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Jan 7, 2009 06:19 AM

How often do you post new restaurant reviews?

Do you post them every time you try out a new place? Or, when there's a place that hasn't been reviewed? What about after repeat visits? Or do you do it when places have changed a lot? For how often CHers eat out, if you posted after every meal out, that would be a lot of posts. If you add one, do you add to a previous thread, or start a new one? Linking a place is a great feature but only used regularly on few boards and I'm guilty of forgetting. But, because I live in a newer area, quite a few of the places I've tried can't be linked yet.

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  1. I find CH too difficult to use for restaurant reviews and area-specific searches (it doesn't work well from the road either, for a search will show you the link, but clicking on it takes you to the CH homepage instead of the link itself which is incredibly frustrating).

    I post reviews almost daily on another site, which works better for us whether we're driving or out.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Caralien

      You post reviews for yourself to use when you're out? I was thinking of reviews for other CHers to find good places to eat. But, the search function is hard to use here and that's why I'm wondering if reviews of some little places might get lost, unless someone is specifically looking for that restaurant, or possibly something very specific in your review, eg a particular dish.

      1. re: chowser

        I don't know if you've tried using this, but doing a search for title:"name of restaurant" is, I find, the most effective way to locate reports on a place that I am interested in.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I'm thinking of a case when someone is visiting and wants something in xxx location, or in a certain price and doesn't know any names. I guess this is where it pays to give more information in a review so it does come up in a search. Sometimes I wonder if I'm wasting time with some reviews because it can disappear if it never show up under what someone is looking for in the future.

        2. re: chowser

          (I hope the moderators don't delete this)
          I use Yelp these days (in the past Metromix and a few others), as its iPhone app works well (ie driving to Vermont; guessed that we'd be hungry around Albany, looked up BBQ, called, then realised we had to get there before it closed-earlier that day, rushed, called again, they stayed open a few minutes later--on Thanksgiving eve...). If we're in random area X, I can look up whatever is near my current (changing) location. The information is not always 100% accurate, but it's easy to use.

          This was a lot faster than typing in "Albany restaurant" in Google, following the CH link only to be directed to the homepage where I again have to type in "Albany restaurant"....then open up each link to see whether any of the reviews in the list applied to my taste or wherabouts, then look up elsewhere the phone number, address, etc. of said places. Most of the time, I have no idea what's available, so searching by name doesn't work for me.

          I believe that CH has an incredible base of users, but the user interface for restaurants is just too organic and not easily searchable, particularly when I have an unstable connection or using a tiny screen.

          For how to make/buy/manage a situation, get inspiration for what to cook, whether to go to a specific restaurant, laugh or cringe, CH is my favourite site.

        3. re: Caralien

          I don't understand this, when (for example) I just did a google search for "Italian Restaurants San Francisco Chowhound" and the first two links that came up were for CH threads on specific places to eat in San Francisco. Doesnt take me to the home pages at all, and obviously, if you do your search ON Chowhound (as opposed to Google) you'll get links to relevant threads.

          Also, have you tried using the place feature to get restaurants in an area?

          I'd encourage you to post those reviews, more information means more information for all of us.

          1. re: susancinsf

            To get to CH directly from the iPhone is not an easy process; I'll even type in the name of the nearest town, the link will show up, and then when I click on it, the CH homepage shows up instead of the direct link. While driving, I like using the "locate me" feature (towns and name of restaurant not required), and then finding places based on that

            On my notebook, I have CH in my toolbar. Unlike my husband, a programmer, I don't take my computer with me everywhere, and using it in the car is difficult.

            I just tried the place feature (on notebook) for Princeton, and CH had 3 restaurants, one which I don't believe exists any longer. I usually don't know the name of where I want to go, and want a quick overview of what's available. In the search bar, I can type in Princeton, and then go through whatever people have posted from the past few years, but the information isn't in one spot. A couple of pages for reviews (sometimes simply I liked x, y, & z). Another page for detailed information which may or may not have credit card information or a review, but will have the location. CH is just a bit clunky in the restaurant department for my current uses.

            1. re: Caralien

              not familiar with the iPhone so can't comment on that...however, re the places feature, it is only as good as the users who update it: so if you had posted those reviews on CH that you post elsewhere on a daily basis, per your post above, and then added a place link, they'd be a lot more current and useful to all. There is no reason why you couldn't post to more than one board, as far as I know.

              1. re: susancinsf

                Once CH gets their search features improved and gets an iPhone app that works better than Yelp's, I'll reconsider where to post restaurant reviews, but double posting/transferring information from one site to another is tedious, particularly if I don't benefit from it (ie easy searches from phone while travelling).

                I do use my reviews to help with finding where I've been if I'm craving something I had or to remind me not to return to a place. I have reviews and other food blather on my own website, which I've stopped updating because Yelp is easier than maintaining those pages, and more convenient for myself, friends, family, and strangers because my own site doesn't have a search feature at all.

                The 114 places I've posted on Yelp since August would take awhile to transfer over; I've only been on CH a short time (6 weeks?). I haven't even transferred the data from my own website to Yelp because that would be a few hundred more to transfer. Finding the information I posted on Metromix and who knows how many other internet sites over the past 12 years would take forever (it would be funny to see what I posted to Prodigy in 1990 also!), but I'm lazy and just want to have fun with this, not consider it work.

                I post to CH, Yelp, Care2, Facebook, Twitter, LJ, my own site, some others...each for different reasons. I try not to put identical information on each, duplicating only things like petitions onto Twitter and Facebook, because it takes under 2 seconds, and they're for worthwhile causes.

        4. I try to post when I've been to a new place, or a place that I've not been to before, or when I've tried different dishes at a place that I think are noteworthy. If I'm doing a lengthy report, I usually start a new thread, if a shorter one, particularly for a place that has had a lot of coverage on the board, I tend to add to an existing one.

          By the way - in terms of linking to Places, I *believe* that you can add places that aren't in the database or that don't come up when you try to link to it - you can create it yourself.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MMRuth

            How do you create a link? I was so good remembering to link in the beginning but got out of the habit. I need to remember to do it.

            I've posted reviews before and they seem to disappear w/out anyone noticing. I know it's there in the database but I wonder how often it's read/noted.

            1. re: chowser

              I'll try and create one here. Ok - I put in a name "My House" and location (New York, NY), then selected Manhattan as the CHOW region, then hit "find this place". Result was - no CHOW Places, and "other results by name and location". Under that, is a link that says "not in list?" "Add a Place."

              Then I put in the information in the boxes that appeared - note that you can put in a street address followed by the city and state in "location".

              My House
              New York, NY, New York, NY

              1. re: MMRuth

                I just tried it on the DC board and couldn't get it to work. I was actually reviewing a restaurant that's been around so should be in the database. It's called King of Kebabs in Springfield. Can anyone make it work?

                Thanks, I just tried againg and I could add it.

                King of Kebab
                springfield, va, springfield, va

          2. Typically, I post about a place that is new to me. For places I've been before and posted about, I'll only post if I find something new and great (to me) or if I tried a whole range of dishes that I haven't.

            5 Replies
            1. re: limster

              Will you post if the place is new to you but has been reviewed many times and yours doesn't offer much new information? I don't want to repeat the same information but drawing the line is hard.

              1. re: chowser

                Sure, there's no such thing as enough information, so long as it's an independent sample (although in such instances, I try to keep it terse, and if I have no time to post, I'll skip it and mention other places in my queue, as I have a backlog). But usually if I go to a place that been mentioned many times, I'll try dishes that haven't been mentioned before, in addition to stuff that others have recommended, just to get a broader experience. Also, restaurants go uphill and downhill often, so it's important to have real-time updates.

              2. re: limster

                that's pretty much my approach, as well. if my experience is a major departure from the norm for an oft-reviewed restaurant and challenges 'conventional wisdom' so to speak -- sorry... i do hate both the phrases "so to speak" and "conventional wisdom"! -- i try to review as well. i make the most effort to review when it doesn't look like any / many other people have.

                of course, all this is sort of aspirational right now. i've tried a lot of new places in the past several months and been too lazy to write about them on chowhound.

                in general, to everyone who posts reviews: i really enjoy reading them, esp. ones of more obscure places. i find them immensely helpful -- among the most reliable found on any website -- for places i'm visiting. please keep on keeping on even if no one responds to your review posts!

                1. re: cimui

                  Thanks--that's really what I want to know. Are reviews read, or only found if someone is looking for a place. If it's the first case, then reviews are very helpful, but in the second, not. On the DC board, I read few reviews and if there are, they are generally on places that have been well reviewed. I like reading about obscure places but didn't know if that was just me.

                  1. re: chowser

                    I definitely read reports on places on the Manhattan board, even if I don't always reply. Plus, think about the thousands of lurkers out there!