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Mar 29, 2012 08:37 PM

You asked for our advice, you got it, you didn't respond

Dear OP,

I was reading through your old post tonight wherein you asked for recommendations for the best, most delicious food in (fill in the blank: city, county, state, country).

Many a Chowhound, including myself, offered up our favorites, specifically for you, keeping in mind the area, pricepoint, dishes, etc... you requested. In fact, even though your thread is now a little old in the tooth, new posters are still offering up some great ideas - just for you.

And how did you respond?

You never thanked us, or told us if you ever went on that trip, or if you ate any of those delicious things.

It would be so nice and helpful for others to get some feedback from you.

We care.

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  1. I don't think one should post a reply with the expectation that the OP will respond in kind.

    Someone will read it, and even if the OP does not respond, it becomes part of the general overall Chowhound community, which is really what this site is all about.

    In other words, post a reply for posterity's sake, and for the benefit of the Chowhound collective.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      It would be helpful for "posterity's sake" as well to get feedback.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Unless the recipients of all those carefully crafted board suggestions proceed to ignore everyone of them and go off for no good reason at all to a known board anathema and then they proceed to cudgel it about the head and shoulders. In that case I definitely don't want to hear any feedback... ;-D>

        1. re: travelmad478

          does it? I dunno. such a universal thing I can see the impulse to put it there, yet so few read ST. but then again the non-repliers probably won't see this or see themselves in it. I try to reply after asking or thank the OP for their perspective if they do, but I'm not losing sleep (well over that anyway)

          1. re: travelmad478

            belongs as a sticky on every board :)

            not that, like Hill Food, i lose any sleep over it

          2. Same issue regularly crops up on another board I use (entirely different subject matter). Particularly the not coming back to say "thanks". Some folk get peeved about the perceived impoliteness; other don't.

            Generally speaking, I'm in the latter category. That said, my observation on my other board (and I think it seems to also apply here) is that there are so many folk asking for advice/recommendations that they could have answered for themselves by a simple search of the board. Some other posters may get riled at the repetitive nature of the question (and they do tend to be the same old questions, don't they?). I take the view that folk who might want to give an answer should regard themselves as teachers - each year, educators get a new a batch of kids for whom the subject is new and, year on year, are going to ask the same questions and have an expectation that the teacher will answer in a proper way (and not just answer with the equivalent of "go search the board".

            7 Replies
            1. re: Harters

              "I take the view that folk who might want to give an answer should regard themselves as teachers"

              Well put. We even have the advantage of choosing which questions to answer. As a poster, respond if you feel you have something to offer - either to the OP or the emerging discussion. Do it because you would like to offer help not because you expect kudos in return. Do it because there are probably more people who look up the questions that are repeatedly asked than there are those who simply "reask".

              I am in favor of a response that shares both some information and, provided it is a well worn topic, links to previous discussions. This "consolidation" helps everyone in the long run.

              That being said, I do think feedback is beneficial. I find that when an inquiry comes from a new or visiting 'hound they are more likely to come back to the thread when they are initially welcomed and subsequently invited back. Clearly not all people do so. Some people have difficulty with gratitude, are displeased by the responses, or otherwise not inclined to participate once assisted. To me, that's their problem, not ours.

              1. re: MGZ

                Would just like some feedback (pun intended) every now and then on whether a poster who asked for a lot of information, and got it, ever went to any of the spots recommended and if so how they panned out. That information is helpful to me. I don't consider myself a teacher. Just a fellow hound that likes sharing and receiving information.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  "Would just like some feedback . . . every now and then"

                  We all would and we'd all benefit from it. I've just come to accept the fact that we're not gonna get it. (Hell, it's getting almost rare to get a "thank you" when I hold open a door for someone.)

                  Nevertheless, at the end of the day, this thread has moved to Site Talk, so we're just preaching to the choir.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    Sometimes no feedback is probably a blessing. I recall a thread wherein someone unfamiliar with (but interested in trying) Indian food wanted a LOT of information before going to an Indian place with a group. The OP asked additional questions over the course of what turned out to be a pretty long thread. Then silence. Eventually someone posted a feedback request. The OP then wrote that they'd decided to have pizza instead (or Italian - can't recall precisely). I'm sure I am not the only one to have a "Fer cryin out loud!" reaction and to feel frustrated by the amount of time spent reading and contributing to that thread.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      There was some one who asked about where to eat, got a lot of great suggestions, ignored it and ate at a few chains, then panned the local food. Thankfully, few and far between.

                2. re: MGZ

                  I'm with you, MGZ, on the issue of previous discussions. I contribute to the UK/Ireland board of both Chowhound and egullet. One of the things I particularly like about the egullet way of doing things is the active management of the board and the encouragement to post to an existing thread, rather than start a new one. Means you can see the development of, say, a particular restaurant or the eating opportunities in a particular town. It also cuts down on the repetitive "where should I eat" type post. I know others don't necessarily like what can be a long thread but, for up to date information, you only need to read, say the most current page.

                3. re: Harters

                  This is a very apt and helpful pov. I will try to keep this analogy in mind when considering responding to those frequently occurring topics by newbies.

                  When I first became active in online forums I was disappointed when feedback never appeared to a post which was offered with thought and care. Fortunately I was able to let that go and not have the experience marred by unmet (unrealistic) expectations.

                4. We do encourage that in our Read This First posts, but, of course, not everyone reads, and not everyone does what they're told when they do read. It's not a requirement, though, obviously, since we can't enforce it, but it would be nice if people did report back more often.

                  1. I have posted quiestions with a future trip in mind, that I didn't end up taking, also dinners for special events that didn't end up happening. So, sometimes, people don't have feedback. I am the type who will generally give a "Thanks" just for a response from other posters, whether or not I actually act on their advice or even get a chance to try out their suggestions. It doesn't add much to the conversation and I don't know if people care that I offered a plain, old, "thank you", but I try to make sure and do it. My point is, that sometimes people make inquiries and just don't have anything else to add to the conversation. I like to think that responses to posts I have created have benefited someone else down the line, even if I didn't end up being the lucky one.

                    Not long ago I posted a question about a cookie recipe, in Home Cooking. Nearly a week went by and I remembered that I never followed up. I felt awful and got on right away with a report - and then someone thanked me for reporting back. It was a nice exchange and I agree that feeback is the brick that builds a stronger community.

                    Unfortunately, there is the give and take (sometimes more take) nature of any online community...people don't feel obligated to be that thoughtful. However, I try to think positive and assume that even if and OP didn't give a reply to a post they created, they paid it forward and provided responses to other inquiring minds whom they could help.