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Jul 29, 2011 12:25 PM

Threads getting locked too swiftly? Even on site talk?

Usually it's been my experience that threads on site talk are long-lived and allowed to just fade away due to lack of interest. Was kind of surprised and disappointed to see this thread locked already. Is there a trend recently for threads to be shut down locked up and put down like a poor old hound dog?
It is my belief that chowhound is changing, and not for the better. I wonder how long some of my favorite threads from the past would have lasted in today's need for closure, tie it up with a bow atmosphere? Anyway thanks to all for a fun chat. I learned a lot, especially that hounds like their report button. I've added a few new hounds to my reading list and that is always a good thing. :)

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  1. i know ....i kept thinking in the back of my mind how long it was going to take before that thread was closed

    most every other forum i read or post to...they usually have someone greet you with a post or email that not only expresses the rules of the site..
    but also some of the points that MC and others raised in the discussion..

    like searching (even JFGI) before posting ...etc etc...
    not being a douche.....
    but even on other sites...u still run into the same things....even with in some respects CH is not alone...
    except CH is one of the more heavilly locked/deleted threads and posts site i use....

    2 Replies
    1. re: srsone

      Hey srsone at least this thread is still up. For now! /cue ominous music.

    2. I watched that thread as it unfolded and it seemed pretty played out to me. Not to mention just how ironic some of it had become . . . .

      2 Replies
      1. re: MGZ

        Maybe the mods just get tired of infinite, pointless repetition where the same points are made over and over.
        Maybe the mods just get tired of infinite, pointless repetition where the same points are made over and over.

        1. re: Samalicious

          That should not be the mods decision. They do not work for CBS

      2. givemecarbs, wouldn't you agree that even participating in these topics can become a circle to nowhere else eventually. I mean don't get me wrong I learn something new each time, I like participating, debating, getting silly...but how long is a thread suppose to carry on?

        CH's have taken to creating other forums on other less food specific sites for the sheer pleasure of having unmoderated conversation and endless discussion. Does that appeal to you?

        11 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          A whole slew of us are on FB now to avoid the Chow parenting. Come along, givemecarbs.

          1. re: invinotheresverde

            Is there a chowhound page on facebook...i could only find a

            1. re: iluvtennis

              Not that I'm aware of. We've just all friended each other.

              1. re: invinotheresverde

                Now, that sounds like a win for everyone.

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    A win for those who are frustrated with the way CH is moderated/run and a win for those who like it here and hope that things don't change with regard to the topics under discussion (I believe that is what was meant).

                    1. re: Servorg

                      And a win for the Mods. And a win for Facebook.

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    if we reallllly want free posting ...
                    we could start a 4chan thread.....

                1. A lot of Site Talk threads end up with the same people arguing the same points over and over again. Or they devolve into silly jokes and chatter. They also tend to get downright nasty, and once they're long, we have difficulties opening them to moderate out the personal attacks. So at that point, we do lock them.

                  Site Talk shouldn't be the focus of anyone's participation on Chowhound, so we also hope that by locking some of these threads once they're mostly spinning in circles, people will find their way back to discussing chow.

                  -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                  1. So let me make sure I understand. The OP is saying that threads are getting locked too swiftly. The example given is a topic with 286 posts. So he/she is saying that 286 posts is way too quick to lock it, and doesn't allow for sufficient discussion?

                    286 posts just doesn't seem all that quick to me (and that particular topic seemed to be going nowhere)...

                    27 Replies
                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      286 isnt a lot....
                      but only a week or less is "swiftly"

                      kaleokahu's thread about the whitey post hit over 400 in only about 3 days..

                      1. re: srsone

                        As Jacquilynne has mentioned above, we don't lock threads based on how old they are or how big they get (unless they get so big that people have trouble loading them); how swiftly threads get locked depends on how swiftly the discussion has gotten unfriendly or off-topic.

                        Nevertheless, it is worth noting that most threads on the regional and food-related boards never get to 286 posts or more, or at that rate. Thus, we'd like to take the opportunity to remind everyone that Chowhound's main goal is not the discussion of how food should be discussed; it's about sharing chow tips on where to find the most delicious stuff to eat. Let's hear about the most evocative borek you've stumbled upon, the best strawberry milkshake, a kick-ass cup of coffee, and your other latest finds.

                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                          but by having a section called "SITE talk" it by definition should be a section to discuss how the SITE is run..or perceived to be run....and problems with those issues...

                          and i have never had a problem with how many posts a thread has..

                          1. re: srsone

                            I was thinking that too srsone. There are also Not About Food and General. Something here has changed on chowhound. I can't help but wonder if some of Sam I Am's posts would now get the axe. :( The comment he responded to once that so touched my heart was about cooking not being appreciated.

                            1. re: srsone

                              I always assumed site talk was for reporting issues with functions or to ask technical questions, etc.

                              1. re: mcf

                                mcf a few years ago there used to be a lot of freedom in site talk. I've taken aggro as have many others for not writing about food on the Not About Food board. I think there was a discussion here on site talk about this and apparently back in the day Not About Food used to be an anything goes catch all with a great deal of freedom. Things are changing. Have you ever read Gifts Differing? My thoughts are that the INFPs and INTPs in particular are being chased away by the mostly ESTJ's. The book Gifts Differing argues that we need all kinds. Even on chowhound. But yes, this site would be a real mess without the administrator types.

                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                  It's hard not to notice the subtle and not so subtle changes around here givemecarbs. I appreciate you asking this question.

                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                    That's a good insight. I never thought about it like that before, but dammit, I think you're right.

                                2. re: srsone

                                  One of the primary functions of Site Talk is for bug reporting and feedback on site functionality.

                                  We compared the number of posts per thread here vs the food boards because we've noted that there are a small number of folks who end up being more active on Site Talk than the food relevant boards. And we wanted to remind folks that arguing with someone else over site policies isn't as delicious an experience as going out and combing unexplored neighborhoods for undiscovered chow.

                                  While we're not inflexible about site policies, many of them are here because of our collective experiences of more than a decade of chowhound. They're not perfect (as we've pointed out over the years), but given our resources they're about as good as we can reasonably get, to allow unbiased consumers to share honest chow opinions with their fellow consumers. Our policies get tweaked, but the success of these policies are measured by the amount of signal to noise with respect to unbiased chowy information on the boards. Delicious food comes first.

                                  We don't aim to please everyone, because we've never been able to get a large, diverse and opinionated population of chowhounds to agree (we've tried since the site started in the late 90's). The disagreements on many threads here provide ample evidence. Thus rather than trying to please everyone, we moderate the boards with the goal of facilitating maximal sharing of chowy information with minimal noise.

                                  FWIW, many of the presently locked threads would have been deleted in the past when locking threads was not a feature of the site.

                                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                    Other than the fact that your post really needs a grammar check, I agree with the substance of your response.

                                    1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                      For site-related conversations, including technical issues


                                      Good to know.

                                      I'm also willing to believe that the number of site questions, sticky topics and CH Team led OP's that asked a question of the community made some of us believe that discussion about the site, not just policies but including them, we don't always understand or agree to, where not only allowed but encouraged on this Board.

                                      In a way, receiving this type of communication from the CH Team, Jacqu, Engineering, CHOW staff was a new addition; to directly contribute to new site ideas, functions or suggestion being thrown around, setting the tone for a new type of OP appearing on Site Board.

                                      Whether it's a regional board, HCooking or all comes back to how it relates to CH....and food....and community.

                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                        Delicious an experience? Don't you guys realize that it's about the WHOLE PACKAGE? It's about how you make people feel. And when you make people feel over-moderated and censored, some of them are likely to go elsewhere, and many of them do, despite the uh, "delicious" food-specific discussions that remain here.

                                        It's like that quote:

                                        "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." (I think it was Maya Angelou)

                                        People come here because they are passionate about food, and then get bogged down in what they can and can't say, how they say it, and sometimes not even that - how someone else interprets what they meant, whether they intended it or not.

                                        No wonder people are feeling disgruntled.

                                        1. re: ursy_ten

                                          Yes, we do realize that it's about the whole package. But it also goes beyond that -- it's the whole package for the whole community, not just for one person. Thus back to the point that it's impossible to come up with a level of moderation that that suits everyone. From our interactions with posters, it's usually even more complex than how much moderation -- Chowhound A wants X deleted but Y allowed, whereas Chowhound B wants X allowed but Y deleted.

                                          Another example of opposing desires: People want easier search and the ability to zero in on the chow quickly. That means we have to remove chatty posts where a small clique is socializing amongst themselves without adding much to the chow (we also get many complaints about cliquey-ness but that's another story). Not possible to have it both ways.

                                          A lot of what we can and can't say is practical. A chef, no matter how passionate about his or her cooking, can't come here and tell us how wonderful their chicken stew is. There's an inherent bias and conflict of interest. A chowhound, no matter how passionate about their favorite chocolate chip cookie, can't declare that everyone else who thinks that cookie is merely ordinary have no taste. We want everyone to share their opinions about food without having to go through a long debate to justify their taste.

                                          As with any community, there will have to be give and take among the participants; we can't be all things to all people. We agree that how we make people feel is important, but we can't make everyone feel great all the time. No one likes being moderated, but everyone likes a board that is on-topic with lots of information they can use.

                                          Nevertheless, as a community we can make lots of people feel great off the board -- like when they discover a new delicious muffin or to drink an elegant vintage they read about. Don't come here to feel great; use the information here to feel great in the real world of chow out there.

                                          We agree that interpretation is often a problem. To deal with this, veteran chowhounds often refrained from adding an opposing opinion or they bent over backwards to be nice and polite when disagreeing with a new poster. If no one replied to a new poster, they engage them so that no one felt left out. There's lots of nice folks that do that, but they are also motivated by their humility and understanding that new posters often add fresh chow tips and opinions into the mix. That's how the diversity of opinions and tips flourish. This unspoken practice was common in the earlier days of chowhound, but it's become less common with a larger community. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to remind chowhounds of this practice.

                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                            I'm not sure if it's possible to say + Infinity but I'll do it anyway. I'm anything but the silent majority here (g) but I do believe that the true silent majority here believes in everything you've just stated. Maybe I'm just coming off my find last night of the best "corned beef hash" I've ever had here in L.A. (at Pann's restaurant on La Tierja), but your post actually gave me the chills when I read it. Bookmarked for future reference. Thank you.

                                            And now, back to the chow...

                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                              "Don't come here to feel great; use the information here to feel great in the real world of chow out there."

                                              This is perilously close to being interpreted as "get a life." ;-) Actually, it's the single best description of the chowhound mission I've ever seen.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                The new CH mission more like it. Don't stick around, just dabble. Don't complain, just take what you need and leave the rest. When you're a community of millions that's the personal touch.

                                                Being a part of the CH Team sounds like a pretty thankless (volunteer job) and being a CH can be equally thankless. This site is built on the volunteer efforts and contributions of faceless, nameless food folk every minute. To th folks actually paid around here....send out a beautiful virtual greeting card at the end of the year!

                                                As for Hill & me we're taking a break.

                                                Happy eating one and all.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  What the f*ck are you talking about? I'm asking seriously. Has anything changed all that much since Jim sold his site to CNET/CBS besides the 10s of thousands of new users on the site? I'm not seeing it. But then, I guess I don't cling on CH for my community/social needs. I just come here to find good food. Please enlighten me. The Chowhound team's reply pretty much reiterated what has been the practice since I've been around from the beginning of Chowhound, except they're managing a hundred-fold more childr... I mean posters. My view is that there's just so much chatter that it's become more difficult to find really useful information. But it's still there with a little more sifting.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    I'm really sorry you feel that way and I have to also confess to feeling mystified as to why. Sometimes, it seems to me, that offense is taken where none is given. Most of the time, folks' reactions are more about themselves than about what others have said or done.

                                                    I will miss your contributions and hope your absence is short lived.

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      Everything else notwithstanding, since I'm *clearly* a no-controversy kinda gal :), I for one will miss your posts, HillJ(s)

                                                  2. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                    "A lot of what we can and can't say is practical. A chef, no matter how passionate about his or her cooking, can't come here and tell us how wonderful their chicken stew is."

                                                    Why not? Especially if that chef is willing to share his/her recipe with us. So many of us non-chefs have declared our own stews/cookies/soups/etc. to be the best in the universe, with no negative ramifications. Why can't a chef do the same?

                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                      There's a big difference. You may feel that your own stew/cookie/soup is the best, but you have no financial motive in telling that to others. The same cannot be said of a professional chef.

                                                      The Chowhound rule against this is quite clear, as stated in the Chowhound Posting Etiquette topic at :

                                                      "Please don't recommend your restaurant (as a rule of thumb, you should never be the first to mention your business in a thread), offer opinions on the quality of your products, use us for customer service purposes ("We're sorry you had a bad experience..."), post promotions ("Join us for our annual lasagna festival next week!"), invite people to come to your restaurant or argue back re: consumer opinions or experiences."

                                                      1. re: nsxtasy

                                                        I suspect there are quite a few chefs among us who just don't advertise what restaurant they work for. Same goes for caterers and line cooks and such. They've surely contributed quite a few recipes and techniques to this site on the Home Cooking boards. Now, if the same professional went on the regional boards and told everyone how great their restaurant/whatever was, that would be different.

                                                        I sharpen knives for people and frequently give knife sharpening tips on the cookware board. I don't hide this, but it's never been a problem (also, it's a minor side job for me, and I'm not looking for any new customers - I already have more knives to sharpen than free time in which to sharpen em). Generally speaking, it seems to me the mods are pretty good about picking up on genuine conflicts of interest while allowing people to share their knowledge, professional or otherwise.

                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                          I couldn't agree more with you, cowboyardee. Just wish I could articulate it as well as you do.

                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                            "Now, if the same professional went on the regional boards and told everyone how great their restaurant/whatever was, that would be different."

                                                            The flip side to that coin is when those same professionals start knocking other restaurants who just happen to be their "competition." To my mind smearing (which is what that knocking is called) for financial ruination of others is an even more damaging and low-life approach than shilling of their own restaurants.

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              True. Though i suspect it's harder to enforce a no smearing policy than a no shilling policy.