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Dec 24, 2008 05:57 AM

Where are we talking about? Posts for mindreaders...

From Chowhound Posting Etiquette: "When you post a query, you'll get better answers by being as specific as possible. "Coming from out of town, where should we eat?" is too broad to draw many helpful responses." ...... "If you're posting on a statewide or regional board, please remember to include the city you're interested in - preferably somewhere in the title of your post."

Here, and on many, many, forums, they ask you be informative in your posts title... So I'm on my soapbox after another cliquish post that takes Googling and sleuthing to decypher. I use "clique" because it seems like some don't care whether outsiders "get it" or not. They (seemingly), aren't interested in sharing or don't want any more tourists?
Sure, I could just skip over them and go on to other posts, but no, I'm a Chowhound, and I like sniffing around and I don't want to miss anything good, especially if it's potentially in my stomping grounds. Some, may move on if they have to exercise too many brain cells trying to figure out where the OP, and contributors, are talking about.

Saying "Skipp's Tavern" may be self-explanatory to people in Pro (Providence, Rhode Island, for those not in the know), but requires sleuthing unless someone spills the beans. Did you know there's a Providence in six of seven New England states?
Here, in "The Valley" is not helpful to people NOT here in the valley, and where does "The Valley" begin and end, unless you have studied the history of the area?
So, for me, a transplant, an outsider, a foreigner, I am confounded by quite a few New England posts. I don't mean to single out New England, but that's where I live now.
It would really be helpful, if in the first sentence or two, that the author or OP state the city, town, or area, AND State, where the restaurant, or whatever, is located.
Please don't point out that I have violated the precept. I probably have...

How do you feel? It is just someone's tough luck if they can't figure it out? Nowadays, is doing research and relying on Google a given? Any aggregious examples of obfuscation or downright snootiness/cliquishness in posts?

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  1. If I don't know what the place was, I'll usually post a question. If I do decipher this type of post on my own, I'll post to the thread so that others don't have to go through the same trouble.

    1. jfoods with you on this one and has a hard time on the NE board, so he normally stays on the tri-state. What jfood always tries to do on reviews is the parenthesis with the name of the town if a single state or some by-line to guide the reader as in MSP for minneapolis on the midwest board.

      1. I want to know what the seventh New England state is. Mass, Conn, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and something that was added since I moved? :)

        15 Replies
        1. re: manraysky

          OK, my bad. I'm a Texan and I've led a sheltered life... I was looking for confirmation that New York was not considered a New England state and I found this when I Googled it:

          This clearly includes an image of New York State but does not include it in the collective image. I can't even include Long Island? They let Connecticut into the tri-state area...

          1. re: Scargod

            Something I have figured out, after years reading these boards, (most things I figure out take years to get past my innate denseness) is that how locals view their own locality will never be understood by "out of towner's". What may seem logical to out of towner's, is never a match for local "clan knowledge".

            The original board structure, as I have been able to surmise grew out of the original clan knowledge of the very first (prehistoric era) Chowhounds, who were, as is my understanding, primarily greater NYC denizens. I suspect there are still some of those "old timers" still around, who have absolutely no problem understanding the geography of the boards, but for the rest of us, who came later or who reside in other (non greater NYC) areas, we will never fully comprehend the mysteries of "Tristate" or "Mid-Atlantic" geographic designations. But I am succored by the fact that Right Coasters are likely to be just as snookered when they try to fathom the geography of my local board, L.A.

            So understanding all of this, I never hesitate, when reading a board that is not local to me, to outright post a query to a poster and flat out ask them (trying to be friendly and not snarky, not always successful) to more specifically identify the area they are talking about for those of us reading along in the peanut gallery. (My intent is to get the answer, but also, in this not so subtle way, point out that their omission is counter-productive to the whole point of sharing information.)

            There will always be posters, who seem to have local blinders on and don't take in to account the fact that one of the points of organizing the boards in to local geographic areas is not just to facilitate the exchange of information between locals, but to assist the non-local visitors who seek local knowledge. I think it is an attribute of human nature, that some humans can be very self serving, and not give much thought to whether or not their own actions help or hinder another human being, or whether or not something may work well for them, but not others, they just want to satisfy their own needs, and self gratification. So I try to remind myself that it is all just part of life, and move on. The last thing I want is for someone's behavior here or lack of behavior, to aggravate me.

            One can always hope, though, that the majority of people reading along, eventually "get it", and eventually develop posting behavior that contributes to the overall positive experience here.

            1. re: ChinoWayne

              Thanks, and I agree. I was constantly reminded of our human failings on this recent trip to Tulsa that I have been chronicling here, on Chowhound (in the Midwest board).
              We were stuck in Chicago O'Hare for a day. There was the good and the bad. There was a lot of looking out for number one going on but to their credit all children I ran into were well behaved, and took the delays in stride, while many adult passengers did not. I was run into, shoved aside, blocked from pulling my luggage down terminal isles, and more (and I'm a decent-sized guy). People were fighting to board the plane first and blocking terminal isles to cue up first, though their seating had not been called to board. People practically sneezing in my face. Women wearing gross amounts of gross perfume. Pretty much a madhouse on the 26th and 27th. It is life, but we don't have to say "that's just the way it is". We can all play a little part in making it better.

              1. re: ChinoWayne

                ChinoWayne, I first joined CH in the olden days, when the site looked like something I might have designed myself. I did live in NY full time then (in what is now an outer borough). What I remember is that it was for folks who were not "foodies" but would sniff out great food outside of highbrow places. It was a community for talking about food.

                It seems now that the regional boards are largely tourist-focused, probably because of the (new since the sites' inception) rule that regional boards are for discussing restos and food related resources in the region, nothing else (no talking about what foods are in season in an area, or how to use local goods in recipes, or regional food preferences/habits). Hence posts being often moved from one board to another.

                I think that the CH team must have planning meetings including current users of the site to refine it in a way that makes it easy for folks in a region to connect, as well as help tourists to an area. Though I'd still like to chat about a more broad range of topics (as long as they are of regional concern) on the regional boards...not just restaurants and shops.

                I just love that our (global) food community exists, and as it grows larger, recognize that the CH team has more executive decisions to make in order to help things run smoothly.

                1. re: ideabaker

                  I was on CH from the late 90s, and I always thought that the regional boards were only about regional restaurants etc., while the more general boards were for stuff like recipes, the even before the CNet took over.

                  CH has always been a very grassroots type of site -- when I was in SF, we'd often plan outings, which was the way we connected. I moved from SF many years ago but I think they have even more sophisticated organisation now, with mailing lists or some sort of evite setup. If we want to connect more with other hounds in our individual regions, might as well take things into our own hands; there's a part on organising outings in the etiquette section of the Site Talk board.

                  1. re: limster

                    Having watched the site develop and become more intricate and more beautiful over the years has been exciting. Go CH!

              2. re: Scargod

                Er.... just for the record, there are only 6 New England states and New York is NOT one of them. However my friends from TX & OK and places further west, for instance, consider NY as one of the Northeastern states.

                1. re: Gio

                  I told a friend here in CA recently that I thought she'd really like New England. She said she didn't think she would. When I asked her why not, she said she didn't really like "the whole New York/New Jersey thing." I cracked up and her know that since those states are not part of New England she had nothing to worry about.

                  1. re: manraysky

                    I don't know.... There's a lot of bleed-over into Connecticut!
                    Especially the portion considered part of the "tri-state" area (and no, it's not southeastern CT, as Chowhound has it denoted, it's southwestern CT).
                    BTW, I have come to love New England.

                    1. re: Scargod

                      I would be more willing to say that parts of CT could be considered part of New York than New York is part of New England! I don't think many New Englanders would want to claim New York. ;)

                      1. re: Scargod

                        I love New England. And New York, too, go figure. :)

                      2. re: Gio

                        The 7th New England state, according to the wife of my rural East Texas friend, is New Hamster.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          Ah.... New Hamster. Know it well. Just east of Down Maine.

                          1. re: Gio

                            I believe it's the new state that's small enough to fit in your pocket. Is that a New Hamster in your pocket or are you glad to see me?

                  2. There is a current post that refers to "downtown Clg". Guess where?

                    5 Replies
                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        Ok I live in Calgary and would have wondered unless it was posted on the Western Canada Board - I'm curious thread title/link please?

                        FWIW we have a long time hound who er hounds people who dont specify city info in their titles let alone the body of the post.

                        1. re: maplesugar

                          Folks, if you see posts that need to have a city added to the tile, please you the report function to let us know what city it should be if you can figure it out. We'll then add it to the title.


                          1. re: maplesugar

                            Heh nevermind, found it in 2 clicks. In his/her defense the poster hasn't been around all that long. I don't think I've ever shortened Calgary to Clg though, usually we use the airport code YYC for shorthand...but I guess that's also problematic for people from outside the area reading our posts.

                            1. re: maplesugar

                              One knows that they are in the air far too much, when they refer to all cities by their City/Airport code, especially if they are not on an airline's Web site.