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Losing interest


Gosh, Chowhound, I'm so sad to say that I'm finding the site and boards to be, well, BORING.

The discourse about cooking and eating has lost its oomph.

And I yearn for a mobile app.

Woo me back. I miss you.

  1. I agree! And the people here take themselves WAY too seriously! I just want to discuss food and those wonderful little finds. When people differ in their opinion, they do it with venom. Definitely not the Chowhound of yesteryear. Well said, Discerning1 -- woo us both back, Chowhound. Please!

    1. "Jokes" or any attempt at levity here will be dealt with immediately.

      Thread deleted in 5,4,3,2..

      3 Replies
      1. re: Pedr0

        NO TIME FOR JOKES! We have to talk about my constitutional right to tap water and free bread in restaurants! And that waitress was snotty and they wouldn't make me a turkey sandwich and the music is too loud! That's not a pretty shade of white at the top of the page and I'm cold!

        1. re: Samalicious

          And there are wolves after me!!! I love that line!

          Sad to agree--CH is not the playground it once was. I do still learn here and am grateful for my continuing education, but it sure seemed to be a whole lot more fun when I first climbed aboard this crazy train!

          1. re: Samalicious

            And too many people are using smart phones and the glaring lights bother me, so is it OK that I left a penny tip?

        2. My thoughts in making the original comment were along different lines than the direction the discussion has gone, although the responses are interesting.

          I was thinking that there used to be people who I assumed were CH staff or at least hired by CH to start threads...Melanie Wong, Ruth Lafler, for example. I thought their comments were interesting and provoked good discussion. But that doesn't seem to be happening anymore.

          And there doesn't seem to be any outreach to garner new members of the community, so the same people are posting fairly similar things on the boards I inhabit. I enjoy new ideas from many people.

          The videos and features rarely change and that makes me very sad. I enjoy the Chow Tip videos and I really liked the multi-city food tours, especially the Oakland one.

          The interface needs a revamp and once again, give us a mobile app!

          CH feels like an underfunded enterprise. It used to be scrappy and an upstart. Now it just seems neglected.

          Give us back the sparkle, the flavors, the excitement, please.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Discerning1

            Since I posted the previous statement an hour ago, I've been trying to understand more about Chowhound itself. I'm not in the in-crowd...I didn't know the history or that it had been sold by founder Jim Leff to CNET (which I guess is now owned by CBS?). I still don't understand the difference between Chow and Chowhound.

            I'm astonished how little help Wikipedia is in explaining all this. Will one of you in the know please explain...are you well-known and frequent posters employees or passionate community members, has the mission of the community changed, etc.?

            1. re: Discerning1

              Start here and read it - installment by installment - until you've either had your "educational" fill or you've reached the end of the story: http://jimleff.blogspot.com/2008/12/c...

              1. re: Servorg

                Whoever takes the time to follow the above link and read Jim Leff's blog may feel the same way I do about some of the above comments that refer to 'cranky OLD people' and "retired third grade teachers.' The people who made the original CH great were definitely not cranky, yet definitely not youngsters.
                We all have our reason for liking/disliking the current state of CH boards. As for me, I'm not thrilled with the crowd of 'young' snide nasties.

                1. re: prio girl

                  I came to CH in 2001 and still enjoy the food tips on the LA board. I think there is a HUGE disconnect between what goes on with the Top Chef threads on Food Media or some of the gigantic "shoot first and take prisoners later" threads on Not Food and what happens on the local or regional boards with regard to restaurant and other food tips.

                  To this day, and throughout my 11 years here, I still find new and exciting places to eat at via the hounds on the LA board. This type of thread is a "throw away" thread as far as I am concerned. It won't help me eat better and it won't improve my enjoyment of CH.

                  But it is diverting (in a way I'm sure the moderators find distasteful) and assists in whiling away the hours in, what otherwise, is a typical and mundane winter day here in sunny SoCal.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I think one of the advantages of different boards is that people can be shielded, for lack of a better word, from what they don't want to see. I can't count the number of times older posters have thanked TPTB for the chains board, which I very rarely visit (can't remember the last time I've been there), the Not about Food board or the Food media board. I can understand people disliking the Top Chef thread but it's easy enough to avoid. There are many threads on things I have no interest. I do find that the local boards stay very topical and see little external chitchat. Though I don't participate as much, I'm an avid reader of those posts and have discovered many great places (and used to always be asked by friends how I discovered them but now they just ask "Chowhound?").

                    Reading this thread, though, gives me a better understanding of what those "cranky old people" have been talking about. I get a lot out of CH still and it's easy to disregard the rest. That one gem is worth the search. General Chowhounding used to be full of threads that were thought provoking and provided good information on the background of foods. Those types of conversations have disappeared over the years, replaced with the "I hate/love xxxx, what about you?" type. I do miss those old threads.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I tend not to read the GT board very much. I do mostly lurk on the Home Cooking board and get some great recipe ideas over there but tend not to contribute (my bad). But 90 plus percent of my time and energy is on the LA board. As far as my use of CH is concerned the value I receive, and hopefully give, is about the same as it always was based on my involvement and enjoyment of the LA board.

          2. .Ok, I have OFFICIALLY lost complete interest in posting. And it is sad. But true. Reached my limit. Sigh.

            2 Replies
            1. re: freia

              hmmm, looks like all of my posts in this thread have gone away. i wonder what happened? ;-)

            2. The S/O of a one time avid (now occasional) poster said it the best a while back. "They've moderated the fun out of it."

              I also agree that people are getting way too passionate about stuff on here. Just today I read where my vote for the best chicken wings in the city couldn't be done with a "Clear conscious."
              What the ........


              12 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                Oh, passion gets punished too. It happened to me. 6 years, pages of help offered, and many restaurant discoveries later I'm too passionate to voice my opinion any more. I'm so offended I've lost all interest in contributing. I will continue to take.

                1. re: Googs

                  I know Googs. What I meant was the things are extreme. No one ever seems to post that they just "Like" anything anymore. It's all "Awesome" or "Crap." It's like people can't appreciate something that's just a good solid meal. Won't WOW you but always hits the spot.


                  1. re: Googs

                    You are missed but I understand your ire.

                    1. re: magic

                      I'm saddened because this goes against my take-a-penny-leave-a-penny attitude. I believe it's important to pay back the help received even if indirectly. What's the point if answering a question will get my post deleted?

                      1. re: Googs

                        I can't help but be curious. Although I don't recall reading having read any of your posts, it's clear from a cursory view of your profile page that you've had quite a lot of them stay. What types of posts are you having consistently deleted? Don't you get an occasional explanatory e-mail as to why they were deleted? Have you ever inquired?

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Googs is the the nicest, most affable poster, with a great rep on the very busy Toronto board. If Googs' posts are being pulled something is seriously SERIOUSLY wrong with the mods.

                            1. re: MGZ

                              Just as a for instance - suppose hound A (one of the nicest, most affable posters ever to cross the virtual threshold of CH) innocently replies to a long post by hound B, that mentions food, and also includes a little blurb about finding some creepy crawly creature in among their brussels sprouts. When the creepy crawly post by hound B gets yanked, along with it will come the reply by hound A. Happens to the best (and worst) of us...

                              1. re: Servorg

                                Of course, but that's a surmountable problem. Just doesn't seem like enough to cause such discontent.

                                1. re: MGZ

                                  One can get caught up as collateral damage in threads that have been pruned for a variety of reasons, not all of them apparent to us. I've learned to roll with the punches, whatever and why ever they come...

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    Of course, but I think (as most on this thread would agree with) quite a few of those punches often fall into the "Jesus Christ" category. Which is a real problem.

                                    End of the day CH is still a great (and FREE!) resource that I value, but it’s not above significant and continuous improvement.

                                    1. re: magic

                                      "course, but I think (as most on this thread would agree with) quite a few of those punches often fall into the "Jesus Christ" category. Which is a real problem."

                                      I'll just say, it's only a problem if you let it be one. Eventually I learned that deletion decisions are outside my purview or power. Since there is absolutely nothing I can do about them I'll just let it all flow off my back like water off the proverbial duck. Since I made that shift in my thinking about moderation decisions I have come to enjoy the site a lot more. Funny how that works.

                2. Once the talk becomes more about how we speak to one another and less about the OP/topic at hand, the thread can turn less interesting. Personal conversation, even if it's not attacking, just directed one on one is often deleted off the thread. Yesterday I learned that LOL can be taken as laughing at someone; not just laughing. But more than anything Discerning1, I've learned that CH does not have all the answers. Imagine that. Not the staff, the Mods volunteering or the members. And if we all can't agree to disagree, not take every word as gospel or learn to find the fun in group think then this site and any other like it will lose its way. The only aspect of CH I truly miss from the older model is the pleasure of being part of something fresh and unique. CH is no longer either=
                  a) the site grew up and b) its had a number of hands on its well worn apron.

                  1. You say 'boring' - I say 'snide.' I am tired of the snide remarks that have no place on this board.

                    1. I took a long break, but came back for a bit. I have three issues with the way things have changed.

                      1. If you admit to knowing the owner of a restaurant and give it a good review - it is taken off. If you give it a bad review, it is left on. Shouldn't the full disclosure be a "spoiler' in a sense. I'd rather hear a review with full knowledge someone knows the inner workings, rather than it hidden with subtle hints. ie...I know a restaurant that got a glowing review after being open three days. It was almost too perfect. I later found out the co-owner works for the Food Network.

                      2. No more real hounds. Everyone seems to bash everything that isn't nouveau cuisine. You know what, Duck L'Orange is still good. Buffalo Wings are still good. A Peter Luger Steak is still good. Everyone bashes all that isn't "fresh."

                      3. The recipes listed are almost taken directly from websites with pawning them off as their own. The variety is gone. I wanna hear (as I did recently) that you are odd and like mustard and mayo with your eggs. Not that you know how to make the perfect omelet, because you watched Jaques Pepin make one on TV the night before.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jhopp217

                        We remove both good and bad reviews by people who are insiders -- owners, employees, friends, family, etc -- but we don't see them all. Please do report instances where you see them, and we'll take a look.

                      2. As a longtime Chowhound participant, I've learned a couple things.
                        1. When you get really frustrated with the way things work here, it's time to take a break. Take a month off, go Yelping for a bit. Or seek out other special interest sites for travel or whatever floats your boat. After floating around other topical sites, you will see Chowhound, aside from its heavy moderation, is fairly typical in many respects. Cliquishness and closed minds rule most discussion boards on the Interweb. Where Chowhound rises to the top is in allowing threads like this one. Seriously. Try questioning the powers that be on most discussion sites and the vapor trail is all but invisible when a grousing thread is deleted within seconds of posting.

                        2. As the former recording secretary for the Old Biddies Association, let me just say, humor does not translate well via straight text. The day when intention can be inferred via text on a message board is not coming any time in the near future. Even the few great wits we have on Chowhound often start and end their humorous posts with apologies. Knowing the intent of virtual strangers is simply not possible.

                        3. Getting rid of the snooty factor takes more brain power than I’ve been allotted. I have no answer for that one, but a suggestion only. When new participants visit the boards and tout their love of Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill, please be kind. Suggest other Italian eateries without dissing their choice. Welcome them by imparting information instead of looking down your nose or piling on with “Olive Garden? You can’t be serious!”

                        4. My suggestion to freshen up the site is to take down the dividing wall between Chow and Chowhound. Drastic? Yes. I would argue that the fresh blood from Chow could shake things up in a positive way and no longer would we have to question the Why of Chow vs. Chowhound.

                        17 Replies
                        1. re: MplsM ary

                          MplsM ary....Please help me understand. What IS the difference between Chow and Chowhound? I'm completely in the dark.

                          1. re: Discerning1

                            In my mind, CH is us, the people who are searching for good food, are sharing places to find good food. Chow is a corporate entity that comes from top down, as content goes--sometimes excellent, sometimes dumbed down for flash.

                            1. re: chowser

                              Isn't CHOW an online magazine built around the live Chowhound community Jim Leff built and sold to CNET? Isn't CHOW the creation of CNET/CBS? The company calls CHOW "a kind of food media."

                              Why the two areas of the site aren't one is a valid question MMpls.

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Chow content is provided by paid writers who have editors directing their efforts. Chowhound content is totally unpaid user generated and, while we may be moderated out of existence, our posts are not edited for content without our express consent.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Moderation is a form of editing is it not, Servorg.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    I say it isn't since, once the entire post is removed, there is nothing left to "edit" or "change" (for better or worse)...

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      Except when moderation changes the threads discussion or direction. I would call that editing.

                                  2. re: Servorg

                                    Thank you! At last I understand!

                                    So the videos, Chow Tips, etc. are paid content?

                                    What about the folks who go by name (I assume real) on the boards? Are they paid staff or lead volunteers?

                                    1. re: Discerning1

                                      No one is paid to put up content on Chowhound. So, real name or screen moniker, it's all the same. Voluntary comment by food obsessed folks with too much time on their hands...

                                    2. re: Servorg

                                      One more than one occasion I have seen Chow "articles" that were word and chapter C&P of a topic I posted and comments there of. The "paid writer" added maybe a sentence. So I do have a bad opinion of the Chow content and editors.

                              2. re: MplsM ary

                                Hi, MpIsM ary:

                                "The day when intention can be inferred via text on a message board is not coming any time in the near future. Even the few great wits we have on Chowhound often start and end their humorous posts with apologies. Knowing the intent of virtual strangers is simply not possible."

                                Go tell it on the Mountain!

                                On a positive note, even I--great cynical critic that I am--have noted a greater toleration from on High for criticism of the site and its running. What appears to me to have started with "listening" to participants on tech issues has bloomed (or metastacized, depending on your view) into a more benign hands-off and even an explanatory bent on the part of the Mods. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

                                Hopefully the OP is despairing over a problem that, while real and despair-worthy, is fixing itself.


                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  >>> bloomed (or metastacized, depending on your view) into a more benign hands-off and even an explanatory bent on the part of the Mods. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Hopefully the OP is despairing over a problem that, while real and despair-worthy, is fixing itself.

                                  It has fixed itself into creating this thread about people being bored with Chowhound.

                                  Chow's bad decisions regarding this site sent me to Yelp, where for the last few weeks I've learned more, ate better and have had lots more fun than dealing with what goes on currently in this site.

                                  Chowhound used to be about content. Now it is about freedom of expression and how many clicks controversey can generate.

                                  Have I stopped trying to enourage new people who post tips on this site? Yep.

                                  Do I really get any useful info out of this site anymore. Nope

                                  Do I care if having to tolerate the content-light, often error-full articles on the Chow side of this site keep the lights on at Chowhound. Nope.

                                  The store has been vandelized and there is nothing worth of value here anymore.

                                  Oddly enough, the reason I'm enamoured with Yelp recently is that I get info there. Chow just doesn't recognize that is what is valueable on both Chow and Chowhound.

                                  Yelp is funny. It welcomes everyone. It doesn't trash people for being too old to have an opinion about a restaurant. If people offer good info then people will flag what they post as useful, funny or cool and you are welomed into the community

                                  In the past that was Chowhound.

                                  When yelp started selling stock this month, despite never having earned a penny, some financial analysts said that people could see the potential in yelp ... where it can, and I'll bet will, go.

                                  Chow made Chowhound reverse Yelp.

                                  Yelp started based on attitude and controversy. It was juvenile and not worth taking seriously.

                                  But people wanted a place to post about the restaurants where they ate. Slowly, yelp built content.

                                  Chowhound started with content that was funny and, yes, sometimes frustrating. Now it is just about attitude and controversy .... without content.

                                  Chow never understood Chowhound or saw the potential in it.\

                                  That is glaringly obvious with this new trend in the digest

                                  Even yelp recognizes what Chowhound once did ... encouraging people to go out and explore and bring in new finds. Yelp does this through the coveted 'first to post'

                                  Now articles are orchestrated. More and more on the SF board are Chow employee posts. No longer is it about trecking across the world to find the best of something ... that was the crazy fun part.

                                  Now it is maps and lists which go old soon. I know because I've created dozens of them.

                                  Now "we're not actually loading blindfolded Chowhound posters into a creepy minivan and forcing them to eat pupusas ... Each of the lists will be checklists, essentially, of recommended restaurants within a certain geography but not Top 5 or Top 10 or Top Whatever"


                                  It goes on to say a top five list can be contentious.Well,yeah.passion about food is what made this site intersesting.

                                  As to a pupusa map ...I can easily get that on yelp.

                                  I can get that on yelp in the neighborhood I'm interested in and the info is fresh and ever-changing ...and I can get it easily on a smartphone.

                                  So, if you wonder why Chowhound is so boring, it isn't because the fun and flames are extinguished by moderators and geriatric posters. It is because there is no longer any chow on those dying embers.

                                  RIP, Chowhound. It was interesting while it lasted and a priviledge to participate and exchange tips with such fun, food-savy posters.

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    No, rw -- don't leave! Plenty of us still left!

                                    1. re: rworange

                                      Except for one big BIG glaring deficiency with Yelp...it has shown ZERO quality control over its shills, ax grinding disgruntled and smear happy posters...

                                      1. re: rworange

                                        Hi, rworange:

                                        Think of all the Yelping you could have done in lieu of the above!

                                        You have helped me a lot with CH, sorry to hear you won't be participating any longer. You will be missed.


                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                          It is like cutting down on smoking. However,the more I am on yelp, the less I need to be here.

                                          I highly suspect today I'll be chasing down my last Chowhound tip. I can also tell you what will happen if it turns out be great. I'll post and not one person will care or pick up on it. People don't care anymore here.

                                          It has to be the right chef in the right location with the group approved cuisine. Food-wise it is getting very like egullet.

                                          This particular Chowhound tip was reported weeks ago and not one person picked up on it, even those in the area.

                                          When I sign on these days, my profile has few discussions about food.It is only the chat topics. I open them and scroll past the squabbling about something or another and ...as the title of this topic says... lose interest.

                                          As to shills on yelp, they are pretty easy to spot.Sure I've been caught a few times but still...that is better than getting the same tired tips here.

                                          Hey,"chowhounds" think for themselves and seek out deliciousness. So for me, I'll still find good eats.I did so a year in Guatemala alone. I just miss having a place where people were interested and jazzed about finding and discussing good food.

                                          1. re: rworange

                                            Hi, rw:

                                            Well, every swan must have her song.

                                            So long. Yelp will be a better place with you helping there.


                                  2. OTOH, I have posted more than 1 thread that could provide really good discussion, yet nobody replies. Like my post with theories about the sudden recent rise in celiac and gluten problems.

                                    1. Sisters and brothers...this discussion about "old fogies" makes me really uncomfortable. No one knows the age of any poster. It's the content that counts, not the perception of the poster's age. Respectful dialogue is the essence of a fruitful exchange.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Discerning1

                                        I can only say that, for me, when I originally read the reference to "cranky old people", I didn't literally interpret it to be a comment on the age of certain posters as much as the mentality. You're right - we don't know how old anyone here is, but sometimes you do come up against some heavy resistance to change by people who have been here a while (regardless of their age), which can make newer people to the board feel unwelcome and uncomfortable.

                                        But there are subsequent references to the age of posters that do appear to be meant in the spirit of which you speak, and I agree with you that they can be hurtful and unproductive. There are many valuable contributions made here by people who have readily identified themselves as being older than many others of us, and I wouldn't want to devalue their contribution merely because of their age.

                                        Thanks for pointing that out.

                                        1. I have watched this and the LOL thread unfold this week. Frankly, they have been the most interesting reads. In a way, they both lend some credence to, as well as deny, the original premise. The fact that I found them compelling, suggests that there was not much "true food" content being considered. The fact that they were neither shut down nor overly "edited" suggests that overmoderation is not really that great an issue.

                                          Personally, I think these types of discussions are relevant to the community because they permit insight into the various mindsets of different posters. Each of us comes to the site with our own backgrounds, knowledge, education, intellect, hang-ups, and, most importantly, worldview. Though one may believe devoutly in one's worldview, it does not mean that it is correct or universal. It is important to be aware of that fact and, when communicating here, that means trying to read the thoughts of others in their "voice," not your own.

                                          Honestly, I'm a bit surprised that the exchange of thoughts can lead to such hurt feelings. I understand that it is uncomfortable to "feel" corrected, but no one is always right. Disagreements are simply an element of societal interaction. Ultimately, it's good to be challenged by the ideas of others, it permits us to learn.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: MGZ

                                            Hi, MGZ:

                                            Great post.

                                            I suggested awhile back that CH have *one* board where the "rules" are relaxed. Some suggested that would be the End of the World, others weighed in with "That's what we already have at Not-About-Food." For whatever reason, my idea went nowhere, but I have *recently* noted a very positive downturn in what otherwise has been a steady ramping up of Moderation.

                                            Time will tell whether we Children of Food are at a stage when the Mods can just let us take the car keys and not worry. Treating each other with respect and thickening our skins a little can't hurt, as you so ably wrote.


                                            1. re: MGZ

                                              >>> The fact that I found them compelling, suggests that there was not much "true food" content being considered.

                                              I don't care about anyone's world view here. I come here to find good food.

                                              Someone once said, that if a lot of people on this board met each other they would hate each other. The only thing in common was a love of exceptional food.

                                              I know that food in my travels opened up people who might have otherwise viewed me with indifference at best. The people on this board who would not give me the time of day in real life will engage in spirited discussions about a piece of pizza or an ice cream cone.

                                              It is all we had in common.

                                            2. Discerning1

                                              I know what you mean.

                                              I viewed this post on Retronaut on Navy food during WW11


                                              A chap made a comment:;

                                              'Haters gonna hate'

                                              As Sra. Swanky said as well.

                                              1. I see the discussion, and the mobile app issue seperately. I do not think you are getting a mobile app any time soon, except via mobile browsing which has its challenges.

                                                Discussion? Things go in cycles. We are in winter doldrums where the ingredients, especially local fresh ones aren't as interesting. Wait a few weeks, and I suspect it will pick up...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: cwdonald

                                                  Thanks. As I watch my fruit trees blossom, I'll remember that more is yet to come.

                                                2. I agree that CH has become less interesting in the last couple of years or so. But part of this is that the old timers aren't posting very much. I do agree that we need to tread softly on the opinions of others; we don't all have to agree with everything. And I do want to emphasize that I have learned, and continue to learn lots by reading and contributing to this site. Where else could I ask about a new dishwasher? Where else would I have learned about how to salt the skins of baking potatoes, or how to manage cast iron? (I'm sort of shocked at the passion of that last topic, to tell the truth.)

                                                  But to those of you who loved CH for the way it used to be, why aren't you posting? How can it be the way it used to be, if you aren't contributing?

                                                  And, I just have to say, the thing I find really boring is a topic about the food you hate, or hated as a child. But I find fascinating stories about picky eating, or other such. But, I really come here for the shared enjoyment of eating and cooking. Posters here are the food enthusiasts whom I don't have in my "real" life. And I thank you all very much.

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                    Your post sums up how I feel, much more succinctly than I could do. There is an interesting divide among those who miss the old time posters vs the ones who consider them the "old codgers." I still continue to learn a lot from these boards; yes, there are more threads to ignore and avoid but I think it's worthwhile to get to the gems. Thanks to those who haven't given up.

                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                      Chowser -- I do miss the old time posters -- in fact - I'm one of them. The "old codger" comment refers to the attitudes of some of the posters, not the age. Like many people involved in this thread, I've had comments picked apart and steered away from what was really important. This used to be a fun place with a "united in love of food" mantra. Now so many responses in various threads are full of comments that are ubersensitive and self-righteous. I take food seriously...I never take myself seriously.

                                                      1. re: Sra. Swanky

                                                        " I've had comments picked apart and steered away from what was really important. "

                                                        That's too bad. One problem, when there are thousands of posters, is that you'll get bad apples and those can ruin it for everyone else. Sometimes I enter threads, knowing I could be entering into the fray (eg anything on NAF, Top Chef, anything about Paula Deen) but on others, that are seriously food based, like Home Cooking, my local board, I don't see that and we stick to the food. It's rare when you see an attack. Ironically, I want point out that on the DC, normally a heavy political area full of arguments, is a mellow board w/out that type of drama.

                                                        The "old codger" comments I think of, in reading the above, seemed to be aimed at those who only want this site to be about food, no jokes, no chitchat, etc. to keep it the way it used to be (generally the way the "old timers" want it to be). Newbies, OTOH, don't know how it used to be, so it must be about the old timers. I have no idea how long a poster must go back to be considered an "old timer" but maybe before the newest switch-over, back when threads over 100 posts long locked up the computer? Before the CNET takeover and CHOW appeared?

                                                    2. re: sueatmo

                                                      Even Jim Leff rarely posts here.Ask him.

                                                      His great food finds are on his slog,but as interesting as they might be, it was the discussion here that made what he found interesting.Then,like this site now, I have to pick through a lot of stuff that has zero interest to me to get to the chow.

                                                      Chowhound isn't a spectator sport. If you like good posts...post.

                                                      The posters in this thread have assisted in turning this site into what they wanted ... chat ... because they post about that.

                                                      Then they further push the 'oldtimers' out by dismissing that maybe when we care about the changes to the site, it has to do with experience rather that fear of change. They don't wan't anyone to interfere with their good time.

                                                      It is not only the lack of food tips and bad decisions by Chow that have driven me from this site, it is the out and out hostility of posters. That happens when you want to discuss anything but food....and people still don't get that that is exactly what is now so boring about this site.There is the thought that more of the same will be an improvement. As Dr.Phil says "How's that working for you?"

                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                        I don't use this site to "find good chow" much. Other than travel, I don't go out to eat much at all. Cooking is a serious hobby of mine. I don't assume that everyone here is using this site for the same reasons. That is why I am a proponent of various boards- to serve different purposes for folks.

                                                        I use this site for home cooking, cookware, whats for dinner ideas, wine, gardening, etc. Therefore, some "chat" is fine, while I don't care about their "world view"- I also don't want to take advice about a good dishwasher from someone that goes out to eat half the week and doesn't use the "pots and pans cycles". Some amount of *where you are coming from* is good, IMO. What is NOT good is arrogant, snotty, flaming, provocative posters that suck the life out of an otherwise reasonable topic. It is clear when it happens- suddenly only the same three posters are posting directly to each other and they could give a crap about anyone else or the content. They are too fully enthralled with their own words to figure out that everyone has checked out of the conversation. Sad. I wish the Mods would recognize that and stop it. Sometimes they give a warning and that seems to help.

                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                          You can always choose another post in the same thread to reply to. However, many times posters seem to check out. You never see another post from them. But, maybe someone else will see your post and reply.

                                                        2. re: rworange

                                                          I agree--post.

                                                          However please understand that I don't live in SF, and so tips about great restos will not help me at all. I can barely find a decent resto in my very exurban area. And perhaps that is part of what you are experiencing. CH is international; it has lost (perhaps) that small community feel.

                                                          I admit I am guessing. I only began posting within the last 8 years or so. But restaurant recs are only a very small part of what I come here for.

                                                          I also admit that sometimes threads become cliquish. But I've learned to move on. I also agree that I am not finding nearly as many threads as interesting as before. You guys who know a lot about a certain food topic--get busy! Post. \

                                                          I'm just not responding to posts that don't appeal to me. And I also like a good discussion.

                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                            rwo - stick around, but I'd suggest you avoid the chatty boards like this one or NAF or General and stay with the regional and home cooking ones. I have seen your comments (unfairly) nitpicked apart on the SF board (but hey that's a touchy crowd, f'rinstance IRL I've seen people in SF come close to fisticuffs over La Cumbre vs. el Toro). I have generally appreciated your comments when I've seen them. I find the regional boards are much less chatty or catty than these broader ones and even quite congenial (and currently on one offering sympathy and support for someone's deceased spouse for whatever that's worth in this medium. (although I suppose in that case commenters could be called concern trolls) so stick around, ignore the numbnuts and skip the background yammer.

                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                              Funny, I can recall being trashed on NAF, GT and Chains,but any critisism on the SF board usually has to do with a difference in taste.The only problem was years ago when one poster decided if your taste did not match their taste, they would argue until everyone gave up.

                                                              However, that was finally fixed.

                                                              However, I am in Chow HQ territory, so it becomes a little more difficult.

                                                              With Chowhound, it seemed TPTB loved the tips. I got away with a lot because I believe everyone knew that no matter how much I might screw up or around, I never messed with reporting about food. Not all my tips were golden, but they were sincere.

                                                              I think Chow is oblivious to Chowhound posters. It could matter less what people post. It has no value to them other than generating traffic to the site. I truly believe very little is read by them otherwise the changes that were made would have been unthinkable.

                                                              Anyway, here's probably my last Chowhound-inspired post. Fortunately it was food greatness.

                                                              Sadly, this is the type of place that needed the formerly loud microphone of Chowhound and love. The person reporting about it on yelp, totally missed the wonderfullness. So it was a three star place doomed to be ignored or as that person predicts will close like the multitude of restaurants in that location.

                                                              This won't make the local food sites like SFEater. It won't be in the Chronicle.It was doomed to three stars on yelp, the greatness undiscovered.

                                                              I had the old Chowhound urge to rush home and breathlessly report about this find and pay homage to the OP for mentioning it.

                                                              But you know what? I entered it. Read all my new posts and in that time at least a dozen posts were added to this thread. This is what is important on Chow-hound now.

                                                              1. re: rworange

                                                                oh I don't remember the topic on the SF board, something about Rainbow vs. Berkeley Bowl and grains - your post was innocuous and possibly helpful and someone jumped down your throat on a rabid eyed technicality. it was too pointless to bother.

                                                                and that's a nice post about the Greek place - I'll have to share that with my NoCal friends. it's so hard to find GOOD Greek food - a friend (who is Greek) refuses to eat it in a restaurant as it will just. never. be. right. and she has a point, it rarely is.

                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                  There you go. It was too pointless for me to remember and get worked up about. Lord, if I took umbrage at everthing, I would have stroked out long ago. It is when it is repetative enough to catch my attention that I get bugged.

                                                                  No kidding about zeus-awful Greek food in NoCal.I hope she likes it if she tries it. Thanks to me and someone else with some taste, the joint is up to four stars, which is where it belongs ... so I'm happy.

                                                        3. Folks, this thread is turning into an excuse for posters to bash other posters, and that's really not okay. We're locking it.