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New Feature Coming: Been There/Wanna Go buttons

In the next week or so we will be launching a new feature we're calling Been There / Wanna Go. This feature will allow you to create lists of the places you've been or want to go. Those lists will be visible in your profile page. Check out the annotated page to see a full visual description of the feature:
http://www.chow.com/may-updates

And let us know what you think!

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  1. I don't get the point of "been there." If you have nothing more to say about it, who cares?

    1. I would never use this feature, and I don't see how it would be of any help to anyone. Why would I give a damn how many people "wanna go" somewhere? And even "been there" just seems like a way to compete: ooh! I've eaten at Awesome Place X and you haven't.

      11 Replies
      1. re: small h

        One of the big things we noticed with the existing List function is that people most often used it to create lists of places they want to go. "Places to try" and similar variations is the most common List title.

        We plan to revisit the larger List function, as well, but we wanted to give people a light, easy way to keep track of the places they want to go. Places they've been is sort of the second step for that -- rather than having people simply take it off their list of places to go as if they were no longer interested in it, they can mark it off as done.

        1. re: Jacquilynne

          I already have a list of places I want to go. It's a Word document, and I keep it on my desktop. I'd be happy to tell you what's on it, but only if you ask, because I'm not self-centered enough to think that my restaurant hopes and dreams are interesting to anyone but me.

          As ratbuddy points out, below, this feature (like the share tabs and the "helpful" button) contributes to the Facebook-ification of Chowhound. The goal seems to be that eventually everyone will have her own homepage, and the relatively innocuous My Chow will metastisize into a cluttered mess of "where I've been" and "what I like." Chowhound will become less about conversing and more about announcing. And that will suck, because it will encourage users to build their own little forts rather than participate in the community.

              1. re: small h

                +832,967

                it sucks--very juvenile looking.

                1. re: toodie jane

                  I posted a very good reason why chowhounds should use the feature, which the mods removed for some reason. It does appear from the posts that I read that other than the initial curiousity factor, it is a feature that is being ignored much like the star system has been ignored. Even though I thought I would use it for the reasons I posted about, that "wanna" is so off-putting I just can't bring myself at this point to do it no matter how good the reason.

                  At least this release didn't introduce new bugs and resolved the extra spacing in editing for which I'm extremely grateful. That was awful.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Except I had the extra-spacing issue just yesterday. After it was supposedly fixed.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      As a freind's six year old daughter keeps asking about everything ... "A lot, a lot? Or a little?"

                      There are occasional wonky spacing things in edit, but it is just a little. If it adds lines it is only one and that is only happening occasionally. It is not the two additional blank lines every time the post is edited.

                      A request if anyone from Chow HQ is still reading this thread. For the restaurant record could there be somethink like a "what's this?" icon next to the buttions. Like Share, they are really sensitive if the cursor gets anywhere near them and the help box opens. That's kind of a pain because the buttons are near the website link and every time I get near those links, the help pops up for the two new buttons.

              2. re: Jacquilynne

                As an easy way to add stuff to a private list of places I want to try, "Wanna Go" would be useful, unless like a lot of the profile pages the site won't let me see it on my phone.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  This feature will be ineffective until the restaurant database improves - and perhaps this feature is a way to encourage folks to go ahead and enter the restaurant. Seems like an easy enough thing to do but few posters bother. I hope this helps.

              3. Not me -- don't care where anybody else has been or wants to go...and sure wouldn't keep a list like that out for public opinion. My list is my list, and I don't want or need anybody else's approval or opinion.

                6 Replies
                1. re: sunshine842

                  I might be interested in keeping a personal list of restaurants I've wanted to try, but not if it's out there for everyone to see.

                  1. re: Chris VR

                    This recalls a related issue, something that's bothered me for a while: Why should my personal Favorites list be public, visible to anyone who visits my profile page?

                    1. re: meatme

                      Your profile page is public. That's what it's for. Don't put anything there you don't want to share with the world. Signed, a 103-year-old female Facebook user.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Hi, Granny! Thanks for the advice, but it isn't quite so.

                        My Posts and My Threads are public by definition, since anyone can see the posts I've made; that's the purpose of Chowhound. However, no one can see People I'm Reading, which is also on my profile page, and I believe that Lists can (or could) be made either public or private.

                        As others have suggested for the new features described in the OP, I think that my Favorites should be, at least optionally, a private list as well.

                        1. re: meatme

                          Don't know if you know this, but if you google your Chowhound 'handle', every comment you've made on these boards comes up.

                          1. re: mnosyne

                            Yes, of course; that's self-evident. My point was that my Favorites list (now called Saved Topics), like People I'm Reading, any Lists I've created, and the new Been There/Wanna Go should at least have the option of being made private.

                2. Seems like a feature catering to the facebook crowd and twitter.. uhh.. twits. Robert Lauriston, small h, and sunshine842 make some good points as well.

                  1. Before rolling out new features, I suggest the site devote sufficient tech resources to fixing existing ones, like the restaurant database and mobile apps. They have bugs reported months and even years ago that still haven't been resolved.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: squid kun

                      I guess some people may want to expose this info about themselves. I dont. People can see easily enuf where I eat if I choose to post about it.

                      Ditto Squid Kun, lets focus on fixing the problems insteading adding "wanna go" (wince)

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        + 1, helpful to squid kun

                        >>> One of the big things we noticed with the existing List function is that people most often used it to create lists of places they want to go. "Places to try" and similar variations is the most common List title.

                        Why can't Chow roll some of these ideas out before going int design phase. or assuming something like this will be enthusiastically embraced?

                        People want the months and years old bugs fixed. People want their blackberry and smart phone apps to work.

                        Zagat just rolled out Zagat mobile and all I could think was "why can't Chowhound do that?"

                        And no. I don't find this useful in the least.

                        "Been there" is just more bragging rights ... like "helpful". It is an attempt to make star posters. Gee, I think this poster is good, let me see where they have been so I can go to the same joints.

                        As to "want to go", if I really want to go, I have that function by adding it to my favorites list.

                        There seems absolutely no understanding about what Chowhound is about ... what makes it great ... what draws the traffic.

                        One of the most touching and valuable posts to me was this recent one by someone with tons of knowledge about Laotian food. Things I never would have known. Yummyrice wrote

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5922...

                        "I decided to join this site after I had read several posts by you and others regarding Lao dishes. Some questions about Laotian cuisine had been asked so I decided to join Chowhound to provide some insider knowledge. So you, Melanie, and some of the other 'hounds pretty much got the ball rolling and therefore deserve any credit relating to that article"

                        That is the type of poster Chowhound has attracted over the years. Someone to add knowledge to the general database. When you search almost any food topic on the web, the search usually leads to Chowhound because of contributions by posters like that.

                        That poster would never have joined just because of someone's lists or because of all the other social networking features.

                        I understand why some of this is necessary, but at the same time they are changing the culture from discussing great food to getting the quick, easy popular answer about where to eat. Olive Garden rates high on sites with these features.

                        I can guess where this is leading. I'll bet in the future the restaurant records will display "xxxx" people have been there. "xxxx" people want to go. So that will result in search lists that bring those joints to the top. Again, everyone's been to McDonalds. It doesn't make it good.

                        I'm guessing, similarily, how many helpful votes will show up on our profiles whit ways to search for the most helpful posters.

                        I can tell you as a newbie I would have been a different poster with these type of features. I would have went for what made me popular and not what was delicious. And it would have been my loss.

                        I learned more about food because that was what the site was about. This year in Guatemala would have been hell without the training I had on Chowhound to seek out the delicious ... to blaze trails ... oh hell ... to go where no man has gone before... Food trek, so to speak.

                        It kept me amused ... and I learned a lot ... and hopefully anyone coming to Guatemala will eat better for it. Been there would be no help to anyone. Some of the places I ate in Guatemala really, really sucked ... and usually those were the joints that rated highest across the travel websites ... the tourist traps everyone goes to because people follow the crowd.

                        Have any of these features that seem to be trying to turn Chowhound into a social networking site, really upped traffic? Have they helped promote what Chowhound does better than any other site ... discuss how and were to eat deliciously?

                        Ok, this is my only post on this. At best, I can only hope this doesn't introduce more bugs.

                        At the very least, can "wanna" be changed to "want to".?

                        1. re: rworange

                          Exactly, rworange.

                          Chowhound is valuable precisely because of the depth of information, time and care that posters put into their answers.

                          From the beginning since the CNET takeover, I have been concerned about driving away many of the older members that provide this deep, rich content because of cutesy, modern things like avatars, "likes" and social networking.

                          Like any Chowhounds, I have absolutely no interest in any of the modern trends such as twittering, profile-filling or facebooking. I see this as a deep loss of privacy and it bothers me greatly. Younger people don't seem to have a problem with it (though I'm convinced that they will one day, even if it takes a generation or two for people to figure out just how much they've lost- but by then I'll be dead, and it will be too late for them!). It's that younger crowd that you're attracting with these kinds of features, though I suspect you're fully aware of this. Advertiser friendly but less knowledgeable younger people. So, good for your bottom line, but bad for us as a community.

                          Mr Taster