfortunately this is complicated by
                                                                                                                            - the puzzling extreme fragility of the Places feature
                                                                                                                            - potential massive disruption if existing topics were relinked to 'original' Places

                                                                                                                            The Chow IT staff have painted themselves into a very nasty corner.

                                                                                                                            1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                              The volunteer moderators, who are the ones who remove shill info, don't have anything they can do with duplicate places, other than the same thing others can do -- label them as duplicates.

                                                                                                                              Unfortunately we don't have any ability to delete or merge the duplicate records, though we certainly wish those tools existed.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                If there's no help in sight, then what you're saying effectively is #2 that squid kun suggested above is the only reasonable choice:

                                                                                                                                "Or shut down the list feature until Engineering can fix the places bugs. It doesn't work as it's supposed to, and its flaws are placing an unreasonable burden on users."

                                                                                                                                Places lack of functionality is the ELEPHANT in the room any time we start to talk about Lists. It's time for the Chow team to stop ignoring it and get real.

                                                                                                                    2. Will you please alert this poor lost soul that no one can reply to a List with suggestions?

                                                                                                                      Also, I've noticed the List function used for hype and promotional purposes, just as was found with Recipes, Places, etc. Moderators need tools to monitor and deal with this.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                        Yep, thanks, we emailed him earlier today.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                          Here's another one

                                                                                                                          Perhaps there should be some note in the Lists section about this not being the place to ask restaurant questions. (and not in FAQ, because, seriously, who reads that anywhere?).

                                                                                                                          Another thought about why adding a comment section to Lists would be not a good idea. Bright people would get the thought that this would be a way to get their question more global attention and not buried on the board. With comments, people might start taking discussions to the list part of the board.

                                                                                                                      2. Hi - I didn't notice "United States" as a possible location for a list.

                                                                                                                        1. The search box on an individual list page doesn't function as search of the whole site. Since it's in the identical position as every other page on the site for doing whole site search, this is a confusing inconsistency.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                            Thanks, this search bug has been reported.

                                                                                                                            1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                                                              The bug list on the Lists FAQ says:

                                                                                                                              " Site search now works on list pages"

                                                                                                                              It doesn't work.

                                                                                                                              1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                                                                Are there any plans to fix/finish this BETA feature on the site and launch in the near future?

                                                                                                                            2. Don't know if it's been noted elsewhere, but web page links in topics now appear in BLUE. Finally. Also the site doesn't seem to glare back as much (darker text, gray borders?).
                                                                                                                              Thank you, Chow!

                                                                                                                              BTW the Lists FAQ says this topic is in Site Talk :-\. Nit, picked.

                                                                                                                                1. Any word on restoring access to the 'missing' private lists?
                                                                                                                                  I'm bummed because it's my travel season and the lists contain information that I must somehow recall.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                                    Hi, DiveFan, I'll try to get an update on the problem for you tomorrow when Engineering is in. I feel terrible about the whole missing lists situation -- my understanding is that the data is definitely still out there, it's just become 'detached' from its owner, so they need to first fix the problem that's causing it to become detached and the re-attach the old lists to their proper owners. I know how much work goes into creating those lists, and I had 2 private lists of my own disappear, so I feel your pain.

                                                                                                                                  2. Thlis business is using lists to do some free advertising

                                                                                                                                    You know, i think this has been changed since it was original posted to this restaurant promo

                                                                                                                                    1. I'm sorry, but lists is one major PITA to try to use. No wonder additions have slowed to a trickle appealing mainly to shills who will go through the hassle to get free advertising.,

                                                                                                                                      I just spent a half an hour trying to unsucessfully add one record to an existing list.

                                                                                                                                      All the problems are documented and keep getting worse. In my half hour of frustration

                                                                                                                                      -pop up lists

                                                                                                                                      TAKE THIS OFF THIS PART OF THE SITE IF YOU WANT ANYONE TO USE THIS !!!

                                                                                                                                      It gets worse and worse and worse. I'm sorry I refuse to do anything special for Chowhound that I don't do elsewhere. This is horrible. Now there are two boxes I have to chase around to close. Sometimes there is a blank blue box so it is impossible to close it.

                                                                                                                                      - more and more often it is impossible to change the description. The red 'saving' message is displayed, but it doesn't save.

                                                                                                                                      - search for business

                                                                                                                                      Hit search ... nothing ... nothing

                                                                                                                                      Also, now clicking on the radio buttion, sometimes nothing happens

                                                                                                                                      Despite all the work arounds that I've used like exiting and re-entering lists, shutting down completly .. nothing seems to be working lately.

                                                                                                                                      This is annoying because this is a great feature that is unusable even to someone who will jump through hoops to use it.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                        A big part of the pop-up problem you're having is that you're not allowing the cookies that keep them from showing up every time you visit those pages. You're not supposed to see any one survey more than every 30 days, but you're seeing them every time because you're blocking the cookies that would stop them from appearing -- it's not a global problem that everyone is experiencing.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                          Oh well, que sera, sera. It helps to know this isn't on any sort of bug list ... even on the lowest level. It was convenient but, I'll just return to my old systems for keeing info. Who knows ... maybe some future upgrade will inadvertantly fix it .. hey if there are accidentaly bugs ... why not accidental fixes.

                                                                                                                                          I don't allow third party cookies primarily because of chowhound where I picked up 16 - 30 cookies everytime I signed on bringing my computer to its knees.

                                                                                                                                          Yes, I do realize I could modify my system to allow this particular cookie. However, how many casual readers just don't bother and are not going to take the time to report. I would assume they would think this is a broken feature and not bother. I could be wrong, but I don't see much activity in lists, though there could be other reasons.

                                                                                                                                          I want to support the site. I don't mind ads and cookies. However, when it seriously impacts performance, it just gets too be too much especially given all the other bugs on the site.

                                                                                                                                          As I've said so many times, I have close friends who share my enthusiasim for food that just don't bother with Chowhound because of all this stuff, despite my urging.

                                                                                                                                          Lists is a new feature. If Chow wants people to use it they might consider either fixing what is going on with surveys or remove them from that part of the site until lists become more used.

                                                                                                                                          Even if it poped up ever time ... fair enough should I not accept third party cookies.. but it is poping up twice ... it is generating ghost boxes ... it crashes my pc if I don't close it quick enough. When I get the blue ghost box I can't update some of the fields.

                                                                                                                                          And that is just one frustration of using lists ... search failing ... editing not working ... radio boxes not allowing selection.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                          On a borrowed machine now, I just caught the World MC ad inviting readers to make a roster of favorite eateries. Maybe it's been running for awhile or maybe this situation is just going to get worse. LISTS is in Beta, PLACES is still in Beta as far as anyone knows, and the CHOW staff themselves are incapable of using either feature without spawning duplicate records in the database. Swell.

                                                                                                                                          Chow HQ, 5 and Dime Eater, JustineR, Davina, lessleyellen, Roxanne Webber, pointybird, Cicely, Thi N, itsapeugeot, mudaba, balabanian, all spit out duplicates whenever they try to use those features. And you're PAID to do this! What chance does a casual user have of making an error-free list if Chow's product manager can't master it?!?

                                                                                                                                          As rworange said above, and squid kun mentions in another thread, the various bugs and workarounds needed to be successful are far too mentally taxing in these current versions to be mass market products. Any improvements to report?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                            > the CHOW staff themselves are incapable of using either feature without spawning duplicate records in the database. ... What chance does a casual user have of making an error-free list if Chow's product manager can't master it?!?

                                                                                                                                            Good point - and just as the bugs may be discouraging people from adding lists, I suspect they're also discouraging people from linking to places.

                                                                                                                                            Misinformed by the porous search function, users take the time to enter what they think are new place records - only to find them later tagged as duplicates. That sends an unintended but unmistakable message: Don't even bother with Chow places.

                                                                                                                                            The usefulness of this once-promising feature is being undermined by its technical problems. If it isn't fixed soon, the places database will wind up a dusty, neglected corner of Chow.com.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: squid kun

                                                                                                                                              I just marked duplicate Places that lessleyellen created today for Craft and Peasant. Also, they hadn't been assigned to the Manhattan region. I think I know what she probably did wrong. I hate to single them out, but could someone please do an inservice for Chow staff members on the ins and outs of Lists and Places? Or if not, please ask them to clean up after themselves instead of leaving it to unpaid volunteers.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                I also flagged one of hers for Peasant earlier today. Must've been entered more than once.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                            With the holiday and all, to knock that shill off the front board, I added a few empty lists. I don't really want to use lists until it works better,but that just annoyed me. It is still there, but on the main lists board rather than plastered front and center on all the boards ... and good luck with anyone finding it there in the list graveyard.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                              That was a good idea. I see the air conditioning list has been removed.

                                                                                                                                          2. I want to report a new bug in that one of my two public lists has disappeared. I did not make it private nor did I try to delete it. I hadn't even opened it for quite a while, so I know I didn't do anything unintentionally. It disappeared some time between Thursday and today.

                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                Something like I hate Chow lists, and used it for bug testing.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                  I'll go see if I can fix it. We have some mod tools -- which is good -- but they seem to have some issues -- which is not.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                Uh, oh. I can only see one of MW's public lists under http://www.chow.com/profile/10039/lists - the Fresno Armenian one: http://www.chow.com/lists/131 .
                                                                                                                                                I'm logged in, not sure if this makes a difference.

                                                                                                                                              3. Another restaurant looking for free advertising

                                                                                                                                                While I know there are site guidlines, It might be nice to put it somewhere in BIG LETTERS when adding a list that this shouln't be used for free advertising. The same is true for places. I loved the guy who actully posted that he was having trouble putting his ad on Places.

                                                                                                                                                I know there are guidlines, but when I sign up for websites it is rare for me to actually read the link about all the stuff I'm agreeing on.

                                                                                                                                                1. I think I finally figured out the editing problem in lists.

                                                                                                                                                  There was a bug where when you exceeded a certain number of characters the text was cut off. That was fixed.

                                                                                                                                                  However, when you try to edit something that exceeds whatever that limit was, you can't. The 'saving' is displayed in red and it hangs. The changes never go through. The only way to make a change is to delete the list item and start over.

                                                                                                                                                  Anything under the cutoff limit doesn't have an edit problem.

                                                                                                                                                  1. This list for Christmas restaurants made by "Chow HQ" (the listmaker, not the OP "ChowHQ")
                                                                                                                                                    http://www.chow.com/lists/764 , includes a duplicate Place, probably caught by the punctuation bug in Places. Since this list was featured in a CHOW story, wouldn't it be more helpful to include a link to the real Place record, http://www.chow.com/places/26950 ? Then readers would have the benefit of the linked discussion threads to learn more about this spot.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I put together two small private lists last night. This morning they're gone. I see from the thread that others have reported disappearing private lists, though not lately. Are the lists gone forever? If not, how can I get them back?

                                                                                                                                                      Incidentally, if the disappearance of private lists is an ongoing bug, may I suggest disabling the private checkbox until the feature is fixed, even though the lists are in beta? It's no fun to see work vanish.

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dogen

                                                                                                                                                        Do you recall what they were named? I can find them and assign them back to you.

                                                                                                                                                        They are working on a fix for the problem in general and thought they'd solved it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                          I hope you post when they think they solved it again. Every now and then I put a test list out just to see if it works, but it is not a function I use every day, so it would be helpful to know though it is not the policy it seems to announce fixes but just see if anyone notices.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                            One might be called Expeditions and the other may be Places to Try. I have two public lists that I can still see; it's the lists marked private that went bye-bye.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dogen

                                                                                                                                                              They should be back. Please leave them public until we manage to nix this bug or you might lose them again.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for recovering! Good luck with the bug hunting.

                                                                                                                                                        2. There would be two things that would go a long way to prevent duplicates if anyone cares.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Strip out punctuation

                                                                                                                                                          There have been a number of duplicates for a place called Jeanty at Jacks because most people search on Jeanty at Jack's. I've noticed this with other records with punctuation. A place called Poc-Chuc was repeatedly getting a duplicate record till I just got sick of it and changed the title to Poc Chuc in the Place record.

                                                                                                                                                          What would be really swell is if there was some sort of pattern matching in what was entered, the programming would be swift enough to ask "did you mean "Jeanty at Jack's?"

                                                                                                                                                          2. Do somthing about common city abbreviations such as SF or NY.

                                                                                                                                                          One poster unfailingly put in duplicate records. Since we email off line I asked why. She was putting SF in the city name. Either set up a table to handle it or disallow those common abbreviations.

                                                                                                                                                          I could explain in why these two fixes would be to Chow's advantage, but I'm not getting any feeling that anyone really cares about Places anymore. But after the umpteenth duplicate record, I thought I'd at least give some thoughts on what would help.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Someone emailed me about this and doing a quick check, it seems a problem for all the maps in Lists. A quick look seems that it works fine in Places. I'll use someone else's map because it is simpler

                                                                                                                                                            Beyond The Chains in the 'burg

                                                                                                                                                            1. In the map click on the red balloon 1
                                                                                                                                                            2. A box pops up in the map with the restaurant name "Inca Places":
                                                                                                                                                            3. Clicking on "Inca Places in that box takes you to a totally different Place record for Colombo's Italian Steakhouse

                                                                                                                                                            I have yet to click on a balloon in a list map that goes to the correct place record though I only tried 5-6

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                              Same problem with maps in my sole list. Click on the pin, place name in blue at the top, click on the place name and I am magically transported to a new country.

                                                                                                                                                            2. I like the idea of making lists and have tried multiple times over several days...I'm feeling rather dense. I can type in the title and region and what the list is about, but each time I try to add locations and hit search, nothing happens. I tried to add (multiple times):

                                                                                                                                                              O'Rourke's Diner, Middletown, CT

                                                                                                                                                              Wasabi, Orange, CT

                                                                                                                                                              Modern Apizza, New Haven, CT

                                                                                                                                                              What am I doing wrong? I click search and nothing fills in. I add locations regularly to my posts when I'm talking about a restaurant, but it doesn't seem to work in the lists category. Can anyone help me?

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                I had a somewhat different problem. The search function worked, but when I hit done, nothing showed up. It looks like a blank list. What gives?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PAO

                                                                                                                                                                  If you forget to click on the radio button for the restaurant it doesn't show up. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've forgotten to do this. Also that button is sensitive and gets turned off easily.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Chow HQ, any updates? I don't see any changes in the faq.

                                                                                                                                                                This new Places record, presumably created via Lists by balabanian, has not been assigned to the SF Bay Area region by the software or the user. Any action on making it work like the message boards with a scroll bar for the region?

                                                                                                                                                                1. I love this list idea. I'm relatively new to chow so I'm kinda struggling with how it all works. I've searched and searched the boards for help with my questions but haven't found anything. So please excuse me if this is truly simple and clearly defined somewhere...

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm trying to create a list based on the concept of local food. I live in Toronto, Canada and have a number of places where I shop and eat out for locally cultivated/raised food.

                                                                                                                                                                  When I try to add a store in Toronto that I shop at, I enter the address, city, province, etc. and a number of selections are displayed to me in that vicinity. What do I do if the shop or place that I'm trying to find is not returned in the results? Can I add a shop or place in my city somehow? For example, I'm trying to add the Liberty Village Farmers Market that takes place from May to October in a public parking lot in Liberty Village. In the results displayed to me after an address search, the market doesn't come up. Can I add it, or does someone from chow have to add it for me?

                                                                                                                                                                  Same goes for restaurants. What happens if I can't find the restaurant I'm looking for? Do I add it, or do I request that it be added by someone at Chow?

                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry for such basic questions. I'm a newbie. :(

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for your help with this.


                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodcoveter

                                                                                                                                                                    You can add a place to the database yourself using this link: http://www.chow.com/places/new for places like Farmer's Markets and such that might not otherwise show up in the search list.

                                                                                                                                                                    Other than that, it looks like you're on the right track.

                                                                                                                                                                    There's a bug in the Lists feature that doesn't allow you to select the Ontario board, but I'll edit your list to put it in the right region.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks so much! I'll give it a go and see what I can make happen. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: foodcoveter

                                                                                                                                                                      I'd also suggest that you not enter the street address when you're trying to do a look up. Just the city and province. It's better to start off with broader terms initially, and then only narrow down if you need to. Many records are already there, but folks can't find them because they abbreviate a street name differently, make a typo, or other reasons when they enter the street address.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. I would love to be able to add more than 25 items per list. Will that limit be changing?

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: johaaanna

                                                                                                                                                                        It's been that way for 2 years so I'm guessing no.

                                                                                                                                                                        King of amazing that this feature is still in BETA after that much time!