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Super Taster Columns- why only videos now?

caviar_and_chitlins May 12, 2012 02:25 PM

I used to really enjoy the Super Taster columns. Sure, it was mostly stuff that I would never buy, but they were a fun quick read. Now they are all 2-3 minute videos. It's like you took something easy and made it harder, for no good reason.

Can anyone explain why it's only videos now? I don't want to watch a video, and it appears I'm not alone, as the majority of comments re: the videos are pleas to make them stop, or at least post the column also.

From what I've seen, no explanation has been given for the change.

So, what gives?


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  1. h
    HillJ RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 16, 2012 07:28 AM

    Without a transcript CH's are missing out on 90% of the information Supertaster is sharing. That includes pricing, the taste sample experience and the outcome for Mr. Norton.

    James Norton's video's are appearing more often and with a good deal more personal information shared (today's Domino's Gluten-free Pizza has a sorts of personal backstory to it, oh and a typo in the one sentence that does appear).

    I'm not against CHOW videos at all but I don't understand ignoring your "fan base" with no reply given to requests for a transcript. Yeah, a bit odd.

    1. h
      hollymayberry RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 16, 2012 07:44 AM

      I agree completely. I come on the computer to read things, not to waste time waiting for a poor quality video to load.

      1. nofunlatte RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 20, 2012 07:17 AM

        I haven't checked Supertaster since it went all-video.

        1. j
          jackiecat RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 20, 2012 03:58 PM

          The columns were interesting. Videos are a waste of time.

          1. viperlush RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 21, 2012 10:10 AM

            Yup. I don't even bother clicking on the Stories below anymore because I got sick of all the videos. Oh well.

            3 Replies
            1. re: viperlush
              HillJ RE: viperlush May 21, 2012 10:24 AM

              The videos are being posted in rapid fire. It must have been easier and more cost effective to go all-video.

              1. re: HillJ
                caviar_and_chitlins RE: HillJ May 21, 2012 08:49 PM

                It's funny, not long ago video production was expensive. Now, if your theory is correct about the reason for the videos, then it's more expensive to write the column than film it. Too bad.

                Speculation aside, I wish we could get an answer from TPTB (the powers that be).

              2. re: viperlush
                GirlyQ RE: viperlush May 21, 2012 09:58 PM

                I feel the same way. I really liked the Supertaster columns, but I hate videos. I like to read! With that done and Table Manners stopping, there's a marked paucity of columns on the site, and that's sad.

                Please bring back writing!

              3. mudaba RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 21, 2012 09:58 PM

                Hi everyone,

                Videos are anything but cheaper and easier! But the truth is that we at CHOW are focusing more and more of our efforts on video for a variety of business-related reasons (not the least of which is that we get more viewers to videos than we do readers to columns). I know that's cold comfort for those of you who enjoy reading the column rather than watching a video, but there are many users whose opinions are being shared not on threads like this, but through the time they spend watching videos on Youtube and on the site as opposed to reading written content. And the flow of traffic is what we spend a lot of time paying close attention to!


                3 Replies
                1. re: mudaba
                  HillJ RE: mudaba May 22, 2012 04:39 AM

                  Days of speculation shouldn't be the only reason to finally reply. I had a feeling that making a wrong, impactful statement would generate correction!

                  With all due respect Meredith the question could have been answered weeks ago and James Norton could have replied within the Supertaster column to his viewers many videos ago.

                  Thank you for finally responding.

                  1. re: HillJ
                    mudaba RE: HillJ May 22, 2012 06:57 AM

                    I do the best I can at weighing in on Site Talk, but you also have my personal email address HillJ, and if something is bothering you this much, you're welcome to email me and I'll try to get back to you. There are definitely limitations to what we're going to discuss on Site Talk. Business decisions aren't really open for public discussion, so sometimes if you don't hear from anyone, it might be because a decision has been made that is not up for debate, so there's nothing concrete to add to the conversation. (This is not a Supertaster-specific response, but just something for everyone to keep in mind in general on Site Talk.)

                    I'm really glad that our users are so invested in our content that they are up in arms and noticing changes that happen with it. Thanks for being our readers (and possibly, future viewers),


                    1. re: mudaba
                      HillJ RE: mudaba May 22, 2012 07:28 AM

                      If I had a personal question to ask you directly M, I wouldn't hesitate to email you directly. The answer to this specific question was asked for weeks on CHOW.com and here at Site Talk. Your response was welcomed by far more CH's than me so replying to all weighing in is beneficial. CH's have a long reputation for caring about a great many aspects of this community and have never hesitated to ask questions. Hearing from the staff @ CHOW is good for business even if/when some of the information is held back on a need to know basis.

                      So thank you for responding to all of us. I did believe that DaveMPs new position was in part to respond to such matters. My apologies if I overstepped.

                2. h
                  hollymayberry RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 21, 2012 10:26 PM

                  ...and this is why i enjoy seriouseats.com so much more.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hollymayberry
                    HillJ RE: hollymayberry May 22, 2012 04:47 AM

                    Maybe Supertaster is the next YouTube sensation! Revenue can be made successfully this way. How many YT hits for the Domino's pizza review..


                  2. c
                    caviar_and_chitlins RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 23, 2012 05:20 PM

                    Meredith, thanks for your reply.

                    I am torn sometimes on these things at Chowhound. On one hand, it's a free site, so how much input or criticism is appropriate, or even wanted? I see people complaining about things that are free, and think- whadda ya want for nothin'? On the other hand, it's longtime users that also provide a value for the site, and although longtime users don't always embrace change, there's the risk of running off many of the people that gave the site the reputation that it has.

                    So, from what I discern, the videos are an intent to generate hits, and therefore revenue for Chow, and I can't fault you for that. I do hope in the chase for the cash, that the things that made Chow fun and special aren't lost. And I hope that you'd consider providing print content as a supplement to the video.

                    I can say that hollymayberry's suggestion to read the taste tests at serious eats was a good one- I wasn't familiar with those columns, and now I can skip Supertaster entirely for a" product" more to my liking.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: caviar_and_chitlins
                      Dave MP RE: caviar_and_chitlins May 24, 2012 11:32 AM

                      Users are very welcome to provide feedback on the site, even if it's criticism. And as I've mentioned here before, we do read every post on Site Talk, and take all suggestions/comments/ideas seriously. HillJ is correct that a large part of my job is to consider and incorporate these ideas. However, this does not mean that I will be able to respond to every thread. We're doing our best to be communicative, but like Meredith says, sometimes there are decisions we won't directly discuss on Site Talk. If you don't hear from me, you can probably take it to mean "I have no comment at this time." But that doesn't mean I'm not listening. :)

                      Dave MP

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