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Could a voting section be added to the board posts like Yelp's 'useful', 'funny' and 'cool'?

While I'm quite serious about this, I write this almost gleefully (though also trembling in fear) in anticipation of Chowhound response. Stick with me a while before expressing outrage.

I would like one ... and ONLY one ... voting option "Useful"

The reason for this is that for three years now I have been using the 'link' function to note reports that are significant to the restaurant database. With one recent software upgrade, my efforts and the efforts of a number chowhounds was wiped out.

Auto-linking results in useless dreck attached to the restaurant record. Since toning down the agressive auto-linker good restaurants get missed.

So here's the thought.

Those board posts marked as 'Useful' would float to the top of the chowhound discussions on the restaurant record. The sort criteria would be the posts with the most "Useful" votes to be listed first.

It might have the side benefit of encouraging people to actually post "useful' information.

To be clear, I would like this option BOTH on the boards and the restaurant. On the boards to flag good info. On the quick review section to encourage people only using that sectionn to write something more useful than the drek that is currently appearing.

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  1. rworange, how do you add this feature and not extinguish the flow of information that might be useful to me but not to you? Voting turns me off, using tags to amass information that interests me is what I prefer.

    my .2

    3 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Have you actually used the tags here and found them useful? Do you have an example.

      I'm not being argumentative, but in addition to slowing down the site, all they do is accumulate junk. Perhaps I'm using them wrong

      IMO, no one is following what is produced. They just see attached info and assume it is useful ... until they use it.

      I was going to give you an example, but one more time I have to shut down my computer because this site is freezing everything . I will continue this after I reboot ... damn it.

      It took me seven minutes to get into a post over the weekend and now I can't even access the restaurant database. After waiting 10 minutes I need to get out.

      1. re: rworange

        Here's an example of Chez Panisse.

        First of all, this may change ...but as of now ... when I click on the Chez Panisse tag I get the ever popular application error
        http://www.chow.com/tags/chez-panisse

        When I look at the record for Chez Panisse I get these discussions at the end as of right now ... the result of auto-tagging picking up every damn mention of this place ...

        Someone was looking for info about a place called Gregoire ... which is near Chez Panisse

        Someone else mentioned a quince recipe in the Chez Panisse cookbook

        Big fat hairy deal. How useful is that info. Even when people were using linking only for the address info, the useful links were better than the following:.


        Review dig deeper: related chowhound discussions (36 Discussions

        )

        »Restaurant suggestions in Berkeley?(lunch through dinner, 7 days) Chef Yu’s (lunch through dinner, 7 days) Chez Panisse (lunch (upstairs only) and dinner, closed Sundays) China Village* (lunch through dinner, 7 days) Corso (lunch and dinner, 7 days) Daimo... READ/REPLY (by francollinphoto , updated November 28, 2009)

        »Great breads you've had in restaurantsChez Panisse serves Acme bread. READ/REPLY (by scooterlibby , updated November 27, 2009)

        »Fifth time lucky: returning to the Bay Area for more food'n'funby of the new Cathedral and Lake Merrit. You could then have them drop you at Lush Gelato a nice midpoint on Piedmont. Don’t remember if you’ve been to Gregoire yet (there’s one near the Chez Panisse in addition... READ/REPLY (by grayelf , updated November 25, 2009)

        »Quince on the menu?of quince paste and am going to try another this afternoon. If you follow in my footsteps and use the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook, know that it takes a long long time to reduce them to a proper thickness. It’s not mentioned... READ/REPLY (by BernalKC , updated November 6, 2009)

        »Favorite restaurants using organic or free range/natural meat?Oliveto, Chez

        1. re: rworange

          rworange, although the tags could be more useful and more tag specific with add'l tooling, they require add'l research on the part of CH's; as does most of the hunting. I'm not saying the tools don't need work but in response and framed by your original suggestion and experience, I'd rather do my research/search than place a "useful" tag on individual posts. I believe such a voting system would create a whole 'nother issue for the community at large.

    2. jfood just posted that he thought the 5-star rating system for restaurants was idiotic and this one, in jfood's opinion is even worse. The beauty of chowhound is to read all points of view, what makes something useful to some may not to others. After reading a couple of sentences and you do not like what you are reading, move on. This useful idea will further create the us vs them mentality that has been commented on recently.

      Likewise jfood finds the comment "It might have the side benefit of encouraging people to actually post "useful' information" extremely condenscending.

      8 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        Since it is your opinion that the 5 star rating is idiotic, then I don't exactly get your last comment about being condescending ... I always wanted spell check on this site, btw

        One of the most over-rated pizza joints in the Bay Area, a Zagat darling, now gets a four star rating on Chow. It would have been five star had not a reliable Chowhound poster thrown in a 2 star review. So I very much think a voting option might solicit better information for the Chow reviews than this
        http://www.chow.com/restaurants/16084...

        And so many of the current ratings are crap like that.

        There is not ONE thing on this site that encourages decent ratings. Yelp appeals to ego and while those reviews are not all that reliable, there's better stuff there than junk like this.

        If you build it, they will NOT come.

        I've updated hundreds of Chow restaurant records culling information from all over the web. There are a zillion lame rating systems like Chow put it place. The sites I use have real information not just an automatic restaurant generator with the option to add a review.

        I look at some of the sites once or twice and then never click on them again when they come up in searches. There is no there there. Why waste my time?

        Partly my effort to put useful info on the Chow restuarant records was to attract people back and maybe make them linger a while and drop some tips of their own.

        Also after spending the last three years linking useful Chowhound reports to those restaurant records ... reports that would make someone want to enter the forums and contribute to the discussion ... to have Chow just throw that out makes me really angry.

        This site had Jim Leff's direction for a long time. For all his protests that he was an unecessary component, his dedication was what made this site great. Now the only focus is for reviews that don't need to be 'waded' through. May the Chow staff spend their lives eating Zachary's pizza based on the star ratings.

        I never really got what made Chowhound what it was. It was elusive. HillJ knows far better than I ever will. Putting some of those components out of whack can cause the whole thing to collapse.

        One has to accept reality. Howling at the moon about star ratings being idiotic is NOT going to get them removed. Chow likes them. They spent lots of money to set this up. There is no going back.

        However, it would be to all our benefit to get the two worlds to work together. Ideas, jfood?

        Not that Chow will listen anyway. I seriously doubt they ever read these boards except when foisting yet another annoying, bug-ridden feature on the site. Still, one could always hope they want something better than what they have.

        1. re: rworange

          Since it is your opinion that the 5 star rating is idiotic, then I don't exactly get your last comment about being condescending ... I always wanted spell check on this site, btw
          - They are two separate points, hence the space between the paragraphs. And your last comment is condenscending (sic) as well. And he is looking more for content than acting like a seventh grade english teacher.

          One of the most over-rated pizza joints in the Bay Area, a Zagat darling, now gets a four star rating on Chow. It would have been five star had not a reliable Chowhound poster thrown in a 2 star review. So I very much think a voting option might solicit better information for the Chow reviews than this
          -What make any restuarant a 4 vs a 5 star. and it is an opinion that it is over rated or underrated. The star rating does absolutelynothing to anything other than quantify and subject that should be qualified.

          There is not ONE thing on this site that encourages decent ratings.
          -For those of us that do like ratings then this is a positive reason not to have them

          One has to accept reality. Howling at the moon about star ratings being idiotic are NOT going to get them removed. Chow likes them. They spent lots of money to set this up. There is no going back.
          -Bullsh&t. If noone uses them then they will not support them. Your adding information to them is counterproductive to havingthem stop using it. jfood does not use the ratings since he could not give a hoot about a 5-star system. he does not use zagats even though they send him 5+ red books a year for some reason. And he is not howling at the moon at all. he does not like them, he does not use them and if CHOW wants to keep them he could not care less. But he will voice an opinion if asked, which was what the other thread did. Jfood does not like the ads, does not like the recipes, thinks most of the stories are silly so he ignores them. he reads items that are useful to him and let's others do likewise. If people stopped clicking on them they will shut them down. Business 101.

          However, it would be to all our benefit to get the two worlds to work together. Ideas, jfood?
          - Many people use the other world to their benefit jfood uses this world to his benefit. If others gain something from their world and jfood his, that is a win-win. He learned a long time ago that there are two sides to every story and argument. When one only believes in their side that is a recipe for disaster. And if CHOW makes money on the ads and jfood ignores them, yet the money the ads generate allow jfood to experience what he likes on the site, win-win.

          Not that Chow will listen anyway. I seriously doubt they ever read these boards except when foisting yet another annoying, bug-ridden feature on the site. Still, one could always hope they want something better than what they have.
          -If you do not like it then it is your decision to type the URL or hit the favorites URL on the computer.

          Jfood likes the site, thinks that many of the new features are great and uses them, thinks many of the new features stink and does not use them. Pretty simple way to go through life and the use of disposable time.

          1. re: jfood

            Huh? i don't understand too much of that. You are complaining about things but you love them? The point is people are using those ratings... badly.

            The info I put on Chow records is informational, hours, website and menu links, event facilities, siginifcant reviews and other useful info that is really not anywhere else on the web in one place. After updating a few hunderd records I can say that with certainty. Here's an example
            http://www.chow.com/restaurants/5/ubu...

            I thought a lot about that one using a quote from the chef, but it is a difficult restaurant to describe and he nailed it without hype. More likely my updates include a brief description of what the joint serves, any event facilities and other pertinanant info like these
            http://www.chow.com/restaurants/91277...
            http://www.chow.com/restaurants/7847/...

            Anyway, not to have yet another thread derailed. I got your original point. You don't like the voting option for whatever reason. Noted.

            BTW, don't jump to conclusions. I knew you were currently on the board having just posted. It was an opportunity to go back and make a correction. I would have removed the comment from my post and it would have removed the unintentional humor from yours had you chosen to make the correction..

            1. re: rworange

              Huh? DO you not read the posts or draw conclusions incorrectly.

              jfood does not like the rating system...jfood does not use the rating system
              jfood does not like the stuff on the right...jfood does not use the stuff on the right
              jfood does not like the idea of rating posts...jfood does not support the use of ratings on poats
              jfood complained about stuff and he does NOT love them

              CLEAR?

          2. re: rworange

            What the hell rworange? This isn't a cubicle job that you have to perform, it's a website that is owned by somebody else. Why are you adding content, kvetching about policy, and complaining about features when you can easily spend your free time doing something else? You sound like a bitter employee.

            1. re: Samalicious

              Everything I do ultimately benefits me.

              I get sick of trying to find information when I eat out. If I store it one place I don't have to do it again. I was doing that at Yelp until Chow came along. There are a few better features in the Chow restaurant record than the Yelp record.

              Also, I've found some really, really ... really ... good food tips reading restuarant websites. It is the absolute first thing I do now before visiting a place.

              I loved chowhound. However, the reason I am complaining more and more is because it gets more and more unusable every day.

              Years ago I stopped using hot posts because they are not useful to me because of the time-out 'feature'

              The site is so slow and bug-ridden the only board i WAS following was my home board in SF.

              As of this month, I'm no longer reading the SF board much either.

              I have to feel this is also the case for many posters.

              Maybe it is time to move on and leave the site to the people plugging in stars with no info. Used to be a big fan of sidewalk.com early on till it turned into Citysearch. I'm sort of liking Yelp more these days. At least there are no application errors, there is more info in general and the posters are more cheerful for the most part

              Chowhound was a wonderful buffet. I learned so much from so many parts of the site, not just my home base.

              Now the selection is limited, the lines are slow to get to the buffet and the food seems to be provided by Sysco

              1. re: rworange

                Well, that's an honest answer to an honest question. Sorry to hear you're so frustrated.

        2. If I find something funny, useful or cool then I save it to my favorites. I don't like the idea of implementing that on Chowhound. It seems more like a popularity contest to see how many other users are reading you and praising your posts. That is just my opinion. I also don't like the star ratings on the restaurants. It's like hearing what a movie critic has to say - just because Gene Shallot loves it or hates it, that really means nothing to me. Again, just my opinion.

          3 Replies
          1. re: danhole

            Gene "Shallot" is he related to "Sam Sift one cup of flower"? ;-)

            1. re: ChinoWayne

              Should have looked that name up first! Gene Shalit.

              1. re: danhole

                When on Chowhound, it's appropriate to call him "Shallot" though. Love it!

          2. I don't think it's appropriate for CH.

            That said, even on Yelp (and Facebook), it would be better if they added a "lame" or "useless" button instead of "cool", which means nothing.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Caralien

              My only reason is to get to useful reviews. If the past three years of flagging useful reviews by linking had not just been thrown out in one software change, I wouldn't think it was appropriate either.

              Not only do I no longer search on Chowhound, I no longer tell people with questions to search the board. It is totally useless and time-consuming.

              1. re: rworange

                I know you know what you're doing, but it took me a while to realize that when searching, it defaults to most recent rather than relevant. For the life of me, I can't figure out exactly why.

                1. re: coll

                  That would make sense if the linking was significant instead of the auto-linker just picking up any time the restaurant name is mentioned.

                  For example, a stelllar report Dec 1st is knocked out by a dozen one sentence mentions ... "In the city for xxx, what to eat" ... go to xxx

                  If anyone clicks on see more ... then the sort is by relevance ... which means that a 2002 report may be listed ahead of that 2009 report in Dec.

                  I don't see why anyone who doesn't follow chowhound WOULD click on the see more reports given most of the reports displayed on the restuarant record are so lame.

                  To me it seems like subtle strong-arming by Chow to force people to use the rating system. If you don't identify your report as a review, it goes down the rabbit hole and is lost for all purposes

                  That would be well enough, but even lots of new people aren't savy enough to click that review box. Since someone other than the poster can no longer link a great review, it quickly goes out of sight

                  What is annoying about this is that the staff of Chow has what it wants ... quick reviews on the restaurant page ... but unecessarily did it at the expense of the Chowhound community to identify good reports.