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Does anyone here use google?

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So I'm a jackass.

I read so many post here that could be answered in a nasty/demeaning way my tongue is raw by the time I log off, Take a look at my name... still I refrain.

  1. Heh, I think the same thing too many times. It's all the more puzzling because at that moment, the person asking the question is online and has a browser open.

    But I suppose people have their reasons, not trusting wikipedia, not knowing how to filter through the noise (although this place generates noise, and there's always one poster citing wikipedia, so hmmmm).

    1. What do you mean exactly? That people shouldn't ask questions until they try to find the answer first by googling? What's wrong with starting a discussion and getting answers from chowhounds? You make a personal choice with your answer or non answer. If you weren't demented what would you be? Mented?

      4 Replies
      1. re: neverlate

        Neverlate,

        I love the questions put forth by other chowhounds. Yet there are times I wounder if anyone among us has the ability to use a search engine.

        1. re: Demented

          I use Google all the time, but I'd rather rely on the experience of the people I "know" here on Chowhound.

        2. re: neverlate

          If there is one more 'How do I fix pork tenderloin' I'll . . . I'll . . . I'll

          Add it to the list of 20 threads in the past 6 months already answering the question and copy paste it to the poster. Another frequent question and a personal peeve - 'we're having vegetarians for dinner . . ." - as if they were either serving them up as the main course or treating meatless meals as deviant.

          Yep - I wish sometimes that someone would use a search engine (here or at google) rather than an open ended 'what's good?' without any structure to their question.

          1. re: alwayscooking

            I agree that repeat postings are a nuisance. If people want others to take the time to answer their query, they might first take a moment and search the board they're on!
            Cooking salmon. Now come on, search "salmon" and it may answer your question, or you may have a variant to post. It is hard to refrain from responding: "That's been posted umpteen times before! Take a look at the search function on this very board."

        3. I think that some people rather enjoy what is, in actual fact, the whole point of a forum like this one: to have an exchange with like-minded folk about something they are passionate about. I agree that, on occasion, certain questions seem to be rather specific and it makes you wonder why, if the answers can most certainly be found through a search engine, they ask them here. Sometimes it is possible to get various different answers on the web and it's possible that they are trying to see which one is favoured by chowhounds. In any case, I don't see anything wrong with it and if it was something completely inappropriate, the moderators would delete it. Otherwise, live and let live...there are always others willing to answer even the most basic of questions so what difference does it make to you?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Paula76

            Paula,

            It doesn't matter one way or the other. I'm just asking!

            1. re: Paula76

              Totally agree with you. Why a repeat posting would actually bother someone is hard to fathom. Just ignore it. In the roughly two years that I have been using this site, I must have seen at least 100 posts on "good eats in NY" or "good eats in NO" - who cares. Good grief...

            2. I found this site using Google for a question I had about a food item, that I had difficulty finding the answer to elsewhere on Google.

              It works both ways, but I run a forum, and yeah, between people not bothering to do an internal search, external search, and asking quesitons only a medical professional should answer, it can be frustrating.

              1. I love Google. Like Tracylee, I too found Chowhound through a search I was doing. When looking for a specific topic Google sends me off on wild and crazy tangents that are fascinating. I love to learn and I'm a researcher by nature so I learned to use Google early on.

                Here at Chowhound the exchange of ideas and information is the raison d'etre - but I have come to realize that not everyone has the time or inclination to do a search.

                9 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  Also, folks sometimes want to see what other hounds take on recipes, issues are.

                  1. re: scoopG

                    Yes, you're absolutely correct! I love reading all the variations on a theme and all the lively, shall we say, discussions.

                    1. re: Gio

                      Agreed, you may find the perfect recipe on google, but the interaction and the various ideas that float around are interesting and sometimes leads to other ideas for cooking. Besides I think sometimes people may think "CHOW HOUNDS" we know what we are doing and therefore they ask for advice. I don't mind at all. We all learn, teach and educate and I enjoy sharing. It may be some elaborate dish, a simple grilled dish or a crockpot dinner. We are still teaching and sharing.

                      Google sometimes you get hundreds of hits, which do I choose and which is good? CHOW I think they can trust ... and know that recipes will be good. Maybe just my perception but I know a couple who googled CHOW thought exactly that. Be that as it may, I enjoy all the positive comments and suggestions and enjoy all the ideas I get. I sometimes do get frustrated by some of the comments that I don't feel are appropriate but I just laugh it off. I don't claim to be a great good, a good cook ... absolutely, I don't know everything never claimed I did, I still use campbells soup on occasion, processed cheese, don't like it but have used it. store bought sauces but I can cook with the best. I love to share what I have learned and know and hopefully get those googling who know nothing and just looking for help to get interested.

                    2. re: scoopG

                      I think the OP was talking about questions like "where is this place" or "what are their hours." Those are not questions that engender a lively exchange of opinions - they're requests for simple pieces of factual information. If someone takes the time to type the question they could have typed it into Google and had their answer immediately.

                      I've found that posters who ask these types of questions fall into 2 groups. Some are absolutely clueless and treat the board as a giant concierge service. No request is too small for them to throw out to the crowd. Often if no one answers right away they get petulant and demand a quicker response. I never answer their questions.

                      The other group seem to be folks who just aren't that adept in searching for information on the Internet. I'll often link to the results of a Google search or a search on some other resource. That way they can see how I got the information and perhaps learn how to do it themselves.

                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                        I agree. I quit contributing to TripAdvisor because there were too many "How far is it from Los Angeles to Anaheim?" types of questions.

                        "Often if no one answers right away they get petulant and demand a quicker response. I never answer their questions."

                        Testify, brother!

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          I'll agree with you on this one, Bob! Drives me crazy. Even better, there's the variation "Their website says they're closed Tuesdays. Is that true?"

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Or, in today's economic climate, "I heard such-and-such is closed! Is this true?" Pick up the damn phone, people--you are starting rumors with your laziness!

                            I saw this happen recently and another poster (someone kind like Bob) confirmed that the place in question was, in fact, open and that they confirmed it by placing a phone call to the restaurant. ARRRGH! "Giant concierge service" is a great way to frame this mindset, Bob.

                      2. re: Gio

                        I love you comment about loving to learn. I've described myself as a frustrated reference librarian. Growing up - when we actually had encyclopedias that were made of paper - the bookcase holding them was right outside the bathroom door. Very easy to pick up a volume on the way in. 'Course made growing up in a one bathroom house rather time-consuming :)

                        I do think that doing an internal search ought to be utilized more. I think OPs generate more responses when they've shown they've done some research ahead of time.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          I thought I was the only one who lived in a house with the encyclopedia outside the bathroom door. My parents set was from the 60s and I was born in the 80s so it wasn't what you'd call current, but I learned a lot. Or did when I had the forewarning of a long night of reading ahead but forgot whatever book I was currently reading in another part of the house. I was famous for reading in there instead of doing the dishes. Maybe that's why I actually know how to look things up and why there's always a few dishes in the sink.

                      3. Confession: When I read the title of this post, I was good and ready to type in "Yes, of course people use Google, you twit, and why are you asking this on Chowhound?" I have a little trouble with restraint, myself.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: small h

                          Thanks small h,

                          Sat here and laughed myself into tears after reading your reply. The one thing I enjoy more than debate, is sarcasm.

                          I understand, google can't answer all questions of a culinary nature, sad but true. Googling a food question is after all how I found Chow to begin with.

                          Been posting to bbs's since Usenet was fresh, there are still questions that come up time and again that a simple search could answer. It might be, the manner in which a question is asked of a search engine has more than a little to do with the answers that come back.

                          This was not meant to detour anyone from asking, but more of a rant about... some questions coming up over and over.

                          1. re: Demented

                            The best way to reduce the types of posts that one doesn't like is to ignore them and not engage the poster. People post questions because they expect an answer or some sort of response. If there are no responses, they're less likely to post the same type of questions again.

                        2. I've noticed over the years that a lot of newbies begin by asking questions that they could google for - but if they stay around and continue to post, the majority of them learn to do just that. There is a very small percentage of regulars on the LA board who almost ALWAYS ask their question on the board, most of which could easily be answered by googling. But, for whatever reason, they post them for others to respond to. I'll leave it up to their therapists to delve into the "why" of it all.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Servorg

                            I get tired of people just posting links on the board or move a thread in a different direction than that stated objective for some reason. Many people do use google. However for regular posters here whom fish the threads and link old posts without specific knowledge upsets me even more..

                            1. re: Foodandwine

                              Thread drift is natural, and it's not a bad thing in my opinion, as long as the resulting discussion gives some good chow tips.

                              I have been known to post links to previous discussions, simply because I figure that people who are new to the board may not be aware of the previous threads, and there is often so much chow knowledge in them. Although some info goes out of date, a lot stays current. I live in a smallish town, and it's been great to have a few threads which act as repositories for all the discussion of our few local places.

                              I personally don't think a link to a previous discussion detracts from the current discussion, and I appreciate people who take the time to do it for me when I'm on an unfamiliar board. But that's what's great about this site, what works for me may not work for you and there's room here for everybody to post the way they like.

                              1. re: Chris VR

                                Thanks Chris.. I see your point.. it does make some sense..

                          2. I just get tired of posts like "What's the best restaurant in Paris?"

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: whs

                              Why, Che Fujisaka, of course.

                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                I just get tired of the same old answers.

                            2. so....if everything can be answered via Google, why bother to have CH at all ?

                              and while there's my share of topics/questions i'm tired of.... if i wanted topics only approved by myself, i'd start a blog.

                              it's a forum, not a white tablecloth.

                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                    I bow down to the master...lol - Thanks for that, Bob.

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      If you liked that one, this is even better -

                                      "Can anyone tell me Babbo's address?"

                                      http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=babbo+nyc

                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                        Dammit, Bob - now you've got me laughing too hard first thing in the morning. I'm gonna have to change my depends earlier than usual today!

                                        Add: giving this a try

                                        http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=location+of+...

                                        That is brilliant. Thanks, Bob. This is going out to all my friends and will be put into use soon (I'm sure).

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Oops. I just realized that Mr. Taster posted that link first. Apologies to Mr. T.

                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                            No apology required, though I must admit I was puzzled as to why my initial post from a month ago was all but ignored by you and Servorg.

                                            Mr Taster

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              I just missed it. I'm sorry I did because I could have been having fun with lmgtfy for the last month. I didn't find out about it from another source until this week.

                                  2. re: Mr Taster

                                    Oh, I so wanted to use this link (less saucy than Bob Martinez's link) in response to this post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/604283

                                    Now, if someone wants to know a good place to buy said item, fine: ask on the appropriate board. Asking what it is? The answer would come more swiftly with a simple google.

                                    As for those who claim that google offers too much drek, sure. But part of learning how to research and become web literate is by learning how to sift through the chozzerai. One needs to learn how to assess sources. Wikipedia may have its problems, but it also does offer more reputable sources by way of bibliography, so...

                                    One has to sift through chowhound as well. [More obnoxious comment about the thread on the pronunciation of bain marie has been extracted.]

                                    1. re: Lizard

                                      Oooohhh, brilliant! What if every time someone asked a google-worthy question (again, fact info easily verifiable, like "Is this restaurant open on Mondays?"), instead of answering we just posted a link to this thread??? That would rule. And I would do it -- except that I am sure the mods would take it down in a minute for being non-contributory and kinda jack-assy. But man... the thought is tempting.

                                      1. re: charmedgirl

                                        You are correct. The best thing to do with a question that bugs you is just move on to the next thread. If you don't answer it, someone else may offer the information.

                                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                          Obviously, Chowhound Team. Which is why I won't do it. And I DO move on.. But this thread has given me the opportunity to voice, for once, my annoyance with the tendency for some posters to expect other posters to spponfeed them information. And I think it serves a purpose because perhaps it has even given some of those people pause, such that next time they were going to post a question like that, they google instead. Geesh. Ease up.

                                          1. re: charmedgirl

                                            We are sympathetic, but do realize that that due the diversity and number of posters on this site, there will always be something that annoys someone. There's no way every poster will be able to please every other poster 100% of the time. Some people can't stand certain types of food or restaurants, or are annoyed by new posters who don't understand the site, or don't like someone's writing style. The list goes on and on.

                                            But for useful and friendly exchange of chowy information, we do sincerely request tolerance rather than an antagonistic attitude. This site is not going to be perfect for everyone, but everyone can find something chowy for themselves. If you find something/someone annoying, please just let it pass; instead go discover something delicious and come tell us about it. From personal experience, deliciousness is especially therapeutic.

                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                              Thus, I sincerely mean it when I say I DO just let it pass. (OK, 95% of the time -- hey, we all have a bad day every now and then.) That's not the point. The idea about posting a link to this thread was pretty much a joke because I know it would be unhelpful and rude. Again, this has been more about expressing the frustration in the hopes that it might make someone stop and think. I find that valuable. For example, I used to be a terrible one for asking for recommendations and then not reporting back. But I once read a series of posts where people expressed how disappointing that was for them. So I now make an effort to always report back. I appreciate that someone brought it to my attention that my behavior might not have been the most thoughtful. That's what is going on here.

                                              ... And now, in an effort not to be antagonistic, because I am getting seriously annoyed, I am going to take your advice with respect to this thread, leave, and go discover something delicious.

                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                To clarify, especially in re: "Again, this has been more about expressing the frustration in the hopes that it might make someone stop and think. I find that valuable."

                                                So long as it is directly relevant to finding/eating delicious food, we don't want to limit or discourage people from posing or answering any type of questions. Let's keep chowhound a friendly place for everyone.

                                      2. re: Lizard

                                        Not sure what obnoxious comments you extracted, but as the person who started the thread on bain marie, I did google it and look at different sources. I found many contradictory answers so I thought I'd run it by CH. Look up bain marie and see what I mean. Sometimes the answer isn't readily found in google. I actually think googleable questions are better than health related questions (is this chicken safe, can I eat xxxx if I'm taking Lipitor, can my children eat sushi, etc.). If I'm told to pronounce bain marie incorrectly, not much harm; if someone is told the wrong answer to a health question, it could be deadly.

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          For what it's worth, when I type in "bain marie pronunciation" into google, *the very first link* sends me to a merriam webster .wav file playback of how to pronounce it.

                                          http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                          First link is:
                                          http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bi...

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            The problem is "ban" is not the correct french pronunciation of bain and it's not how Tom Colicchio said it. If you look further, you'll get more pronunciations, below. It's not earth shattering, probably on the anal retentive side but since I've always pronounced it the French way, I was surprised to see the variations and wondered how CHers said it. Little did I know it would be irriating to others because it was googleable. Even if you read the thread, you'd see how many variations there are on these boards. It answered my question.

                                            http://busycooks.about.com/library/gl...

                                            http://dictionary.reference.com/brows...

                                            http://uk.encarta.msn.com/dictionary_...

                                            http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/glos...

                                            http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/content/kn...

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              Another example of the shortcomings of google. Here we have several "authoritative" pronuciations of a common French word that I had never given a second thought to until you asked. Now I doubt myself. I grew up speaking French. Have I been saying bain marie wrong my entire life?

                                              Holy cow!
                                              If it doesn't roll off the tip of your tongue, call it a frigging double boiler.

                                              1. re: MakingSense

                                                Yes, I've taken to calling it a water bath, until authoritative sites decide there are many ways to pronouce that, too.:-) I'll never be able to bring myself to say bane, except in "bain" has become the bane of my existence.

                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  If you correct my pronunciation, I'll kick you out of my house and you can't eat my food. So there!
                                                  I have at least three or four of the damned things. Copper, stainless, Calphalon, whatever. Get over yourself.
                                                  Go, Chowser!

                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                    Wouldn't dream of it. And I'll bet you pronounce Paris differently depending on which language you are speaking. The ban mahree example has an American accent, and of course it emphasises syllables that the French would not.

                                                    But that's perfectly OK. We (Anglos) have absorbed French words for hundreds of years and we are better for it.

                                                    1. re: Paulustrious

                                                      Totally agree. It is pretty goofy to hear a native English speaker cruising along in the native tongue only to break the rhythm with an overly frenchified pronunciation of a single word. Or one from another language.
                                                      Yeah, we know that you know how to say it properly but it seems stuffy.
                                                      One of the truly great things about American English is that we can and do welcome additions to our language so easily.

                                                      No, I don't say Paree except in fun. Even though I have see Gay Paree, I'm always glad to get back to the Farm.

                                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                                        Back in the early 80's a good friend and I were traveling around Europe by car and we had spent the night in Verdun and were on the way to Paris trying to find the main highway. We went around in a circle maybe two or three times when I spied a local standing on the other side of the road. Barry was driving and I told him to ask the guy where the road to Paris was. Barry, who spoke a little French (while I spoke zero) pulls up and says in best accent "Ouay lay rue de Paris" - at which he gets a totally blank look from the local. Barry says the same thing again. Another blank look. I suddenly had an epiphany and yelled "Paree" you idiot (Barry being the idiot, and not the local) at which point he gave us directions and we were on our way to the City of Light. We still laugh about that to this day when we are in reminiscing mode.

                                          2. re: chowser

                                            Wrong word choice on my part: I removed my own obnoxious comments there.

                                            I'm not sure why you excoriate google for offering so many options when I found that thread got so long, and with so much nitpicking as nonlinguists (most, at any rate) laboured endlessly with numerous instructions. Also, 'Ban' is perfectly acceptable for English speakers who struggle with the subtlety of French. I don't like it, but then, I also don't like people using 'entrée' to mean the main dish.

                                            Webster, as Mr Taster points out, is a perfectly legitimate choice.

                                            I'm hardly convinced, though, Chowser, that this thread somehow trumped a google search on the matter. I think you would have been better off discussing this with a chef or French-speaking friend. Chowhound provides just as much noise. (And look, now you've got a native French speaker like Making Sense flustered. What did that accomplish?)

                                            1. re: Lizard

                                              I was confused by the number of options offered by google, not excoriating it, and since CH are so knowledgeable in cooking, thought I'd ask here to see if there was more of a consensus. It seemed like a logical place and I was sincerely interested in knowing if there was a common pronunciation which Google didn't tell me. I don't have a chef or a native French speaking friend. As noise goes, the thread went on longer than I would have expected but I found it informative that there were so many pronuciations (and it is difficult to write sounds). A foreign speaker could look up tomato, get two pronunciations and wonder which is more common. I don't understand why you'd be annoyed with that.

                                              I have the feeling MS's frustration is tongue in cheek. I have no doubt that she's secure in her French pronunciation.

                                              1. re: chowser

                                                The issue isn't the post, but that the claim that google offers too much information to sift through, when the fact is, the same phenomenon can occur on Chowhound. (You may also not that my comment about MS may have also been tongue in cheek. I'm sure she was joking.) Will you put your dukes down now?

                                                1. re: Lizard

                                                  Sorry if it came off like I was arguing because I wasn't, just trying to figure out why there was a problem with my post about the correct pronunciation. Anyway, for me, google offered contradictory information and CHers confirmed that there is not one preferred pronunciation as there is with, say tomato. It was curiosity on my part. Good thing I'm not a cat. While I have no doubt a native speaker like MS is secure in her pronunciation, for someone like me who learned it in school, it did make me wonder if I'd been pronouncing it wrong all along.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    Hey, we have tom-A-to, tom-AH-to even here in the US.
                                                    Folks from the Bronx and Charleston, San Francisco and Texas can really get into it..

                                                    Pronunciations are regional and French is spoken pretty widely around the world, including some pretty interesting versions in Africa, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands, etc.
                                                    Who's to say that they're "wrong"?
                                                    Although some pronunciations are clearly out there, if you come close enough, you can communicate effectively and THAT is the point.

                                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                                      Let's call the whole thing off.;-)

                                                      Not wrong or right but more common is what I was thinking. This is making me wonder if you speak French with a southern accent (not that I know that you have one but I thought you might). I was told that my French teacher had a Montreal accent and that my pronunciation was obviously American but with a Montreal twist.

                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                        My father was Cajun. His entire family spoke Louisiana Cajun French, some spoke little to no English, but I also learned proper French in school from the nuns - K-12. My accent is a blend - odd to say the least.
                                                        My French is so rusty now as to be virtually unusable.

                                      3. Well, the difference between running a search on Google and asking a question here is that when you search Google, no one knows you've done it. I think there are some who are just impressed by their ability to ask.

                                        I don't usually answer, but that's another story. '-)

                                        1. How do you think I found Chowhound? I googled something! Now, out of shame, of course, when I come across a phrase, like "saute" (giggle) I google it before I post a CH query asking "What does that mean?" because I don't want y'all to know that I am just a country bumpkin from backwoods Texas that doesn't know that I don't what saute means! I am acktually really verrry suffifistikaticated! Really I am!

                                          1. Agree. HUGE peeve of mine. It's one thing to ask for opinions and suggestions re. restaurants, cooking techniques, etc. It is another to ask a fact question that one can easily determine for oneself, ie. restaurant hours, location, parking. I have had more than one post pulled because I couldn't reign myself in and flat out told someone to stop being lazy and google it or call the restaurant themselves.

                                            1. A lot of stuff on google is crap.
                                              Even if they look it up, they might get a range of conflicting answers, none of which seems to be authoritative or even make much sense.
                                              How would they know which to believe or follow?
                                              A simple question on CH, followed by a discussion or even an outright argument between posters would be preferable to some of the dumb results on a search engine.

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: MakingSense

                                                Boy oh boy, do I ever agree with that. I have seen so much misinformation on the net....well you can imagine. Also complete amateurs giving lessons on YouTube....Bah.
                                                There is also misinformation here on this site too, but here someone will come on and correct/argue with you. You don't get that on YouTube. No rebuttals.

                                                1. re: MakingSense

                                                  <A lot of stuff on google is crap. Even if they look it up, they might get a range of conflicting answers, none of which seems to be authoritative or even make much sense.>

                                                  Yes, but surely you can trust Google with questions like "When does restaurant X close on Tuesdays?" There's a lot of that type of clutter on the local boards.

                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                    I think the restaurant's own website is a sufficiently authoritative source for hours, location, parking, etc. or, at minimum, for the phone number, so one can call and verify the details for themselves. In fact, I would bet money that when someone asks those sorts of questions on the boards the poster who responds got his or her answer by ... googling the restaurant. In such a case, the response here would be no more likely to be right than a result from a dumb search engine.

                                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                                      I agree with both you and small h on that point. There are either some really lazy people asking these questions or - to be kind - some folks who don't understand how to use search engines.
                                                      I know it's hard to believe for some people who grew up in an internet world, but there are lots of folks out there who aren't very computer literate. They don't know that you can have more than one screen open at a time, have no idea how to cut-and-paste, add links to their postings, etc. This stuff is second nature to some of you, like breathing, but it's actually challenging to more than a few users, sorry to say.
                                                      Please don't flame me for this. I have to work with people like this all the time. We've had people on committees who don't know how to open attachments to emails or add them to theirs. <sigh>

                                                      The bigger damage that search engines do is pushing the nutty stuff to the top of the results when people are seeking data and information. Some urban legends will never die because they're repeated endlessly on blogs. The accurate scientific studies are almost unfindable.

                                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                                        No flames here. :-) I will readily agree there are people out there who aren't internet and/or search engine savvy. And maybe a small percentage of the people I am talking about fall into that category. But I just think most people who know enough to post on chowhound also know enough to use google.

                                                        And, MakingSense, I can't resist. I swear I did not go looking for this, it popped up on my local board tonight and I laughed out loud when I read it. .... Apparently Demented and I aren't the only ones annoyed by those who won't google for themselves!!

                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/410332

                                                        1. re: charmedgirl

                                                          That's *exactly* the type of reaction I was talking about when I said "Often if no one answers right away they get petulant and demand a quicker response. "

                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6015...

                                                          1. re: charmedgirl

                                                            LOL. The poster's (in the chowhound link) last entry was last April and as an aside at the end of it asked if anyone knew where he/she could get a good sub or hero! There was a recent one on the Manhattan Board - OP looking for good eats near his/her hotel. Ended by saying something like, "I know you hounds won't let me down." When I checked the poster I saw he/she had only made 3-4 posts with obvious no searching being done and ended each post you know what line.

                                                    2. Of course we use google and other search engines, but here we are at home with each other. Do get bored with the restaurant talk (you'd have to live near it or visit it to be interested), but just ignore them now.

                                                      1. Would it help all of you that get so annoyed with answering question that you think are best handled by google, if those asking prefaced the question with "I googled this and I am still wondering what the correct answer is?" Sometimes, as has been illustrated in this thread, there isn't a clear google answer, and you can't trust google, or anything you read, as much as you can a fellow CH that you have been reading for a long time.

                                                        39 Replies
                                                        1. re: danhole

                                                          Why yes, yes it would. I am also always happy to read the words "I tried searching this board, but..." Because if someone is too lazy to at least TRY to find an answer before bleating "pleeeeez, help me, internets!" then I am too lazy to answer.

                                                          I have a friend who IMs me to ask how to spell words. There really is no limit to how pathetic people can be.

                                                          1. re: small h

                                                            Still my favorite is the day someone posted for a pork tenderloin recipe and there were two other posts on the same page (and above the fold) with the same question.

                                                            1. re: alwayscooking

                                                              It makes you wonder - if this person cannot read, how useful will that recipe actually be?

                                                              Here's a more charitable assessment: these people are just lonely and want someone to "talk" to them.

                                                              1. re: small h

                                                                That's the best post I've read in weeks. Excellent.

                                                            2. re: small h

                                                              When I first joined CH I asked a lot of stupid questions without looking around first, or googling the term, but I caught on. Still there have been times when I have tried to find something and can't find what I am looking for. I hope the new search features they are implementing will make it easier to use within CH..

                                                              As far as your fried who IMs you to ask about spelling words, my daughter with the college degree, calls me all the time asking me how to spell things, while she is on the computer! I have told her to google the words, but somehow it is easier to call me?

                                                              1. re: danhole

                                                                I so agree. Some people just don't know what to look for or when they find it they don't know what to pick. They like intereaction. There is nothing wrong with that. Some people read a book to learn, my ex ... me I read a book and I get nothing I have to be interactive. Many of cooks are the same. They need to talk and to have someone else explain or hear different view that is how they learn. People don't learn the same way. I learned the piano from listening ... to this day I can play, but can't read music, but understand it. It is the same with cooking. I hear other ideas and apply it, but I don't follow recipes, never have, except for some baking. I wing it. So some just like to interact and be part of a community. Nothing wrong with that and I support them 100%. They may be there for me some day so I will be there for them in any way I can. I'm here to share to everyone, not just a select few.

                                                                I think CHOW is a great resource which everyone should feel welcome no matter what their question is.

                                                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                  I sing with older ladies who aren't so computer-savvy, so they tend to forward hoax e-mails to everyone in their contact list. I've replied with snopes links often enough that the other day, one of them just sent it to me to ask if it was valid. Nope! Stopped the spread of spam from one person.

                                                              2. re: small h

                                                                Ah, the lazy people. Like the ones who post "I'm coming to SF where should I eat" and then when you ask them some follow-up questions so that you can give them a reasonable answer, never reply. A lot of the time I think I put more effort into the request than they did! And they often don't acknowledge it, and even more rarely report back. Even a significant number of people who promise to report back don't do it.

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                  I agree that it's disappointing that many fail to report back -- it's like they're taking but not contributing.

                                                                  1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                    Although I appreciate your point of view, I hope that is not the general consensus board-wide. Not all of us write well, have the time to review at length or want to share a poor experience just to add band-width here.

                                                                    As a reader/poster/lurker I appreciate every 'hound that contributes to my reading pleasure (thank you CH's) and hope what little I offer in print is helpful as well BUT I am not a "taker" type personality.

                                                                    So, I hope the general consensus in this varied community for reporting back & sharing tips is far less critical and far more generous overall.

                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                      I'm in the camp of preferring that people report back - especially when there is a specific request for assistance. Just a 'tried that recipe/restaurant and it was good/great/really off'. I'm not expecting a full review but just an acknowledgment that our recommendations didn't drop off in bit-land.

                                                                      1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                        Ah, if only providing a review was received in a light hearted spirit as you describe I'd make time and I'd encourage more friends to post.

                                                                        The number of generous reviews that wind up challenged, called out, criticized for improper spelling, suspect...is a turn off. Now, I'm NOT suggesting that a review has to be hugged like a baby, discussion here is wonderful-but next time take a look at the number of CH's that get a keyboard lashing for posting a follow up review when all they wanted to do was share and assist.

                                                                        Generally speaking...no point in linking examples...they are all over the Boards.

                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                          I appreciate your point of view HillJ, but I also appreciate that Chowhound is one of those rare forums where posters, as a rule, actually spell out their ideas in a literate way.

                                                                          I am so thankful that these boards have fostered a community which respects and encourages thoughtful analysis, and not been taken over by the Twitterers and microbloggers. I don't mind a bit of self-policing which discourages the "OMG that IS DA BOM" type posts that plague the Yelps and Citysearches of the world.

                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                            I don't know what boards you read, but the response you describe is not common on the SF board. And at the risk of being one of those critical people, in any group there are going to be a few jerks -- maybe you're just being hypersensitive to the one person who says something negative, at the expense of all the people who are kind and helpful. On the internet you have to have a thick skin!

                                                                            I don't think anyone expects "full reviews" -- full reviews are written by people who enjoy doing that, but are actually only a very small percentage of the posts on these boards. I expect a "Thanks for the tips, had a great time, we really enjoyed X and Y" (or didn't enjoy -- negative comments that are genuine, not just someone with an axe to grind, are just as helpful as positive ones) . Reporting back is not only polite, it's helpful to the next person who asks a similar question.

                                                                            If people don't report back, then the people who give suggestions get discouraged and stop being helpful, and everyone suffers. We don't know why the person didn't report back, only that they asked for help, someone took the time to give it to them, and they didn't say thank you. In what community is that not considered rude?

                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                              Mr. & RL, I fully expected your replies. Frustrated by the twitter style post and suggesting I thicken my skin. LOL.

                                                                              Somewhere btwn my observation & your own perspective is what I read. I was initially responding to the idea above that not reporting back is sending a message that you're a taker.

                                                                              The Site Board discussions have gone over the habits and sensitivities of fellow CH's often enough for me to believe I'm not alone in my observation that posting doesn't always mean: appreciated. Again, I am making a general comment in response to the idea that not reporting back makes you a "taker."

                                                                              Thanks.

                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                I was trying not to get too personal, but yeah, someone who asks for something and doesn't say thank you is a taker, at least in that situation, if not in their life in general. Not only that, but they're ruining it for the next person, because people will think, "no one appreciates our advice, so why should I bother?"

                                                                                And really, if you can participate in this thread, there's no excuse for not following up on your requests -- you seem literate enough, and you obviously have the time.

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                  That's one way of looking at it 1+1 must equal 2. I post reviews only to wind up defending my post not discussing the dining experience. I've seen other CH's going thru the same scenario.

                                                                                  There is no excuse for rudeness. Those that read a thread only to cause havoc in the discussion also TAKE. They take the fun and spirit of community out of the post. Has nothing to do with getting personal here with you now or with growing a thick skin in order to participate. I don't take the same leap you have. But, I'll move on now, to the chow.

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                    As politeness goes, when I first came on these boards a few years ago, there was a thread about not saying "thank you" because it tied up bandwidth, was extra noise, etc. As a newbie, it was hard not to thank people for advice, recipes, etc. but I tried to strike a balance. Sometimes when you ask for a recommendation or recipe, you get far more than you can use and my stack of recipes and list of restaurants to try just gets longer and longer, as much as I cook and eat out and try to get to them all.;-) So, I don't come back to report on everyone's suggestion and then feel rude that people have gone out of their way to be helpful and I didn't thank them. As much as I'd like to thank each person for suggestions, I got the feeling that was discouraged as noise. I've done one generic one but that seems kind of lame, too. Ideally, I'd try every recipe/restaurant/idea and report back but that's not realistic.

                                                                                    I do think it's nice when people do report back when they do try something. I obviously have too much time on my hands this afternoon because I found one thread but there were a few:

                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/307581

                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                      As another example of when to thank someone, hannaone was nice enough to respond to my question about bibimbap which confirmed what I was doing. Do I respond with a "thanks" which I did? In the past, there were people who complained about that type of noise. But, it seems rude not to acknowledge it.

                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                        Those were the old days when Jim Leff was paying the server bills out of his pocket and each post appeared on the board individually without being collapsed into a topic. I don't think "noise" and "bandwidth" are an issue anymore. In fact, since most websites charge ad rates on a page-view basis, the more the better.

                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                          Bandwidth isn't an issue anymore. But noise is still an issue as ever -- I use the boards for research, and there's a lot of information that's very useful, but every time something not related to food pops up in the middle of nowhere and it slows me down. A couple years ago, I remember spending a whole afternoon (4-6 hours) researching where I was going to have sushi near Westwood in LA by searching through the LA board.

                                                                                          It's not a big deal if one is only reading 10 or so posts. But to do a thorough job requires going over tens of threads and hundreds of posts (if not more); that's when random non-informative noise seriously slows one down. Now multiply that by the number of people trying to cull useful detailed information from a board, it becomes even more of a drag.

                                                                                          If we want people to search first, we need to minimise the effort required to obtain comprehensive, in-depth information from a search of the boards. To achieve that means reducing/eliminating non-food talk in the food sections.

                                                                                          1. re: limster

                                                                                            Oh come on. You open a thread and scan down. You mean to tell me that coming across the occasional "thank you" added hours to your search?

                                                                                            I know you're personal friends with Leff but there's no need to perpetuate fallacies. An occasional "thank you" doesn't clog the site.

                                                                                            You know what causes searches for info to take lots longer than they should? Leff's policy of allowing zillions of threads on the same topic so the information is scattered all over the place. Lets be honest and call it for what it is.

                                                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                              >Oh come on. You open a thread and scan down. You mean to tell me that coming across the occasional "thank you" added hours to your search?

                                                                                              Nope, I meant that noise (and by that I don't mean just the occasional thank you) adds up when one scales up a search. It may be innocuous when small numbers of posts (or certain parts of otherwise informative posts) are involved, but when I want to do an in-depth search (such as one that spans several hours and many hundreds of posts), the amount of non-food related content becomes large and continual effort to parse signal vs noise wears me down.

                                                                                              >I know you're personal friends with Leff but there's no need to perpetuate fallacies. An occasional "thank you" doesn't clog the site.

                                                                                              I speak from empirical experience, and I fail to see how being personal friends with Leff's changes my efficiency in getting information from the boards. If you have an issue with Leff please raise it with him; raising that here adds noise to your post, and reduces the cogency and focus of the point you were trying to raise.

                                                                                              >You know what causes searches for info to take lots longer than they should? Leff's policy of allowing zillions of threads on the same topic so the information is scattered all over the place. Lets be honest and call it for what it is.

                                                                                              A problem in one area (e.g. your suggestion that information scattered over many threads) doesn't not imply that others areas (non food-related noise reducing our efficiency in getting the relevant information we need) are perfect and fine. Let's be honest and call the problems for what they are.

                                                                                              1. re: limster

                                                                                                I know you've been around on these boards a long time but you know what? So have I. I go back to 1999 and I remember things.

                                                                                                "If you have an issue with Leff please raise it with him; raising that here adds noise to your post..."

                                                                                                I have, for years, raised the issue of the way the boards are organized (or rather, *not* organized.) I wasn't alone. Other people also called for FAQ sections or Wikis to be launched for the major boards to consolidate information and make it easier for new posters to find things.

                                                                                                The response we always got was the mantra "repetition is good! ... repetition is good!" As I recall, you could always be counted on as a reliable supporter of the status quo. You thought everything was just great.

                                                                                                Well, I find it richly ironic that you now complain because information is hard to find. Maybe you should have spoken up then in favor of our proposals. It might have helped.

                                                                                                This fixation you seem to have about "noise" is also odd. One of the good things about CH, and there are many, is that the moderators have always insisted that posts be focused on food. They don't allow threads to drift off into idle chat. As a result the vast bulk of threads stay on point.

                                                                                                "Noise" isn't a major factor in the difficulty of finding information - the lack of any organization is.

                                                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                  Couple of separate points:

                                                                                                  1. Repetition is good.
                                                                                                  It is. There are restaurants where I have eaten close to 1000 meals over 5-6 years. I find that things can vary considerably, depending on the season (what ingredients are available) and the turnover in line cooks. That repetition makes the information more reliable and up-to-date. I don't see how that how has changed. Restaurants are a moving target which we need continual updates. Stick something in a FAQ and we pretend that it's stationary and permanent, when in reality it changes. These points have been raised many times before as you know, and that is a very separate issue from what I've raised. Let's not confuse them.

                                                                                                  2. My difficulty comes, not from organisational issues, but from noise. There is no irony, because this is a very different issue from the organisation that you raise -- read my post again - my complaint wasn't that I couldn't find what I wanted, but I was being slowed down by non-food related stuff. I had no problems locating threads that contained the information that I needed. But in reading through them, I encountered distractions: people talking about their dining partners, quality of photographs etc. If 95% of a post has chowy information, no one is going to delete it. But that means there is 5% of non chowy information. 5% is small for a thread, but when you multiply it by the large numbers of posts, it becomes a significant amount of time.

                                                                                                  3. You oversimplify my position ("everything is great") based on my opinion on repetition. Just because I endorse the importance of repetition doesn't mean that I have not raised other issues in the past. But this subthread isn't about me; rather it's about the general difficulty that noise poses. Do you wish to discuss noise or to discuss me?

                                                                                                  Noise is a factor and trying to blame organisational issues isn't going to solve it.

                                                                                                  1. re: limster

                                                                                                    "If 95% of a post has chowy information, no one is going to delete it. But that means there is 1% of non chowy information. "

                                                                                                    So you concede that 95% of posts contain chowy information but 5% of might be about other peripheral issues? And that's not enough for you?

                                                                                                    (Insert "Incredulous" emoticon here.)

                                                                                                    Just where are those reviews that hit the mythical "100% food related" mark? Restaurant reviews in newspapers don't do it. Neither does Michelin or Zagats. Nor do other user driven food websites.

                                                                                                    People post on Chowhound because they think it's fun. It's different from writing a term paper or filling in a tax form. Human beings will sometimes get off topic a bit but that's what makes them human. Considering that, the 95% food content on CH is a near miracle.

                                                                                                    You're complaining because Chowhound doesn't fit your idea of perfection? Good luck with that one.

                                                                                                    Blaming the difficulty of finding information on CH on a 5% "noise" ratio entirely misses the point. You might as well blame the site's color scheme. The real issue is the almost complete lack of organization.

                                                                                                    You won the "repetition is good" argument. Now you'll just have to live with the consequences.

                                                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                      You've still missed the point, which is that noise is still an issue that we need to concern ourselves with. I'm using 95% as a number I pulled out of thin air as a hypothetical example, it may be higher or lower. As it is, it's imperfect, and if that the signal to noise level drops, then it's not a good thing. That's what I meant when I responded to Ruth's post above, saying that noise is still an issue that we always need to concern ourselves with.

                                                                                                      People come to Chowhound because they want to share, and it's therefore useful to provide an idea of they can share more efficiently. There are internet sites with user contributed information (some bigger than chowhound), where there's very low noise e.g. wikipedia (I'm not talking accuracy, that's another issue). That's something that we can aspire to.

                                                                                                      I speak from my empirical experience of searching the boards for information and where I was rate-limited in my searches.

                                                                                                      You seem to want to continue talking about organisational issues, feel free to continue; we'll just have to agree to disagree.

                                                                                                      1. re: limster

                                                                                                        Now all this time I thought the signal to noise complaints by JL and others before the site was sold/resold was to keep the number of non-CH's type POSTERS down NOT topics that go off OP. Off OP discussions, aside from being human nature, are often the start of new posts, greater depth of information and CH cult of personality.

                                                                                                        As for searching, organizing and all around housekeeping there is NEVER enough of that imho. I've been around long enough to know the pre and post JL p.o.v. Hasn't CH out grown the founder's box (while still honoring its originality)?

                                                                                                        1. re: limster

                                                                                                          "You've still missed the point, which is that noise is still an issue that we need to concern ourselves with."

                                                                                                          Think about a man who lives in an apartment building right next to a roaring 12 lane expressway. He complains that he has trouble sleeping at night because of the noise.

                                                                                                          I ask "Does the sound of the cars and trucks keep you up?"

                                                                                                          "No, I keep hearing my neighbor's cat walking around the room 3 floors above me."

                                                                                                          Lets agree to do this. I'll worry about the expressway and you can worry about the cat.

                                                                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                            I don't why you keep insisting that I had trouble finding what I needed when I did not. A search pulled up all the posts that I needed. As I've repeatedly stated, what slowed me down was pausing at noise, not in trying locate the relevant threads. An imaginary expressway, but hundreds of cats.

                                                                                                            Why are there so many threads you might ask. Because there is a lot of non-redundant information. More information, especially more up-to-date information, is better, not worse. Additional food-related information is not noise, non-food related information is.

                                                                                                            You seem to think that if someone has already expressed an opinion or provided some information about a place, then anything else anyone adds subsequent to that is useless. That certainly does not apply to restaurants.

                                                                                                            Think about a man who is constantly reading last year issue.

                                                                                                            I ask "why are you still reading last year's papers for the news?"

                                                                                                            "I stopped subscribing, new newspapers keep coming every day and clutter up my apartment."

                                                                                                            I don't know what you worry about, but I certainly worry about the diversity of opinions on the boards, timeliness of the information, and how it can be most efficiently digested. There's no denying that there's a lot of information, but the solution is not to reduce the information, but to make it possible for people to assimilate it as efficiently as possible.

                                                                                                2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                  Hi, Bob. I, too, find the multiple threads on the same topic annoying. And I'm not talking about cases in which someone says "What are good places in the Greater X area?" vs. "Name your top 5 restaurants in X City." I get that those are separate topics and there will be overlap. But for all the "signal to noise" ratio argument that surfaces fairly regularly, I think part of the noise (and poor organization) is the fact that multiple posts on the same place are allowed and not collapsed or consolidated. You and I have discussed this before and you proposed some people just want their own threads as a "look at me" exercise, which may be right. But on my local board right now, there are two separate threads about the *same exact restaurant* by the *very same OP* within four days of each other--thus two current, but separate threads about the same restaurant. It doesn't make sense. I agree there should be a better way to organize our information.

                                                                                                  Here's the first post dated November 25, 2008:
                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5753...

                                                                                                  Here's another post by the same OP, same topic, misspelled name of restaurant, four days later (WHY?):
                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5759...

                                                                                                  I really wish there was a way to collapse duplicate listings and let all the information "live" in one place. There is another current example (two threads unnecessarily on the same exact topic) for one of my favorite local restaurants/vineyards. It's like having a library, but I use the Dewey Decimal system and Frank Sinatra insists on doing it "My Way!"

                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                    "there are two separate threads about the *same exact restaurant* by the *very same OP* within four days of each other"

                                                                                                    Whenever I see this, I just report it the moderators and the duplicate post is soon deleted. if there are replies, one will be locked with a referring link to the other thread to consolidate the information in one place.

                                                                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                      Here's an example of how the mods lock the thread and refer to the new one,
                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/599354

                                                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                        Thanks--The Chowhound Team took care of that on my local board. It's still puzzling why people start multiple threads on the same/current topics, but I appreciate the tip. Thanks!

                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                          Some folks aren't good at navigating the boards and can't find their first post. Others are just clueless. Just keep reporting them to the mods, at least that's one action you can take yourself to help tidy up things. And clicking on the report button can be a constructive way to vent some of that frustration!

                                                                                                    2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                      The Mets just opened a new ballpark - Citi Field - that has some exceptional food choices. Obviously this is a hot topic for Chowhound. Well, actually it's THREE hot topics.

                                                                                                      Here's a 33 post thread -
                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6078...

                                                                                                      While it was still active and getting plenty of posts another person launched a second 23 post thread -
                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5979...

                                                                                                      OK, now we have 2 active threads that are both appearing at once. The last post on both of them was on April 17th so they both show up on the active topics list. You can't be reading the Outer Boroughs board and not be aware of both threads. So what happens next?

                                                                                                      Yes, on April 19th, someone started a THIRD thread -
                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6133...

                                                                                                      It's like watching a galaxy being born, a galaxy where you can never find anything.

                                                                          2. re: danhole

                                                                            I am not annoyed by answering questions. I get annoyed with questions that could be answered with a simple search of the internet, or (god forbid) by opening a Bi ocular organized knowledge device, BOOK for short.

                                                                            As to trusting information from a fellow hound over what has been published elsewhere, including the internet, not on your life. There are as many bad answers on chow as there are anywhere else.

                                                                            1. re: Demented

                                                                              I was thinking the same thing. All people aren't equally reliable. If you've been reading someone's posts for a couple of years and get to know their taste and judgment you can make an informed decision as to whether they're trustworthy. I take some people's recommendations very seriously. Others are what they call "contrary indicators." In other words if they tell you to do something you should do the opposite.

                                                                              1. re: Demented

                                                                                That's why Snopes.com exists.
                                                                                What you think you know that isn't so can be really dangerous. Simple stuff like putting butter on a fresh burn.
                                                                                Remember when medical authorities told us that margarine was better for us than butter and everyone switched? Then the pendulum swung to the Mediterranean diet and people poured olive oil with abandon. Now there are a few making the case for lard!
                                                                                If your brain gets stuck at one stage, you're more likely to give out-of-date or at least biased info. A case can be made for any of these points of view. Is any completely right or wrong?

                                                                                Mankind always looks for explanations for order out of chaos. Some are simply Old Wives' Tales. Some make sense. Sometimes true science exists and then it changes as science improves or new products/procedures are developed.
                                                                                Fortunately or unfortunately, you can find them ALL on google and CH.
                                                                                Critical thinking is the most valuable tool.

                                                                                The true value that I find in CH is that I am often pointed to new sources of information that I would never have found on my own. Search engines are fallible simply because of their structure.
                                                                                I get great material and information here. But it has to be evaluated for accuracy. I can't just accept some of the crap because it might track with what I "want to believe."

                                                                            2. I have some problems with google. How many times have you queried a subject, visited all the results and come up with cribbed answers. By that I mean exactly the same text presented on different sites - cribbed. This is most often the case with recipes. You get the same one exactly everywhere you go and you know that that one is a single variant or completely off.

                                                                              It's even worse when an incorrect fact percolates through the system. I have often found this the case with subjects with which i am conversant or expert - the results are patently wrong.

                                                                              And then... you get the Amazon or other publishing type of result where you are referred to some sort of medium - book, CD, or even a pay-to-subscribe site.

                                                                              If you base life decisions on google, say "Hee-Haw."

                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                              1. re: DockPotato

                                                                                <How many times have you queried a subject, visited all the results and come up with cribbed answers.>

                                                                                Many times (although I don't call it "cribbed" - not all copying is stealing). That's why it's a good idea to try to root out the original source of any information. Even Wikipedia pages usually have original source links at the bottom. Soon you'll have assembled a mental "library" of trusted sources, which you can turn to before searching around randomly. Epicurious, for example, with regard to recipes.

                                                                                <It's even worse when an incorrect fact percolates through the system. I have often found this the case with subjects with which i am conversant or expert - the results are patently wrong.>

                                                                                Know when else this happens? Every time you try to learn anything. Google didn't INVENT rumors, lies & bad information; Google just makes it quicker and more efficient to find lots of chaff in addition to a bit of wheat. The problem isn't the internet; the problem is gullible and incurious people, just as it always has been.

                                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                                  I agree with you. It can take time to winkle out the truth whether on-line or in Central Ref for even a mundane query (which often proves most difficult.)

                                                                                  Another good way to get an answer it is to post your question to an appropriate forum and hope that you don't draw fire.

                                                                                  1. re: DockPotato

                                                                                    Just remember that trusty acronym: GiGo and proceed onward from there.

                                                                                    Perhaps it should be slightly altered to *GiGooGleGo?

                                                                                    Add: *Nah - too long. I formally nominate GiGooGo as the new "Garbage In Google Garbage Out"

                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                      The problem with google is not just the misinformation, but the inability to separate the wheat from the chaff. You cannot argue with or correct Google.
                                                                                      As an example I looked up "American Cheese" cuz I didn't know for sure what it was (I am Canadian and we don't use that term). It said basically it was processed cheese. ??? What processed cheese?? Velveta, Kraft singles, Cheese Whiz?????
                                                                                      I asked here (that thread turned ugly BTW). If anyone came on to say it was the same as Brie or Parma, other Chowhounders whould have been on him like a blanket. You don't have that chance on Google.

                                                                                      1. re: billieboy

                                                                                        The good thing is that the results of a google search get refined and more accurate over time. Check out the first result I just got from googling "amercian cheese"

                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American...

                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                          Yep, clear as mud

                                                                                          Even though the term “American cheese” has a legal definition in the United States as a type of pasteurized process cheese, products with the label “American Cheese” are by no means identical. Depending on the additives and the amounts of milk fat and water added to the cheese during emulsification, the taste and texture of American Cheese varies, with some varieties (e.g. “American Cheese” and “American Process Cheese”) being very similar to non-processed cheese and other varieties (e.g. "American Cheese Food" and "American Cheese Product") being more like Velveeta or Cheez Whiz. The interested consumer should pay close attention to the wording used on the label of each product and to the ingredient list. (Refer to the definitions in the Sale and labeling section of the article on Processed cheese.)

                                                                                          1. re: billieboy

                                                                                            For lay consumers doing a search the information on wikipedia gives them plenty of information to go on. As the entry also directs readers to click on the hyperlink to "processed cheese" the information provided seems good enough to satisfy most users who aren't looking to write a scholarly paper on the subject.

                                                                                            I can't quite see the complaint you have with the information provided here, as far as getting a good overview of the term and how it evolved? Anyone who is an expert on the subject is of course welcome to provide more detailed information to the wikipedia entry, and their knowledge will be incorporated into the googleable answer for others to see.

                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                              You already know what "America Cheese" is (and now so do I) so the answer is clear. Imagine that you saw it in a recipe and were not sure what it was. Would that answer on Wiki clear it up? I don't think so. In any case it was just an example. Chowhounders would negate any misinformation that was posted here and that is my point, not about the cheese.

                                                                                              The conclusion I have come to is that I trust the collective intelligence and experience of Chowhounds much more than Google.

                                                                                              1. re: billieboy

                                                                                                I think that we are trying to compare apples and oranges here so we get a disconnect. If google returns inaccurate information for whatever reason then an excellent way to clear that up is through a resource like wikipedia that evolves over time. Google is a "first responder" basically. Then the fact (patient) is transported to a major trauma center (Chowhound for example) where the fact can get worked on by the board certified "Pros from Dover" (for all you original M*A*S*H fans out there) and either brought back to life or die on the table.

                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                  Ah I remember the "Pros from Dover" quite fondly.

                                                                                                2. re: billieboy

                                                                                                  Google is valuable used correctly. It's helpful to learn how to properly use a Search engine to maximize your results. Google offers free tools to everyone but I wonder how many people use them. Since Google doesn't write or supply the content you seek (but merely passes the info on) you might find it very helpful to use Search tools to improve your experience. Good luck!

                                                                                          2. re: billieboy

                                                                                            I'll say it again. There is FAR more misinformation on Chowhound than there is on Google.

                                                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                              If they'd just listen to me . . .

                                                                                              =)

                                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                Where is that last "msg gives me gas" thread anyway? ;-D>

                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                  LOL!

                                                                                                  I've suffered with migraine head aches since my pre-teens.

                                                                                                  While I can't claim that MSG has anything to do with these head aches, I have had more migraines after eating food seasoned with MSG than not.

                                                                                    2. People talk about misinformation on the internet!...

                                                                                      1. I was just asked a question, how many 1/2 inch slices of bread can you get from a 10 inch loaf of bread? Of corse the answer is one, but some people just don't get it.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: TimCarroll

                                                                                          Let me guess.....hmmmmm....cuz after the first 1/2" slice the loaf is no longer 10" ?
                                                                                          I found that on Gaggle...oops, I mean Google. :-)

                                                                                          1. re: billieboy

                                                                                            See how easy it was to find the answer. :-)

                                                                                        2. This thread is getting pretty testy, not to mention wildly off-topic, so we're going to lock it and ask that people return to discussing food, instead of discussing how to discuss food.