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Feedback on your local 'Read This First'

We're working on adding Read This First posts to more of our local boards, and while we've started them out with fairly generic templates, we'd like to add more specific, local details. For that, we need your help.

Check out the new Read This First stickied to the top of your local regional board when it arrives, and let us know if you have any tips to add:

1. What are the most repetitive questions that get asked? Are there specific events or attractions people are always asking for recommendations near? Specific restaurants that have been discussed in great detail? We're not trying to totally eliminate these questions, just help people to find the information that already exists.

2. Any board specific vocabulary, abbreviations or habits that people should know? On the multi-state boards, this might be the habit of using airport codes in titles to note the town, locally it might be that putting the airport code in the title means you want to eat near the airport. On Manhattan, we mentioned that prices there are generally higher than average so people should try to use clear cost descriptions if they have budget limits.

3. Are there any off board chowdown lists/groups that people should be aware of? How can they sign up?

Thanks!
-- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

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      1. HI...why is it that when I post a new topic there is not the NEW icon next to the posting?

        1 Reply
        1. re: sailon

          The 'new' icon is an indication of whether you've read the thread or not.

          Since you posted the thread, you've read it, and it's not marked as new to you. It will be for other people.

        2. I would be more than happy to write an FAQ for the Qu├ębec board. Gosh knows we need one to deal with all the recurring tourist questions and hit and run posters.

          And, best of all, I would only charge $0.20 a word for it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: SnackHappy

            We've had a Quebec-board FAQ for a while: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/711531

            The last post in that thread says that if you have suggestions for improvements, you can leave them here. Unfortunately, even though FAQs exist, the trick is getting people to read them. ;-)

            1. re: kpzoo

              I actually keep a bit of an eye on how many people read the Read This First threads, and a surprisingly high number do. I have no way of knowing how many of them read the whole thing from start to finish, but about 500 people opened the Quebec thread last month. So if you've got suggestions for improvements, they are worth making, as a significant number of people will see them.

              1. re: Jacquilynne

                Also, they are great for locals let visitors know that info is there.

                Don't do it fin a helpful way such as, "a great thread that will answer many of your questions is the "Reat This First" post at the top of the board.

                Don't do it in a snarky way such as "it's obvious you haven't read the post at the top of the board".

                It has been a real help on the SF board where you get tired of answering the same question for the zillionth time ... helpful to San Franciscans and visitors.

            2. re: SnackHappy

              >And, best of all, I would only charge $0.20 a word for it.

              That's $0.20 more than this site will pay for that sort of work, as far as I know. If anyone knows that to be false, please speak up!

            3. I just tried using ChowHound again after being fed up several months ago. Once again I searched for "Delray" in the Florida blog and a list of "seemingly relevant" topics appears, but when I go to those threads I read recommendations for restaurants that have been closed for years. Am I doing something wrong? I find this sight extremely frustrating.

              4 Replies
              1. re: NewToDelray

                Since this site is a "user generated" content site the information about what restaurants have closed need to be noted by the local board users, (such as yourself). If you discover a restaurant that has been closed (or more than one in this case) and they have Place Links in the CH data base you can mark them as closed. Even if no place link exists you can still do a post that updates the places which are no longer open. Just one note of caution in making sure you have your "closed facts" straight. We all try not to do any further harm to restaurants that are already struggling in our current economy.

                1. re: NewToDelray

                  >> when I go to those threads I read recommendations for restaurants that have been closed for years.

                  Are these recommendations in recent posts, or old posts? If someone is mistakenly under the impression that a restaurant is still open, it's okay to point out that a place has closed. If it's in an old post, in a topic that has been updated recently for something else, well that happens because people are adding information to topics that have been around a while and are still of sufficient importance to keep up to date. The default date on searches is to limit it to topics that have been updated within the past 12 months, but it's possible for those topics to also contain older posts. You just have to do your search, and realize that search results are sometimes going to contain stuff that's not what you're looking for. That's just the way searches work, on any site, not just here.

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    I guess this is the problem that I am having is...
                    "The default date on searches is to limit it to topics that have been updated within the past 12 months, but it's possible for those topics to also contain older posts."
                    I have never experienced a search where you limit the criteria to the last 12 months and still posts from 2, 3,4, years ago come up. You say it is common - I say it makes using this site extrordinarily frustrating.

                    1. re: NewToDelray

                      >> I have never experienced a search where you limit the criteria to the last 12 months and still posts from 2, 3,4, years ago come up.

                      You probably have, without even realizing it. For example, if you searched the Florida forum for "Delray" using the default search parameters, including 12 months as the time limit - I assume this is what you have been doing - the third topic in the search results is this one:

                      What are the best restaurants in Delray Beach and its environs? - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/367479

                      The topic was created in February 2007, and many of the replies are from that month. There are also replies from January-February 2008, June 2010, and most recently in August 2010. This is how topics can get kept up to date, so that people can still refer to valid information that's already been posted, while adding to it as well as noting what is no longer accurate. That's exactly what happened in August 2010. Poster jfb130 recommended a dozen different restaurants in his/her post. Poster smartie replied that one of those restaurants had recently closed. I don't see why it's frustrating when people post updates to what's already been posted; it's a way of not having to start all over again when there's already some great information available.