Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >
Jul 8, 2011 09:49 AM

Why is the Mid-Atlantic board so dead?

Got to admit that I would rather see Va. and NC on the same board, but that's just me as I travel South more than North. That said, why is this board so dead? Seafood is plentiful and most every vegetable known to man is in season. The soil in the DelMarVa is fabulous for growing. Farmer's markets are in full swing. Much artesan quality cheese and specialty food in the Piedmont and finally, Va. wine seems to have entered the circle of acceptance. Lots to celebrate but no chatter here. Just an observation and a point of curiosity. What say ye?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. New board has been added to the Mid-Atlantic region: New Jersey.
    If you're posting about that region, head on over there.

    This "sticky" has been listed as a yellow alert banner on the Mid-A board for some time. When the Mid-A and NJ Board merged the change to Mid-A was immediate.

    So, head over to the NJ board, bimmertimmer for all the posts-statewide.

    1. It's an indistinct line between Mid-Atlantic and the DC (in my mind MD and VA near the beltway) Baltimore board. There are often posts about the DelMarVa peninsula on the DC board, as well as questions about VA wines. I never know where the line is, eg. The Inn at Little Washington is not that close to DC but it seems to belong there but what about Shenandoah's in that case? Similarly, Annapolis/Baltimore is on the DC board and the Eastern Shore is just past that and I've seen it on both boards.

      6 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        If topics are posted to the "wrong" board, i.e. outside of what most would assume are its boundaries, you can use the "report" button to report them to the Chowhound Team, and they will be happy to move them. This process is made easier when the stickied topic, "New to the XXX board? Read this first" has a clear definition of the area a forum covers. Some of the boards have geographical boundaries that are clearly defined in that topic. This helps make sure everyone has the same idea of what area a forum covers. For example, it states in the stickied post for the Greater Seattle forum:

        "This board is focused on discussing chow in the Seattle area. This includes Seattle from Tacoma to Everett, along with Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue and other cities in between. If you'd like tips on chow in Washington, please see the Pacific Northwest board: . For a complete list of boards available, see the Chowhound menu in the navigation bar."

        Unfortunately, there is no such definition in the stickied post for the DC/Baltimore board. That would help. (It just says DC, Baltimore, and NoVA, and doesn't even mention the suburbs in Maryland.) I'm sure the Chowhound Team would be happy to edit the stickied post for the DC/Baltimore board if locals there wanted to suggest appropriate wording to more clearly indicate its area.

        I don't live there and locals know better than I do, but as an outsider, if I were looking for info on DelMarVa or Little Washington - yes, I've eaten at the Inn - or Shenandoah, I'd expect to find it in Mid-Atlantic, not on the DC/Balt board. I'd look on DC/Balt for Annapolis, though.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          "Unfortunately, there is no such definition in the stickied post for the DC/Baltimore board."

          Definitely. It's on both boards right now. And, it's hard to draw a definitive line--the IALW is about as close to the environs of DC as Annapolis/Baltimore.

          1. re: chowser

            >> Definitely. It's on both boards right now.

            I assume you mean that areas fall into both boards, and you are not disputing the lack of definition of the area covered. What it says in the stickied topic on the DC/Balt board is, "This board is focused on discussing chow in Washington DC, Baltimore, and Suburban Virginia." As I stated, that statement doesn't even mention Maryland suburbs such as Prince Georges County or Montgomery County, and doesn't tell what the limits are, the way the Seattle definition does.

            >> And, it's hard to draw a definitive line--the IALW is about as close to the environs of DC as Annapolis/Baltimore.

            Nonsense. First of all, the board is defined as both DC ***AND*** Baltimore, not just DC, so the distance from Baltimore is zero, LOL! And "little" Washington is much MUCH further than the environs of DC! When you drive the 75 miles there from DC, once you get off I-66, you've got another 30+ miles through rural countryside before you get there. Whereas Annapolis is 30 miles from the Capitol (and downtown Baltimore) - about the same distance as Dulles is - and it's built up pretty much the whole way.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              I would assume, unless they were covering two disjointed areas, which would make no sense, that suburban MD is covered in the DC/Baltimore description. I'm covered under the suburban VA description and live closer to IALW than to Baltimore. And, I see posts about IALW to the Eastern Shore to Williamsburg/VA Beach on the DC board (I'd even say there are more on the DC board than Mid-Atllantic which is why I said there probably isn't as much traffic on that board)--it's not clearly defined, as I've agreed; and it has been discussed many times.

              1. re: chowser

                Most maps include VA, WV, MD, DC, DE, PA, NJ, and NY in the Mid-Atlantic region, but I always think of DC as the headquarters of MAR.

                I've seen some discussions on the Baltimore/DC board about northern Maryland, which is quite a distance from Baltimore, and North East would not be considered suburban Maryland.

                So that pretty much leaves Delaware and West Virginia until you get to NJ.

                1. re: GraydonCarter

                  Yeah, it's pretty confusing. When I was looking for suggestions on the Eastern Shore (both MD and VA), I looked on both boards and saw posts on both. I think mentally, I always drew a circumference around DC, with the radius up to Baltimore and then swept around. But, there's no real reason for it. I've read people say they consider commute distance to DC but I know people who commute to DC from West Va or PA. And, for the big name restaurants like Volt or IALW, people associate them w/ the DC area.

      2. In reply to the OP, I too feel Va. should be with N. Carolina. Since the last board changes the Va. posts have slowed down quite a bit. One person who posts about Richmond decreased posts dramatically, probably due to family events, but is now posting a little. Hopefully that will pick things up.

        I think the economy is part of the problem too. I notice the same on the Florida board. People aren't going out as much and there isn't as much positive new restaurant developments to talk about. When the boards are slow people check them infrequently, leaving queries to languish.

        2 Replies
        1. re: meatn3

          I think meatn3 hits the nail on the head with the economy. Even the Southeast Board is a lot slower than it used to be, and there are still plenty of new places opening up, and changes at old places, etc.

          1. re: meatn3

            >> I too feel Va. should be with N. Carolina.

            I think that makes sense, especially on a board called "Southeast". And I know a lot of folks travel between those two states. The only problem with that idea is, there would then be even less traffic on the Mid-Atlantic forum. Any time you cut major areas out of a forum, you risk what's left seeming quite dead. For another example of this phenomenon, you can take a look at how little activity is on the Pacific Northwest forum ever since they gave Seattle and Portland their own forums. The areas left don't have any great concentrations of people or restaurants. I suspect the same thing would happen with Mid-Atlantic, which would then only consist of West Virginia, Delaware, and the far-flung parts of Maryland. So if you think it's dead now, it would only get worse if Virginia moved.

            Again, I'm not saying moving Virginia is a bad idea, only that there are ramifications to think of when considering doing so.

          2. Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy. It belongs in the Southeast, not the Mid-Atlantic. I'm from New Jersey, which is legitimately Mid-Atlantic. I'd place the southernmost boundary at Baltimore and everything below that in the Southeast.

            19 Replies
            1. re: MandalayVA

              Since NJ has its own forum - which makes sense, it's one of the successes of the last restructuring, the people there are very happy with it - I'd get rid of the Mid-Atlantic forum entirely. I'd move Delaware and the rest of Maryland to the forum for DC/Balt (could call it DC/MD/DE, or Beltway forum, or whatever other catchy name you like). And I'd move WV to the forum for Kentucky and Tennessee, and rename them the Appalachian forum.

              1. re: MandalayVA

                I agree that VA should be in the Southeast, not Mid-Atlantic. VA and NC belong together. My friends who come to visit from other cities have commented that it's odd there are no Richmond posts on Chowhound, until I point out VA is in Mid-Atlantic. It's happened twice this summer, so I suspect it's not just my friends who haven't figured it out.

                And Maryland should go to with DC - a lot of crossover there.

                1. re: MandalayVA

                  Civil War aside, I disagree about moving VA to SE. I think of DC/MD/VA as one area, especially the parts inside the beltway. I don't think MD is inherently more part of the DC area than VA and most NoVa CHers will travel to southern MD and vice versa for good food. I'm more likely to go to PA to eat than to NC. If you look at the map of the eastern US, VA is part of the middle of the mid-Atlantic area, which is where it is for a lot of sports, too.

                  1. re: chowser

                    >> I don't think MD is inherently more part of the DC area than VA and most NoVa CHers will travel to southern MD and vice versa for good food.

                    Northern Virginia is already considered part of the DC forum, just as much as the unmentioned MD suburbs of DC. The only parts of VA that are currently in Mid-Atlantic (and would maybe be moved to Southeast) are the parts away from the DC area.

                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      Yes, but the suggestion was to move VA to a SE board and NoVa is part of VA. And, the question remains as above of of much of VA to move, if you want to separate it.

                      1. re: chowser

                        >> the suggestion was to move VA to a SE board and NoVa is part of VA.

                        Not true. The suggestion was to move the part of VA that is currently in Mid-Atlantic, to Southeast. No one suggested moving NoVa away from the DC board where it currently resides.

                        1. re: nsxtasy

                          Prior to the last change in boards Va. was part of the South board. This also included NC, SC, GA, Tn, KY, Alabama & Mississippi IIRC. Now there is the oddly named Central South, which confuses everyone for Miss./Ala.

                          This change also created the Atlanta board, which has made Ga. participation on the SE board next to nothing.

                          There was a great deal of discussion after the board changes. It is a given that someone will be unhappy, but I really feel that asking the posters to define their geographic area and explain why they see it thus would have allowed better/clearer/more workable boundaries.

                          1. re: meatn3

                            Ayup, with the caveat that Northern Virginia had its own board. The rest of Virginia belongs in the South, culturally and geographically- and putting Virginia in the Mid-Atlantic board led to a noticeable decline in Virginia posts. I never post about Virginia anymore.

                            Our hearts cry out for our brethren, but the Ejército Libertador is on the way!

                            1. re: Naco

                              The reality is the following.. once you remove a participating group that for the most part only comments on some subset of a set of discussions, you will see an overall dip in total posts. And the reason is simple.. if I comment only on Atlanta.. sure.. I am gone. But if I have a more cosmopolitan view and think about food,.. culture.. southerness.. whatever.. I will comment on SC.. TN.. KY.. whatever. It leads to the fracturing of a community. What chowhound fails to recognize is that they build communities. If they want to maintain the comment volume.. they need to balance finding something that is directly relevant to me.. and finding something that is interesting to me that I am willing to comment. on. The greater the number of boards they have.. the more fractured and lower the level of community they will have. Hence fewer ad views. fewer clicks.. lower revenue.

                              1. re: cwdonald

                                >> once you remove a participating group that for the most part only comments on some subset of a set of discussions, you will see an overall dip in total posts.

                                Yes, exactly. When a portion of a board is split out for its own board, what's left is a smaller area with fewer comments.

                                Incidentally, the creation of the New Jersey forum was mentioned here in this topic as a reason for fewer posts in Mid-Atlantic. What hasn't been mentioned here is, at that same time, the Philadelphia board was also created, and it includes the NJ suburbs of Philly as well as the Wilmington area of Delaware. So both of those new forums siphoned traffic off from the Mid-Atlantic forum.

                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                  I had not followed the Mid-Atlantic board prior to Va. becoming part of it.

                                  The last reorganization of the boards created much discussion (after the fact), particularly from parts of Conn. which are positioned where they fell more closely aligned w/ NYC than with the rest of there state. JFood was very active in these debates. I hope he is all right, I haven't seen a post from him in months........
                                  This is the main thing I hate about online relationships - you get to "know" someone, but when they stop posting you just never know why. (Showing my inner mother hen persona :-D )

                                2. re: cwdonald

                                  It's a balancing act, but I felt the old South board worked well.

                                3. re: Naco

                                  Are they contemplating another reorganization? If I'm missing something, apologies...Just got home from a 15 hour drive so rather brain dead.

                                  1. re: meatn3

                                    I don't think so, but I can maintain my opera bouffe delusions of grandeur anyway.

                                    ¡El pueblo en armas!

                                    1. re: Naco

                                      perhaps the simplest way to end all the ongoing confusion is to give each State their own board.

                                      1. re: Lewes

                                        Except if you've asked for recommendations in DC, and exactly the type thing you're looking for is one metro stop into VA, that gets iffy.

                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                          Exactly. State lines are political boundaries; the CH boards should be interested in cultural geography. I've mentioned this before, but many of the Charleston posts on the South board come from North Carolinians, and many of the Asheville posts come from South Carolinians.

                                        2. re: Lewes

                                          I think you could combine states, eg MD/VA/DC since those questions end up on the DC board anyway. Given that there's little traffic on Mid-Atlantic, it wouldn't change much.

                                          1. re: Lewes

                                            >> perhaps the simplest way to end all the ongoing confusion is to give each State their own board.

                                            In some cases, individual states have their own boards. However, there are plenty of other states which either don't have all that many people (e.g. Delaware, Vermont, Wyoming), or they have people but almost all live in a city whose metro area has a separate board (e.g. Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada). Either way, if you give each of those states its own board, there won't be much activity on it. And you'd end up seeing topics that ask "Why is the Delaware board so dead?" :)