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What Is The Point Of The Nominating Threads On The Regional Boards...

ChinoWayne Oct 27, 2012 11:31 AM

If you are not asking the respondents to include the name of the venue where their recommended dishes can be found?

  1. Gio Oct 27, 2012 11:50 AM

    Isn't the point of this exercise to nominate dishes one would like to go out to eat at various restaurants, vote on the dish that gets the most nominations, then go out to find the restaurant that makes the Best Dish...? That's when the restaurant gets named.

    1. Melanie Wong Oct 27, 2012 12:44 PM

      To me, the point of the DOM is to inspire posters to act like chowhounds, that is, go out and find something undiscovered, try a new taste, be a leader and not a follower. But somehow many of the replies that turn up during the month seems to be a rehash. Sad.

      1. Servorg Oct 27, 2012 12:58 PM

        I guess I was assuming that once a "dish" got nominated then either folks who knew of great places to find it, or hounds who wanted to search it out and then actually found some, would chime in with the where of it all. (probably not the most tortured sentence I ever constructed, but I'm sure it's crying in some pain none the less)

        9 Replies
        1. re: Servorg
          ChinoWayne Oct 27, 2012 01:24 PM

          Maybe I am too much of a "left brain" guy, but it seems counterintuitive to me that on a forum with a reputation and history of sharing tips on where to find delicious (insert a noun here) you would purposely exclude asking for the venue that a great example of (insert noun here) can be found in the locale. As I read the current thread on the L.A. board I ask myself "why isn't this thread on General Topics"? (given the question posed and the responses, which look like any number of other threads on General Topics).

          The framing of the thread just sounds like a tease, and after reading it once, I'll never give it a second thought or second glance.

          1. re: ChinoWayne
            Melanie Wong Oct 27, 2012 01:28 PM

            "The idea is this: choose a 'Dish of the Month' for LA/OC and then collectively try as many versions of this dish as possible, reporting back with details and photos. It's great to talk about places you've been in the past, but the idea is to explore new places and make new discoveries."

            How would you rephrase the above to be clearer?

            1. re: ChinoWayne
              Servorg Oct 27, 2012 01:28 PM

              I'm not a likely candidate for this sort of contest/challenge either, but I think Mel was onto something in her assessment above. I'm more of the serendipity type (blind squirrel is another way to phrase that - because even they find an acorn now and again).

              1. re: Servorg
                Melanie Wong Oct 27, 2012 01:31 PM

                I'll point out that it's perfectly fine to return to a known place, as updates are always welcome. And sometimes the "tried and true" are resting on their laurels and we should find that out. But I really wish that we could come up with something new and undiscovered instead of regurgitating platitudes.

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/856748

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  ChinoWayne Oct 27, 2012 01:52 PM

                  The idea is that first we will all nominate a dish, then the nominated dishes will be tallied up and the wining nomination will then be published, then we will all be told to go out and find the dish that won the nomination, then, maybe, we will report back on where we found the dish, then maybe we can all vote on what venue had the best rendition of the dish.

                  I am not here to anoint any particular venue as the "winner of the groupthink award for (insert noun here)," I am here to find tips and varying opinions of where I may find renditions of dishes that might interest me, but not so I can join the herd.

                  Curmudgeonly yours,

                  1. re: ChinoWayne
                    Melanie Wong Oct 27, 2012 02:01 PM

                    Where you fall down is the idea that there is a "best" rendition of a dish or attempt to settle on one. No such thing, the best one is what tastes good to an individual. Where do you see anointing a venue?!?

                    Guess I'm not following you on "we will be told to all go out . . .". If you want to play, then do so. The point is to collect new data, good and bad, and get a wide range of opinions, but hopefully good ones if people have good chow radar about making their choices.

                    It seems to me that opinions and tips are at a low point on the boards. Or at least on the ones I read, I'm seeing very little that is original and not a regurgitation. I am bored senseless!!! Maybe one of these group projects will come up with a tip that's valuable to you and you'll be grateful for an attempt to shake up the boards out of their doldrums. To me, anything that encourages folks to post their new finds is a good thing.

                    That said, this project is not without its downsides. One is that people wait to try/report on specific dishes until it comes up in the rotation. For example, one person said there was a fried chicken place she'd try if American fried chicken was chosen. It has not yet, and I have yet to see a report from her. On the flipside, once the survey month is over, there's a tendency for folks to feel that a dish "has been done". We saw this with the dim sum wars on the SF board, and I'll say that I have not seen any "Asian fried chicken" reports since the July DOM ended. That's a concern.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      ChinoWayne Oct 27, 2012 02:38 PM

                      "For example, one person said there was a fried chicken place she'd try if American fried chicken was chosen. It has not yet, and I have yet to see a report from her."

                      This is very significant, why hasn't that person gone out and tried the place on his/her own initiative, and if they liked it, shared it with the community already? Why wait to be "programmed" to seek out good stuff, Chowhound's original reputation was a product of its organics, participants were naturally inquisitive and sharing their finds, now it seems they have to be followers instead of explorers, who would explore for the sheer joy of the exploration. I am fairly certain this state is not the intent of Chow with these threads, but the herding of the pack seems to be the actual result here.

                      1. re: ChinoWayne
                        Melanie Wong Oct 27, 2012 02:53 PM

                        I agree that it is significant. However, there have always been followers and those who do not speak up unless asked. That has been used from time immemorial as the rationale for not bashing repetitive questions and the endless visitor questions, namely that it will goad someone into contributing new and useful info that would have otherwise not been volunteered. Nothing new there. And I have seen folks come out of the woodwork to contribute to DoM threads.

                        How many on your boards do you see routinely exploring for the sheer joy of it? I can count the ones on my boards on one hand. And really, that's the true problem we should be addressing, not whether the Dish of the Month project has a point or not. Chowhound is diminishing.

                        And I'll also confess that I bristled a bit when DoM first came out because it was structured and not organic. And I did give some feedback/criticism early on. Yet, I ultimately chose to support it as a way of generating fresh content. It is what you make of it and like anything, there's always room for improvement. If you look at the Cookbook of the Month on the Homecooking which has been going on for years, the collective heavy lifting has produced some great discussions. I've not been an active participant there, but I do use the info produced months and years later.

                      2. re: Melanie Wong
                        h
                        hyperbowler Oct 29, 2012 07:32 AM

                        When it comes down to it, I've always preferred the dish specific threads to the restaurant specific ones---that's one of the things that makes Chowhound unique, and one of the reasons I jumped on DOM.

                        For no good reason other than nomenclature, I've been treating DOM threads as somewhat of a time capsule, and posting revisits to those dishes on restaurant-specific pages. Maybe this is an obvious point, but is that why no one else is posting to them post-DOM? Dead threads do not a living site make ... perhaps the closing of each DOM thread should include a post stating that new entries are encouraged. I'd be cautious about starting threads with such a guideline as the time-sensitive illusion of DOM makes it fun.

            2. d
              Dirtywextraolives Oct 27, 2012 04:24 PM

              Two comments:

              ChinoWayne - you are way over-thinking this.

              Melanie Wong - what has stopped you from contributing to the nominations, voting or the neighborhood chosen threads? Obviously, your input of some undiscovered gems would be appreciated by those of us rehashing......

              2 Replies
              1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                Melanie Wong Oct 27, 2012 05:23 PM

                Thanks, my home base is in the SF Bay Area so I couldn't make an informed contribution. But I will own up to not nominating or voting for the most part on my home board, just because I'll do my part and take one for the team no matter what it is. I have provided input when I think that the nominations are too vague to be useful.

                And you reminded me that I have some places that I should post about from a few drives-though the southland in the last year.

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  d
                  Dirtywextraolives Oct 28, 2012 01:22 AM

                  Cool. Good answer..... You rock, I get it! Thanks!

              2. Dave MP Oct 28, 2012 11:12 AM

                ChinoWayne, thanks for asking these questions. In the future, I think it would be great to do nominations and voting for Dish of the Month somewhere off the boards. But for now, I think it's the best method to include everyone who wants to participate.

                That said, it's the actual reporting threads that are the heart of Dish of the Month. I like that the project has inspired Chowhound get-togethers (for example, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/873182) and has even inspired some posters to try a dish for the first time (for example, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8716... ) . The point of the project is to get posters to go out, explore, and report back. I find that having a dish of the month in mind is a good excuse to go out of my way and find it/order it....and it's something I find fun. I hope that others find it useful and fun as well.

                Dave MP

                Dave MP

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dave MP
                  grayelf Nov 19, 2012 11:02 PM

                  I read the SF Bay Area Board a lot as we visit from BC twice a year. I was tickled to think I could actually contribute to this month's DOM (tea leaf salad) as we would be in the Bay Area during its "reign" but Wayne's point is a good one -- people should feel free to update any DOM thread later with new info. Which is why when I come back in the spring, all things being equal, I will find it and ramble on about whatever laphet thoke I have on that trip as well :-).

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