Are You a "Follower" or a "Finder"?
I'm a "follower" which means I read Chowhound to see what others have found and then go try out the restaurant. Others are "finders" who take the risks by going out to try new restaurants or finding as yet undiscovered gems.
I'm a follower because I don't get to go out often, maybe once a week and when I go, I want to know that what I am going for will be worth it. So I tend to eat at those places that I've come to know and love or those that have been vetted by my fellow Chowhounders.
I want to thank the "finders" for going out to discover these great places!
I'm a "finder." I think I mostly love the sense of adventure and anticipation. I love going into a restaurant without knowing what you're gonna get and being blown away.
I almost feel like sites like Chowhound and especially yelp take away from the fun of it. Expectations are a weird thing - I find that when I go to places that are overly hyped, it increases the chances I'll come away disappointed.
I'm a little of both.
I used to travel extensively for work and developed a pretty good knack for finding places of all price ranges. It is fun and I enjoy the process.
I do appreciate following, especially when it is a food type I'm not knowledgeable about or a variety where there are 100's of options (ie pizza or Chinese in the area I live). It gives a starting point in exploring and also lets you determine which "finders" have similar taste to you.
I'm a little of both but it's the 'finder' in me that brings me to Chowhound. Isn't that what we're supposed to be by definition: foodies follow, Chowhounds explore and find? From the CH Manifesto: "We're not talking about foodies. Foodies eat where they're told. Chowhounds blaze trails. They comb through neighborhoods for culinary treasure. They despise hype. And while they appreciate ambiance and service, they can't be fooled by flash."
That's what drew me to CH years ago; on my local board the most interesting people were reporting on what they were finding and what was new and what they wanted to try. That was then, of course. It's very different now but I still love the search for something exciting and new and avoid trendy and 'in' places like the plague.