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New on Chowhound: Recommend Button

We've added a Recommend button to each post on Chowhound. If you see something useful or interesting, you can click to recommend it. You can recommend as many posts as you want, excluding your own posts. Click on the recommend button a second time to remove your recommendation.

You can hover over the number (or click, on mobile) to see which users have recommended a post. Recommends are listed in reverse chronological order (the user who recommended a post most recently will appear at the top).

Like with all new releases, we'll be monitoring how the recommend button gets used, and we'll also be gradually adding features to it. If you notice any bugs with the recommend feature, feel free to report them on Site Talk. See our FAQ on Reporting and Solving Technical Problems: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/877664

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  1. +1

    1. Could you take a few moments to explain what the feature is intended to be used for by way of example. And, is this feature in any way an effort to offer a LIKE option for posters?

      Recommending a recipe or tip within a thread is a simple example but hitting the recommend button to agree with a strong opinion from a fellow poster (where +1 is often used now) is that also the purpose of a recommended button?

      4 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        I'm glad to see that I wasn't the only CH looking for a bit more information on the intended and varied use of a new Recommend feature.

        1. re: HillJ

          +1, with everyone wanting more information on Recommend.

          This is positive feedback. Whatever Recommend is, I desire the pop-up window go away for good after logged in and acknowledge there is a new feature. The pop-up window keeps coming back. Confusing as to when. Expects viewer to re-acknowledge 'click in window' which causes me concern as a bad computer habit. From a user perspective Recommend works like a virus, spyware, or malware. Hope recommend gives CHOW new positive tools worth the pain. Eventually Recommend should stop its many common and frequent interruptions (especially if logged in as a user who already knows about the new 'feature'). Problems are opportunities to improve with good end-user feedback. Can CHOW please stop the pop-up window from coming back? I am with jen kalb and then cwdonald who said a couple hours ago, "would love a feature that says check this box so you do not see the pop up again". DING, DING, DING, great idea cwdonald.

          1. re: HillJ

            I have no idea if I just appropriately used the "recommend" button however I'm hoping it will bring some more attention to your post requesting clarification!! lol

            1. re: jrvedivici

              Whatever helps the cause!

        2. Right now the only recommend number shown is in the OP the rest are closed as already read comments.

          Any comments with Recommend #1 or more numbers, are not open to view unless you go back and physically open the individual comment. So how would we know there was a recommendation within a thread unless we expanded the entire thread every time we return to read it?

          And, I just realized that if you hover over the number beside the Recommend button a list of who recommended it pops up leading you to member profile pages...interesting choice.

          1. Dave, a question about how this function performs. If I recommend something (perhaps I see a dish I'd like to make), will my recommendations be recorded somewhere on my profile...like a bookmark feature for individual posts?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              Not at this time, but that is on our radar as something we may want to do with this info in the future.

              1. re: Jacquilynne

                Ok Jacquilynne, thanks. I definitely think that would enhance the utility of the feature.

            2. Glad real and not a virus. The color choice miss-match with the rest of the site was a concern here when first saw it after five re-boots.

              1. Gross, just what I did NOT want. I don't need a LIKE button or any of these other nudgey distracting things glaring out at me to make a judgment about a post - or to express agreement with it.

                10 Replies
                1. re: ratgirlagogo

                  Ignore it, then.

                  1. re: ratgirlagogo

                    Using AdBlock (at least on Chrome) you can block the cliquey Recommend.

                    1. re: MplsM ary

                      I have AdBlock & I'm using Chrome but I still see it. And I do *not* like it!
                      The Recommends I've noticed so far seem to be votes in some kind of personal popularity contest -- distracting & useless as far as I'm concerned.
                      "Cliquey" is a very good way to describe it.

                      1. re: almond tree

                        +1

                        1. re: SnackHappy

                          You should have clicked the recommend button!

                        2. re: almond tree

                          You may need to move the slider a bit more. And, as with lots of the Chowhound specific code, you may have to block it in a couple different ways.

                          1. re: almond tree

                            I agree, I was disappointed to see that as soon as the button was rolled out, it was being used not to recommend good content, but to "like" posts on a discussion either here or on Home Cooking (can't remember where) about the "What's for dinner" thread. The use of the button seemed to be intended to be catty and cliquey and to send a not-so-subtle message to another poster. I was really disappointed to see that sort of use on what I think of as one of Chowhound's most helpful and friendly boards, from posters I generally respect.

                            1. re: Chris VR

                              ^^Like!

                              1. re: Chris VR

                                It was while reading along on that discussion you are recalling and realizing how some posters were using the Recommend button as some sort of "!!!! yes I agree" in rapid commentary style that prompted me to come to this thread and another Site Topic about the Recommend launch banner coming across our screens to ask: is this what the Recommend feature is for?

                                Why would the CH Team be interested in tracking how people agree or disagree with momentary opinion? Tracking the popularity of a restaurant tip or cooking idea/tip/recipe, sure. But, the only really consistent use (from what I can see, because once a comment is read and in closed position you can't read the recommend button stats any longer unless you open the entire thread using the + key) has been in reaction to opinion.

                                Are CH's really going back to see who agrees with them? Posters are still +1ing so what's the real point of a Recommend feature?

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Exactly. I understand the purpose of a "recommend" feature if it is used to eliminate the "+1" posts, which only clog up the works. Eliminating them would serve to improve the signal to noise ratio. But the Chowhound Team was very clear in that other post that "Recommend" is not meant to replace the "+1" posts. As such, I really don't see the point. It's the cow clicker phenomenon... people just like to click things, even if it doesn't serve any purpose, and Chowhound is catering to this weirdly selfish obsession.

                                  http://www.npr.org/2011/11/18/1425189...

                                  Are we really no better than hamsters pushing a lever for pellets?

                                  Mr Taster

                        3. Right now, the reminders to recommend are merely very intrusive. But I dont really understand what the purpose of this is. An explalation would be useful. One possible purpose would be to reorder responses by "popularity". . but on a threaded discussion site like this, reordering posts just makes reading a thread incoherent. Weve already seen this with the new approach for a non-signed in person, when the responses are in reverse order and the nested responses do not appear. Its very difficult to follow the trajectory of the thread discussion.

                          Id like to hear more about "recommend"

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jen kalb

                            I really agree with Ms Kalb. I appreciate teaching people about recommend, but I would love a feature that says check this box so you do not see the pop up again.

                          2. I often try to read Chow with my KindleFire. The "Recommend" pop up will not close with a click on the "X" so I am unable to read anything underneath it. It just ignores my attempts to close it.

                            Also, you recently changed the process for clicking though to other boards. For example when I click on the "CHOWHOUND" button at the top of this page, it takes me to a list of the most recent posts in ALL boards.

                            However, with a Kindle touchscreen, I cannot hover over the button to show me all of the boards, so I have to scroll down until I find a posting on the board I want and then click on the board name under the posting.

                            It seems that with the increasing prevalence of touch screens, Chowhounds is moving backwards.

                            16 Replies
                            1. re: DoobieWah

                              Hi DoobieWah.

                              The "Recommend" popup notification was up on the site for a limited time and has now been removed, so that should resolve your first issue.

                              Regarding the CHOWHOUND button/dropdown menu, we're looking into our site functionality on the Kindle, thanks for reporting this issue.

                              In the meantime, if you want to see a listing of all the Chowhound categories rather than scrolling down the home page of new posts/discussions, click the blue link toward the upper right that reads "CATEGORY LIST."

                              Hope that helps!

                              1. re: DeborahL

                                Thanks. I now see that link on the CHOWHOUNDS DISCUSSIONS page. Is that page the only one where it appears?

                                Also, while you're looking into the Kindle issue, I can no longer open a previously read message on my Kindle. Only new messages.

                                Any attempt to reopen a collapsed message is ignored.

                                1. re: DoobieWah

                                  Yes, the Chowhound home page is the only place (other than in the dropdown menu in the nav bar) that you'll find that link for the Category List page. But you could bookmark it.

                                  And I'll let the engineering team know that you're now unable to open collapsed posts on discussion pages.

                                  1. re: DeborahL

                                    Thanks.

                                    1. re: DoobieWah

                                      Hi DoobieWah,

                                      I'm not able to replicate your problem with collapsed discussions on the Kindle Fire I'm using. Let us know what kind of Kindle you are using, and if this problem is still happening.

                                      1. re: Dave MP

                                        I have a Kindle Fire ver 1.

                                        When a thread has collapsed, (like when I click on a picture so that I move to another page), and then click the back button, any attempt to reopen a message on that thread is ignored.

                                        i can reopen a thread that I've read, but if it has no new messages, I'm stuck. No collapsed message will reopen.

                                        And this is a new phenomenon. Maybe three weeks now?

                                        1. re: DoobieWah

                                          This problem persists for me on my Kindle.

                                          I can only read new posts on any thread. Old posts ignore my attempts to open them.

                                          1. re: DoobieWah

                                            Hi DoobieWah,

                                            I'm on a Kindle Fire now, too, and I am unable to replicate. Let me know if you're doing something different than what I am saying here:

                                            1) I start on a board page, as a logged-in user.
                                            2) I click on a discussion that I have never read before.
                                            3) I click back to the board page, using the button on the screen (not the back button)
                                            4) I click back into that same discussion, which is now grayed out.
                                            5) In that discussion, I expand two of the posts.
                                            6) I click on a recipe gallery on the right hand side, to navigate to that page.
                                            7) I click the browser back-button to go back to the discussion, and everything is collapsed again. I click on collapsed posts to expand them.

                                            It's still true that dropdowns don't behave in the way we'd like, but all of the functionalities I've described above are working for me. So if you can let me know when/how your problems still are happening, I can try to replicate.

                                            1. re: Dave MP

                                              Thanks for the reply.

                                              I am writing this from my desktop, but I have my Kindle in front of me.

                                              1. I start on the HOUSTON page, and I'm logged in.
                                              2. I navigate to Page 52, (to find a thread I've never read), and touch the "[Hou] Crabs" thread.
                                              3. I skip the BACK button, and touch the {Back to Houston} button on the screen.
                                              4. I click back to the same discussion, now grayed out except for the OP.
                                              5. In that discussion, I cannot reopen any collapsed messages. I can poke and poke it and it just ignores me.
                                              6. I click on the Recipe Gallery and open that page.
                                              7. I click the browser back button, and I still cannot reopen any collapsed messages.

                                              It used to work and then about in February I think, I lost this functionality.

                                              Thanks.

                                              DW

                                              Edited to add, this board is one of several forums I subscribe to, but this is the only one I have a problem with.

                                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                                I'm using Kindle version 6.3.1. Is that what you are using as well?

                                                I just tried replicating what you said, and didn't have the same problem.

                                                1. re: Dave MP

                                                  I have 6.3.2

                                                  1. re: DoobieWah

                                                    New issue. For the past few days, the formatting has disappeared.

                                                    This is happening only on my Kindle.

                                                    HOWEVER, when I refresh any page, (such as this one) on my desktop machine, I see the same info less formatting for a brief second before it fills in the blocking and ads, etc. This leads me to believe that you have recently changed style sheets in the code. (Or whatever you young whippersnappers are calling it these days.)

                                                    The bottom line is that I am slowly losing functionality on my Kindle Fire.

                                                    <sadbanana.gif>

                                                    1. re: DoobieWah

                                                      I've been seeing the same spasm of less format then filling in the full screen on Firefox/OS and my iPhone for a couple days. It's making me woozy, but fortunately doesn't occur on every page every time.

                                                      ETA: Just read acknowledgement of "flashing" problem.
                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9231...

                                                      1. re: DoobieWah

                                                        DoobieWah, I am having the same issue with my First Gen. Kindle Fire - I can get the CH page to load (I first see the weird formatting and then the "regular" page) and then the screen goes blank. Extremely frustrating.

                                                        1. re: ElsieDee

                                                          So you're saying I shouldn't complain about the weird formatting because at least it isn't going blank?

                                                          <wink>

                                                          1. re: DoobieWah

                                                            *laughing* Be thankful that we can at least see something from our desktops / laptops!

                                                            (But, seriously Engineering, I do most of my CH surfing from my Kindle - this "glitch" or whatever it is, is rather frustrating!)

                              2. Does this have something to do with the blue dots that started appearing next to posts? I am still confused about the whole concept.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: coll

                                  +1, what do blue dots next to posts mean? Is it related to recommend?

                                  1. re: smaki

                                    No, the dots are unrelated. CH has another post on Site Talk about some changes they made yesterday.

                                    Unfortunately I don't recall what they meant and it's obviously not intuitive either.

                                    1. re: smaki

                                      Here's the explanation of the blue dots:

                                      For logged-in users: The arrow that indicated when a discussion had been “updated” has been changed to a blue dot that appears to the left of a discussion title. Completely read discussions are still grayed out, while brand-new discussions will appear as normal, without any blue dot.

                                      And here's the original post explaining this and one other design update on the site:

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/894232

                                  2. We're using the "recommend" button in this topic to second nominations for Cheese of the Month.
                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/894471

                                    1. I would find the recommend button much more useful if it appeared to the side when the comment has closed up (as it does once you have read the thread).

                                      I was hoping to use it as a bookmark for some of the long COTM, WFD sort of discussions that you often wish to refer back to. I'm aware of the "save this discussion" feature. For me it is my very last resort when trying to track down a past comment. It is just not search friendly.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: meatn3

                                        Totally agree with you that "save this discussion" is borderline useless and would be improved considerably if there were some way to search it. When there's a recommended recipe or a tip I want to remember, I now tend to save it somewhere other than within Chowhound. It only works for me when I want to save the entire category. Even then, I've accumulated so many it can be onerous to scroll through them.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          I've come to the conclusion that the Recommend button was implemented for the sole purpose of eliminating "+1" posts.

                                          To call it "Recommend" when you can't view it in the default (collapsed post) view on the site, and to have no search capabilities or even the ability to allow folks to retain a record of posts or threads they've recommended is either an absurd oversight or...as I have concluded, completely irrelevant to CH developers since it serves no purpose other than to cut down on "+1" posts.

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            I'd have to agree with your conclusion. The only people who have a chance of benefiting from it are late comers to a thread.

                                            I guess on the plus side it can't really be used as a popularity motivator since you'll probably never know if your comment has been recommended!

                                            1. re: meatn3

                                              If a comment has more than one Recommend listed by # and s/n list that could mean some CH's are going back to read and re-read comments and at that time clicking on the Recommend button.

                                              The design allows CH's to click and unclick a Recommend at any point. You can reopen an entire collapsed thread to reread it or open only one collapsed comment at any point too.

                                              So late comers to an OP aren't the only ones who can use the Recommend button. You can Recommend an OP or comment for the life of the discussion, unless of course the thread is locked.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                My thoughts when writing that were based on my style of usage. Generally I don't reopen the collapsed portions once I've read them. So if I've followed a thread closely (ie read it when the ink was still wet) I'll probably never see many recommendations.

                                                The reader who checks in and catches up on the site weekly will be in a better position to see them. Whether they are of any relevance who can say.

                                                If I were trip planning and reading threads on a board I seldom visit the recommend numbers could be of some potential use in choosing restaurants.

                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                  I follow you meatn3. A few of us have asked about the usage and intentions for the new Recommend feature on Site Topic while it's being used. The variety of ways so far,

                                                  Use it to vote for a Cheese of the month nomination
                                                  Use it in place of plus 1
                                                  Use it to agree with a posted comment without writing a comment

                                                  I haven't seen it used on the NJ board to recommend a restaurant yet. NJ hounds enjoy typing out comments :)

                                                  But the fact that the Recommend made collapses afterwards doesn't make much sense in following a recommendation.

                                                2. re: HillJ

                                                  does a "recommend" pull a thread up to the top of a board view like an actual post does? I am trying to figure out what the impact on visibility of the thread is on Home Cooking since folks are using recommend to vote. If it does not pull the thread up to the top of the heap, it is counterproductive. Dave MP, does a recommend work like an actual post in this respect?

                                                  I like just being able to click to vote, but then you have to keep opening up the thread to see what is going on after you have looked one time. A VOTE feature would be much better in these cases. than Recommend.

                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                    No, a Recommend click made by other CH's stays with the comment made. You'll notice it by hovering over the comment, or while the comment is opened to be read or you will need to reopen the comment to see the # of Recommends made after you've read the thread.

                                                    It is a design flaw to have the comments and consequently the Recommend clicked in the collapsed position after you've read through many comments within a thread.

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      thats what I thought. So while its an easier way to vote, it just buries the whole COTM process even deeper from view.

                                                      I like the idea of "recommend" for the purpose but the way it is working is totally counterproductive for the site. Like I said, a simple VOTING utility would be much more effective and visible.
                                                      This whole recommend tool is another pointless feature that turns out to be more of a bug.

                                        2. I clicked on some random thing to see what "recommend" is all about, so far I don't see anything.

                                          1. Thanks to everyone who has commented and provided ideas about recommend in this discussion. As always, we are reading along and taking different ideas into account.

                                            We're not planning to post a definitive statement on how people should use the recommend button. People are already using it in different ways, and I think this will continue to evolve as we roll out other functionalities based on recommends, something we definitely plan on doing.

                                            Thanks again!

                                            Dave MP

                                            1. Ok peeps let's see who can riddle me the answer this question. I completely understand the use of the recommend button on comments in a thread. You can view the open and or collapsed posts and see what is most "popular" etc.

                                              My question is this.......what is the intended purpose of the recommend button on the OP? Specifically you start a thread like this one for example, this topic has 15 recommends, which is fine but what purpose does that serve? Once you've opened a thread you have pretty much committed to reading it, so I don't see the point of having recommend button for original posts or threads.

                                              Is there a way when in a general category to see how many recommends any specific thread/topic has without opening it? That would seem to make the most sense to me.

                                              Am I making sense?

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                Recommends on the original post help determine what appears in the Trending box in the right side bar, and may feed into other recommend based features in the future. It's also a low-key way for people to provide positive feedback to the original poster.

                                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                  Hmmmm but the highlighted number on the trending now is the number of responses not recommends, correct?

                                                  I would like to formally propose that there be a way to view the number of recommends from the main category screen. This way we can see the "popular" discussions! I would also like to suggest the name of this to be "The Jr" after the handsome genius who came up with this idea.

                                                  Thank you in advance for your consideration!

                                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                    Is this part of how the "related discussions" box is being determined? Because I feel like the related discussion recommendations are becoming less helpfully related. To give an example of one I was just looking at, in a thread titled "Okra - minimizing the slime", the three recommended threads are 1) Sampan congee 2) favorite recipes for sauteed/stir-fried leg of lamb, and 3) Making Paula Wolfert's cassoulet. None of these link me to other discussions about cooking okra, so how is the algorithm or whatever choosing them?

                                                    1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                      Recommends factor into the Trending Now box, but not the Related Discussions. We've been going through some search algorithm changes, which can affect the Related Discussions, though. Are you still seeing really weird results there now, a couple of weeks later?

                                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                        Actually, I'm seeing close to zero results, weird or otherwise, due to ads displacing Related discussions on most pages I view.

                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                          That's an issue with some recent threads where the Related Discussion boxes aren't available. Since they're not there, everything else in the right column moves up. Engineering is working on that issue.

                                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                            I was going to say what Melanie said. As of right now I have no Related Discussion boxes at all on any thread - they seem to be replaced by Trending which isn't helpful at all, since it just tells me the most popular threads in the board I'm already looking at.

                                                  2. re: jrvedivici

                                                    This is the overarching reason for the recommend button

                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_Clicker

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                      I am refraining from "recommending" your post, but thank you for the link and reminder.

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        I dont understand the connection. Can you elaborate? Thanks.

                                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                                          http://www.npr.org/2011/11/18/1425189...

                                                          Cow Clicker was started as a joke- an attempt to illustrate that people would click on anything, even if the reward was meaningless, non-existent, or even detrimental to the user.

                                                          Mr Taster