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If you started a post, does it belong to you?

Lately I have noticed a trend wherein OPs get cranky if the responses to a query they've made don't hew closely to their desired responses. To me, this is what makes CH interesting -- people have different takes on the questions being asked, and sometimes off-beat responses are full of interesting ideas. However, I have noticed some OPs getting kind of nasty about the free form nature of some responses. So, my question is, are they right to get upset or should they appreciate the time, thought and effort someone put into their answer even if it doesn't directly answer the question they posed? Aren't these questions part of the community, or do they belong, in a way, to the OP?

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  1. Well, the answer "should" be no....but btwn human nature, an ocean of expertise, silliness, hot buttons and moderation...you wind up with a whole lot more.

    1. The moderators have said that no one owns a thread here on site talk multiple times over the years.

      1. I'm with ya rox, the wide range of perspective often leads to answers otherwise never considered (also why I sorta like it when they go OT) so I say Hell No, the mods rightfully declare the OP does not own the thread. if someone wants to manipulate the answers to a question, they can go commission a market research firm to conduct a carefully phrased private poll just like the rest of us.

        1. If someone wants to control a conversation online, they can start their own blog.

          I haven't seen people get too upset when the conversation doesn't hew closely to a theme; I've seen them get upset when a bunch of people disagree with them (usually related to something they did and for which they are seeking affirmation).

          4 Replies
          1. re: Cachetes

            I love those -- they describe some sort of unpleasant behaviour, ask "was I wrong?" and then get upset (no, seriously upset) if someone says "yes"....when you ask someone a question, you can't get upset when they give an answer...even if it's not the one you're certain they'll give.

            But no, the OP doesn't own a thread...they can come back, question or comment, or even say "but that's not what I was asking"....but it's not *theirs*

            1. re: sunshine842

              Except with this thread. It appears that the OP did have some control over the closing of the thread

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/807658

              As is often the case with this type of etiquette thread, there are a lot of very personal, unpleasant posts in this thread. Since the OP is electing to bow out at this point, anyway, we're going to lock this thread.
              Permalink | Report
              By The Chowhound Team on Sep 19, 2011 12:03PM

              1. re: viperlush

                viperlush, don't you feel OP's that straddle personal medical issues, personal family stories (often at their worst) and hot buttons about food are prone to eventual lockdown. Even with the most sensitive replies all it takes is one less than sensitive post to throw the entire thread and I often think that if we were all sitting at dinner together and a comment made someone terribly uncomfortable how would they react? (leave the table, yell, cry..) Behind a keyboard it's seems way to easy to forget that.

            2. They have the right to get upset. No one is forcing anyone to respond to a post, so if someone can't give an answer to the question why are they posting on the thread to began with? They took the time to carefully (hopefully) word a question. It's basic reading comprehension. So people should at least make an attempt to answer the question as asked, or acknowledge what the OP is asking. This doesn't mean that every poster must agree with the OP when they want an opinion, but suggestions made should at least be relevant (Not a recipe when asking for store bought, non traditional spice holders not spice racks, etc). But as the threads get longer, and the OP has gotten some answers then I see going off on tangents. And also when the OP abandons the thread.

              3 Replies
              1. re: viperlush

                I don't think they have a right to be upset, annoyed? sure. request/redirect for more relevant info? absolutely. but upset? sorry. (of course maybe my definition of upset is more severe than as used)

                1. re: hill food

                  < (of course maybe my definition of upset is more severe than as used)>

                  I used upset because the OP used it. But you are right that annoyed, PO'ed, aggravated. etc. would have been better words to use. Though they do have the right to be upset when responses start getting too personal and should be reported.

                  1. re: viperlush

                    oh I agree viper, when a disagreement turns into a pointless personal attack it should be reported and deleted but feeling in a moment of mischief I'm tempted to turn this into an unwarranted gut-lunge (heh!)

              2. Original Posts are like cats; nobody owns them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Veggo

                  I actually enjoy some of the humerous sidebars that come up when things go a bit OT. Yours, in particular.

                2. I have noticed the same thing recently. It's too bad, IMO. While the OP may not get the precise type of replies that he/she is hoping for, there is still much to be learned by other CH'ers views on a topic even if it isn't exactly what was requested.

                  The current thread about spice systems is a good example of that. I appreciate that the OP is looking for very specific suggestions and isn't open to spice rack solutions for very good reasons. I have been trying to solve my spice and herb storage dilemma at home so have been reading with interest, and find all replies food for thought. It was a bit disappointing to have some of the suggestions discouraged.

                  1. There's no ownership of threads in my mind. I especially have issues with people who post that they need a restaurant recommendation by a certain date ("where should I eat tomorrow night", or "I'm looking for a restaurant in YYY town tonight, where should I go?"). In the past, I've tried to be helpful within their timeframe, but most of these posters are only looking for a concierge service, rather than doing at least a minimum of their due diligence, and of course many will never post a review, or follow-up. Even if I have relevant information, I'll take my time answering these days, well past their indicated timeframe, to be helpful for everyone who reads the board, and not for that one poster.

                    1. When so many posters go off topic that the whole thread starts to become about something other than what the first post is about then I think it can be unhelpful for everyone as the thread will end up having a misleading title and first post. However, it seems the Chowhound team do a good job of keeping a thread at least fairly on track. But a little diversion here and there is, in my opinion, perfectly acceptable and quite a good thing actually.

                      I don't think I've seen an OP get really upset at little diversions in "their" thread. I have however seen OPs get upset when people disagree with what they say in their first post. Such people often appear to be posting questions when in reality they just want to have people agree with them about something.

                      1. You might be referring to my spice rack threads.

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/808200

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/808531

                        I KNOW that I don't have ownership of the thread and maybe I worded the original wrong. However, like a recent closed thread that said "Just answer the question" or something similar, it is unhelpful when people pile on suggestions that are exactly the opposite of what you asked for.

                        I even got a note from the mods saying that discussion belonged on another board. I knew that from the original post. I was trying to avoid being moved to the Cookware board because I didn't want cookware.

                        I thank the mods for allowing my revised thread to remain on General Topics. I thank all of the posters who honored that second post and answered my question.

                        I find it amazing that not only in the original thread most people did exactly the opposite of answer my question, but then told me I was ungrateful for not appreciating answers that did not address my original question and then went on to make fun of me.

                        You know, I understand the whole thing. I abandoned that thread because I simply did not wnat a spice rack. I no longer was getting any info I needed from that thread, so cool, leave it on cookware for thos who might benefit.

                        However, I wanted my question answered. I don't think that is unreasonable.

                        1. CH users often can be divided by type - some are chatty and enjoy diversions and seeing where a thread meanders. Others are more finely focused and looking for a thread which is clear and stays on a defined path. Most of us move from camp to camp depending upon topic, spare time and most recent beverage consumed!

                          While I enjoy the process, I can see where it could become a little frustrating seeing a specific request slide into a whole new ballpark.

                          Most times I don't interpret emotion on posts. Too many indicators of meaning (nuance, tone, facial cues) just aren't available. I'd rather assume that a potentially iffy sounding post is just suffering from misinterpretation.

                          Kinda like eating in the dark...