Opinions of the New Cheese Board
It's been a little over a month since a new board (category) was added to CH for discussion about cheese. The board was created based on the request of numerous CHers who wanted to have a forum dedicated to this food in all its aspects. I took on the task of presenting the request to the moderators, who, after some evaluation, granted our wish.
As one of the main contributors to the new board, I thought it might be time to ask how others feel about it. My own opinion is that it has a lot of potential, but is off to a slow start. We are seeing only a few new threads a week at this point. (The board includes a lot of threads, but most of them are older ones that originated on another board and were moved over, without necessarily engendering any new discussion.) A few observations/suggestions:
1. I'm not sure how many people are aware of this new board. It seems to me that some kind of notice (a "sticky" that lasts for at least a few weeks?) should be placed on the boards where most cheese-related threads used to be found: General Chowhounding, Home Cooking and Food Media.
2. A couple of cheese "experts" (Delucacheesemonger and I) said that we were willing to contribute content. I've tried that in a couple of threads: one on the various kinds of rennet used to make cheese and another on cheeses that contain fenugreek, admittedly a rather narrow subject. Neither got a lot of responses initially, although the rennet thread has more posts now. I would be happy to continue to develop threads on specific "academic" (and other) topics, but am not sure what will grab the attention of others.
3. Perhaps a monthly "Ask the Experts" thread would be worth considering. This would be a thread in which people could ask any question they have about cheese and get an answer from a knowledgeable person. I'm thinking along the lines of the sushi thread that silverjay started a long time ago, except that there would be a new thread begun at regular intervals to prevent the original thread from winding up with 1,000 responses.
What are your thoughts about the cheese board? Did you know about it before you looked at this thread on Site Talk? Are you following discussions on it, but haven't contributed yourself yet? Do you have ideas for encouraging more participation or for improving things? What topics would you like to see discussed?
I voted for it, and was not aware that it happened until recently. I hope it proves to be educational for those of us who want to learn more, and not a forum for elitists to praise local artisanal cheeses unavailable to the common person, and not another snotty wine board. But I'm in.
I think that a great way to get people more interested would be to have a few dish focused threads that highlight restaurants such as a Best Mac and Cheese in the Bay (I love that there is a ramen Best of list on Chow and this worked for my blog) or Best Cheese Souffle, something accessible, fun and other people can try out on their own.
I plan to post up a thread with cheeses that I discover at the Fancy Food Show this weekend!