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downfall of chow

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed a SERIOUS decline in content on chow.com in the past few months? I don't know if there has been a big staff change recently or what, but I think I am done with chow. From the extremely distasteful call for "lesbian BBQers" to the ill informed articles about beer, I end up leaving the site shaking my head most times I visit now.

Anyone else getting disappointed?

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  1. OMG! Seriously?!? "From the extremely distasteful call for "lesbian BBQers" Was that a Chow article or a ChowHound post? I never gave Chow any cred in the years I have been a ChowHound user. But please post that link! Unthinkable! OMG!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      It was a Chow article. They ended up removing it within a few days after the backlash of disgusted replies. I'm still surprised they never offered an apology about it.

      1. re: Quine

        Here is the text pulled from my RSS reader.


        Seeking: Lesbians Who Grill
        from CHOW » Food News by John Birdsall

        Are you an openly gay woman? Do you spend weekends with grill tongs taped to your hands? Do you live in the San Francisco Bay Area? If the answer to all three is yes, we want to hear from you.

        CHOW.com is casting for a new video series for LGBT Pride, called "Grilling with Lesbians." We’ll visit with a whole range of lesbian backyard-barbecue aficionados, women of all ages and backgrounds, from committed amateurs to chefs who spend their Sundays sweating over a Weber. Candidates have to be unusually passionate about the craft of grilling, funny and vivacious in front of the camera, and willing to host CHOW.com’s video team at a typical backyard get-together with friends, wives, ex-lovers, kids, dogs—anyone and everyone in your adopted family.

        Tell us about your passion for the grill by answering these seven questions:

        1. What is it about grilling that you love?

        2. When did you realize that you loved to grill?

        3. Tell us about your grill. What kind is it? What's the brand? How big?

        4. What’s your favorite grilling recipe and why? Ever won any awards for grilling?

        5. Typically, how many times a year do you invite friends over to grill for?

        6. Why do you think so many lesbians are passionate about grilling?

        7. Recall the best barbecue you’ve ever been to during Pride. What made it so awesome?

        Please respond by Sunday, March 4, to CHOW.com Video Producer Jenny Stewart at Jenny.Stewart@CBSinteractive.com. Send us a picture of yourself, and/or links to videos (if you have any) of you doing your thing at the grill. And remember: Though we expect you to take your beer-marinated chipotle pork loin very, very seriously, we want you to have fun with your answers.

        Image source: Flickr member John Kannenberg under Creative Commons. Use of this image implies nothing about its subject.

        1. re: logandj

          Like I said (earlier) be careful what you delete. Copies of that posted contest appear/remain/have legs all over the place.

      2. Downfall? I hope you're wrong hollymayberry. I enjoy this site. The downfall of CHOW could be the end of the line for Chowhound. But, I agree there have been articles and ideas that play well at the home office but clearly (based on comments under the stories) fall flat across the reading food globe. Our sensibilities differ, our p.o.v. vastly different.

        The challenge to appeal is one every information site deals with. Doing better by readership is something that can be ongoing if the owners listen.

        However, this site does allow and welcomes input from all members and that (at least in my book) counts for something.

        1. Yah, please supply a link to the call for lesbian 'cuers. I cannot *wait* to read that one, and have been quite unsuccessful in finding it.....

          10 Replies
          1. re: linguafood

            That thread has been deleted, lingua. Mention of that is in the 2nd reply upthread...

              1. re: buttertart

                I also saw the story when it orginally ran. Read the comments and realized the article was pulled later. Which on the one hand demonstrates that readers remarks are considered by staff @ CHOW but also begs the question how do you yank an advertised online contest once posted?

                All contests have rules, so a word to the wise at CHOW. If you pull an advertised online contest leave a written statement in its place. Ghost copies will remain on the Net.

              2. re: linguafood

                I saw it while it was up. It was pretty much what it sounds like. In fairness to chow, it didn't come off as though it was trying to be particularly controversial - the idea was to celebrate lesbians who like to grill in honor of gay pride month, and not (it seems) to make any kind of bigger statement or generalization. It was a very strange and arbitrary idea for an article though (obviously).

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  Strange indeed.... what's next -- gay men who love to bake cupcakes?

                  "Quiet days in cliché".

                  1. re: linguafood

                    ..... I resemble that remark.. sic

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      i'm a straight woman who grills and I know straight men who bake/decorate cupcakes. Their ad came off as sexist. If they would have worked on the phrasing of what they were looking for, it likely wouldn't have seemed so bad. I applaud them for trying (though unsuccessfully) to follow in the footsteps of JCP and Ray-Ban with being more inclusive in their advertising.

                      1. re: clgontarz

                        Except there hasn't been a need for a celebration of "straight pride" month since heterosexual couples have traditionally been able to walk down the street holding hands or give each other a kiss goodby at the train station without worrying about anyone bashing them for their PDA.

                  2. Chow is what it is. A cross section of a diverse group that have an interest in food. Some of us like to make it and some of us like to eat it and some of us are afraid of it. The good thing is you can choose which articles or threads to open or respond to.

                    I like to share information to help others as well as maybe learn something from members here. That's what message boards are all about. Sharing of knowledge. Sure I cringe at the posts about misplaced fear of cooking utensils. Never saw the lesbian BBQers but I like BBQ so why would I care if it was lesbians or macho straight men getting together to make it. Just teach me something I don't know and I'm happy

                    And on that note you should be happy. If this site is not for you go forth and seek one that is.

                    16 Replies
                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      The OP's comment was about Chow, not the Chowhound boards. That said, an attitude of "America, Love it or Leave it" makes no more sense in the context of this site than it does in the context of the country.

                        1. re: carolinadawg

                          >>an attitude of "America, Love it or Leave it" makes no more sense in the context of this site than it does in the context of the country.

                          Actually, it makes a lot of sense on the Internet. There's no reason you can't continue to follow the Chowhound boards, if you find them useful, while avoiding Chow editorial, if you find it useless. That may even be the opinion of most visitors to this site, according to Alexa ( http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/www.cho... ).

                          1. re: squid kun

                            Totally true. While I am finding the link unfathomable. While I have been a participating poster on chowhound.com for a good few years now, I seldom stray into ChowLand. I'd rather fall down a rabbit hole. I have taken offense at seeing "stories/article" published there that were Copy and paste of a post I created and comments made to it, posted, without credit. It happens to others as well. Plagiarism call-outs go without notice by TPTB.

                            It is what it is, Chow posts plagiarized stuff and "shock" Lesbian BBQ while Chowhound suffers from "Citizen watch" moderators. I say switch the mods to Chow stuff and BOTH places improve.

                            1. re: squid kun

                              "If this site is not for you then go forth and find one that is" isn't the same as "Ignore Chow and enjoy Chowhound".

                            2. re: carolinadawg

                              Please forgive me I don't know the difference between Chow & Chowhound boards...somebody please explain. Thanks.

                              1. re: cstout

                                Chowhound is all unpaid contributor discussion content. Chow is professionally created and paid content.

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    The gray area is Chow Digest, which summarizes content on some of Chowhound's regional boards plus General Topics and Home Cooking: http://www.chow.com/digest/

                              2. re: scubadoo97

                                My point was to draw attention to what I have perceived as a decline in quality content over the past few years (esp. months) on Chow. As a result I have sought out other sites that aren't disappointing me.

                                In re. your comment about the BBQ...I think you didn't understand...there is nothing against who is barbecuing or what there sexual preference is. My disgust was for the way that Chow promoted and proposed an offensive article/contest. I am sure whoever came up with the idea is kicking themselves and upset that it wasn't perceived how they meant it to be...nonetheless it slipped into publication when it shouldn't have.

                                1. re: hollymayberry

                                  Yeah I didn't get you drift at first because I rarely venture into Chow

                                  1. re: hollymayberry

                                    Some article have been disappointing but there is some worthwhile content. I happen to enjoy the video stories and the idea of chow tips. The advertising pool keeps this site alive. So I'm absolutely behind you all when you suggest disappoint and ask for quality programming but I can't write off the entire site and the people working behind it.

                                    Quine, as for using your work without permission. I hear ya and I understand the frustration. But, you also know that once you hit the save/send button on this site the "work" becomes the property of the site. So be selective about what you share if you feel strongly about your words.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I do care about plagiarism. I do care about the fact that someone copies my work and others and turns around and "sells it". If it is good enough to steal and good enough to have a value when 'fenced". Then let us submit our own articles. But that happens when the next time pigs fly to see the cow jump over the moon.

                                      1. re: Quine

                                        Like I said, Quine. Understood. The only way to guard against it (right now) is to refrain from submitting your work freely if you wish to be paid for it.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          People stealing content on the Internet? Can that be true? What is the virtual world coming to... ;-D>

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            Ha. I was confining my reply to posting on this site.

                                2. Decline of Chow? Never. Where else would I learn how to recycle jeans into a garden apron?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: beevod

                                    My thoughts exactly, beevod. And remember this is free advice!

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        oh, come on! There are values to be had throughout CHOW. The strongest one: they keep Chowhound alive.

                                        My observations of late is in streamlining the navigation, it's much harder to find topics; especially older ones. The comment section is mostly one sided by posters. Writers/reporters/staff don't reply frequently enough. Deletion reporting is haphazard. But content (which should be king) is up & down...and frankly mostly a teaser of news pieces appearing everywhere or culled from the active threads of CHOW.
                                        Room for improvement? Always. But worthless, nah.

                                        And, like I said, they keep Chowhound possible...and free to enjoy.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          I was referring specifically to the "apron from a pair of jeans" tip.

                                  2. I'm a big supertaster fan and I like to leave appreciative comments but I don't like watching videos. I know it would be extra work to provide a transcript of the video but does anyone else wish for this? I might be imagining it but lots of his videos have zero comments and the readable reviews always seemed to have a few. Mostly positive too. Why has supertaster gone all video all the time?

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                      Thank you thank you thank you, givemecarbs! I feel the same way. Supertaster was my only must-read column on Chow (although Table Manners was my favorite trashy pleasure - that column about stealing barware is still one of the funniest things I ever read on Chow) and now I've pretty much given it up entirely. I usually skipped the Supertaster videos even when most of the columns were text, just because I prefer reading my reviews to watching them - faster, for one thing, and for another, while I can read this site at work I can't listen to videos there.
                                      Another issue is that there no longer seems to be any kind of menu of the columns, so there's no quick way of just going directly to all the Supertaster or whatever columns from Chow's front page. In sum, I have even less reason to go over to Chow than I used to.

                                      1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                        I third this, for all the same reasons you guys just mentioned. I am NOT going to watch videos at the office, but I will read reviews. I really miss Supertaster's old format. And I too have noted the absence of comments on the video reviews. Obviously the video reviews are not generating the same attention.

                                        1. re: AverageJo

                                          I am sad everytime I see Supertaster and its a video. Recently, I have stopped clicking on them at all....

                                      2. re: givemecarbs

                                        re: the videos: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/848899

                                        I asked this very question, and received a fairly unsatisfactory response (in my opinion), but it boils down to generating hits on youtube, and that they'll answer these inquiries if they want to, not because we want to know the reason for the change. It made me sour a bit more on the whole site, frankly.

                                        1. re: givemecarbs

                                          And, what's with the recent focus on Supertaster videos on YouTube, Twitter, FB, and Google+ fans thru CHOW.com/Supertaster video space?

                                          During the audio/video of the last two Supertaster spots James is offering free t-shirts to YouTube fans while speaking to fans of CHOW.com.

                                          Where's the Chowhound loyalty and love Mr. Supertaster? Why in the world would a CHOW.com or Chowhound viewer want to hear that a YouTube viewer is receiving a free CHOW.com t-shirt?

                                          Should we leave CHOW.com and visit your channels elsewhere?

                                          So odd.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            Have you followed his link to Youtube? What I get is a big banner: CHOW.com presents SUPERTASTER

                                            is the CHOW channel.

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              paulj, my point is that when you watch a CHOW.com video from Mr. Supertaster he spends quite a few minutes (lately) discussing other social networking ways to catch his video program. Aren't the various social networking logos placed on his CHOW.com page enough to generate interest? Why award free t-shirts to YouTube viewers while you're watching a CHOW.com video?

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                more clicks = more money. we are the commodity being sold here.

                                          2. re: givemecarbs

                                            I agree 100% There is more video content on this website that there ever used to be. It was fine and possible to tolerate before when there seemed to be a more equal division in the way stories and information was delivered, but now it is just ALL videos. The website has been overrun with "supertasters" videos, it is no longer chow; they seem like two different things, if a website is going to be so heavy on one particular column then it is time for that column to just be taken to its own separate website.

                                          3. I do wish there weer more cooking w/grandma

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: rozz01

                                              I am a fan of the Cooking with Grandma and Obsessives videos too, rozz01. I recall Meredith mentioning that both were very expensive to produce.

                                              Supertaster must be a bargain; running video's daily.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                It's sad cause things like that made Chow seem less corporate and more personal....

                                                1. re: rozz01

                                                  That's a good point, rozz01. The "stories" felt homemade and local to me too. Wish there was a way to "open call" for cooking grandparents (would love to see a GrandPA) and more of the folks who put it all on the line for something they love to offer the CHOWing public. Let's hope the budget grows and more of these "stories" can come along.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    As someone who poured my time, energy, and love into the Obsessives and Cooking with Grandma videos, it makes me really happy to hear this support for those series! I can say that we do have an episode of Cooking with Grandma set to run in September in honor of National Grandparent's Day. And many of us here at CHOW hold out hope that we can have the time to create more Obsessives down the line as well. Thanks again for being fans of those series.


                                                    1. re: mudaba

                                                      Terrific and thanks for making an early-announcement about an upcoming episode. Something to look forward to.

                                            2. My original exposure to Chowhound was a few years back, and while I eventually stopped visiting because it was so hard to tease out the vegetarian options, the boards seemed dominated for awhile with discussions of the Arepa Lady in Jackson Heights, a food vendor who sometimes appeared late at night,
                                              Now that Chowhound has a Vegetarian/Vegan board, I thought this was the perfect place to post a sighting of the Cinnamon Snail vegan food truck yesterday, but said post was deleted.
                                              So what I'm disappointed about is that either the mission has changed somewhat, or the moderators are much too quick on the trigger, thinking something is advertising.

                                              20 Replies
                                              1. re: JanetG

                                                Your post is still on Chowhound. It got moved to the Outer Boroughs board (I assume because it was thought to be "meat" centered due to the "snail" name): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846666

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  Yes, I think the "snail" is a snail-shaped pastry which I haven't sampled yet. If the "mover" looked them up (or followed the link, which I think I posted) it would have been obviously vegan.

                                                  1. re: JanetG

                                                    Hi Janet. I just posted below, but your post got moved because it doesn't meet the criteria for the Vegetarian/Vegan board. It rightly belonged on the Outer Boroughs board and that is where it now resides. Hopefully your recommendation will get seen there by those that are interested.

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      AARGH leave links when you move please, moderators. that is really really helpful to the OP and followers.

                                                2. re: JanetG

                                                  We love the Cinnamon Snail food truck. So why was that pulled? Where should it go? The NJ Board? Are you affiliated with the ownership, JanetG? I'd ask (if u haven't) why it was pulled.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    It wasn't pulled. Just moved. And I reported the moved post just now pointing out that the truck name has nothing to do with serving "snails" so properly can be put back on the vegetarian board.

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      Having never looked at the Vegetarian/Vegan board before I finally just did and the post got moved (rightly so) because it is off topic for that board. If you look at the definition of what that board is for "Use this board to discuss tips for vegetarian/vegan recipes, products, and general topics" you can see that JanetG's post needed to be where it was put, on Outer Boroughs - where this truck locates.

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        But isn't the offering of the Food Truck a selection of vegetarian/vegan products? And isn't it a general topic that encompasses a resource for vegetarians?

                                                        1. re: freia

                                                          Products (as I now understand it) means those vegetarian or vegan items that can be found through either an online source or via a national chain. I would think that General topics would be about those products covered under my lead in sentence above, or asking others about similar or different products, and where they can be sourced on a national or Internet basis.

                                                          A specific one off Vegan truck that happens to be found in one of the Outer Boroughs needs to be talked about on that local board. Just think if we started chattering about vegan restaurants in San Jose or Miami or Boston on that board.

                                                          No one would ever think to find them there and it would be a mammoth mash up of "Where are you talking about" and "Why are you discussing vegan restaurants in Paris, Texas on this board?" (as examples of why that wouldn't work)

                                                      2. re: Servorg

                                                        Now that I see the OP/location of the topic I understand the confusion. Well, JanetG, I hope Servorg's help makes a difference for you. With spring and summer upon us back home in NJ, I was looking forward to the Cinnamon Snail returning.

                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                          That's not why the post was moved. As we explain in http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844506, "For posts that are region specific ("What is the best vegan restaurant in Los Angeles?"), please continue to use the appropriate regional board. " A post about a local food truck spotting is of interest to posters only on the Outer Boroughs board, which is why we moved it there.

                                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                            Too bad it can't be a part of both Boards then because the Cinnamon Snail travels and OB is new territory for it; catering to vegans it would benefit that board as well.

                                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                              Didn't you Chowhound folk travel far and wide, back in the day, for the arepa lady? I've traveled into Manhattan and even Hoboken from Brooklyn to enjoy this truck, and think it really is more of interest to the folks on the vegan/vegetarian board than the "Outer Boroughs" crowd at large. I would take a similar position as to vegan/vegetarian brick and mortar restaurants, thinking they should be included in what this board is about (not just home-cooking).
                                                              That said, I now understand the logic and understand that it's your ball.

                                                              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                That's what I get for assuming something without actually looking at the Vegetarian/Vegan board first. After looking at the board I saw that the post was moved correctly. Sorry for not looking first.

                                                                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                  I've created a pointer post for JanetG's post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8468...

                                                                  Jacquilynne explains this a bit further here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8445...

                                                                  I hope this helps! In the future, users are encouraged to create their own pointer posts within these threads.

                                                              2. re: HillJ

                                                                Shouldn't be NJ Board since they're now licensed in NY and the post was about their being in Park Slope, Brooklyn, yesterday.
                                                                No association with the owners--because they've, until now, generally been in NJ I've eaten their food perhaps five times--but am selfishly motivated to have them succeed.

                                                                1. re: JanetG

                                                                  Does this mean they won't be back in Hoboken, Red Bank?

                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                    All I know is what I read on their Facebook page: Red Bank maybe but Hoboken, according to Cinnamon Snail's reports, has changed their rules relating to food trucks (fees, further restrictions on remaining parked in the same desirable spot, etc., so as to make it impossible for them to do business.

                                                                    1. re: JanetG

                                                                      Yeah, I just read thru it quickly but it sounds like an Earth Day event to Hoboken they were a part of last week but the entire park-list doesn't include NJ at the moment anyway. Real loss for NJ fans. I'm going to ask the Boro in RB about it next week.

                                                                      1. re: JanetG

                                                                        The Cinnamon Snail is parking in Red Bank's Galleria on Sunday. So the information for the food truck is still appropriate on the NJ Boards even if the lic. is based in NY.

                                                              3. I think people need to chill out here. Any site that attracts more and more people has a tendency to suffer through the internet watered down stage. Just look at some the reviews on Yelp, or trip adviser. It is almost like you have to look at the content verbatim before you can decide whether or not it is relevant. I like this site because the majority of the users seem to like eating out and have an understanding of what is good or not. Yes you will see some crazy posts but that happens on all the sites. I don't think you can criticize Chowhound for what people choose to post. You just need to be more selective on which threads to partake in.

                                                                15 Replies
                                                                  1. re: keithlb1

                                                                    I think most people here aren't complaining about the content on Chowhound (that's a different thread). Their issue is with Chow. Table Manners has stopped, Supertaster is now all videos, etc. While Chowhound content is User guided, Chow isn't.

                                                                    1. re: viperlush

                                                                      While Chowhound content is User guided, Chow isn't.
                                                                      viperlush, have you ever noticed the number of CHOW pieces inspired by CH community threads. CH's seem to provide a good deal of content ideas or inspired food for thought on CHOW. Not to mention the high number of individuals commenting in the comment section of CHOW that are familiar s/n on CH.

                                                                      But like you said, since the OP title subject states CHOW, it was my understanding that the focus of this thread was CHOW content.

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        "iperlush, have you ever noticed the number of CHOW pieces inspired by CH community threads. " As in wholly C&P'ed, a few words of intro and sold by the "writer" to Chow? Yeah those seemed to have diminished. There must be some justice after all. :-)

                                                                        1. re: Quine

                                                                          That doesn't seem right. Can you link an example?

                                                                          1. re: squid kun

                                                                            Yeah, it's not right. Happened to a few of my posts a year and two ago. Bringing up the matter to TPTB made no difference, Shrug. I do not read any Chow stuff now. Keeps my BP in the safe zone.

                                                                            1. re: Quine

                                                                              At CHOW we often create editorial content that incorporates the amazing work of our Chowhound discussion boards. And whenever we get ideas, are inspired, or simply think a post is intriguing, and explore it more in the editorial context, we credit the ideas. It's a way that we work to highlight the contributions of our community, and it's something we're looking to do more in the future.

                                                                              You can see an example of this here in a very recent slideshow about tacos (the ideas come from a Chowhound thread, and individual hounds are credited, but the photos are all from our staff photographer): http://www.chow.com/galleries/292/cre...

                                                                              And here's a story from four years ago about turkeys, where Chowhounds are credited for their turkey reviews: http://www.chow.com/food-news/54816/w...

                                                                              If there are stories where you think Chowhound isn't given sufficient credit, please let us know by providing links, or sending an email, so we can remedy that right away.


                                                                              Dave MP

                                                                              1. re: Dave MP

                                                                                I did such, when it happened, no joy. Happened twice, after that I do not venture into Chow. I appreciate that you offered to help, but it is past and I was burnt twice, that I know of, so I am keeping it that way.

                                                                      2. re: viperlush

                                                                        Didn't Ms Table Manners have a perfectly good excuse for quitting? Or do you think someone should continue to write a column just to satisfy the readers? What's wrong with Supertaster switching to a video format? That's his prerogative, isn't it?

                                                                        The content of Chowhound is guided by the posters, not the readers. Chow content is guided by its creators as well. Yes, you as a poster have more control of CH, by what you post, and by the replies that you provoke. But none of us has an absolute say.

                                                                        Many of the Chow items have a comment option. Obviously we don't know if the creators read those comments. But then I don't usually know if anyone reads my posts either.

                                                                        The latest Supertaster (June 8) talks about user feedback, and a giveaway. Apparently he also uses the usual social media.

                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          ? I was just pointing out that that the OP is talking about CHOW and not CHOWHOUND. And that they are different.

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            and I have the prerogative to stop clicking on Supertaster because I don't like watching videos.

                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                              keith, it's the fact that all there ever is anymore are videos, not necessarily the fact that supertasters is all video now.

                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                  That's colorful pictures that lead to recipe links.
                                                                                  John Birdsall writes a column. The rest of the content is a good deal of video topics, CH community OP reprints and reviews and CHOW recipes.

                                                                            2. re: viperlush

                                                                              what is supertaster? I usually just read the local blog in Chowhound. Are there corporate factors trying to control content. Are we being taken over by "Fox News?"

                                                                          2. There is a good deal more cross promoting of CHOW to Chowhound and vis versa thru both links and Most Recent Discussion space found on either area of this site now. Was a time the two sections were oddly separate and that appears to be changing for more of a unison approach.

                                                                            1. I haven't read all of the comments on this thread, but am I crazy or did the "Articles" tab on Chow.com totally disappear? Now all I see is "videos", "recipes" and "BLOGS", seriously? Has the internet community's attention span become so limited that no one can read anymore? I hate watching videos; it's a waste of time listening to people ramble, and production value tends to be really low so it's much less enjoyable than reading an article or column. I used to come to Chow to read the Table Manners and Supertaster columns and whatever else looked interesting; now half of what written content is still available in the site's header is "Best of Chowhound" which is pulled straight from these forums- not even a real column. The site's becoming watered down and not worth my time anymore.

                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                              1. re: tinnywatty

                                                                                Are you referring to the new CHOW.com tabs? The sub tabs have changed, the old tabs in some cases have been renamed, content changed around a bit and the Chowhound Discussions tab also navigates to your saved boards. Loads of changes and new decisions for what we'll see, read and watch via video the last few days! Best of Chowhound is now listed under BLOG and video has alot more presence CHOW.com-wide. Discussions for both sides of the site are highlighted on each side of the site as well.

                                                                                Yeah, lots of changes.

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  Yes.. I assumed all of that. I'm complaining about the fact that former articles and columns have been replaced with videos and compilations of chowhound threads rather than actual valuable content. From all of the comments on Supertaster's videos, the switches to video format sitewide don't seem to be popular, but it seems that whoever's in charge is more interested in advertising $$ gained from video views than the preferences of people on the site- even when people just ask for a transcript to be offered in addition to the videos. I personally will not watch any of these videos and rarely bother to go to the main site anymore.

                                                                                  1. re: tinnywatty

                                                                                    Oh I didn't assume anything, I was asking you. I just noticed the new tabs appearing today and the change in subtabs and descriptions. But the complaints about videos and lack of transcripts has been discussed for weeks already. Meredith and DaveMP have both offered replies to those questions.

                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                      Oh, I see. Yes, I've seen the complaints etc- but the disappearance of the articles section was the last straw so I decided to look for a complaint thread and add to it :)

                                                                                2. re: tinnywatty

                                                                                  I'll bet this is connected to my recent inability to send threads to myself.

                                                                                  1. re: tinnywatty

                                                                                    Was Supertaster ever worth reading? Seems to me that reviews of junkfood work just as well in the video format as a formal article. And ultimately, the format and content of Supertaster James Norton's responsibility, not yours, mine, or the Chow management?

                                                                                    The author of Table Manners politely excused herself. Isn't that enough?

                                                                                    As for 'articles' - have they been consolidated under the BLOGS category? Looks to me like 'Best of Chowhound' is a variation on the long running digest.

                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                      I am surprised to see you asking, paulj. Given the number of Chowhounds who have been asking for weeks about the transcript and decision to go video only. Apparently THEY think Supertaster is worth reading. Some because they read @ work, some because they prefer the format, etc. While the decision isn't "ours" to make....listening to your loyal readers/members is usually good for business.

                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                        I'm aware of that transcript thread.

                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                          More like 4 or 5 Site Topic OP's along with plenty of comments in the Supertaster comment section of CHOW.com. Which is why I was surprised by your comment here.

                                                                                        2. re: HillJ

                                                                                          who can justify reading a 'baby food tasteoff' at work? That's somehow a better use of your time than watching a 2 minute video? :)

                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                            Huh? You're deciding how people should spend their time....funny that paulj.

                                                                                        3. re: paulj

                                                                                          I always skimmed it because the products were nothing I'd ever buy myself- sort of like watching a guilty pleasure movie, I wanted to see the wreckage. Watching videos isn't worth my time since I want to hear the results- don't want to watch someone to chew and swallow. As others have pointed out, the problem isn't just the Supertaster switch- it's the fact that there are only a few columns left to read; everything else has been dumbed down into videos or digests.

                                                                                          1. re: tinnywatty

                                                                                            The digests have been around for quite some time, though they were, at times, hard to find. Nor do I see the digests as 'dumbing down' anything.

                                                                                            I suppose I am mostly puzzled about these complaints because I never was a great fan of the regular columns. Supertaster was a curiosity. Miss Manners didn't interest me much. Some chow tips were interesting, but those have always been videos.

                                                                                            For me CHOW has always been a an adjust, a side line, to Chowhound.