Are there threads u stay away from
I know that there are threads that I see the that have so many replies that I cannot begin to jump in. I would vote for bigtuna 27's thread ,,, it took me 3 separate 4 hr session to complete it was great and awesome but I hate starting it it's like war and peace it is great once you are done
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I tend to stay away from threads that are repetitive, too "clubby", or engage in group think. Though, by this post, I apparently have trouble staying away from threads that are possibly going to land me in deep water.
Some of them do get long and out of hand, and I'll only jump in if the subject is near and dear, like about dining options pretty close nearby.
The "Not About Food" board section is my least favorite, owing to several really snipey threads there, arguing over the rudeness of such things as putting a plate on top of another plate at a restaurant as you're getting ready to leave, or tipping based on tax or not, and ragging and railing on people's health choices. It seems like a far less happy section of Chowhound than all the other boards, although some good threads do end up there.
I think a lot of the intent of Chowhound is to avoid the longer less-useful-topic threads, like the posting-etiquette guidelines try to get at:
"Chowhound is about food, and it's supposed to be relaxed. We don't get into "big picture" issues. There are myriad online forums for debating politics, ethics, and other hot-button issues; please use Chowhound not to debate but to share news and tips.
In that same spirit, we avoid topics that are simply chatter. Threads should contain or solicit useful information and tips, rather than existing merely to give others something to post about. Chatty questions include (but aren't limited to, these are just a few examples) those that result in anyone and everyone chiming in with an item to add to a list ('every food reference in a movie ever'); questions that you're asking out of curiosity ('I'm curious if anyone else feels the same way about kumquats as I do'), questions that are basically rants in disguise ('this waiter was rude, am I right?'); questions based purely on personal preference which anyone can answer and no answer is more or less appropriate than any other ('foods no one else likes that you love'). If you just want to start a conversation for the sake of having something to talk about, it's probably chat, but if you're interested in the specific answers, and they'll help you eat better, it's probably okay."
I take regular self-imposed breaks from Not About Food. It is definitely the combative corner of the site and sometimes I get sucked in. However, I have learned a lot of interesting things over the years from the discussions. And more than five years ago someone said they donate to the food bank as a balance of sorts to their food obsession / possible wastefulness - I have been donating a small amount monthly ever since. So I'm not ready to give up on NAF yet.
I'm pretty good about avoiding tipping threads though. For one thing, they're boring after so many years. But I also hate the extremism on all sides which I would categorize something like this:
"I always tip at least 20% and anyone who does not is a cheapskate" (added bonus of lots of details of fancy meals and large tips dispensed)
"The customer is always right no matter how obnoxious and the tip is to be earned" (throw in some free market ideology)
"I am an abused, underpaid waiter. Never mind that based on my internet access, free time and English skills I clearly have other options and yet somehow choose to waiter - I am basically an indentured servant and you are all complicit "
I find there's also a one upsmanship with tipping. It's almost like an auction...well, I never tip less than 20%...I never tip less than 25% and never less than $5...I always tip 30% and refuse to eat w/ anyone who tips less, etc. To me, it's almost like bragging about how much a person donates to charities and looking down on others who don't give as much.
"I find there's also a one upsmanship with tipping. It's almost like an auction...well, I never tip less than 20%...I never tip less than 25% and never less than $5...I always tip 30% and refuse to eat w/ anyone who tips less, etc."
Tipping threads really bring out an amazing level of weirdness. I try very hard to avoid them but every 6 or 8 months I break down and open one up. Nothing ever changes - the same points keep being made endlessly and no one ever changes their mind.
Of course there are threads I stay away from.
Usually for me to read, it has to have a title that I think is either interesting or that I'm pretty sure I might want to contribute to. And it normally needs to have relatively few contributions for me to take a first look (after arund 100, I find it's a turn-off)
I agree that long threads are daunting. I also prefer topics that are pretty closely focused, as opposed to the "everybody list your top ten favorite things to eat" type of threads.
I generally stay out of the manners & etiquette discussions, if only because I'm too easily tempted into responding to some boorish comment or other.
To repeat what I've written elsewhere on the subject, topics involving manners (and even more so, etiquette) almost always get overheated because those who believe that such things matter and those who believe that they're an elitist plot differ not just in their taste in food, but in their approaches to life. To the former, the latter are uncivilized boors, while to the latter, the former are snobbish prigs.
And I guess my use of the word boorish above shows you which camp I'm in. ;-)
"I generally stay out of the manners & etiquette discussions, if only because I'm too easily tempted into responding to some boorish comment or other."
You're a very wise man.
I tend to stay away from those super long threads -- not because I don't want to read through every response but because I'm too impatient to wait for those threads to load onto my screen.