Posting Etiquette question
Say I am visiting a popular food destination, one that is often discussed on the board. Being a good poster I try a search first. And up pops lots and lots of threads. Some that are years old (2006, etc) some that are months/weeks old. Some that started years ago but have new replies.
As this is a popular destination each post has literally hundreds of replies, many that go off on tangents. I start to try to read thru but am easily lost. 40 people say a place is great, 30 say it’s bad. 17 say somewhere in between. And that’s all wedged between lots of chitter chatter. You get the idea. I could spend days taking notes comparing ideas but the one thing I find is that places that rI am eally interested in no one has eaten there recently-meaning in the last month or so. So would you prefer a poster
A) Start a brand new post basically saying I am going to (popular place here) and have narrowed it down to X, Y and Z. Anyone been recently? Also are any other places I should try?
B) Reply to whatever original post gave me the most info, even if it was started years ago, hoping that someone will have an update (or that matter the posters are still here) and are willing to give more advice?
C) Reply to whatever the most current post is (even if the places I am interested are not all mentioned) again hoping for a current updates and the posters who know this destination will read a somewhat older post and be willing to offer good ideas?
D) Something else?
The reason I ask Is of often see replies to posts (whether it about location, a recipe, and idea) with nothing but a link to another post. Another post that often has 500+ replies. I always see that as “hey dumbass-asked and answered”.
Chowhound is often a pretty testy place and you never know when you are going to step in it, KWIM?
I would go with A and say "I have been reading the threads, but there hasn't been a recent consensus of these restaurants. Has anyone been recently? Also are their other places I should try?."
It shows that you did your research. And I would definitely keep active on the thread so that those who do respond don't feel like they are wasting their time.
From a moderator perspective, any of your options are fine. Different posters have different preferences, but there's no consensus and there's no enforced community norms on starting new threads vs. bumping old ones.
Most people don't get testy unless there's a sense that the visiting hound hasn't or won't read any of the existing information. If you can be clear in your original question that you've read some of the history and are looking for more personal advice based on what you've read, that usually goes over pretty well.
Just to chime in on this from CHOW HQ as well, our advice is to err on the side of starting a new thread if you don't find a discussion that seems like the obvious fit (or the discussions you find are years and years old). I agree with you that sometimes it can be hard to parse through all of the information that is already been shared, but the moderator advice is good: just showing that you tried to glean previous discussion info will help with community response. We're also working on a redesign now that we hope will help with scanning. It's going to be released in two stages, so hopefully that will help as well. Finally, we have plans to attack search in the first half of the new year, so we hope that will help as well. Thanks for your question!
Meredith of CHOW
The disparate opinions about some restaurants are as far apart as financial gurus guesses about the future of the financial markets. No consensus, very frustrating. Statistically, you want a large sample, and then discard the highs and lows. And along the way, things change.
End of the day, you gots to take some chances.