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Just Answer The Question!!


Hi Y'all:
This has been chafing me for a moment or two now. I do hope I'm addressing it in the proper spot.
Lately (even not-so-lately) I've noticed a real thread of superiority running through some of the "answers" addressed to people - especially new posters. It's happened to me: I've asked a genuine question about a product and what to do with it and gotten smacked around for my shopping choices instead of just receiving an answer to an earnestly-posited question, or was told that I'd called it the wrong thing, or basically was told that I'm pretty dumb. Now, I'm pretty thick-skinned and I know it's not true. But if I wasn't, and I asked a question here only to get met with some of the bullshit know-it-all drivel that passes for an answer from some folk? I might never come back.
It just seems to me that this site's purpose is primarily to educate one another on all manner and areas of the cooking/eating/dining out experience. When someone asks a genuine question only to get told their question basically doesn't even matter, it helps nobody. Oh, wait. It might help the person answering feel superior, or vent some spleen or something. But I'm sure there are places for that too.
Just a call to peace, folks. If you have an answer, give it. If someone is wrong on a point of fact or method, educate them; don't call them out or diss them. No point in answering just to show off your own superior knowledge - because unshared knowledge is pretty lame. It sits there in your brain, and you know it, and so what?

      1. You are so awesome. Thank you for posting this, and I hope it will have an impact on people.

        I am still pretty new to CH and there are lots of times that I feel kind of sick to my stomach with the cavelier rudeness that I see. I can understand why replies get spirited on "not about food" topics, and that's fine, but when someone posts a sincere question on a food-related topic, they should at least get a polite response, if not actual helpfulness.

        I don't post those kinds of questions for exactly that reason. Lame on my part and hopefully someday I will get past that. Last night I searched for a long time for info on how to use fennel bulb. I found a couple of great threads. In the past, I have tried similar searches and ended up with nothing but didn't want to take the risk of getting slammed so just went to other sites in search of helpful info.


        83 Replies
        1. re: jlhinwa

          Me too. Getting slapped, even on-line, is not fun.

          1. re: jlhinwa

            jlhinwa, Peace back atcha. Know this, buddy: this is ALL our house, whether you're a big old dog who's been here awhile, or a new pup trying to figure out where you fit in. It is up to us to turn the tide here. It hurts my heart to hear that you had a question that could've easily been answered here by any number of knowledgeable people, but due to your previous experience you felt like you needed to go elsewhere.

            Is that what Chowhound is turning into, folks? C'mon now.

            You stay right here and keep asking your questions. Blow off the haters. They do reveal themselves to be exactly what they are, and it doesn't take much time. There are many MANY more people here who are happy as hell to help, myself included. You can email me; it's on my profile. But you keep posting, and your friends, also, will reveal themselves to you. We're the ones who love to cook and eat and spread the good word and the good vibe. It beats an argument, any day. (And I'm never one to shy away from a good one o' those.)

            Have a great day. Hope to see you back here.
            Oh, and that fennel bulb? It's awesome shaved in a slaw or added to a salad, with some shavings of good parm. and a nice vinaigrette. It's also good braised, once you cube it.

            1. re: mamachef

              Mamachef, thanks so much for the kind and encouraging words! I am generally not a shrinking violet (and in fact can also have a lot of fun sparring!) but I have found that the tone of some of the posts I've read have made me think twice (and more!) about posting questions. Shame on me! I know better than to let the trolls get me down.

              In the six months or so I've been here, most of what I've read had been great--informative, inspiring, encouraging, and often very humorous. Much more good than bad, and I've tried news ways to cook old standbys, and I've tried out new foods. I love cooking for my family and for relaxation so CH is the perfect place for me to learn.

              Thanks for the tips on fennel bulb. I got a great deal--two for a buck--at my favorite produce market. I need to do something with them...they are so pretty! I think I will go the salad route for my first go around. That will give me a nice idea of the flavor and parm and a good dressing are always a good bet. Thanks again!

            2. re: jlhinwa

              there are also a few posts about how not so good the search function is...
              typically if i search google with "chowhound" after whatever im looking for i have much better luck...

              i have noticed what u r talking about also MC..
              there was a question about visiting new york (and only new york) from london...and asking if there was at least decent examples of bbq (there are btw)...i think most of the posts were "go to the south" dont eat anything in NYC....

              it did get a little rude IMO...and might have even turned me off from visiting the USA..let alone a bbq place in NY

              1. re: srsone

                <there was a question about visiting new york (and only new york) from london...and asking if there was at least decent examples of bbq (there are btw)...i think most of the posts were "go to the south" dont eat anything in NYC....>

                I hate that type of response. Just answer the damn question.

                1. re: viperlush

                  some did help ....so i think it turned out ok....
                  but it was a sad representation of the USA from some of them...

                  1. re: srsone

                    I can't imagine a way to correctly smoke briskets or pork shoulders in any of the 5 boroughs in commercial quantities without REALLY annoying someone who knows someone....

                    1. re: srsone

                      That is wrong. There was only one poster who said not to try bbq in NYC. He was chastised for saying so, but of course the posts were removed.

                      1. re: thegforceny

                        quite a few that i saw got removed

                        1. re: srsone

                          Right. There was one pedantic douchey comment telling the OP not to bother. Then a bunch of people piled on pointing out the douchiness. He kept responding and finally they were all removed.

                          1. re: thegforceny

                            and that is pretty much what Mamachef is talking about

                    2. re: viperlush

                      So what is the problem if people answer that they don't think you can get some certain type of food in a city. I actually appreciate it more when people tell somebody that they shouldn't try it because it doesn't resemble anything good instead of recommending something mediocre.

                      1. re: honkman

                        I guess for me the divide would be: is this person asking for a recommend, or is (s)he asking for places to avoid? In the first instance, to say "there's nothing good here and don't even bother coming" is a non-answer. In the second instance, the first response would be appropriate. My main point is that whether by dint of not reading carefully or whether it's because they're generally feeling scrotty that day, the actual question being asked gets lost in the shuffle of opinion and confusion. :)

                        1. re: mamachef

                          I think it is more helpful also to recommend not trying something. For example on the San Diego board visitors sometimes ask for restaurants which serve authentic Italian food. Several people (including myself) will answer that you won't find it in SD, only heavily americanized Italian food but if you really want it it's better to travel to LA. SD has other culinary strengths than Italian food. Such an answer is in my opinion more helpful for a visitor (and avoids mediocre and disappointing restaurant visits) than just suggesting some Americanized Italian restaurant in SD. Not every city does every cuisine well and there is nothing wrong pointing it out.

                          1. re: honkman

                            That's the exact situation when people want recommendation for places in NYC's Little Italy. Locals try to steer them away to other neighborhoods for Italian or to next-door neighbor Chinatown for Asian food.

                            1. re: lynncameron

                              Are you familiar with NYC's Little italy? (I see you have 6 posts, 2 about city dining.)

                              1. re: thegforceny

                                I've lurked here for a long time and am a regular NYC visitor. The Manhattan board seems ill-disposed to Little Italy restaurants and I bow to that. I found the same thing when I visited a friend in DC and asked about Chinese restaurants. She said they just aren't known for that but go for Ethiopian, Indian, etc. When the locals talk, I listen.

                            2. re: honkman

                              Sorry, I posted this in the wrong spot, it was just meant as an aside to Honkman. Must admit, I've eaten a great carpaccio at the Il Fornaio in Del Mar.

                          2. re: honkman

                            Because that's not answering their question. Sometimes I think that Chowhounds can be too criticial of their local restaurant scene and have a different perspective of than visitors. It's one thing when a type of restaurant/cuisine is not available in a city, then I see telling them that they can't get it. But it if is available answer the question and tell the OP where they can get it. Add a warning or alternative suggestion if you must.

                            1. re: viperlush

                              I guess we have different opinions on this subject. I wouldn't recommend any restaurants which I don't think represent a certain cuisine in a good way.

                              1. re: honkman

                                so in that situation...a person visiting new york city from london...and only NYC..
                                u would tell them ----sorry theres no good ribs or brisket in alllll of NYC and to not even bother???

                                1. re: srsone

                                  I don't live in NYC so don't know the BBQ restaurant scene but I described above a similar situation with non-americanized Italian restaurants in San Diego and so if somebody asked for a recommendation for an authentic Italian restaurant I wouldn't recommend any and explain that I don't think there is a good one in SD and would recommend other cuisines which are much better represented in SD. Why sending/recommending somebody to a restaurant knowning it is disappointing.

                                  1. re: honkman

                                    honkman I hear you but NYC is different. There are too many restaurants that one could have been to all and they usually just give an unhelpful rote response of what they heard. A recent example was someone from Vancouver asking for Mexican food. Many people chimed in with the formerly true response that NYC was not good for that cuisine. The problem was than most of those posters have not even ventured to the goodMexican restaurants in the outer boroughs. Sometimes people just seem to repost things without personal knowledge of the full scene. This is not even taking the fact that the original poster was from a place with basically no Mexican options.

                                    I generally think people should refrain from chiming in with such negative opinions all the time to prop themselves up.

                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                      "This is not even taking the fact that the original poster was from a place with basically no Mexican options"

                                      That's a point, but I always felt it was incumbent on the OP to add important caveats such as this. If you do that, you may get better responses.

                        2. re: srsone

                          I REALLY dislike the fact that newish (and not) posters get slammed for asking a question the answer to which is by no means obvious from the search function. "Yeah, we had a thread about that three years ago" is really not so darned helpful or neighborly.

                          1. re: lifeasbinge

                            I know I'm a "broken record" (whatever the heck that is? ;-D>) but, whether you get that type of reply (or anything else you see that seems particularly "unneighborly") directed at you or you see it directed at someone else use the "Report" button to let the mod's know. Cleaning up aisle 3 before the toxic reply spill can spread and cause harm to others is always the best way to go...

                            1. re: lifeasbinge

                              oh, i think it would be a great shame if folks misinterpreted the "tone" of some very helpful posters' efforts as a "slam." some hounds seem to be much more adept at using the CHOW search engine-- which for me is counterintuitive, and some seem to have a great memory for which thread had a great nugget of info in a side discussion on tomato-anise pies outside of toledo. . . GHG comes immediately to mind as a search ninja and helpful thread pointer-outer. a lot of 3 year old threads are still quite full of useful info and could be updated to stay current, we don't need 50 threads on the same taco stand, do we?

                              the horrible search function is a huge drawback for the site, and i agree it makes *the site* less friendly and functional for newcomers-- but the longtime users who will direct a newcomer to an older thread are generally trying to guide and welcome that person, not "slam" them for not knowing how the stupid search works. . . what can we do, maybe write "it's not you, the CHOW search function sucks" before posting a link to a recent discussion, when it's a newer poster, so as not to come off as unwelcoming? :(

                              1. re: soupkitten

                                Absolutely agree with this post. I think there will always be folks who ask without searching, but knowing how awful the search function on this site is, I offer the fact that it's been discussed a lot and provide links at times. I hope that's not interpreted as snarkiness or annoyance, but as an attempt to provide a lot more info right away to the questioner. A simple HTH at the end might make the lack of snark more apparent.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  True. Just a couple words make all the difference. I see two types of posters who reply with CH links.

                                  Type 1:
                                  "This thread has a lot of good info to help you out.
                                  *****CH Link******
                                  Good luck"

                                  Type 2:
                                  "Use the search function.
                                  *****CH Link***** "

                                  It should be pretty obvious that one is a lot less off-putting to new posters than the other. Does anyone really have any problems with type 1 replies?

                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                    That is such a great illustration, cowboyardee! Just a few more words with an effort to sound friendly can totally change the way something comes across.

                              2. re: lifeasbinge

                                2 thumbs up to you lifeasbinge

                                1. re: lifeasbinge

                                  yes it can be off putting....
                                  but if u lived in "x" and post about "x" all the time...u have been on CH for 10 years...
                                  u would get a little annoyed after answering the same question sometimes 2 or 3 times a day...

                                  ill give u an example....i also post on a car related forum...(i fix cars for a living)
                                  the forum is basically the same ..except it does have "stickies"...Ch doesnt really...
                                  and i dont know how many times i see the same question.."hey i just bought a 1995 NA model car..its my first one of "brand x" and i wanna make it go faster..what do i do?

                                  never mind that theres 6 stickies at the top of the page just on that model car....all about what u can do with it....and never mind that the 1995 car has been around for 20 years and gee in all this time ...Nobody else has ever thought about making it go faster...

                                  so yes it does get a little annoying to see a noob...with one post --who just joined yesterday...to not even do a little searching..or even basic reading of the site...
                                  even CH....

                                  i would equate my example to some posts i see here on CH...i just bought my first cast iron pan..either (a) how do i season it? or (b) what do i cook with it? or (c) how do i clean it?

                                  and as i said above ...yes the search function on CH isnt great...but google is...i dont think people realize how much google can find........

                                  and i usually nicely point out the stickies...

                                  or like here in florida..i point out yosemite sam or insatiable appetite...they both have detailed posts/blogs about food here...way more than information than i have...
                                  i dont think i am "snarky" about it...if i am u can tell me....

                                  and yes GHG has even answered some of my questions with links to older posts..i dont think GHG was ever "snarky" about it either...


                                  1. re: srsone

                                    So just ignore them, it works for me.

                                    1. re: escondido123

                                      but if u ignored most of those questions, even the stupid repetitious ones...people get annoyed and dont come back either..

                                      which ultimately isnt good either....

                                    2. re: srsone

                                      Forget about a CH search. Some people don't even do a simple GOOGLE search!
                                      Q: "Where can I find NAME BRAND product?" Um, how about its website which lists retailers?
                                      Q: "Can I walk from Bar A to Restaurant B?" Hey, how about Google maps?
                                      Q: "Is Restaurant A open?" Oh brother....

                                      You get the idea.

                                      1. re: thegforceny

                                        i know....

                                        its like the people who call 411 and ask "whats the number for 911?"

                                        1. re: srsone

                                          Here is a great example of this:


                                          I can't. I just can't anymore.

                                          1. re: thegforceny

                                            Now see, that OP deserves some condescension.

                                            1. re: tatamagouche

                                              Okay, please tell me that was a tongue-in-cheek comment as I cannot always get the tone of someone's reply.

                                              I just can't imagine that anyone would "deserve" condescension. It seems like much more of a commentary on the person taking the attitude and passing judgment than on the recipient (who is probably completely clueless).

                                              1. re: jlhinwa

                                                Yes that post did NOT deserve the sort of snarky and smug reply to another poster's google "That was easy, wasn't it? ;| Been closed for 5 months."

                                                THAT is the type of comment you can report, though it might not be deleted because of the second sentence.

                                                If it was just the first sentence, I'd report it in a second. Not doing so encourages that poster to do more of the same and others will fiollow suit.

                                                As the poster noted after it, they knew the restaurant closed but a review appeared on the web after the closing so it might have re-opened.

                                                For all anyone knew there was new management ... they moved ... they changed the phone number and website ... it happens.

                                                Asking a local who might be walking by to confirm does NOT fall under deserving condescensiob.

                                                And even if it did. Why feel compelled to reply. Not answering is more likely to discourage posts you don't like

                                                Snotty responses just put off others who might be considering posting about actual food but don't want to rish getting the muscous membrane on them.

                                                There's never a reason for doing a superior dance ... especially when it adds nothing.

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  But at some point, I feel as though wasting other people's time by effing up the noise-to-signal ratio is itself rude, and that thegforceny's response might remind that person to show a little respect to other posters w/r/t substantive questions. If you know how to use the internet well enough to ask a question on Chowhound, you know how to use it well enough to look something like that up.

                                                  EDIT: But this does show how etiquette can be a subjective thing...For me, I try to be very careful about wasting other people's time/trying to figure things out for myself/apologize in advance if I've dropped the ball on the first two, so it might be a peeve that's bound to annoy me more than it might others. Personally, I either ignore posts/comments that annoy me or I try to be gentle with instruction. I was being snarky above, because I understand where thegforceny is coming from—and I don't think his/her response was unreasonable. It was pretty to-the-point. But I hope the record shows I'm generally pretty gentle with newbies, and you guys may have just reminded me to continue that policy.

                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                    Again, no one had the whole story in the OP. A new review appeared after the closing.

                                                    So the OP did google. They wanted a nearby local to convirm.

                                                    It is better to up the signal by posting about food than to up the noise with a unfriendly reply.

                                                    If it bothers someone that much it is time to take a break from chowhound and go out and get something to eat ... then report back when there is something to say ... and I include myself in this.

                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                      No, I got that, but all the rest of the evidence certainly pointed to the correct answer. Still, I amended my comment above after reflecting a bit.

                                                    2. re: tatamagouche

                                                      Excellent point about etiquette being subective, tatamagouche. And even harder to figure out on-line where there is no tone of voice, facial expressions or other mannerisms to communicate intent.

                                                      I also hate wasting people's time and I have been known to rant about people wasting my time, so I get it. I have learned that I am much happier if I just ignore people whose behavior or manners I don't like...I can't control them and I keep myself from making an ass of myself. (Just please don't quiz my husband or daughter as to how often I am successful!)

                                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                                        Ha, yes. Everything about this thread is making me ask myself, Wait, do I come across the way I *think* I do?

                                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                                          I once read a post and wondered to myself why the poster didn't just google the topic. So I googled the topic and sure enough... there was the answer.

                                                          Then I wondered, maybe the poster is stuck in AOL world, and doesn't yet know about google? So I googled for a quick tutorial, looking for a sort-of step-by-step "let me show you how to google that", and I found "Let Me Google That For You" (lmgtfy).

                                                          So I formatted my response with a link to lmgtfy.com and got an email from a mod who kindly suggested that my use of lmgtfy came across with an air of superiority, and I might want to consider editing my post to tone it down. I did. I could see the point. But it wasn't like I had pointed them to justfuckinggoogleit.com

                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                              That is awesome, I actually left this site for a good year because I was just so sick of all the lazy, banal, uncreative postings in the boards I frequented. (If I saw one more post about reservations at "Babbos" (sic) or "What's good to eat in NYC?" I would've lost it.)

                                                              People should ADD to the discussion, not force their laziness and stupidity on others. I think a little shaming is worthwhile: weeds out those who really do not contribute.

                                                              1. re: thegforceny

                                                                I agree with you. I can't count how many times every months somebody asks on the SD board for recommendations in downtown (my guess would 10% of all discussions start with this question from somebody new). There is even a post at the top of the San Diego CH board addressing those issues including searches etc. But people ask the same questions again and again and never use the search function of CH or Google and are surprised that nobody anawers anymore (often with a second post after 2 days "Nobody can help me ?") or people make more drastic comments (without being overly rude). Yes, we should be helpful to new posters but I don't think it is too much to expect that new posters also try to fit in this community by following some very basic rules and that doesn't often happen unfortunately. Tolerance/friendliness goes in both directions.

                                                                1. re: honkman

                                                                  What can be especially frustrating is if there is an existing thread for the same thing a couple of threads down. Even if the search is hard to navigate, at least look at the page. And, often when people do answer w/ links to previous threads, those are ignored.

                                                                2. re: thegforceny

                                                                  Being local to the South board, I am endlessly amused by people from the NYC/Tri-State boards grousing about tourists on their home boards asking uninformed, overly broad questions.

                                                              2. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                Yes, it's all in the tone. I find rephrasing things as questions take the edge off, as in, "May I suggest justfuckinggoogleit.com?"

                                                                1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                  i wonder if the mods would let me change my handle to that...........

                                                                  1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                    Graydon: HA! I just checked out that site (JFGit), and well if you're gonna get snarky...that's a humorous way of doing it.

                                                            2. re: rworange

                                                              Rock on, rworange.

                                                              "And even if it did. Why feel compelled to reply. Not answering is more likely to discourage posts you don't like"

                                                              Exactly. No one else can make us irritated, annoyed, angry, etc. It is our choice how we respond to whatever comes our way. It is easy enough to program yourself to just ignore, ignore, ignore. My mother is famous for her endless stream of chatter with repetitive questions. I just smile and ignore her now. Much easier than getting annoyed at her for wasting my time and brain space.

                                                              "Snotty responses just put off others who might be considering posting about actual food but don't want to rish getting the muscous membrane on them. :


                                                              "There's never a reason for doing a superior dance ... especially when it adds nothing."

                                                              So true, but I would give anything to see Dana Carvey in his church lady suit clucking his way around the SNL set again!

                                                              1. re: rworange

                                                                I know it is fine line between "friendly" sarcastic and rude but way too often people don't use Google or the CH search function to find easily the information without starting a new thread and it si often annoying to have threads after thrads started with questions which are asked very often before or can easily found out by using Google. It is good to be friendly to everybody especially new posters but that doesn't mean you can't point them towards using their own time to find easily accessible information.

                                                                1. re: honkman

                                                                  >>> It is good to be friendly to everybody especially new posters but that doesn't mean you can't point them towards using their own time to find easily accessible information.

                                                                  Since you use the word annoying, I'd say no .. because that comes across to the poster.

                                                                  There was a new poster a few years ago who fell in love with the site and asked about a half dozen questions that were easily googled. such as "what is cassoulet and how do you pronounce it".

                                                                  That was actually one of the more substantial questions.

                                                                  So I did a bunch of goggle links about cassoulet and suggested some of the topics could be easily googled and this was how.

                                                                  My response was deleted and the power that was at this time wrote this ...


                                                                  "Trish, one of the purposes of Chowhound is to provide a non-snobbish place where we can fill in each other's gaps of knowledge. I have LOTS of gaps, myself, and revel in having a place where I can ask "dumb" questions without drawing snobby derision.

                                                                  So I'm incredibly embarrassed by the reception you received (which has been deleted). Please accept my apologies. Speaking to you and all reading along: please don't EVER hesitate to ask naive questions on Chowhound. If you happen to draw condescending, bristling replies, just ignore them. For the most part we're not like that here.

                                                                  Again, I'm awfully sorry. We strive to be the sort of site where anyone can ask anything without getting slammed. But every once in a while, the moon goes into a certain phase and some ordinarily friendly posters turn imperious and feel compelled to dictate how others ought to post. Ugh."

                                                                  Ouch. Double ouch considering who wrote it and it was about me.

                                                                  This was prior to the site conversion, so I have no clue if that poster continued to post. There weren't any more on General Topics after that on that day.

                                                                  And you kjnow what .... no matter how simple-minded the questions were in my snotty opinion, I learned something from ever single thread.

                                                                  There is no need to reply unless you can answer the question. Anyone that annoyed needs another hobby.

                                                                  In those days you had to email the mods to report condescending, bristling replies and it was, from my understanding, a PITA to delete them.

                                                                  Now we have a report button. So keeping it friendly is a lot easier. If one must hit buttons and participate without reporting about food, that might be the more productive activity rather than responding to posters that annoy us.

                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                    But you did answer the question—and the way you describe it, your response sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Still, I hear what you're saying. Patience and compassion are things we could all, especially me, use a little more of.

                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                      Well ... after being pissy and self-rightous about this to everyone at Chowhound ... for quite a while ... after all these years I can be honest enough to finally say it was more of me being annoyed than being helpful and answering the question ... and that always comes across. We only fool ourselves otherwise.

                                                                      And what did I accomplish? That poster probably never returned. How many others read that and said "sheesh" and went elswhere? The posts about food, no matter how naive to me, probably dragged in numerous people over the years ... GOOGLING .. that topic.

                                                                      Keep it about the signal and don't contribute to the noise.

                                                                    2. re: rworange

                                                                      even back then i would have googled first.......asked questions after...

                                                      2. re: srsone

                                                        > so yes it does get a little annoying to see a noob...with one post --who just joined yesterday

                                                        On one Mitsubishi forum, they don't allow you to make your first post for something like a one-week waiting period. Another site, I think it was television-related, keeps track of how many threads you open after registration and won't allow you to post until you have opened a certain number of threads. And many sites require a moderator to approve your first post. I think these are all terrific techniques, but CH sees things much differently, and seems to want to encourage first time posters.

                                                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                          most forums nowadays u have to submit a registration form to and be approved...
                                                          and even yelp doesnt just throw up your first post either...

                                                          even still spammers get thru...and i report them really fast...
                                                          i dont need to buy unlocked phones from china or shoes from taiwan..
                                                          or knockoff cologne....

                                                          which mitsu forum are u on?

                                                  2. re: jlhinwa

                                                    While I couldn't agree more I also see a misread of comments pretty often too. I thought your advice a few weeks ago that CH's give each other the benefit of the doubt was excellent, mamachef and useful applied to your OP now.

                                                    Mods are helpful for the truly awful posts and we can all use the report function when we get frustrated but generally speaking I'm more comfortable being responsible for policing my own words and owning their intent.

                                                    So if Hill or J offends anyone here pls give us the benefit of the doubt, our intention is to have fun, learn and share tips. We enjoy this community and unless you step on our heels for absolutely no reason other than to be downright rude/mean, it's all good.

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      Jinx - you owe me a coke! Or a Dos Equis Lager preferably! lol

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        All I've got is iced tea, will that do?

                                                      2. re: HillJ

                                                        I did not know that "Hill" and "J" were two people! I have never found either one of you to be anything but helpful.

                                                        1. re: jlhinwa

                                                          That is so nice of you to say, jlhinwa, thank you. Hill reads more than posts but has been known to get "on a subject" in Food Media & Site Topic more frequently than I. I love the Home Cooking board. Hope we didn't confuse.

                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            Not at all...I appreciate the explanation! I admire partners who can share an id, or e-mail address, or whatever. I love my husband dearly and wouldn't trade him for anything, but I also wouldn't ever want people to confuse his ideas as being mine (or vice versa, I'm sure!). :-)

                                                      3. re: jlhinwa

                                                        I have tried similar searches and ended up with nothing but didn't want to take the risk of getting slammed so just went to other sites in search of helpful info.
                                                        see, now this just makes me sad. what the heck are we all here for if not to help each other? screw the meanies, jlhinwa...the rest of us will be more than happy to answer your questions, so ask away!

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          Thank you so much, GHG! I have been encouraged by the positive posts on this thread and actually finally dipped my toe in the water and posted a thread on the home cooking board about planning a 50th anniversary party menu for my parents (Dad is Norwegian...loves the traditional stuff). I have been getting the most helpful suggestions and other wonderful advice. I have even received some wonderful advice about how to plan the event. I didn't ask about that aspect of the party, but I welcome the input because it is so graciously offered and because it hit a whole bunch of things I hadn't yet thought of.

                                                          I am really thankful the replies have all been so constructive. If I had gotten some "go google smorgasbord menu" replies or the like, I am not sure I would have tried again anytime soon. This is event is extremely personal and important to me so it would be hard to deal with snarkiness and keep my chin up.

                                                          BTW, that reminds me of one more point about coming to CH with questions vs. googling. Some things are better answered by the food-oriented CH'er than a just random google search. When I wanted to know how to use fennel the first time (the question I was too chicken to ask but Mamachef hooked me with some great ideas a few days ago), I really wanted to hear from people whose opinions I have come to respect and trust. Not just some random google-answerers.

                                                          Lesson learned by me: I needed to just get over myself and my little insecurities because the good guys far outnumber those who are less than constructive.

                                                          1. re: jlhinwa

                                                            BTW, that reminds me of one more point about coming to CH with questions vs. googling. Some things are better answered by the food-oriented CH'er than a just random google search.
                                                            true, though a Google search will often bring you directly back to CH threads :)

                                                            and in case you need any more help with that fennel bulb...

                                                            and don't forget the fronds and stalks!

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              Thank you! I really appreciate you posting those for me. When I searched, I came up with the first thread but not the others. I think I searched using "fennel bulb" in home cooking. Did I do something wrong or was it a search malfunction?

                                                              If I remember correctly, GHG, you are the one who has a reputation as being the search guru here. I can definitely see why!

                                                              Thanks again! I did try fennel braised and also raw in a slaw. Loved both a lot (and so did my family) so I am definitely going to be adding this to my veggie rotation.

                                                              1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                heh :) that's what they tell me! the function is temperamental, and i personally think the search bar at the top of the page is pretty useless.

                                                                my "expert" advice would be to do one of the following:
                                                                - stick with the Advanced Search:

                                                                *be sure to pay attention to the date ranges selected and the way you have the results "sorted"*


                                                                - use Google to search within CH. just type "site:chowhound.chow.com" into your Google search bar along with the search terms. it's actually a pretty neat way to do it! here's what came up when i Googled "site:Chowhound.chow.com fennel"...

                                                                hope that helps!

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  usually u dont even need to put all that ...
                                                                  just "fennel chowhound" will work

                                                                  im lazy...i dont like typing all that out.....

                                                                  and google will already narrow down searches by site as well..

                                                                2. re: jlhinwa

                                                                  going OT but I like it marinated in avinagrette of sorts and grilled.

                                                                  hell I could fennel raw (BTW grows wild in the flats around Potrero Hill in SF - North and East faces)

                                                                  1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                    The best advice I've gotten on the search is to use google and add "Chowhound" to it. Well, the second best--the best is when ghg comes up w/ her extensive comprehensive lists.;-)

                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                      Thanks for the searching techniques! I know GHG has a well-deserved reputation as the searching guru...now I know why.

                                                                      Also, thanks for the tips on fennel. I really enjoyed trying it and am going to look for more opportunities to serve.

                                                                      I also found (finally) some star anise at a grocery store yesterday. I cannot remember the recipe that had me searching unsuccessfully for it months ago but now that I've found it, I am going to have to find something to use it in. I will give the search function a go later today.

                                                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                        I have a super recipe for Sichuan braised beef that uses one whole star anise (sorry, you can't use a lot of it at one time, I've been working on one bag of it for years) that I posted on Home Cooking for you...


                                                                        1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                          I've used dried star anise like one would hickory or mesquite chips when grilling, and a little goes a looong way.

                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                            Just a quick request that the star anise discussion move over to the Home Cooking thread that buttertart started. Thanks.

                                                                3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  If you end up with nothing, then you absolutely *should* come to Chowhound! Now I've done that many times—come here saying, Look, I've tried and I can't find X, can anyone help? Or sometimes: Look, I've looked this up, but when it comes to X, I want a hound's take, not Wikipedia's. Can anyone help?

                                                                  I have to say I've never gotten pushback or snark using either approach.

                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                    Ditto w/ tatamagouche. Plus, I like the feeling of connecting with another person who's actually made the dish and may have some subtleties not noted in the original recipe.

                                                              2. It's truly amazing how many rather harmless posts get deleted, while the fuck nuts and their superiority complex are left alone.

                                                                One of a number of reasons why I haven't been much on CH lately. It's frustrating, to say the least.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. Please, please, please, oh very pretty please REPORT THESE TYPES OF RESPONSES using the "report" button at the bottom right of every post. Not just you mamachef, but everyone reading along on this thread. Use your "report" button" liberally and often. It doesn't cost you anything. It only takes a moment. And most of all IT HELPS with the problem.

                                                                  Whew! I feel better now... ;-D>

                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                    Servorg, that is plain and fair advice. There's something in me that has a really, REALLY difficult time "snitching" although I realize that's a bit ridiculous. I do think the mods do a good, if sometimes overzealous, job of catching out the real stinkers...but when it comes to a mini flame-war, as HillJ (who I have NEVER EVER had a problem with) says, I do prefer to police and own my own words. I am appreciating all the broad perspectives here, for sure......but my truest feeling is that we are the best "overseers" of this site. Not that we have any power whatsoever ultimately about what stays or goes, but as in the case of all bullies, if they get gently called on their nonsense, or fail to receive responses, they are going to go away 'cause that's how bullies do.
                                                                    I agree 100% on giving up a little latitude, but I honestly feel that I "know" who I'm dealing with on most levels here. I know who's going to be helpful; who's going to be snarky; who's being sarcastic and who is being earnest. If I'm not sure, I ask. And I do believe in the benefit of the doubt, but I say, once your foe reveals his face, remember the face and act accordingly!

                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                      Thanks mc, I never had the impression you've had a problem with me or Hill. I was addressing your concerns to the best of my ability to the general community. We've been posting under this s/n since 2006 and could never say we know 100% who's going to comment or respond in any given way at any given time. Like you said in agreement, the benefit of the doubt covers a good deal of the issues. And, if you truly have a hesitation about hitting the report button, may I respectfully suggest you give it a try. It's not snitching, it's keeping the community in the frame of mind you are saying you prefer. Enjoy the rest of your day!

                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                        "I agree 100% on giving up a little latitude, but I honestly feel that I "know" who I'm dealing with on most levels here. I know who's going to be helpful; who's going to be snarky; who's being sarcastic and who is being earnest. If I'm not sure, I "

                                                                        Just think of it this way, mmc - not all those who come here and just "stick a toe" in the water have a "thick skin" like we do. If you and I let a small cadre of online bullies drive away (or scare off before they ever even get the courage up to post in the first place) the new blood that brings new perspective and new recommendations and new recipes to CH then we are dooming this site and community to an inbreed, downward slide into mediocrity that will do all of us harm.

                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                          Well-said. I tend to forget that I tend to let stuff roll a little easier than some people. You are very right.

                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                            That's why I wish there was a "block" button so we can each avoid the posters we know will get our dander up.

                                                                            1. re: escondido123

                                                                              I'll only say that, if there was one of those I would have missed out on some really excellent recommendations (and some thought provoking - if infuriating at times - ideas).

                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                Agreed. There are a few people I've seen who seemingly have nothing much to add beyond snark. But far more numerous are the people who annoyed me when I first started noticing their posts but who also turned out to have some really valuable knowledge in one area or another.

                                                                        2. re: Servorg

                                                                          When an item is reported and the post deleted, is their notification as to the reason for the post being removed? And is it generated by other readers, mods, or both?

                                                                          I have had a couple posts in this thread deleted. I can guess the reasons why, but it leaves me wondering if the people reading are being extremely diligent to keeping the thread 100% on-topic, or have I pissed off a reader or two without knowing it.

                                                                          I will say that it is a little ironic to have that happen in this particular thread, especially as I mentioned above that I have only been here a few-months and have been gun-shy about posting for some of reasons MC raised in her OP. That said, I am choosing to not be overly sensitive and instead believe that it is someone's well-intentioned effort to keep this thread on track, not a personal thing.

                                                                          1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                            At times the mod's will email to let you know why something has been deleted. I get the impression that veteran posters don't get notified nearly as often as less experienced posters. No other reader is going to have any "power" to have your post removed (your in the general sense). They may report it because they feel you have contravened site rules. But the call to remove or not to remove is made "in the back room" away from the eyes of the Chowhound community.

                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                              Thanks for the explanation. I appreciate the info.

                                                                            2. re: jlhinwa

                                                                              Speaking personally, you've done nothing "wrong" or offensive at all. I'd assume for the best; that the person answering is trying to keep it germane to the topic originally posted. (Especially if the answer-er was me.......unequivocally, that's the only reason I'd do it. But I certainly didn't report you.) One thing you should know is, if someone's post is deleted, all posts answering it will disappear as well. And as far as being notified, sometimes they'll take the initiative, as Servorg says, and especially w/ newer 'hound, but sometimes not. You can always write and ask why, and Jacquilynne in particular is marvelous about answering those sorts of questions.

                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                Marci, thanks for the info...it helps me to understand how things work and I didn't have any idea about all subposts being deleted if the main post is deleted. I definitely don't want to be an annoying poster but also don't want to over-analyze every word I type.

                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                  Hi, Marci:

                                                                                  It's been my experience that the Mods will also sometimes go back and delete posts *before* the one that caused the cleaver to drop, as well. So I can perfectly understand how someone would wonder "Gee, what did *I* do wrong here?"


                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                    I guess that would be a form of advance spin-control. :) Gosh! Now they're even psychic! :) ("Must......remove......will.......invariably......lead......to......trouble.")

                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      Hi, mama:

                                                                                      I think surgeons call it "taking wide margins". But it can result in fairly innocuous posts, both up and down the chain from the objectionable one(s) getting poofed. Just part of the whimsical nature of moderation here.


                                                                            3. There are some very unhappy people out there. It is them not you.
                                                                              I wonder how many are alcohol fueled?

                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                I very much agree with this and will take it a step further to add that it's good to also try to be aware that there may be posters on here who have a mental illness which if we knew, may explain some behaviour. Think of a post with bi-polar, narcissism, schizophrenia. There answer may not always seem friendly or clear to some, and that is something we cannot change but must accept as a society. It makes it much more easier to understand if we knew, but thats personal information. There are all walks of life on here. I do also agree that some are just downright mean and may not have any reason to be that way and I too have been dismayed from posting at times.

                                                                                Thanks for bringing this up and cheers to happy posting!!!!!

                                                                                1. re: fryerlover

                                                                                  Thanks. I try to be positive, sometimes fail, but my bad sense of humor is better than no humor or anger. I try to have fun w/ CH and keep it in perspective, it's just a frickin' food site.

                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                  I agree that alcohol fuels some of this. I've had to report a few posts that have taken pot shots at a few of my negative reports. They make a personal attack or three, and then go on and write a glowing "review" of the place that 's been universally panned. It's no coincidence, me thinks, that most of the posts are first timers, and most occur after 1 AM. As Servog suggested, hitting the 'report' button has taken care of the problem, even with the one new poster that started following me around and attacking every post I was making.

                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                    It has to be someone, and logically, it can't always be them. So sometimes, it is you.

                                                                                    1. re: Naco

                                                                                      I plead the 5th amendment...

                                                                                      1. re: Naco

                                                                                        Brilliant and shriekingly hysterically funny. Except it's not him. Or me. Or you. Ever. (running away laughing....)

                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                            I'm witcha.
                                                                                            'Cause it SHO' ain't us, good sir. :)
                                                                                            Good Morning. Looks like we're all up in the same boat yet again.
                                                                                            I found some cabbage-y, apple-y, oniony sausagy noodle recipes yesterday. You got enough recipes, or want me to send 'em along? Also, check out the dill thread again....there was a buttermilk cholodnik w/ cauliflower that sounded divine, and another w/ potato. Om yum yum.
                                                                                            Have a dilly of a day, dude. :)

                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                              We went to friends for dinner and the 1st course was a cold cauliflower curry soup w/ seared scallops.
                                                                                              See what you have started here? It has been a great help to a lot of folks. We are a sensitive lot.

                                                                                              Ne Age Sensitive Dumkeg

                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                Cauliflower and scallops are a marriage made in heaven.

                                                                                    2. I totally agree! I had a post that quotes a restaurant chat online, where the reader asked for the best thai in DC. The answer missed the boat (suggested 2 places in Maryland). so I reposted (kind of jokingly - thinking the 'hounds would laugh a little). And the answer I got was - well, those places are the best, why are you too lazy to go there, it's not that far?

                                                                                      And I really just wanted to say -- but, that wasn't the question!! If I meant anywhere, I would have asked that!!

                                                                                      Phew. Got that off my chest. Clearly this absurd heat is getting to me :)

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: DCLindsey

                                                                                        I know DC, same happened to me.. I feel for you on that one. :) Just ignore them, I will from now on :)

                                                                                        have a great day

                                                                                        1. This isn't anything new or anything happening more recently.

                                                                                          My very first topic in 2002 asking for good places in the SF Bay Area for good pre-made pie crust got lots of initial unhelpful replies such as make your own, any idiot can do that.

                                                                                          These days it seems gourmet pre-made pie crust is a big business, so I feel vindicated and I'm over it ... sort of.

                                                                                          Now there is a report button. Use it for any unhelpful posts that don't add information whether it is someone just doing a put-down, adding a useless 'witty' comment, or just doing some feel good chatting.

                                                                                          Bypassing them without reporting just attracts more of the same.

                                                                                          That being said, it still is discouraging to get those replies, especially from long time posters who know better.

                                                                                          I don't post questions just to post. I've usually goggled or done other research and know I can get better responses on Chowhound. At this point, I know the posters who are going to put down the topic and consider whether I want to deal with them enough to post a question.

                                                                                          So if useful information can't be added, consider not replying. It discourages people from posting and stops the flow of info.

                                                                                          Three fairly recent topics that got initial slams, eventually yeilded tons of amazing info I would not have found elsewhere once they were pruned of the dead wood. .

                                                                                          However, if the answer is helpful and not a personal attack, dont mistake what some might consider a "bullshit know-it-all drivel that passes for an answer" if it doesn't agree with your point of view or might just be giving. some correct info. It is difficult to interpret tone or intent sometimes witth the written word.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                                                            rworange, speaking only to your last paragraph, my comment about "bullshit-know-it-all-drivel" was referring SPECIFICALLY to such non-replies as those you got re piecrust, not genuine if misguided attempts to be helpful. So I see you got my point.

                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                              "consider not replying. It discourages people..."

                                                                                              That is the best tactic, I think. Just ignore the behavior. That works well with small children, too, as I once again got to practice while teaching VBS at church this week.

                                                                                              I appreciate your comment about knowing the difference between a know-it-all answer or attack vs a truly helpful but differing point of view. One of the things I love about CH is that it gets me to think and push my boundaries on food-related issues. It would be impossible to grow and improve if we all just sat around agreeing with each other all the time.

                                                                                            2. Hi, mamachef:

                                                                                              I mostly agree with your post, and couldn't agree with you more about the site's primary purpose: collegial education. I am sorry if you have been put down here or felt that way.

                                                                                              I also think there is a minor "Jester" function at work here, and I think it can have a proper place. We have winks and nods and sticking-out-of-tongues, posters who jest in verse. Human groups that have no jesters take themselves and conformity too seriously, and sometimes to dangerous extremes. And we sometimes have this social need met in the subtlest and most informative ways--right back at those who strike superior poses.

                                                                                              We should always be courteous and mindful that we all have a lot to learn.


                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                Nicely said, and excellent food for thought. Mahalo.

                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                  Very well said kaleokahu. I don't post to rile people up for the sheer fun of it as rworange seems to be saying. This might be a misunderstanding on my part though. I like to learn how other people think and see things through their eyes. This thread has helped me understand my beloved chowhound better. I had no idea people used the report feature so frequently and I'm with mamachef in that to me it feels a bit like snitching. HillJ it is a shame that the other thread about banning kids got locked so soon, I was learning a lot there too.
                                                                                                  I think that personality plays a big part on chowhound too. Some people love new beginnings and others like to check things off and finish them. There seems to be a sentiment now that this thread should end because we've discussed everything possible here. Do people also use the report feature to ask that a thread be closed because they are tired of it? Just curious. I guess what I like best about chowhound is forming connections with people I'll probably never meet. I'm thinking of my favorite poster who is gone now, Sam I Am. I knew he was popular and I didn't understand what the big deal was until he responded to one of my posts. He took my breath away. Hope to meet you one day Sam.

                                                                                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                    givemec, it's a new day! let's see what it brings!

                                                                                                    I've used the report button to ask a Mod a ?, to site a duplicate post, to question placement and to report myself...and if I'm really ticked to alert an issue that's making me uncomfortable. But, I have no clue what happens after that. Since the report button is there for all of us to use, I don't consider it a waste of time, harmful to the community or snitching. It's a tool; one that CH's have at their disposal. And, it's also a form of free speech, thew :)

                                                                                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                      i never report anything but SPAM. but i'm a radical proponent of free speech.

                                                                                                      i think the contentious conversations are the most important ones to have.

                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                        Oh thew! I don't always agree with everything you write but my goodness we are in complete agreement on this one. Well said. People do love to be comfortable don't they? You said everything I was trying to say in two succinct sentences. Thank you.

                                                                                                      2. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                        >>> Well, I was the one who used the word "deserve," and I was being offhandedly snarky on this particular thread. I admitted that. But I try to use my snark for good, not ill\

                                                                                                        Yeah, this was from further down, but it touches on this post.. That's the trouble with the written word, it is difficult to tell when someone is being snarky or not

                                                                                                        My own bete noir is that I hate the whole +1 stuff and when I use it, I'm being dismissive of the use and snarky .. until one day someone thought that was just the way I was showing approval. I mean, I am approving when I use it ... but I follow it with with a comment. I've never just did a banal .+1 agreement without saying why I agree.

                                                                                                        Anyway, since I didn't read yours and other comments as offhand snark, to e it was depressing that people wanted to stir the pot just for the hell of it.

                                                                                                        And on the snitch factor I'm not referring at ALL to interesting food-related conversations that might go wildly off topic. I'm talking about stuff that has nothing to do with food ... like about someone's little puppy which digresses into dog breeding.

                                                                                                        I will report the 'humourous' comment that is there just for the laugh ...

                                                                                                        Topic: Why to people go to Dennys??

                                                                                                        response: Drunk

                                                                                                        I'll report that crap because if not there are a zillion more. I also surpress my own inner Jay Leno and don't post that sort of junk

                                                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                                                          One person's junk is another's treasure. Some would consider long, drawn-out descriptions of every bite of food they consumed on a road trip extremely tedious; others apparently find such posts of interest. Personally, I appreciate a witty post. (And at least is this college town, the comment about Denny's is spot on.)

                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                            In this rural, non-college, Maine town, the Denny's comment is spot on!

                                                                                                          2. re: rworange

                                                                                                            "I try to use my snark for good, not ill" - rwo, 2011. whew. another bullet dodged! I don't report, but maybe just make a soft comment that the thread/post was on the wrong board. it all usu gets moved or deleted but in the meantime the OP gets a gentle explanation of what's probably gonna happen.

                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                              If you could, please report instead. Leaving a comment ends up creating more work for us. If you just use 'report', we find out about it quickly, and can redirect to the right place and send the person a message to help them find it in their new home, and we don't have to take the time to remove your post which will no longer make sense once we've moved the thread.

                                                                                                            2. re: rworange

                                                                                                              that's a damned shame, to me - as those moments of humor are what distinguish a healthy community of like minded individuals enjoying each other from a rigid boring encyclopedic recitation of facts and figures. I can read zagats or the NY TImes if all want is reviews and cold hard facts. I prefer to be part of a community, with all the messy veering off into humanity that that entails

                                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                                Hear! Hear! Spoken like a true super hero.

                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                  Absolutely. It is not for members to alert the mods of comments they feel will veer the conversation. I find that really haughty actually. I ONLY use the alert button for spam.

                                                                                                                  1. re: thegforceny

                                                                                                                    It's not? The Mods have asked the community to use the report button numerous times and why would the Report button be a function of the community comment box if it wasn't there for CH's to use. Under Report there are several options for how to use it.

                                                                                                                    I understand having a personal preference as to whether you would use it/when to use it...but, NOT use it...too say it is NOT for members to alert the Moderation team? Why say that when it just isn't true?

                                                                                                          3. nature of the beast i'm afraid.

                                                                                                            people answer the question they want to answer, which isn't always the one asked. just shrug it off and move on, thats what i do

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: thew

                                                                                                              More super-excellent advice. Just suck it up and keep moving, right thew? I mean, worrying a subject like an old leathery bone is so.....yesterday. :)

                                                                                                                1. re: Monch

                                                                                                                  thank you for helping lots of us get that thought off our chests! I don't understand why you would answer an honest question with "make it yourself", "nothing here is as good as NYC", "your question would be answered if you used the search function" and/or "here are my blogs that answer all questions in a godlike and comprehensive fashion.:" Just answer the question! Or not!

                                                                                                                2. Right ON,mamachef !!!!

                                                                                                                  1. On at least two occasions I’ve kinda had the opposite experience.

                                                                                                                    I’ll post a well-worded, well-researched, poignant observation, hoping to draw witty quips or deliberate analysis from fellow hounds, and instead I get a single, dialog-occluding, fat-fingered response in all caps, of the type, HAH THAT’S WhAT SHE SAID

                                                                                                                    1. Could you give an example to better understand your problem ? I agree that sometimes people answering quite rude but I also see that people feel too fast offended by answers just because not everybody is agreeing with them.

                                                                                                                      1. Well said, always a good reminder.

                                                                                                                          1. High five Mama!

                                                                                                                            I take cyber bullying, as I like to call it, as a learning experience about the psyche of the mind. Oh and how much fun it is:) In my humble opinion, people get a kick out of annoying others by sitting in the comfort of their torn out PJ's, and hiding behind a computer screen. Trust me mama, no one would call you "dumb" in person:) As for changing the subject and whining about other unrelated things, well when you don't have the answer to the question but want to beat your chest like a gorilla, that may be the way to go :)

                                                                                                                            'Tis the nature of cyber. Don't leave us mama:)

                                                                                                                            48 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Pixie Muse

                                                                                                                              Thanks, Pixie Muse!! No, I wasn't ever planning on taking my toys and slinking away. There have been times when I've backed off, when things here made me uncomfortable - or more honestly, when things got so heated that my reactionary self's first impulse was to douse myself in gasoline and dive into the flamewar. Sure, the reaction's a very human one, but it doesn't speak to my best self so I go away for a week or a day or a month, and then I come back and things are different. Sometimes better, sometimes not, but always, always different. I mainly just kinda wanted to throw out some fodder for people to kick around and maybe, just possibly, invite someone to be thoughtful first and know everything (or nothing) later.

                                                                                                                              Meanwhile, I invite YOU to start a site and call it Beatyourchest.com. :)
                                                                                                                              Plus, I had to laugh about your torn-out pj's comment. Just yesterday, I wrote to a friend that I had a visual of some of these lonely angry people, sitting in their BarCaLoungers in their elbow-frayed sweaters, laptop on, cheap 5th of whatever on the tv tray next to them, just waiting, waiting, waiting, for the next opportunity to make themselves feel better. It's kind of a sad pic., actually.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                Shirley, (yes, I will call you Shirley) if I set up a Beatyourchest site, it will be a smashing success. You are brilliant, woman.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                  >>> I mainly just kinda wanted to throw out some fodder for people to kick around and maybe, just possibly, invite someone to be thoughtful first and know everything (or nothing) later.

                                                                                                                                  You know, I'm kind of pissed at myself for even posting further up in the thread.. All it does is waste mods time. I just don't know why it is I post stupid posts like that and this one ... and unlike the confessions of some posters in this thread, I wasn't drinking at the time.

                                                                                                                                  First of all, a cyber-bully doesn't give a damn. That is why they are cyber bullies.

                                                                                                                                  The only way to deal with them is report them. If they keep getting deleted they go away. discouraged ... or change the way they post. ... or whine about over-moderation.

                                                                                                                                  Second, in all the time I've been on Chowhound, I've never seen a post on either Not About food or Site Talk change anyones opinion. It just as much a conceit to think that as this post is a conceit thinking I'd change your opinion that it might make for better posters. It amounts to a rant that makes people feel better that others share their feelings.

                                                                                                                                  If anything, what I've learned on Chowhound is the chestnut that you can't chane anyone, you can only change the way you react to them.

                                                                                                                                  The only change I've seen is people trying food they might not have otherwise.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                    rworange, I'm kind of at a loss as to how to take this. I don't think I was ranting - if I was, hey: apologies for coming off like so. I don't think that this was a stupid post, and I don't think it's a waste of mods' time. I'm sorry you do. Changing somebody's opinion has NEVER been in my agenda; there's no conceit there on my part. So, forgive me if I'm dense, but right now, I'm .......dense. I don't understand what you're upset over.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                      Not upset. It is just that I always forget that discussions not about food dont acomplish much other than being able to blow of steam .. maybe a better word than rant.

                                                                                                                                      So we are nearing 100 posts which being Site Talk, the mods probably read to make sure we are all behaving.

                                                                                                                                      And a good many, including myself dislike not getting an answer to a question.

                                                                                                                                      But will it stop one person from giving replies that are not useful. I would doubt it.

                                                                                                                                      I would even doubt it will inspire people who may not use the report button to do that.

                                                                                                                                      Sorry if my post sounded strong. I was diverted before editing it down.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                        Hi, rworange:

                                                                                                                                        "[D]iscussions not about food dont [sic] acomplish [sic] much other than being able to blow of steam..."

                                                                                                                                        I disagree. This particular Board is where we are allowed (within narrowly-drawn limits) to discuss the meta-concern of *how* we talk about food. It is no great stretch to see that this is as much about food as food itself. If we were to think otherwise, CH would be mostly recipes in monochrome.

                                                                                                                                        I have (and with your help, thanks), learned to liken CH to a public meeting. You never know who will show up. You never know who will want to rouse the rabble. You never know how pissy the chair of the meeting will be, or what the hidden powers really want. Bombs, sleights and slurs can be any degree of subtlety. You can usually win betting against the thread staying on-topic or anyone strictly limiting their "answer" to the scope of the OP's question. No judge polices relevance

                                                                                                                                        But when it's *good*, the collegiality can rise above it, like the neighbors who *regularly* attend the public meeting, know and respect each other, and refuse to throw the next bomb.

                                                                                                                                        I read the OP to be talking about grace, something everyone could use a little more of. And this Board, particularly, is what passa described in another thread as the Crucible--if we can't be graceful here, we're just papering it over on the other Boards.

                                                                                                                                        Good things can happen here.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for answering me. I appreciate the clarification. And, if it's worth anything, it has inspired me personally to use the button, use the button, use the button. Maybe that really is the best way to handle it, or at least draw attention to problematic fellow 'hounds. You may be quite right; tigers don't change their stripes easily, and my post will probably inspire nobody to do otherwise than they normally would. But - who knows. I'm not looking to change the world here; just kinda generally writing what I've been thinking for awhile now. And it appears that others who might've normally been reticent or gone away entirely and forever, might now just stick around and see what Chowhound can be when we all really try. :) so, Peace.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                            Back at you ... peace.

                                                                                                                                            I just get frustrated with myself when I post about anything but food. It usually happens when I'm killing time waiting for the computer to do something. else. and not paying attention.

                                                                                                                                            What keeps me here is posts about food and not discussions that digress from that.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                            "I would even doubt it will inspire people who may not use the report button to do that."

                                                                                                                                            Actually, this thread has me viewing the report button in a new way.

                                                                                                                                            There is a board where contributions have come to almost a standstill. I've watched and puzzled about it over the years. I've come to feel that the situation exists because the "insiders" have turned it into their exclusive club to the extent where most newcomers are simply ignored. It has become a barren remnant of what was once a vibrant, sharing part of the site.

                                                                                                                                            Perhaps if the report button had been used early on this could have been avoided.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                              Yes, new view on the report button here too.
                                                                                                                                              I feel I do try to welcome new posters.
                                                                                                                                              Chowhounders come and go,
                                                                                                                                              Speaking of Michaelangelo.

                                                                                                                                              J. Alfred Dumkeg

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                But as long as they dare to eat a peach, they're ok.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                  Thank you professor Prufrock

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                      Kind of lost me going from room to room with no food.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                  I am not sure which board you are talking about, but *all* the alcohol boards seem too slow for a site this big. Something is wrong there.

                                                                                                                                                  I have been trying to contribute in conversations on the wine board (I am a big wino) and I am struck that there are very few new posters or comments from a variety of people. I have been trying to be humorous or more "light " about it all -but it always seems to devolve into the same old shtick. I am not sure the report button would help? How could it be used to change the "culture" or exclusivity issue on a board (or in a thread)? Do you mean just reporting posts that are clearly rude and unfriendly? Maybe posters can be more pro-active rather than re-active...meaning, give support to alternate views (not just the +1 thing) and not back off into oblivion when the "regulars" come out to post. BTW I (too) see this frequently in many threads.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                    >>> *all* the alcohol boards seem too slow for a site this big. Something is wrong there

                                                                                                                                                    One problem is that the 'hot posts' feature on this site is hidden and doesn't work well. The other was breaking out those boards from the General Topics.

                                                                                                                                                    Before the sale in 2006and redesign, posters were urged to check out hot posts. Now it is buried under the "following tab" and called "unread posts".

                                                                                                                                                    I doubt that many people use it or know what it does.

                                                                                                                                                    What it does is lists all posts on all boards that you have not read.

                                                                                                                                                    What is great about this is you can see what is happening on all boards. So someone who might not read those or other boards, might be lured in spotting a topic with an interesting title.

                                                                                                                                                    As to not working, for some reason they put a time-out on this. So after a half hour or something, it inactivates and you get the message 'no new posts' ... thought there might be hundreds.

                                                                                                                                                    Why this was necessary because they have a 'mark all as read' button where the user has the option to inactivate posts ... no clue.

                                                                                                                                                    That's what made me stop using hot posts and following lots on Chowhound. But before that I was intrigued by topics I might not otherwise knew existed. The way I used the site is to open the window and then check back when I'm waiting for something else to process elsewhere. That might be an hour or five hours or all day. So pulling up hot posts just means I keep getting the messtion "no new posts"

                                                                                                                                                    Also, they removed these boards from the general digest, An interesting wine topic that might alert people not only to the topic but the fact the wine board and other spirits boards exist.

                                                                                                                                                    As to report, depends on what you mean by rude and unfriendly.

                                                                                                                                                    "Gallo's Cafe wines are pure swill that would be rejected by Arbor Mist drinkers as inferior. Anyone who would knowing drink this must have lost too many brain cells from overdrinking"

                                                                                                                                                    That wouldn't get deleted if reported


                                                                                                                                                    "You should not be allowed to report on the wine board if you like Gallo Cafe. Grow up and stop drinking soda pop wines"

                                                                                                                                                    That would get deleted as a personal attack.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                      The board I referenced is not alcohol related.

                                                                                                                                                      I lurk on several boards that cover areas where I travel or plan to travel. Often I have little to offer since I don't have recent experience in their region. On one in particular the overall activity has been reduced to a crawl. Most of the posts from the “locals” is along the lines of “sounds good, lets met there for lunch” or “boy, you sure packed it away last week!” This is to the degree that posts from others are totally ignored.

                                                                                                                                                      Now I get that some posts get tedious, like the “where's the best stop for BBQ off of Interstate XYZ”.
                                                                                                                                                      I'm talking about nicely phrased questions, often from established hounds who are very active on other boards. Just plain unfriendly, lacking in hospitality and shortsighted IMO.

                                                                                                                                                      As an example, my local board was enriched this summer by the discussions generated by a visiting hound from another area. Her subsequent reports added to the usefulness of the board. She also found a few places local hounds were unfamiliar with. Had she been met with the lack of interest I see on the other board, who knows if she would have felt inclined to spend considerable time composing terrific reports complete with links and photos. Granted this was a very active, longtime hound – but everyone was a newbie once.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm starting to feel that the cliquish behavior has run rampant because it has been allowed to go unchecked. I suspect this clannishness is responsible for a significant loss of activity on the board. Not too many people are willing to keep trying to participate just to be ignored. Not saying every post needs an answer or every poster needs stroking – but excluding newcomers to this extent sends out an obvious “door closed” vibe.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                        thank you. cliquishness and exclusion continually drive new posters away from the boards. i agree that some boards seem really awful. additionally, there seems to be a poor retention of posters from diverse backgrounds. i feel like i'm usually going on about it when it comes to these meta-discussions.

                                                                                                                                                        it's not the same as the op's point, but it ties in. the overall "feel" of the site and how it welcomes or fails to welcome new posters would seem to be different than the issue of "just answer the question."

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, it does depart from "just answer the question".

                                                                                                                                                          Kind of got there by way of rethinking the report button. I generally only use it to report a suspected shill or request a clarification to a title (ie: to indicate a state on a town name which occurs in several areas). I think I've only reported sheer bitchiness once.

                                                                                                                                                          rworange has the ability to see things in a very focused manner, with a purity of intent. I sometimes can't see the forest for the trees. Her mention of times when she uses "report" really got me looking at it differently. Makes me wonder if the situation I mentioned might have been different if "report" had been used earlier on to stop the cliquishness...

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry if I'm not very clear. I'm having one of the top 10 days of hellishness in my life today, so my thinking is very muddled.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                            >>> rworange has the ability to see things in a very focused manner, with a purity of intent. I sometimes can't see the forest for the trees.

                                                                                                                                                            Nah ... more like battle scars and avoiding them.

                                                                                                                                                            Years ago I felt really bad ... really, really, really ... really ... bad about reporting a lot of stuff. However, it keeps the board focused on food and friendlier ... which is as I mentioned a lot .. why I'm here.

                                                                                                                                                            Unfortunately, the mods often take the bullet for posters like me and others who do the reporting. Not that everything I report gets nuked.

                                                                                                                                                            The only thing that is difficult is those under-the-radar posters who don't 'exactly' attack but border on it.

                                                                                                                                                            The mods have lots to look at and some posts just don't qualify for deletion, but if you look at the body of work by some of these psoters .. well ...

                                                                                                                                                            I just figure calling attention to the egregiously 'bitchy', umpleasant posters might put them in the mods radar. However, I won't do that based on one or two posts but if it seems to go on and on.

                                                                                                                                                            And again, they usually do fly thru radar often enough that getting deleted a lot seems to discourage some.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                              but some people have an itchy trigger finger, especially when it comes to posters they've had problems with, or simply do not like. i've seen many on-topic posts get deleted for little to reason, often for what seems more personal reasons

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                When you say "...some people have itchy trigger finger..." are you talking about Chowhound posters? Because their fingers can itch till the cows come home and that won't get even one single post removed from this site.

                                                                                                                                                                As to the assertion that the Moderation Team is removing posts for "...for little to no reason..." or "...for what seems like more personal reasons...." I say it doesn't happen. Why would it? Better yet, how would that happen with multiple moderators reviewing each others deletion decisions?

                                                                                                                                                                What is true is that you and I don't know the full range of what the Mod's know. And that, if they remove something, they have a good reason for doing so. Otherwise they won't remain moderators for long if they go "off the reservation" with any sort of personal agenda or vigilante type of behavior when it comes to pulling down posts.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                  Wouldn't it also be fair to say that the Report button is there for more than just reporting posters or alerting a Moderator? There are several choices to select from and a comment area to type a message to Moderators for a host of reasons. So when we are talking about the Report button it was my understanding that a CH is only calling attention to something they see that might be of interest to the Mod team, CH Team, Engineering, etc.. Nothing more. I have no idea what becomes of my "report" after that and I don't really care. I have no idea what the Mod team sees in a day behind the scenes here @ CH and I don't need to know. But Moderation wouldn't be in place at all if it wasn't necessary for a variety of reasons.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                    i was referring to CHers, and the moderators seem to prefer to err on the side of more, not less, moderation -

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                      I've seen people complain about both too much and too little moderation.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                        "...and the moderators seem to prefer to err on the side of more, not less, moderation -"

                                                                                                                                                                        Now you are delving in to the "glass half full or half empty" realm. If you want to participate in a moderated site, (which we all accede to do by coming here and posting) then decisions about what and why to moderate will never be able to please everyone at any time or please any one of use all of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                        But we have agreed to moderation so we can either rail against ourselves for first agreeing to abide by moderation and then excoriating it on the other. Seems like a complete contradiction in terms to me.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                          was i railing?
                                                                                                                                                                          my opinion on the level of moderation, as well as my statements of understanding and accepting, whether or not i agree, is well documented on this site.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                        I just reported myself on another board--thought my topic should be moved from Home Cooking to General Chowhounding. After getting reported and deleted here, I am trying hard to make sure I am doing things right.

                                                                                                                                                                        12 hours later, the thread is where it was and I haven't heard peep from anyone at CH about my report. Weird.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, just wait. Good things take time. I guarantee they'll catch up. :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                            MC, thanks...good to know! BTW, I am getting a lot of very useful help. I couldn't be more pleased or grateful for the kindness of the CH community in responding to my first thread.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                          "As to the assertion that the Moderation Team is removing posts for "...for little to no reason..." or "...for what seems like more personal reasons...." I say it doesn't happen. Why would it? Better yet, how would that happen with multiple moderators reviewing each others deletion decisions?"

                                                                                                                                                                          I couldn't disagree more with your statement. The San Diego board pretty much died down over the last several months and has very few posts compared to previous times because moderators deleted so many posts for no appeared reasons and with laughable explanations. (A number of posters exchanged emails about this and started an own discussionboard so it was interesting to see how the moderators act and explained there steps - it pretty much showed that moderators at CH are very biased towards certain people, often delete post kind of randomly etc.). But it is also a problem that often posters seem to hit the report button very fast once they have just a different opinion than another posters and not because somebody was rude.

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I think boards should be moderated but CH is very badly moderated which destroys many good discussions.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                            (A number of posters exchanged emails about this and started an own discussionboard so it was interesting to see how the moderators act and explained there steps - it pretty much showed that moderators at CH are very biased towards certain people, often delete post kind of randomly etc.).


                                                                                                                                                                            Without rousing too much over your comment above, I do acknowledge that the demise of a Board can be quick and steadfast by discussions carried out offline or elsewhere on the Net. IOW, CH's who have taken their concerns and conversations elsewhere because they weren't happy about how Moderation was handled do have power to stall communication here. It's a shame to lose so many great posters this way. But if the site isn't making you happy, I understand why people leave.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                              hey now you fellows, you need to not talk about this stuff, because you're not "JUST ANSWERing THE QUESTION." heaven forbid the conversation ever hits on anything interesting or relevant, or amusing or warm or human. we must stay relentlessly on topic. i will now report my own post and all others in this subthread for being irrelevant and unrelated to food, site talk, chowhound and the chowhound community.


                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                hey sk, what's the topic...I've lost my way....
                                                                                                                                                                                while preparing some pineapple pesto on tap for tonight...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                  what-- this isn't the "how to use up leftover egg whites" thread? oops

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                absolutely. i was on the receiving end of the scorn - so many of my posts were getting taken down during a period of a few months where i really felt singled out. someone was gunning for me. i made an offhand reference to Swift's modest proposal about eating babies, and that was removed. the next day i paraphrased hamlet and got my CH membership temporarily banned unit i learned how to behave properly. it happens.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe we're not supposed to be referencing literature!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                    Over the years I've had at least 3 similarly themed posts "Swiftly" removed....Looks like an analogy that just won't fly...(one can be a Chowhound but one can't talk about chowing on the hound perhaps?) ;-D>

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think too few people are aware of the origin these days. Pity.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                          today's a new day! i am sure it will get better, just like i told someone close to me about 20 times yesterday. bad case of the mondays. hang in there :)

                                                                                                                                                                          just my own opinion, and i *do* use the report button, but none of us necessarily is immune to our own biases. tone and vernacular are misinterpreted daily. and of course there are folks who like to bring their biggest shit-stirring paddle to the party. . . even that can sometimes unexpectedly turn into interesting conversation. overuse of "report" may be undesirable as well, particularly with perceptions that come down to popularity contests, where the important dissident opinion, politely stated, is summarily shut down by the pack.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten



                                                                                                                                                                            Taking baby steps. No one died, so everything else has a chance to improve!
                                                                                                                                                                            On the plus side, the stress will help with my weight loss goals.

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm just so weary from this economic "downswing".

                                                                                                                                                                            OK guys, hit that button!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                              "And of course there are folks who like to bring their biggest shit-stirring paddle to the party. . . even that can sometimes unexpectedly turn into interesting conversation."

                                                                                                                                                                              Hear, hear. I've been sorry to see some admittedly heated but fascinating threads disappear or get locked.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                soupkitten I still remember that one spectacular discussion we had a couple of years back right around thanksgiving. It was very engaging, I think it was the People Who Don't Like Food thread. That thread went all over the place and had a delicious sense of exploration and discovery. After that I wouldn't dream of reporting a thread for straying too far off topic. I simply won't abide people being shut down by the pack when I see it. Yet again, I wouldn't report the hounds, I'd just put on my armor and weigh in there. Once in a great while one or two of the hounds who had been foaming at the mouth have been willing to listen to an opposing point of view. Where is the fun in pulling the trigger by reporting and blowing up or locking the whole thread? I've gone so far as to tell people I've been arguing with that I was truly sorry to see their comments removed and I've meant it. If a thread is really upsetting me I just stay away from it like I'd avoid a scary neighborhood in Philly.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                    :) i love those types of discussions. if you and i are remembering the same thread, i remember that the first response to the op was me-- & then the thread was off and running with all sorts of interpretations. i even commented that i thought my own response was not what the op meant/intended, but it was fun and very interesting to see the many responses. that thread's responses were like a sparkler with flashes of light shooting out in all directions. others are like tug o war matches, others like a narrow focus laser boring through an obstacle. some are nice and light, full of remembered childhoods and. . . some are about etiquette or tipping-- ouch. all of them are fascinating to me and i hate to see threads locked down too soon, i love watching the different directions a thread can go.

                                                                                                                                                                                    i am sometimes guilty of getting something between my teeth and shaking it madly like a pit bull. but that is me irl as well, i want to know how others arrived at their pov, and i want the whole story. conflict and multiple povs don't in themselves irritate me, imo that's when there is something to learn and new ideas may suddenly pop out. i am not talking about when people are being over-the-top snarky or mean, i'm talking about disagreement that stays civil in nature.

                                                                                                                                                                                    one thing i think is very important is to leave the disagreement, if it is a heated or emotional one, in the thread, and not to bring it to other threads with the same posters. there are hounds that we will agree with 99% of the time and 1% of the time, most hounds will be in between-- but everyone agrees at least sometimes! i don't think it's at all necessary for hound x to jump all over a benign post by hound y in a home cooking topic, just because they butted heads on a not about food thread or something. some of those situations are jarring and can feel out-of-the-blue. makes me sad because there is always some common ground somewhere, even between hounds who may regard themselves as polar opposites. sometimes in discussions i will agree w a poster whom i disagreed vehemently w, on another topic, and i'll get a little blowback. . . i won't even remember that we butted heads, or what about. being civil, and showing a little sense of humor can go a long way, but i know that humor/snark can be misinterpreted, too-- or taken too personally.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                      SK: good points in that last paragraph. we haven't always seen eye to eye but do WE get all bent out of shape? no. and that's how it ought be.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi, sedimental;

                                                                                                                                                                            You got the alcohol board thing nailed. "Slow" works, but I'd add "moribund" and quasi-incestuous. Especially Wine.

                                                                                                                                                                            I had to fight and elbow my way onto Wine, and I'm a winemaker! Suffering fools didn't work too well; neither did the opposite. I still don't feel particularly welcome there, either. I can see how lots of people who may not have professional wine backgrounds would give Wine a *very* wide berth.

                                                                                                                                                                            I actually find the Spirits board more collegial and welcoming.

                                                                                                                                                                            Contrast this with the group I lovingly call the Knife Mafia over on Cookware. Those folks are *extremely* courteous and gentle with basic questions and new posters. They seem to have the colloquy thing figured out.


                                                                                                                                                              2. My favorite is when you ask where to find something and you're told "It's not that hard to make." And a recipe follows. Save that for the Homecooking board.

                                                                                                                                                                20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thegforceny

                                                                                                                                                                  Agreed: it whips directly past the question being asked into the agenda of the answerer. Now, I will say that these don't offend me AS much, since they're trying to be helpful - just not the particular help you asked for. But yeah, I see your point.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thegforceny

                                                                                                                                                                    It might be not really helpful but it is also not offensive if somebody syggests it is easy to make. I don't really see the problem

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh it's not offensive in the least, just unhelpful.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thegforceny

                                                                                                                                                                        It might be unhelpful for you but other people might appreciate that kind of answer even if somebody asked the question where to buy something and get a detailed answer of how to make it yourself. As long as the such an answer is not written in an offensive way I find it more rude if people expect that questions are answered how they would like it. CH is a public forum with many people with very different personalities and I think it is quite egostic from somebody to expect that people should answer how they would like it (again with the caveat nobody writes anything obviously offensive).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think I'd have a problem with that at all if the person answering was trying to be helpful. I have no agenda on "right" or "wrong" ways to answer my questions - I am only asking that the actual question being asked actually be addressed. A kind substitute answer, no problem and actually very sweet. But just as a f'rinstance, if I ask how to make hamburger buns, it bothers me not at all if someone suggests I buy them because it's easier instead of giving me a recipe. But...if that person says, "well, hamburgers suck and you shouldn't be eating them anyway", well: What's THAT? :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                            ""well, hamburgers suck and you shouldn't be eating them anyway", well: What's THAT? :)" - That's kind of offensive and I already wrote before several times that nobody should answer in an offensive way. But to be honest it woudn't worry me too much if people answer in such a way. I think as adults we should be able to handle something like that.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                              "I think as adults we should be able to handle something like that."

                                                                                                                                                                              Of course we should. But when it comes to fostering a site that draws out lurkers or wants to encourage newbs to post and then stick around and post again it doesn't further what (and is as far as I know) IS a site agenda.

                                                                                                                                                                              Secondly, letting those sorts of snarky and unhelpful posts stand sends a message to others who might be so inclined that it's okay to answer in that way. It IS a slippery slope here, and the incline gets steep and things start sliding rapidly downhill if the mod's (and we who love this site and take the time to report problematic posts on a regular basis) let it.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                I agree in principle. But time after time after time after time, from the same people generally, it starts to resemble sport.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                              It is unhelpful because it drives away replies that might answer the question. If someone wants to offer cooking advice, put it on the Home Cooking board. i will report cooking advice on regional boards and get them deleted or moved to the Home Cooking board where they belong.

                                                                                                                                                                              To say this nicely, if someone is looking for a great pie crust recipe, they are not going to find it easily or at all on the regional board.

                                                                                                                                                                              I've just learned to lie when I anticipate a recipice might come to a request saying my house burned down and I am living in a shelter or my car.

                                                                                                                                                                              Then someone comes up with shelter or engine cooking tips. I exaggerate about lying .. slightly.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                "It is unhelpful because it drives away replies that might answer the question" - I don't see how it drives answers away. If I want to answer a question on any board I don't care if somebody answers it in such a broad way and just post my answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                    That is not my personal experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you get the 'make it yourself' reply, it generates more of the same and people don't offer up as many responses to what the OP wants. For the purpose of this example ... places to buy premade pie crusts.

                                                                                                                                                                                    My guess is the thought process is ... "Yeah. Homemade is better. I'm not going to post about TJ's because it isn't as good".

                                                                                                                                                                                    Just as I despise when the first reply to any thread is 'there is none'. Or someone is taken with themselves and decides to play Jay Leno with a witty response that offers no info.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The result is a lot more of the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                    So .. though I know it won't do any good ... obviously if you have that special recipe you feel compelled to post that ... as the OP said ... if you can't answer the question, don't reply.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                  <It might be unhelpful for you but other people might appreciate that kind of answer even if somebody asked the question where to buy something and get a detailed answer of how to make it yourself>

                                                                                                                                                                                  But isn't that going off topic (one of the things to Report)? If someone really feels the need to share their favorite recipe why can't they just start a thread on Homecooking?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                    I do think that type of answer can be helpful to others who are reading the thread hoping to glean something of use. If the search function is working properly, it could be helpful to someone else later searching on the same topic even if approaching the issue at hand from a different angle. An example of this is greek yogurt. I have read a couple of threads with interest about the best brands and where to get them. Along the way I have stumbled across posts that tell how to make greek yogurt, even getting specific at replicating a particular brand. I find that incredibly useful but the OPs may not.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The risk is that if a bunch of people jump on board with a different type of answer to the OP, any direct answers can get lost in the thread. I also think the OP always deserves an answer that bests tries to address their specific question if possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                      While I continue to try to follow these points, I can't help but be reminded of the # of x's I've seen CH's say that a topic is community driven once it's begun. So unless the original posters actually says, "hey what gives with my question?" how would any of us know that the post is getting lost & NOT to the OP's liking or if in truth the discussion of original posted topic ownership is a mute point.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                        Uff da, oy, HillJ. Nice, salient point there. And I have to admit, many times I've posited a question or needed help and then sat silently while the debates raged. So, those are on me - for not following through.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                          a big uff da is right.............

                                                                                                                                                                                          this whole topic is giving me hives..............

                                                                                                                                                                                          not for you starting it, hats off to you mamachef........

                                                                                                                                                                                          how many shields does one have to wear in here to ward off rude posts?

                                                                                                                                                                                          more importantly, how important is it, especiallywhen you've been referred to

                                                                                                                                                                                          as "just an occasional poster"? isn't everyone in here just an occasional poster? not worth it to be put down at every turn.

                                                                                                                                                                                          oh yea, folks are nice in here and folks are not nice in here, you probably already know when you click on your last few posts and see names on there that have replied. my massive mane stands straight up and I don't read their reply because otherwise, I'm having a capitol day, why toss sand into the wind?......

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                            This is just a harmless discussion board why get so angry about other people who might have different opinions. That's part of any discussion, e.g. food, politics etc., that people have very different opinions and the discussion might even get heated sometimes but afterwards you drink a (virtual) beer and everything is fine.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: thegforceny

                                                                                                                                                                                As an FYI, we will remove (if unfriendly) or split over to the Home Cooking board (if friendly and detailed) posts of this nature. Please report them to us.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. Great thread. My issue is the same but l would call it bullying. l try to answer a post to the best of my ability, but am vilified for some slight variance from their opinion on the topic. They do not address the question, just screw with me.This happens to me from two posters, one on each of two different boards, l responded to both of them to leave it alone often, they have not, l do not post on those two boards often at all now.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. agree.
                                                                                                                                                                                  too many times I could not believe the garbage that's come out of mouths and into print on this web site. < yet remains, while non offensive stuff goes on and on and on...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Wow...I thought it was just me who felt this way. I am almost afraid to ask anything now because I feel like I am too stupid to be cooking or dining, so I have been fairly quiet. Thanks Mamachef.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Having said that, there have been some wonderful people on here tha have been helpful and kind to share their experience or advice with me. To those, I say ThankYou!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Godslamb

                                                                                                                                                                                      Word up, Godslamb. Thankfully, this is a 99.9% great community of people who welcome newcomers and add an amazing depth and breadth of knowledge about cooking, food, and dining out in general. To that I say, "Go Team Chowhound!"

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Then why not let the behavior of this community rest with the report button and Moderation. Why continue to dissect the individual behavior of a few when the majority communicate so beautifully. No one actually causing extreme rudeness is going to take a cue from a handful of CH's discussing this topic in a variety of forms over the off line communication of a Mod letting that individual know their posts are less than friendly, helpful or appreciated. Authority exists, let it lead.

                                                                                                                                                                                      If 99.9 percent of your CH experience is great, your CH food posse is supporting your OP's and comments, engaging you in a great conversation about food and food related topics, why give any time to the the tiny bothers we all run across?

                                                                                                                                                                                      Because we all have CH's we enjoy and we ignore; they're just different for each of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. The irony of this post is that it will only ring true for those posters that already do "answer the question".

                                                                                                                                                                                        For those who like to take tangents or go off-topic, or troll, this will read like Braille to a sighted person.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                          You awe a gweat big buzzkill, but I still wike you. Plus, your last line was brilliant and I may well steal it in the very near future, 'kay?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                            Steal away! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            (Heaven knows, people have stolen many other lines of mine without asking ...)

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                            ipsedixit you were one of the very few hounds who answered the question on that fasting thread. I wonder if the OP got scared off for good. That was such an interesting thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. My personal experience when asking a question has been just fine but I have looked on other threads and have seen what you are adressing. I've seen a few chow users give rude answers or opinions simply because an ingredient or product is not top-of-the-line and ultra expensive. TBH, it is kind of off putting. I'm a young cook, probably one of the younger forum visitors and when I come to look for advice and instead see negativity it is unappealing.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Thanks for posting this mamachef. You are right about this ongoing trend. I call our fellow hounds that do this "scolds", but really they could use a distemper shot. Site Talk is an awesome place for this discussion, I haven't read all the comments yet, but we seem to get some good discussions in this neck of the woods.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Another term I have for this dismaying tendency is beating up the OP. Hate to see anyone being dog-piled on myself, to the point that I will defend the OP even if I don't completely agree with that hound. I took a big risk in my puppy days here and was stunned by how supportive everyone was. If the hounds had been unleashed doubt I'd still be here.
                                                                                                                                                                                              There was this awesome thread once on fasting where the OP asked a very specific question, how to break a three day fast I think. So many hounds were like fasting is bad don't do it, or why is this thread on chowhound at all? and then finally why isn't this thread locked? Well that thread got locked so fast and only a few hounds addressed the OP's question. The only good thing is that is how I met mcf and ipsedixit and a few others who weren't baying for the OP's blood. The only thing I can think of to do about this is take on the pack when it happens. I've done it before. Just make sure you get your rabies shot. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                Snicker. and my scoldies vaccination, right? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love the distemper shot line. I am going to borrow that one and use it at work. Thanks for the Sunday morning giggle!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks mamachef and jhinwa! This heat is making me pant and your comments are like crisp cool water in my doggie dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The only thing I can think of to do about this is take on the pack when it happens."

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think this is true. Sometimes once a supporting post is made in a sea of negativity then the tide begins to shift. Most people would rather avoid than be a lone supporter in the midst of an attack. But once someone breaks the ice the tone sometimes takes a nice turn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sometimes I feel like I'm in the movie Twelve Angry Men. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Thank you. We all eat, even if we don't like the same things. I have to say, though, this is one of the tamer sites I visit. (Some of the bitchiness on parenting websites is really shocking.) That's not to say I haven't encountered it here, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Thank you for addressing this. This drives me nuts to see people blather on and put their unsolicited opinions and not answer the damn question.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      A poster wanted to know what to try and feed her 3 year old to get them used to spicy foods and my good grief, she got frickin' parenting advice. "Don't". What? How does this help?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Please people, answer the question. If I ask a question, please don't tell me not to use my ingredient or how you what what's best. If I ask about the best uses for Velveeta, don't tell me not to eat it. It's such a waste of time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just now there's a thread on what bun to use for a hamburger. Make them, someone answers. Ugh. I get it, you're superior and wouldn't stoop so low as to buy a premade bun at the store.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      As Steve Martin used to say, "WELL EXUUUUUUUUUUOOOOOOOSE ME".

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had assumed because it was posted on the Home Cooking board that the OP was looking for a recipe. I hadn't thought to recommend a premade one, but if the question had been on General CH, I wouldn't have recommended what to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Oh friends this has gotten downright comical. Is there any behavior we haven't covered, cornered and hog tied down? Guilty, guilty, yes, guilty I'm sure of some if not all these human qualities. And with all of the glorious foot stomping, suggestions on how to improve and where to draw the line I'm going to trod off completely comfortable in my own skin, enjoying the food I love to discuss with all of you, no worse for the wear because what I've gleaned from three days of reading and joining in is that we are all capable of the behaviors we ignore and rejoice over...and three weeks from now another friendly CH will post a similar thread with a similar dilemma and ask for comrades to join their community concerns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fun, entertainment, tips, joshing, eye opening, serious, ill-fated and most of all tasty people that you are, with food passion to beat the band...it's time to enjoy the next course!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good segue, I like it alot. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                            yes to all of that..."Fun, entertainment, tips, joshing, eye opening, serious, ill-fated and most of all tasty people that you are, with food passion to beat the band...it's time to enjoy the next course!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                            but sometimes its healthy to vent............

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: srsone

                                                                                                                                                                                                              hi srsone, I meant no slight to venting...just on dwelling (generally speaking of course).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                didnt take it that way...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: srsone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  just venting...............

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Hi Mamachef!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for posting this. I am new to Chowhound and really find the boards helpful but I have been rudely shotdown when I added my response to a post. In one case I was basically told I was a rotten piece of #!$%& and another I was called a troll. What does being called a troll mean on here? Again these were two separate threads and one of themthe portion I am referring to was removed and the other one was also removed. I will not let bullying dissuade me from an otherwise delightful site!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Axlsgoddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion

                                                                                                                                                                                                            means the same thing on any site...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Axlsgoddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Welcome to chowhound Axisgoddess. I got hit with a rolled up newspaper a lot in my puppy days here. Still do sometimes. I think what made me whimper the most is when what I said was utterly dismissed. Site talk is a great board for these kind of discussions. I have a question about spam, the only thing I've used the report button for so far, I've noticed some spam in some of the comments for chow stories. I forget if it was supertaster or somewhere else. I guess just email the mods to report that spam? Or is there a faster or easier way?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "I guess just email the mods to report that spam? (YES) Or is there a faster or easier way?" (NO)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The fastest way to report spam in CHOW comments is to email info@chow.com, since moderation of chow comments is done by different people than moderation of the boards. But if you email moderators@chowhound.com, that works, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I have to say in my 10 years on Chowhound I've come across only the occasional unjustifiably smug twit, and usually it just leads to a fun debate. I've never been insulted in any way I couldn't either ignore or respond to with "logic" (meaning my version thereof).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Which leads me to suspect one of two things:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1) I am, myself, an unjustifiably smug twit and therefore don't notice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2) Boards have collective personalities, and I just happen not to frequent the more aggressive boards. This is actually something I've wondered before...Do certain geographical areas and certain areas of interest correspond, very generally speaking, with certain personality types? Are Manhattanites particularly impatient/snarky, say, or wine/craft beer connoisseurs more likely to be snobs? Those are stereotypes that may or may not hold true, and may or may not have a role in this discussion...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've heard mommy/parenting boards are particularly nasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Overall I think CH is collegial and tame. I think the mods respond promplty to requests for removal. I tend to report when the thread goes way off topic or if someone personally attacks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree, but I'm wondering whether some particular boards even here on CH are more virulent than others, since I don't frequent them all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The only thing that has bugged me with some consistency is when residents of the Big 3 (NY, SF, LA) come to the boards of other cities and go off on how those cities don't have this or can't compare with that. It's unhelpful to say the least.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's unhelpful to say the least
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly. Unhelpful, boastful and a bit insecure, really ;-) Good food can be found anywhere. Perhaps not the best, but every bite that goes into our mouths doesn't need to be orgasmic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But I digress, sorry ;-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The competitive nature of posting your pov, believing your city/area has the best "x" and making some NOISE on a food Board is pretty much the nature and credo of every food community I've ever visited online..and frankly, not all that much different than local bar talk, foodie conferences, blogger bootcamps and professional convention chat. It's not always unhelpful but most certainly the nature of boasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But there's a difference between a lively and informative debate about what a given city's specialties are or where to find the best X in the world and merely bitching about how Boston or Denver (to use my cities of expertise) will never have the X that NY has and how provinicial their residents are in their recommendations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No argument from me on that. But, wouldn't you agree the best defensive to handling all the bitching is to ignore it. Especially when you're typing not speaking face to face with someone over a lively and informative debate. And, T some CH's think bitchy is hilarious and sarcasam warranted so on a forum open to all we're going to have to learn to live & let live.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It depends. Sometimes I try to steer the bitcher in more positive directions...It's pretty easy to tell if someone's just homesick and could use a little guidance toward what their new community has to offer or if they're just determined to hate where they are. In which case, yes, ignore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      monavano you must visit some rough neighborhoods in chowhound. I've never reported anything but spam myself. But then again I like it when threads go way off topic sometimes. Kind of like real life talks. And a lot of time when someone personally attacks, which is a shame when it happens, it's heartwarming to see hounds come to the poster's defense. There is no denying that some hounds can be meaner than junk yard dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oooo personality types tatamagouche, now there is a topic dear to this doggy's heart. Ever read Gifts Differing? I was gettting a bit discouraged a couple of years ago and I think I vented right here on site talk and got some wonderful hound support from Alkapal and some others, thanks again for that. Alkapal is always a good read but she touched my heart with her legendary woof woof post on a sampling thread. He he! Anyhow I was encouraged to try Home Cooking as the friendliest board on chowhound. They were right! I live in the northeast and it is true that life tends to go at a faster pace here. Quite a shock when I moved from NC. People in the NE tend to be honest and err let's say abrupt. Yeah that's the ticket. :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's been said before that the san francisco board tends to be particularly contentious and I was noticing also a pattern where people with their own food blogs tended to raise my hackles more often. There was a food blogger from san francisco I remember that we used to bare our fangs at each other every so often. Used to wake me up in the morning. Great question tatamagouche, can't wait to read what other hounds have to say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gmc: folks in the NE don't have the time or motivation to be overly indulgent, folks in SF have too many choices to give an easy answer (and debating the best amuse bouche in town can take the place of contact sport TV in some households)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Home Cooking does seem to be the comfiest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was a hound on the Boston board for many years before moving to Denver, and it was (is) very lively, sometimes hotheaded—oh those hardnosed New Englanders—but I loved it for all the same reasons I love the city itself. Strong personalities, good friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Do certain geographical areas and certain areas of interest correspond, very generally speaking, with certain personality types?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i dunno, but i know i've been told many times that i am the poster girl for "MN nice."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          heh-heh. . . . heh. ;-P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I give "there is no good X in Y" non-recommendations all the time. One of the most common topics on my local board is "Good Barbecue Within Spit-take of Interstate Z???!!?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There isn't any, and I will tell you that. The good places that are representative of the style are all a significant detour off the interstate. You wanted local expertise; there it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Naco

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Absolutely. So long as one's honest opinions are based on explaining what one means by "good," as yours just was ("representative of the style"). That's helpful. What's not helpful is someone asking for good pizza in Boston and someone from NY saying there's no such thing, that the postee should just catch a train.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Just wanted to really thank everyone who responded to this in thoughtful ways. I think all in all it's a very good discussion, and seems to be something that's chapped other people too, so my call is : Success!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Even more than the people who've chimed in to agree, hopefully, it's opened the eyes of those who do it and don't realize it comes off so negatively. I've been trying to teach my kids the art of finessing their words instead of being blunt and possibly hurtful. Thanks for bringing it up. I know I'm guilty of verbal diarrhea when it comes to sharing info where I throw out all I can (because I'm such an info geek and love when people do the same) but never mean it in a "I'm so superior" way. It's always good to stop and think, "How is this coming off?" for all of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exactly. Just wanted to hopefully engender a little CR, and it appears it has. Surely wasn't looking for perfect agreement; just a respectful discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dunno I see it more like Bush's 'mission accomplished'. The war just went on ... and on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What I see in this thread is the people who think there are still reasons to put down posters because the 'deserve it'. if the OP doesn't meet their criterea of acceptable. So, nope, they hare not going to just answer the question, but continue tell people how dumb and annoying they are and to google, for heavens's sake and stop bothering us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I see people reveling in 'intersting' discussions that rile people up in the name of fun. This statement in this topic sort of sums up the thread to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Where is the fun in pulling the trigger by reporting and blowing up or locking the whole thread? I've gone so far as to tell people I've been arguing with that I was truly sorry to see their comments removed and I've meant it. If a thread is really upsetting me I just stay away from it like I'd avoid a scary neighborhood in Philly."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kind of depressing to me. Not that I don't hope people will actually answer the OP. I just don't seem much to indicate anything will change much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep, you mentioned that. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I was the one who used the word "deserve," and I was being offhandedly snarky on this particular thread. I admitted that. But I try to use my snark for good, not ill—meaning I mainly aim it against, say, Posh Beckham (long story). I don't, personally, aim it against newbies, though I still don't see anything wrong with saying to newbies: the reason you might not be getting any responses is because that question gets answered a lot; here are some threads you might look at, here are some search terms you might try; if those don't work/answer your question sufficiently, let us know. Or I ask for parameters if their question is very broad, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's a different issue from threads that yield passionate, heated debate, on topic or veering into related subtopics, which I don't find depressing at all—on the contrary. I'm with givemecarbs and thew here that those threads tend to reveal the most interesting information—not only about the subjects at hand but about the ways in which individuals and communities respond to them. I don't come to CH for hearts and flowers, I come for fascinating conversations about food and food culture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ultimately I think we all want the same thing—for dialogue to be opened up, not shut down. But we have different ways of communicating. Frankness in the service of insight is not the same thing as rudeness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frankness in the service of insight is not the same thing as rudeness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh, I'm so using that at some point this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And its' very nice corollary: You can stab with the sword of truth, but you can also use it as a pointer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know what I would do w/out the wordsmiths of CH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That one's not mine: I stole it from Annie Lamott. :) But I love it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Never argue w/ someone more stupid than yourself. From my dad, the Paul Newman look alike blue collar philosopher.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                RIP Alexander

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "You become what you think about all day long." - RWE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is that just a modern way of quoting Nietzche? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The RW Emerson quote is a tat I had placed on my inner arm about 10 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        totally no offense intended, dear. I like it, alot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just became a duck fat French fry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Procedure, please? All this duck fat is taking up way too much space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not a half bad place to be, grayelf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or as the decades old button said, "I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh my gosh, you have all just given me a month's worth of material, not to mention some good Thursday morning chuckles. Thank you very much...both are much needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What is the rest of the work week after Tuesday? WTF!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I just wasted an hour reading this @#$X%^ thread. I could have been watching something really entertaining and meaningful like MasterChef. It's a discussion we've had hundreds of times before. It never changes our top-down culture, it never changes individuals and the way they post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some folks want happy, happy, joy joy - absolute friendliness, no ego, everybody just shares what they know to be truth. Some folks want to learn from a dialectic process, from challenge and response - how do you know that?; what makes you sure? There are trolls and idiots, and there are real experts with real hands-on experience. If you're lucky, you'll get a response from the expert, not the idiot - it's up to you to figure it out. The site is, and has always been, based on heavy moderation, which means that some information will be cut off for the sake of keeping up the appearance of as much civility as we can. It's just the way it is. Love it or leave it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The truth is that none of us are ego-less. We all want to write and express ourselves here. We all want to share what we've learned, and we all want to be better cooks and eaters - maybe even better writers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you don't want to get wet, don't jump into the pool - especially don't jump into the deep end. If you ask a question and some a-hole gives you an egotistical non-response, ignore it, or tell him/her that they were about as helpful as a truckload of rotten eggs. It's called the Internet. It's not a call to your mom asking for her pot roast recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: applehome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ". If you ask a question and some a-hole gives you an egotistical non-response, ignore it, or tell him/her that they were about as helpful as a truckload of rotten eggs."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The trouble comes on a site like this, not from one A-hole giving you an egotistical non-response, but from 100 A-holes piling on to the first one, or to your response telling "him/her that they were about as helpful as a truckload of rotten eggs."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pretty soon, the site we all come here for (and keep on coming here for) is GONE, baby gone. Without moderation of "SOME KIND" this place would be unusable, unreadable CHAOS. And if that ensues the vast majority of posters who make this place the community that is at the heart of this thread will be just as GONE as I would be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Hey folks, this seems to be getting a bit silly now, so it seems like everyone's had their say. We're going to lock this up.