Is the name " Site Talk" too confusing to new posters?
- Quine Apr 24, 2012 08:23 AM
Within the last week alone, I found and reported 3 posts, made by new users, here, instead of on the board they should be posted.
I think the "talk" part is the confusing factor. I recall, when I first started on CH years ago, all those boards seemed intimidating and seeing that "talk" was like a welcome mat.
Now, I am sure the posts will get moved to the proper board, but will the new CHer ever find them? Are the Mods taking more than their usual, move/delete stealth mode method and actually making sure they send email to the newbie, explaining why it was moved and how to post in the future?
Maybe Site Talk needs a new name? Would a FAQ page be helpful? I know we have those sticky topics, "New to the NJ Board? Read this first" Stuff. But people really read those as often as they read Terms of Service (so maybe 0.0000001%).
Right now in Site talk we have : herbie43, asking about knish carts in Brooklyn and how to find a post that talked about them. Great post! Fact, I bet folks in Outer Boroughs would love it.
And this poor person who posted "how do i make friends or find a moderator to asist me here??
pls let me know..m just confused..!!"
Sad that in site talk, not a CH Team member helped the OP, but good that CHers did.
So let's think about how well we are or worst we are not working for new users. Do think about a FAQ page and consider a name change for this board
My best guess is that they get here by clicking on the 'Feedback' link in the footer, but I'm really not sure why so many people end up misdirecting their posts to Site Talk. We've talked about it over the years and tried to figure out what's pushing them here, but we really don't know.
We email new members when we move their threads so they know where to find them. We also let them know where their profile is, so they can follow all of their posts.
"How to find a post?" belongs on Site Talk, so that was appropriately posted.
We didn't answer the "how do I make friends" post publicly because it had already received an excellent answer from Gio. We were also sending her an email about something else, so she'd know how to reach us.
The FAQ is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/faq
Maybe the FAQ could be in a drop down menu like the ones for What's new. Or even add the How to make a post in the drop down.
And since Herbie, got his answer, would keeping that post here, help or hinder discussion about knishes in NYC. I bet if you move it to the Outer Boroughs, it would spark up some discussion, but leaving it here is dead in the water.
Just trying to get first time posters the best possible start.
You know, maybe not everyone is suited to be out on the internet all alone. I mean someone who can't read the stickies and faqs and who has trouble, when glancing at the topics, figuring out what site talk is for.
I'm not being snarky, I'm just saying that it's impossible to dumb things down so much that NO ONE will ever have an issue. It sounds like the occasional problem post is being addressed by the CH team.
"And this poor person who posted "how do i make friends or find a moderator to asist me here??
pls let me know..m just confused..!!"
Sad that in site talk, not a CH Team member helped the OP, but good that CHers did."
That's not sad, that's heartwarming. Glass half full/empty thing there.
Gee FB and Twitter are dumbed down enough that millions upon millions use both sites, rather well. But seems that (i said what I wanted to say, but deleted here to save the mods some time) any ideas to make CH more user-friendly are met with the "you put ketchup on my perfectly roasted prime rib" reaction. And when a poster asks how to find a mod in the proper place, Site talk, one would hope that at least a Mod would help. I found it nice that CHer did reply, but In the Customer service area I live in, a follow up by a Mod, would have been nice. But then, I like to see my users/customer/clients with their glasses filled and sparkling. YMMV
"But seems that (i said what I wanted to say, but deleted here to save the mods some time) "
Yeah, I had to delete what I wrote first, too.
Facebook is an incredibly clunky and difficult to manage interface, CH is a breeze by comparision.
There are lots of functionality issues that need improvement here, but guiding folks who can't figure out what "site talk" means is just more hand holding than anyone should be expected to provide.
No, not 'dumbed down', Quine. FB and Twitter are different kinds of social utility networks and given the way they function, we are less likely to see the n00bs who fail-- unless you, like me, enjoy checking out the various failblogs.
CH is really simple: It is an old school message board that has been tweaked to provide some nice features (following posters, not having to plough through old posts). It is so oldschool as to be disarming to those who see every site as a potential social networking site. (CH is in the way BBS were, more than the ways that Twitter, Tumblr, or FB are.)
As for what to do.. nothing. There have always been n00bs. They just need to level up.
Thanks Lizard. Back in the 80's (before there was the internet) there were BBSs. I worked on Byte Magazine's one, called BIX. I created the Cooking/Food forum there, so you see I do go a ways back, very old school myself, so I know what was and what can be.
Talk about having to find one's way around, those were the days. It was pretty successful, the food forum. I was able to build of good cookbook collection from various countries. Even hosted someone who visited from Switzerland.. Took them to Durgan Park, in Boston, about as rustic American we could do. It was great fun.
I can see how a folksy title like "Site Talk" could be construed as something it it not and a more obvious name like "Technical Issues" might help a handful of new posters better know what to expect. I just don't think there are enough people making mistakes to warrant a change. Moreover, when mistakes do occur, the 'hounds who actually participate on this Board are very good at dealing with the misdirected inquiries and are a good group to help a first time poster.
I'll also take this chance to renew my plea to avoid any dumbing down of this site. To paraphrase the bumper stickers: Don't facebook Chowhound.* Parts of the web need to evolve to a point where we evolve past over-democratization or we wind up reading too many "The place is awesome!" posts that fail to provide adequate detail or clarity to help others make informed choices. Hell, I'd rather have a person pass a basic skills exam in order to post than figure out ways to compensate them for being ignorant or lazy.
*The stickers I refer to, for those of you not on the East Coast, read: Don't Jersey Vermont.
Yes, but there used to be three site related boards -- Site Talk, which was about Chowhound, Technical Help, which was for tech problems, and CHOW Feedback, which was basically Site Talk for the CHOW side of the site. But people found that confusing, so we merged them all into the single board. And then having a separate board category for that didn't make a ton of sense, especially as we changed the navigation for boards, so we put it in Topical as the only other vaguely appropriate home for it.
What kind of names do other boards use, say for example ones running on vBulletin?
There might be two types of novices. Ones who just got a computer, and ones that have using sites like FB all their life. The poster who asked about 'making friends' might have been coming from the FB direction. Does that type of poster need hand-holding? It's the other type of novice that could use more help. I'm imagining, for example, who was cooking long before the Internet, and potentially has a lot to contribute, especially on boards like Home Cooking.
I agree that Chowhound has more of an old school feel to it. But then I recall the early days when pulling up a board meant you got a single page with all the threads, going back to Eden.
Like many before me, who came to this site as I did, by Googling a restaurant and landing on a thread here discussing it, I stayed around and got educated through a combination of self discovery and the kindness of strangers (Surely don't call me Blanche - or Shirley!). I never expected, or wanted, to be handed all the answers by Jim and his band of Merry Pranksters (aka "The Mod Squad").
Half the fun, and much of getting ones education to stick better, involves applying ones self to the mystery of the issue in a way that teaches us in a way that being given the answers never does. It's the philosophical equivalent of the old "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime" deal.