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Mar 21, 2013 09:26 AM

Recommend vs Like. How are using the new button?

Can anyone explain the difference? I feel like I am using it wrong. When I read a post that I "like"-whether about a meal, a trip, a recipe or comment I have been using the "recommend" button.

But in thinking about it what am I really recommending? If someone posts about a great score at the grocery what am I recommending? That someone else should go and do the same? Or am I really saying that I "like" the post, that I am happy they scored?

Does it even matter?

1)Put forward (someone or something) with approval as being suitable for a particular purpose or role.
2) Advise or suggest (something) as a course of action.

If its just the post in general I am recommending how is that useful? Does a thread with multiple "recommends" carry more weight for you? Would you be more likely to try a new recipe, go to restaurant, eat a food if the post had no replies but multiple recommends?

For that matter how can you see if a post has received multiple "recommends" after you have read it already it? Do you make a point of expanding all the replies to see if there are new recommends? Do you revisit topics just for that purpose-to see who, if any, recommended it or any of its multiple replies?

Or, are you using recommend to really say that you agree with the post? so instead of posting "+1" or "agree" are you now "recommending"?

How do you feel when someone recommends *your* posts? Good? Indifferent? Liked?

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  1. DaveMP commented on the other thread about the new Recommend button that no formal comment about how to use it would be made by the CH Team. A few of us asked about the uses/intent from the minute the button launched.

    So far, I've seen it used to emphasize agree or even disagree when a rapid fire of comments over a particular topic are raised. I've seen the Recommend used in place of commenting altogether and I've seen it used several times to nominate or vote on a thread about Cheese of the Month, COTM or HCM threads.

    I'm not using it much (I nominated one Cheese) and I don't truly understand the value (so far) because as you pointed out as well the comment box collapses after you've read comments in a thread making a Recommend # or s/n list unreadable without first reopening an entire thread or individual comment. I am not going back to read how many Recommends or who is recommending by s/n a single comment.

    As to how I feel if someone recommends a comment I've made..about the same as I do when someone adds their avatar to my "people reading me" list - it's nice, but I'd rather know why by comment and further the overall discussion.

    1. You can't read "Recommend" on old posts. If you've already read something when it has 1 recommendation, you won't have any idea if it gets more recommendations.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jay F

        Exactly which is why I was asking:

        <<Do you make a point of expanding all the replies to see if there are new recommends? Do you revisit topics just for that purpose-to see who, if any, recommended it or any of its multiple replies?>>

      2. I don't get the recommend button as it's difficult to even notice if a post is recommended or not or maybe I missed something.

        1. It's true that we're not making any formal comment about this, but I am happy to tell you how I have personally been using the recommend button.

          I have been using it when I see a post that I think is really great...descriptive, full of good information, helpful, answering a question really well, interesting, etc. In other words, exemplifying the types of posts I like to read on Chowhound. So, I guess in that sense I am recommending the post, not necessarily agreeing with what the poster is saying. For example, if a user describes a great taqueria in Chicago that I have never been to, I might still recommend that post if I think it was well-written, helpful, or uncovering a great new find. It would not be because I think that restaurant is good (after all, I have never been there!)

          I could also imagine using the button to express my opinion. If someone asks "What is the best place for apple pie in San Francisco" and someone else responds with a great report about my favorite apple pie, I might recommend that post since it answers the question in a particularly helpful, descriptive way, and also suggests a pie place that I really like.

          Overall, I do think that the way people use the recommend button will continue to evolve as we roll out more features that build upon it. And again, what I've described here is just my personal way of using the button so far. I think it's great that people are using it in other ways, too.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Dave MP

            <<For example, if a user describes a great taqueria in Chicago that I have never been to, I might still recommend that post if I think it was well-written, helpful, or uncovering a great new find. It would not be because I think that restaurant is good (after all, I have never been there!)>>

            But how would one know that without commentary? How does one differentiate between "Dave P recommends this place, it must be good!" and "While Dave P has never been there he appreciate the well written post"? Especially since you said you will also "recommend" a post about your favorite apple pie if the post was "helpful and descriptive".

            But what if it's poorly written/not helpful? Would you then comment that you do in fact really like the pie place and just not recommend the post to be consistent? In essence saying "+1" to the pie place but not to the poster?

            I think this is why I am confused. I don't get the button at all. If everyone uses it differently then it in fact because unusable and without meaning.

            Snce you are regular poster (and clearly identified with the red diamond) it will be easier to remember that your "recommends" don't necessarily mean you recommend the restaurant, the recipe or the food but instead most likely show your appreciation of great post in general.

            But there is no way for me (personally) to remember everyones recommend style even if they each posted what it was so I thought it might be fun to get a "general consensus" so to speak even without formal commentary from the PTB. Hopefully it will allow a broader understanding and/or point out is weakness.

            1. re: foodieX2

              I thought the red diamond indicates a CH staff member or moderator?

              1. re: carolinadawg

                exactly but since they are the only ones that have them its easy to keep track of who they are unlike the unwashed masses.

                I might also be able to track/remember posters I "follow" but after a while my brain would implode trying to remember that Dave P uses it this way, and cdawg uses it that way but HillJ likes it only for this thing or another and I use it for…..

                Anyway the whole thing is moot since the bottom line is you have no way to know when someone has recommended a post once you have read it and without the button being defined it quickly becomes meaningless.

            2. re: Dave MP

              It's interesting to read how you're using it, or suggesting how it can be used DaveMP but I'd really like to read your thoughts on how useful a Recommend made is once the comment is collapsed and I wouldn't know what you've Recommended in the thread.

              Besides, liking a pie without commentary would have been considered useless with only a plus 1 comment to CH's who would want to know WHY the pie is so good.

              So not having a detailed comment about great pie (by example) and not being able to see your Recommend response because the thread is now collapsed wouldn't necessarily be as exciting as you've described here....and I do want all this effort to introduce a Recommend button to be exactly that: exciting.

              1. re: Dave MP

                DaveMP, I noticed you are using the Recommend button as a vote counter on the next HCDM thread for April. Good use of the button-one question:

                Without actual comments, only button hit recommendations, to apply a vote, will the entire OP and voting thread quickly slide down under new thread listings? Is there a chance not enough CH's will see the voting OP as the hours pass?

                If I'm wrong, no need to reply.

                1. re: HillJ

                  I'm not Dave, but if the Cookbook of the Month thread is any indication that will ... not be an issue. That might have been the most active discussion thread in recent memory.

                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                    Hope so, cause I'm only referring to the voting stage using the Recommend button as the only indicator of a CH posting their vote. No actual comments. Popular project yes appears to be-once the vote is done and the month's recipe takes off.

                    Right now, the voting thread for April's Home Cooking Dish of the Month is 20th down from the top on the Home Cooking board, farther on the Main CH page.

                    From 5 nominations, only 14 votes have been cast so far...and without adding an actual comment, this OP does not appear in a personal profile folder.

                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                      The April Home Cooking Dish of the Month nomination thread had 30 plus nominations for the month of April. The voting thread, using the Recommend button, has 20 plus votes from a narrowed down list of five choices; with an average of 3 votes per nomination. Which means, 3-5 votes is all it takes to select a monthly Home Cooking Dish of the Month in a community of thousands. By comparison, April's Cookbook of the Month voting thread is not relying upon the Recommend button alone to cast votes, there's discussion keeping that OP active.

                      My question: is using only the Recommend button enough to keep a voting thread active during the allowed voting time frame? Because, comments, not Recommend clicks, keep an OP current on a board list. 3-5 votes is a very small turnout. Bumping the thread with a comment is improving the voting turnout.

                2. I will not use it until I know how Chowhound is going to use it. I don't know if it will be used to characterize me or some other way that I would not find appropriate.

                  And yes I am paranoid and cynical. Why do you ask? :-)