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What's For Dinner - How to deal with older discussions

Dave MP Jun 11, 2013 04:31 PM

I'm hoping to get the attention of some of the regular contributors to What's For Dinner threads, since I have been doing some thinking about how to deal with older discussions.

At the moment, the way they are being dealt with is to put the word [OLD] at the end of them. I am curious about why we are doing this, and how important it is?

I'm guessing that the reason for it is because we want a way for users to post in the current discussion, and not in last week's or the week before....but I'm wondering if there's a way to do this without adding this word [OLD] to an already-long title.

I have some ideas, but I'm hoping first to get a sense of the history behind it, and what users are really trying to do.

Dave MP

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  1. steve h. RE: Dave MP Jun 11, 2013 04:54 PM

    Hi Dave,

    The [old] suffix is rather elegant: It tells posters that a new thread has been started after 400 entries or so; grants closure to old posts; and promises a bright new day for regulars as well as offering a less intimidating environment for rookies to chime in.

    Do you feel the current methodology is broken?

    1 Reply
    1. re: steve h.
      LindaWhit RE: steve h. Jun 12, 2013 06:12 AM

      I have to agree with steve. People can still post on the [OLD] thread if that's what they have in their feed and want to respond to posts (as I just did to steve's dinner last night, as I wasn't online to do so then), but then can find the new one by looking for the post/link at the bottom to start afresh.

    2. fldhkybnva RE: Dave MP Jun 11, 2013 05:19 PM

      I think it's helpful so that you start to post a new thread although I haven't noticed that it prevents people from still commenting on the old thread so it seems to work to round it out while starting a new thread.

      1. Breadcrumbs RE: Dave MP Jun 11, 2013 05:34 PM

        To my mind, "OLD" is an alert to folks to let them know a newer thread exists.

        By no means is it meant to discourage folks from carrying on with existing dinner conversations. The idea is to alert folks who want to post about new meals to do so on the most current thread.

        At a certain point threads just get too long to continue, especially in light of the fact that we know conversations will continue (sometimes long after we've moved on). The current threshold is approx 400 posts I believe.

        Dave you say you're wondering "if there's a way to do this without adding this word [OLD] to an already-long title." In my view, 3 letters aren't a big deal so if that's the issue, I'd say, if it ain't broke...don't fix it. I think Shakespeare said that, didn't he?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Breadcrumbs
          foodieX2 RE: Breadcrumbs Jun 11, 2013 05:46 PM

          Breadcrumbs said what I was basically going to say. The term [OLD] is succinct and to the point. If it ain't broke….

          As a poster who often finds that a couple days may go by between postings the [OLD] is a great way to let me know a new thread has started. Some days I have the time to go back and peruse the old threads, others I don't. Having a quick way to see that a new conversation has started so I can jump right in very beneficial.

          Of course one option is make WFD its own category and we could house the numerical posts in one place. However that said unless, someone is paying close attention to those numbers (ala room 222) I can still see people posting to old threads if/when they resurface.

          1. re: foodieX2
            boyzoma RE: foodieX2 Jun 11, 2013 11:33 PM

            I agree with all the above posters - Sometimes when a thread gets too long, it's hard to search for what you are looking for. I still post to old threads if it is relevant, otherwise I'd rather post to a newer thread. When it gets to more than 400, it's harder to load (some of us have slower computers you know, unless you are willing to send me a new one :-D ). The word [Old] doesn't bother me a bit and just makes me look for the latest thread. Just my 2 cents.

          2. re: Breadcrumbs
            LindaWhit RE: Breadcrumbs Jun 12, 2013 06:13 AM

            Dave you say you're wondering "if there's a way to do this without adding this word [OLD] to an already-long title."

            The only thing I can think of is that the Mods don't want to have to be responsible to add the [OLD] part?

          3. h
            HillJ RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 05:12 AM

            What's for Dinner This week - Week of x/x/xx

            I really don't add much in the way of weekly content but I read these threads several times a week. Each is chock full of helpful tips and really inspiring home menus. A good deal of humor too!

            If a timeline instead of the word OLD was included in the subject line I'd remember which thread I left off on quickly.

            1. Terrie H. RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 06:09 AM

              I'm curious as to how you think it could be improved? What are your ideas, Dave?

              1. Dave MP RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 09:39 AM

                Thanks everyone for this feedback. What everyone is saying makes sense.

                Ending each "What's For Dinner" thread after about 400 posts makes total sense, and I think it's good to start new ones after that point. So that's definitely not a problem. It's also great that someone always leaves a pointer post at the bottom of the thread, which will help people find the next one.

                In my role working for Chowhound, I am tasked with making the experience on the site as good as possible for all types of users. My take on all of this is that while adding the word [OLD] to the end of threads isn't "broken" for posters who are regular contributors to these threads, it actually *is* broken for the many users who read Chowhound, especially those who are looking for information or read less regularly. The most evident place where it's a problem is in search results, both from our internal search and external sites. If I am a user looking for great information on skirt steak, I would probably really love to find What's For Dinner #222, where there are several recipe ideas and a picture. But if I see that title in my search results, the [OLD] acts as a big deterrent. I think the titles for these threads are already somewhat confusing if you're not familiar with the project, and then adding the word [OLD] makes them even longer and sends a message (somewhat unintentionally) that there is nothing relevant.

                I realize that some of you may be tempted to laugh off this problem, or essentially not care too much about it. And I agree, it's certainly not the biggest problem in the world. But since there are many people regularly reading Chowhound (far more readers than posters), it's my job to be thinking about them, too. So I'm wondering whether we (at CHOW/Chowhound HQ) can work with the users involved w/ WFD to come up with another solution.

                I'll also add that I don't think having the word [OLD] is that big of a problem if it's only there temporarily. So, if it were only one or two threads that had it and then we removed that word, that wouldn't be as big an issue. But at this point, we're talking about hundreds of threads, each with hundreds of posts and tons of great information, which are all marked as [OLD]. And I don't think having the word [OLD] in there for months or years is serving the needs of users who read the site.

                So, that said, here are some possible ideas. I'm not necessarily pushing for one over any other:

                1) Instead of adding the word [OLD] to the older What's For Dinner threads, we could add the word 'New' or 'Current' to the current one, and then remove it once we start a new one. Posters would know to look for the thread marked as 'New' or 'Current.' We'd also keep posting pointer posts once a thread reached 400 or so, which you're already doing.

                2) Instead of idea #1, or even in addition to it, we could potentially create an announcement/sticky pointing to the current discussion, like we do for DOTM and COTM.

                3) Instead of putting the #222 or #223, we could put in the date that the thread started. So, it could be "What's For Dinner 6/12/13" and then people would be able to check the date and look for the most recent one. I actually think that removing the numbers from the titles could be a good idea, as well, since the fact that a thread is #222 vs any other number isn't too relevant to most people. I definitely still think keeping a count is great, but that could be done in the top post instead of in the title.

                4) Come up with some other way to highlight/mark the current WFD thread so that it stands out. This would require some more thinking and possibly some back-end work, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility. Maybe a symbol or color or ???

                5) Keep the word [OLD] in the title for the most recently closed discussions (say, the last 3) but then remove it again once the thread is about 1 month old and no longer appearing at the top of the board regularly.

                6) Create a brand new board for What's For Dinner, separate from Home Cooking. We're not necessarily going to do this, but it's also not beyond the realm of possibility, since there's so much great activity and it's a really cool project. If we were to do that, I actually don't think there'd really need to be top-level intro posts anymore, since the board itself would accomplish that. People could just post what they had for dinner in a new thread (with a title that describes the food), and people could respond....there'd be many new threads each day.

                Anyway, thanks in advance for taking these thoughts into consideration. Everyone at CHOW/Chowhound thinks the What's For Dinner discussions are cool and a great strength in the community of posters, and we definitely don't want to change that. So hopefully one of these ideas, or any other idea from any of you, could help solve the problem!

                Dave MP

                41 Replies
                1. re: Dave MP
                  steve h. RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 10:21 AM

                  Hi Dave,

                  I'm not sure you've articulated a problem with WFD. Rather, it sounds like there's an aversion to the [old] suffix appended to titles.

                  Since WFD is possibly the most vibrant thread on the Chowhound Board, why not just bust it out from Home Cooking and be done with it? Regulars like its style, rookies flock to it with great frequency.

                  WFD is clearly not broken. Why mess with it?

                  1. re: steve h.
                    Dave MP RE: steve h. Jun 12, 2013 10:26 AM

                    You're correct, I think WFD is great!

                    I just want to see if there's a way to not use the [OLD] suffix, particularly on older WFD threads.

                    What do you mean by "bust it out from Home Cooking" ?

                    1. re: Dave MP
                      steve h. RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 10:35 AM

                      Hi Dave,

                      Make it its own Chowhound category. Advertisers might be intrigued.

                      As an aside, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the word "old". A euphemism would be just that.

                      1. re: steve h.
                        Njchicaa RE: steve h. Jun 12, 2013 05:37 PM

                        I would have no issue with making WFD its own category and with using the "new" notation instead of "old".

                        I write extensively on another site and I understand that it is all about search, viewers, etc. when it comes to the business side of things.

                  2. re: Dave MP
                    foodieX2 RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 10:46 AM

                    My personal thoughts. YMMV

                    I am fine for point 1, 2, 3, 4.
                    -To me [new/current] accomplishes the same as [old].
                    -While I LOVE our cheeky titles I get what you are saying for those not familiar
                    -highlighting is good but in the scheme things not important *to me*. However I am sure it could be for others

                    point 5 is tricky
                    -while I see why this would be useful for new posters, etc I think it could get confusing the same way it gets confusing when someone resurrects a post from 2007. If I got an email regarding a WFD thread from 3 years ago it wouldn’t necessarily be a priority for me to follow up on it to see if it was in regards to something I posted.

                    point 6 I really don't care for. It is one thing to have it be it’s own category with each of the individual WFD threads (WFD #222, 221, 220) embedded there it’s another to have each meal be a new thread within the category. While I am all over having it be in it own category with WFD threads (WFD week of 6/9-6/15. WFD 6/16-23, etc) here is why I don’t like individual threads.
                    -It’s hard enough to keep up with the WFD threads, I can't imagine trying to keep up with multiple thread every day (hour!) For the non daily poster you would miss a lot of threads as they moved off the front page of the category.
                    -Many WFD inspirations are born from the "conversations" that takes place. Often a single post about flank steak morphs into conversation about surf and turf, or cooking techniques about steak tips. Would the expectation be that a new meal equals a new thread? Would cooking techniques, etc be considered “off topic”.
                    -That sense of community would get lost if we had a thread for every meal for each poster. It would be interesting to know how many of the 400+ threads are unique, meaning a single new meal? Times that by day and it would add up.
                    -bookmarking would become unmanageable. I only book mark WFD thread that have multiple recipes I really want to try. I would now have to bookmark every single post that has a recipe I want to refer back to at a later date
                    -How would moderating work? Would the leeway that WFD gets now be subject to change?

                    1. re: foodieX2
                      boyzoma RE: foodieX2 Jun 12, 2013 12:02 PM

                      I also don't like WFD "week of" type of label. Some of these threads get to over 400 in just a couple of days. If it were labeled for a whole week, it could get ridiculous. I also agree with foodieX2 that if it was it's own category, it could become unmanageable, and might deter people from posting.

                      1. re: boyzoma
                        HillJ RE: boyzoma Jun 12, 2013 12:17 PM

                        boyz, do you think it helps if WFD was broken up into more specific types of dinners. Rather than an open call for what we are all making for dinner. Would a main ingredient WFD work?

                        Just throwing out one small idea. I actually enjoy the threads as they are just fine.

                        1. re: HillJ
                          fldhkybnva RE: HillJ Jun 12, 2013 01:08 PM

                          I like the current format. I think breaking it up would not work well.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                            HillJ RE: fldhkybnva Jun 12, 2013 01:33 PM

                            Agreed, I like the current format too. So how does one treat the dilemma of the word OLD?

                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                              HillJ RE: fldhkybnva Jun 12, 2013 01:36 PM

                              Dave MP mentioned numbering the individual WFD but not in the actual subject line-how does that strike you?

                              1. re: HillJ
                                melpy RE: HillJ Jun 13, 2013 09:13 AM

                                I like dating them and adding an end date for the older discussions.

                                June 10, 2013-?
                                June 7, 2013- June 9, 2013

                                I do not want their own board because I like the conversation they spawn. Plus there are also the what's for lunch and breakfast posts. If all were moved to a what are you eatiNg board, that might work but then there is also what are you baking etc.

                                1. re: melpy
                                  HillJ RE: melpy Jun 13, 2013 09:15 AM

                                  I like it (date use, numerical to save space) and leave the rest of WFD as is.

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    fldhkybnva RE: HillJ Jun 13, 2013 10:33 AM


                            2. re: HillJ
                              boyzoma RE: HillJ Jun 12, 2013 01:11 PM

                              HillJ - I honestly love them just the way they are. I get so many tips reading "spin off's" in the posts that I don't think we would get so much in another form. Some searches can be a little challenging, but when it says [OLD] it gives me the note that helps me locate something (since I know it was a past thread). A main ingredient could also get confusing as what started out as beef stew could turn into beef short ribs and I would have not thought to check that thread out. But I might get some good ideas from it had I looked. Just my 2 cents, though.

                              1. re: boyzoma
                                HillJ RE: boyzoma Jun 12, 2013 01:34 PM

                                boyz, I so agree with you on all points.

                          2. re: foodieX2
                            Dave MP RE: foodieX2 Jun 12, 2013 12:26 PM

                            Thanks for your thoughts. Yeah, if we did make a new board for WFD, I could see it working how I described above, or I could see it working as you describe, where we still have big threads. I just would like to not have the need for the word [OLD] anymore! :)

                            Also, just to address a few of your concerns:

                            - I completely agree with what you say about conversations morphing. No matter how we move forward, I do not think there'd be any expectation that a new meal would have to equal a new thread (it would be up to the user), and things like cooking techniques would definitely not be considered off topic.

                            - No matter how we move forward, I am not proposing any changes to the way the WFD discussions are moderated. I think the leeway they have now is OK, and if they were part of a new board, I don't think that would need to change.

                            1. re: Dave MP
                              steve h. RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 12:31 PM

                              Hi Dave,

                              Please define "... how we move forward."

                              Is there a mandate?

                              1. re: steve h.
                                Dave MP RE: steve h. Jun 12, 2013 12:37 PM

                                I'd like to get that word [OLD] out of older titles, so I'm hoping to do whatever it takes to make the community (particularly the active posters in WFD) feel comfortable with doing that.

                                As far as what it takes to get to that point, I don't think there's a mandate. That is really the only thing with WFD which I'd like to change, for reasons I've explained. But if the community wants to make other changes along with that, then we are very open to helping make that happen (for example, create a brand new board).

                                Hope that makes sense?

                                1. re: Dave MP
                                  steve h. RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 12:43 PM

                                  I appreciate the clarification.

                                  Edited to add: "Moving On" might work for you. Having said that, "old" is both succinct and accurate. Why doesn't "old" work for you? It's not a pejorative.

                            2. re: foodieX2
                              LindaWhit RE: foodieX2 Jun 12, 2013 01:30 PM

                              I really can't say it better than foodie has, *especially* about Point #6. I would find it impossible to read individual threads vs. the way the conversation is currently grouped within ONE thread. And if a particular post didn't get any comments within a few hours, it would quickly fall to the bottom of the page of threads and be lost. If someone was asking a question in that post and got no responses because no one saw it, that doesn't work for that poster.

                              I think readers are more likely to follow along in a single thread. A weekly thread could become even more cumbersome, as we can often fill up a thread of 400+ in 3 or so days - ESPECIALLY around holidays when everyone seems to be cooking.

                              And I love our "cheeky" titles, as foodie put it. It's been fun coming up with some innovative ones, as I sometimes start new threads.

                              I haven't had any problems following along - if I haven't been to read the thread in several hours and see [OLD], I know we've moved on. I'll read the thread, respond as necessary, and click the link for the new thread, responding to something there so it gets bookmarked into my profile, especially since I don't cook *every* night.

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                HillJ RE: LindaWhit Jun 12, 2013 01:38 PM

                                I don't have any trouble opening long thread of 400 comments or more. How common a problem is that?

                                And saving threads to your personal profile def helps keep on top of OP's.

                                Adore the cheeky titles!

                                1. re: HillJ
                                  fldhkybnva RE: HillJ Jun 12, 2013 02:34 PM

                                  It doesn't cause my computer any issues, sometimes my phones a bit slow, but it's a phone.

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    LindaWhit RE: HillJ Jun 12, 2013 05:09 PM

                                    It doesn't bother me to open threads that are 400+ comments. That's what the Pg Dn key is for to quickly scroll through the closed posts to find those you haven't read. But I do know there are some who still have problems with long threads.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                      boyzoma RE: LindaWhit Jun 12, 2013 05:25 PM

                                      Well, crud. I guess I just need a new computer. My processor is just slow. It happens when I post pictures as well.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        steve h. RE: LindaWhit Jun 12, 2013 05:42 PM

                                        It's been awhile since I've used a desktop computer.

                                        400 posts or less on WFD works pretty well on my mobile devices. I don't understand Dave's need to expunge the "old" suffix but it seems to be a done deal. Pity. Brevity is golden in my mobile universe.

                                        Hey Dave, why do you hate [old]?

                                        1. re: steve h.
                                          LindaWhit RE: steve h. Jun 12, 2013 05:45 PM

                                          Getting rid of [OLD] is a done deal? Did I miss something?

                                          And while I have a new desktop upstairs (still in its box) my laptop gets way more use. But I would agree that 400 posts on mobile devices would be MORE than enough.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                            steve h. RE: LindaWhit Jun 12, 2013 06:08 PM

                                            Hi LW,

                                            Yeah, that's my take. Dave sought the opinions of veterans because he reasoned that older posters would be resistant to change. He solicited buy-in but neglected to make a compelling argument. That was the "tell" that the decision was already made.

                                            ...just my opinion.

                                            1. re: steve h.
                                              HillJ RE: steve h. Jun 12, 2013 06:11 PM

                                              Sounds more like the latest conspiracy theory behind the dining curtain...ha!

                                              Such high drama around these parts...how to repurpose a very popular archive of threads.

                                              In this corner the Users (contributing long time members of WFD) and in this corner the Newcomers (lurkers who we need as contributing long time members). And the bell rings!!! Rock em, sock em robots.

                                              just my reaction to Steve's opinion.

                                              1. re: steve h.
                                                LindaWhit RE: steve h. Jun 12, 2013 06:34 PM

                                                If there's no compelling argument for a change, why would it be done?

                                                Unless they're operating the same way Microsoft programmers do in changing their Office product - make the changes to keep their jobs without asking the users if the software changes are useful ones.

                                                I guess we'll see.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  steve h. RE: LindaWhit Jun 12, 2013 06:42 PM


                                              2. re: LindaWhit
                                                Dave MP RE: LindaWhit Jun 13, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                Nothing is a done deal yet. I wanted to figure out why these discussions have the word old as a suffix. So, based on what I'm reading here, I would frame it like this:

                                                Problem: As a regular poster on WFD, I want to be able to know when someone has started a new WFD thread. Otherwise, I might continue posting in a WFD that isn't the most current one.

                                                Current Solution: When a user starts a new WFD discussion, she leaves a pointer post in the old discussion, and then flags it so a moderator can add the word [OLD] to the title. This signals to users that there's a more recent WFD thread that they should post in.


                                                So, I definitely understand the problem, and I think there needs to be a solution to it. But I am hoping there could be a different solution that works for the community, solves the problem just as well, but doesn't involve adding the word [OLD], for reasons described below.

                                                There are a lot of interesting proposals so far, so I'm hoping there is something that could work!

                                                1. re: Dave MP
                                                  LindaWhit RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                  If other WFDers are amenable, I threw something onto tcamp's post below that might work to let us remain silly with the title while the thread is still active, but then give the CH Team their shortening of the subject line when it goes to "OLD" status - without the "OLD".

                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                          Dave MP RE: LindaWhit Jun 13, 2013 09:16 AM

                                          I think that the strategy of starting a new discussion once you are at about 400 replies makes sense. It's true that for users on slower computers, it can get hard to load, and even if it's not slow to load, it can be hard in the super-huge discussions to find new content.

                                      2. re: Dave MP
                                        Breadcrumbs RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 12:38 PM

                                        Thanks for providing some additional information Dave, it's helpful in continuing the dialogue. In your post you say:

                                        << while adding the word [OLD] to the end of threads isn't "broken" for posters who are regular contributors to these threads, it actually *is* broken for the many users who read Chowhound, especially those who are looking for information or read less regularly. The most evident place where it's a problem is in search results, both from our internal search and external sites. >>

                                        I'm wondering how you know this is a problem? You go on to use "skirt steak" as an example of something someone not familiar with the thread might be interested in reading about.

                                        I typed "skirt steak" into the CH search box (I was on the Home Cooking Board at the time) and WFD thread 222 that you reference doesn't even come up in the first page of the list of relevant threads. It does appear halfway down the page on page 2 but my point is that it's buried there because there are many more threads that have more relevant, "skirt steak" specific information. A Google search for "skirt steak" didn't have WFD thread 222 on the radar either.

                                        So, if I truly was so enamoured with skirt steak that I found myself wanting to read every single post that appeared in my search results on CH, would I really care whether there was the word "OLD" beside Thread 222 when I finally landed on it on page 2? Probably not, I'd likely click on the thread anyway.

                                        So, back to my original question. Can you help us understand how you know that this "is broken for the many users that read Chowhound" ?

                                        Personally I wish the Chowhound Search functionality was better. I often find I have to use Google to find something here.

                                        That said, it's rare that there's extensive discussion on any one single food topic on WFD that would ultimately result in it being a top search result on any topic (other than What's For Dinner perhaps!). If there were so few other posts on CH that it actually did appear as a top result, I find it hard to believe that someone who'd already taken the time to search for "Linda's Frankenchicken" for instance, would simply discount the thread just because it said "OLD", especially since there are already a few clues in the Title of the thread that it's an ongoing feature (like the # and a seasonal reference or something else)

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                          Dave MP RE: Breadcrumbs Jun 12, 2013 02:32 PM

                                          I agree with you about the search functionality on CHOW, and we are currently working on some improvements to our site search. It was in doing this work that we noticed that What's For Dinner threads often show up high in search results, especially in the new version of search. This makes sense, because these discussions are very active, contain lots of rich information, and are focused on food and cooking.

                                          We think it's fine that these discussions show up in search results, but for users who are less familiar with Chowhound, or for users who are looking for specific information, having the word [OLD] in all caps and in brackets is a visual queue to ignore it.

                                          What you choose for a title for Chowhound discussions has a significant effect on how many people read it, so in general, choosing a descriptive, to-the-point, and clear title is always a benefit. Adding the [OLD] suffix has the opposite effect, both because of how it looks (caps, brackets) and the word itself.

                                          Again, if this were one or two threads here or there, it would not be an issue. This is why we are generally not too concerned with thread titles, and we let users pick them on their own and rarely make any edits. But because this is a larger project, with more than 200 threads and thousands of posts, the title structure has more of an impact on the site as a whole, and on our wider userbase as a whole.

                                          So, hopefully there can be some compromise to remove that suffix. Thanks for responding, and for taking the time to read my replies! :)

                                          Dave MP

                                          1. re: Dave MP
                                            LindaWhit RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 05:12 PM

                                            Dave, if I search for "seared scallops" and an older WFD thread comes up, especially with a funny subject line as we are wont to do, I think it might prompt some to just click and do a thread search for whoever posted something about "seared scallops". At least it would prompt me to see what the thread was about if I had never heard of CH.

                                            But that's just me.

                                            1. re: Dave MP
                                              Breadcrumbs RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 05:58 PM

                                              Thanks Dave. So if I understand correctly, the word "OLD" isn't actually a problem now after all, you are just anticipating that it might be a deterrent for non-WFD participants at a point in the future when search functionality is improved?

                                              If that's the case then instead of adding "OLD" to the thread for us, I suggest that from now on you change the word "What's" to read "What WAS".

                                              Current thread is called "What's For Dinner" older ones will say "What WAS For Dinner"

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                Dave MP RE: Breadcrumbs Jun 13, 2013 09:00 AM

                                                Hi Breadcrumbs,

                                                It's a problem now, and seems like it will continue to be a problem in our new search functionality, which is being released soon.

                                                In terms of your "What Was" idea....I somewhat suspect that you are joking here, but actually that idea would indeed solve the problem.

                                                1. re: Dave MP
                                                  Breadcrumbs RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 09:43 AM

                                                  Thanks Dave and no, I wasn't joking. After giving more thought I would suggest using red font or, at a minimum bold, block caps for the word WAS to add further visual emphasis that the thread was old.

                                          2. re: Dave MP
                                            roxlet RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 10:30 AM

                                            The problem with #1 is that if you don't attach the word "old," you have no way of knowing that a new thread has started when you are checking your profile.

                                            #2- same issue. There needs to be a way to see that a new thread has been started when you check your profile.

                                            In fact, most of the suggestions you post do nothing to help the user know that the thread that is appearing in one's profile is not the current thread. For my way of thinking, the word "Old" is a pretty elegant and simple solution.

                                            I think that I am in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it group."

                                            As far as helping people who are searching for something specific in a WFD thread I have one very pertinent suggestion: Fix CH's search engine. It is actually easier and faster to find something on CH by searching on Google. I have actually searched the correct title of a thread and had it come up on the 4th page of search results, that's how poor the search function is on this site. I avoid searching on CH whenever possible. Eliminating "old" in the title is not going to help this problem, which is endemic to the site.

                                            1. re: roxlet
                                              Dave MP RE: roxlet Jun 13, 2013 10:48 AM

                                              The good news is that we are working on fixing CH's search engine! More on this soon, since I don't know how soon the changes will be released. But hopefully within the next month, so more on this soon.

                                          3. fldhkybnva RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 01:09 PM

                                            I guess my opinion on this is don't fix what's not broken but perhaps I'm missing the point.

                                            1. h
                                              HillJ RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 02:41 PM


                                              what about a WFD archive that is listed as a Sticky Topic or CHOW topic under Chowhound to house older threads?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                boyzoma RE: HillJ Jun 12, 2013 02:47 PM

                                                Oh, now I could get behind that one. When a new topic is created, a flag could be sent to a mod to move the [OLD] topic to the archives. Then nothing would be labeled OLD and everything on the Home Cooking thread would be current. I like the idea of a Chow topic strictly of archives. It would make it so much easier to find things.

                                              2. JoanN RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                As someone who practically never participates but does frequently read WFD, I find the “old” tag extremely helpful. It’s the only indication I have that the discussion has moved on. It seems to be the word “old” that bothers you. How about “superceded”? Is that also negative in context? If dates were used, I’d have to be checking the calendar all the time. I’m retired and it’s hard enough for me to remember that today is Wednesday, no less June 12.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                  HillJ RE: JoanN Jun 12, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                  That's funny, JoanN. I'm much more of a lurker myself and was never bothered by the length, the use of the word OLD or what a subject line reads.

                                                  Whatever is decided, I probably won't mind that either....but discussing the discussion is always fun.

                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                    roxlet RE: JoanN Jun 13, 2013 10:31 AM

                                                    Or, alternatively, how about, "No longer young." Lol.

                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                      tcamp RE: roxlet Jun 13, 2013 12:07 PM

                                                      I prefer "vintage" thankyouverymuch

                                                  2. juliejulez RE: Dave MP Jun 12, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                    I actually like the word "old" because I don't pay attention what actual # we're on, so having "old" there helps me because I know which one to post on, especially when there's a new one created when I'm not around, like today. When I went to bed last night we were on 223, this morning we were on 224, and people were still participating on both. If "old" wasn't there it would get a bit confusing at first. I also don't view "old" in the title as negative at all.

                                                    BUT, perhaps if the current thread was made a sticky, that would help that issue since we could just click on that knowing it's the most recent one. Not sure how much work that would be for the powers that be to create a new sticky every couple days.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: juliejulez
                                                      Dave MP RE: juliejulez Jun 13, 2013 09:05 AM

                                                      Creating an announcement/sticky isn't really any harder than changing a title, so that could be fine. One potential downside for some users is that these announcements are not viewable on mobile. However:

                                                      A few months back, we made a change to the way stickies work...which is why I'm calling them "announcements". These blue announcements are links that bring you to a thread...but they aren't the thread themselves. So, you can always still scroll down the board to find the thread, or you can use the shortcut link. This is different than the old version of stickies, in which the thread was stuck at the top, and therefore wouldn't appear elsewhere.

                                                      So, the solution juliejulez proposes in paragraph 2 might be less ideal on mobile (though not any worse than it is now), but might work great on desktop and tablet.

                                                    2. tcamp RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 08:41 AM

                                                      If the label OLD is not palatable, what about a date range? When a new WFD thread is started, obviously you know start date. When the thread is "done," instead of OLD being appended to the title you add the close date. So, for example:

                                                      What's for Dinner #223 - The Thread next to the Room 222 Edition (6/8/13 to 6/11/13)

                                                      22 Replies
                                                      1. re: tcamp
                                                        HillJ RE: tcamp Jun 13, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                        I recommended that above, tcamp. Didn't go over too well.
                                                        Would you begin a thread with a start date and then add the end date at the same time that the next WFD thread was started? Like I change a check book registry.

                                                        1. re: tcamp
                                                          Dave MP RE: tcamp Jun 13, 2013 09:06 AM

                                                          The title gets a bit long in this case, but I do think this would be an improvement over the word "Old"

                                                          1. re: Dave MP
                                                            HillJ RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                            You could shorten the title quickly to WFD and save line space.

                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                              Dave MP RE: HillJ Jun 13, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                              WFD doesn't mean anything to people who don't read the discussions regularly, so that wouldn't be ideal. I think the title "What's For Dinner" is quite good.

                                                              1. re: Dave MP
                                                                HillJ RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 09:32 AM

                                                                Oh, now you pay attention to me, ha! Funny that.

                                                                I'm fond of the post LindaW is making right now regarding how to convert a beginning WFD with a progression by changing the subject title w/date/w#/etc.

                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                  Dave MP RE: HillJ Jun 13, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                  I'm always paying attention to everyone. ;-)

                                                                  1. re: Dave MP
                                                                    HillJ RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 09:36 AM

                                                                    Of course you are!

                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                      LindaWhit RE: HillJ Jun 13, 2013 09:39 AM

                                                                      Psstttt......Dave MP is actually NSA, you know. ;-)

                                                          2. re: tcamp
                                                            LindaWhit RE: tcamp Jun 13, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                            OK, this would work. Perhaps when it starts out, the participants can still be silly and title it:

                                                            What's for Dinner #223 - The Thread next to the Room 222 Edition

                                                            and when it gets changed to an old thread, it can become:

                                                            WFD #223 (6/8/13 - 6/11/13) (OR What's for Dinner #223.....)

                                                            The "closing date" of the thread gives it a finality and removes the "OLD" moniker which bothers the CH Team.

                                                            I still like having the # of the thread on there so we can see how far we've come from several years ago when these threads started. And the numbering of the thread is a good way for users/participants to bookmark it. "That really great bulgogi pot roast that mariacarmen posted was on WFD #223."

                                                            And I *think* that change in title would provide an easier search functionality as well.

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                              Dave MP RE: LindaWhit Jun 13, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                              I could see this working. The lack of a title and the addition of the date would indicate to posters who are looking at their profile that a new thread had been started. It's a different strategy than adding the word [OLD], but it does address the profile issue that Roxlet raises here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9052...

                                                              I'm not sure we'd want to change it to be WFD, though, since that abbreviation isn't meaningful to many people. But it could potentially be:

                                                              What's for Dinner #223 - The Thread next to the Room 222 Edition


                                                              What's For Dinner #223 (6/8/13-6/11/13)

                                                              1. re: Dave MP
                                                                boyzoma RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                                For me, personally, changing the "fun" name would be a problem as I have a tendency to remember something about a post that was related to the "title". If those titles go away, it would be harder for me to find things. Also keep in mind that there will be overlapping dates - i.e. (6/8/13-6/11/13) and (6/11/13-6/13/13).

                                                                1. re: Dave MP
                                                                  LindaWhit RE: Dave MP Jun 13, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                                  I'm very used to WFD, as it was used on an old AOL food message board I participated on a gazillion years ago. But I know it doesn't click as easily with others.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    HillJ RE: LindaWhit Jun 13, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                                    Could those 'silly' lovable sub titles be worked into the OP's first comment instead of the subject line so we don't lose them?

                                                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  tcamp RE: LindaWhit Jun 13, 2013 12:08 PM

                                                                  I like it, lindawhit!!

                                                                  1. re: tcamp
                                                                    LindaWhit RE: tcamp Jun 13, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                                    :::curtseying::: :-)

                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    Melanie Wong RE: LindaWhit Jun 13, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                                    Linda, good suggestion, does it even need a range? Since it takes about 3 days for the threads to grow to 400 posts, maybe there should just be a new one started every day that might get up to 150 posts or so that would be easier to deal with on mobile view. That's a plenty big thread still. Then the subject line could just include the day it started. This would require more effort for coming up with the catchy titles since they'll be needed daily instead of twice a week.

                                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                                      linguafood RE: Melanie Wong Jun 13, 2013 10:28 PM

                                                                      While I'm still trying to wrap my head around the issue of having the word "old" in the thread header, I can totally groove to having a new thread every day.

                                                                      They do grow fast -- over 400 most of the time within 2-3 days, so I don't see why it couldn't be by day.

                                                                      Also, if it then had the specific date/day in the title, people would know immediately which the current thread is, while still being able to post to older threads.

                                                                      A separate WFD board may or may not be necessary for that.

                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                        Melanie Wong RE: linguafood Jun 18, 2013 10:37 AM

                                                                        Someone using a search engine to find info will see a display of possible sites and scans quickly through the titles. If the info is in a WFD thread marked as [old] in the title, the tendency may be to not open the page since [old] can be used in web parlance to signify a page that has out of date info or that has been updated in a new story.

                                                                        The amount of traffic that reaches this site via internet search engines used to be greater than it is today. Chow management needs to figure out ways to make the site friendlier for folks who are served up a page but for some reason or another don't click on it. I'd been thinking about this myself because I've noticed that Google displays the results for Chowhound discussion with the date of the ORIGINAL post. The thread could be updated and completely current, but a casual reader could skip over it thinking all the information is several years old.

                                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                                          donovt RE: Melanie Wong Jun 18, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                          That is so much more eloquently stated than I tried down thread.

                                                                          1. re: donovt
                                                                            Melanie Wong RE: donovt Jun 18, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                                            No, not at all.

                                                                            I'm glad that you understand the issue. About half the traffic on this site originates from google users clicking directly to here. Chowhounds who post are just a small fraction of total traffic. Those clicks are revenue for keeping the lights on in our clubhouse. So management's job is to keep a good balance between the two in site design decisions, keeping the contributors of content happy and making it easy for casual passers-by to find that content.

                                                                          2. re: Melanie Wong
                                                                            Dave MP RE: Melanie Wong Jun 18, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                            This is a good description of what I am getting at.

                                                                            A significant amount of our traffic arrives on Chowhound via a search, or uses our own site Search. The people who participate in WFD are extremely important, which is why I think it's important to discuss this with as many of you as possible.

                                                                            But people who participate in WFD still make up a very small percentage of the people who will potentially read the discussions.

                                                                            1. re: Dave MP
                                                                              Melanie Wong RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                              I just refreshed to see your post. GMTA!

                                                                  3. h
                                                                    Harters RE: Dave MP Jun 15, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                    I only check out this sub-forum about once a fortnight so am glad to be able to comment on this subject.

                                                                    I'd take the view that the on-going WFD thread isn't broken and doesn't need fixing. DaveMP takes a different view.

                                                                    I have no hang-ups about whatever changes the site owners may wish to make so that it better suits their purposes - it's only a thread on an internet discussion board, after all and we play here to their rules. I would, however, counsel against setting up a separate WFD sub-forum. The thread happily sits in Home Cooking and has no need of an air of elitism which a separate sub-forum might imply.

                                                                    I like the numbering - it's a tradition of the thread (I regret moving away from Roman numerals at around WFD 50)

                                                                    I like the jokey sub-title - it's a bit of fun.

                                                                    I like the [OLD] - it's an easily understood word and easily conveys the closure.

                                                                    The speed with which we now get through threads is, I think, down to (1) an increase in the number of contributors and (2) an increase in the number of posts, commenting on a posted dinner. I now tend to use the "recommend" facility rather than add another "that's a great dinner" post but that's just me.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                      LindaWhit RE: Harters Jun 15, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                                      I agree with NOT having a separate WFD board. The WFD is what's for dinner in our homes - which ties to "Home Cooking."

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                        Breadcrumbs RE: LindaWhit Jun 15, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                                        I agree as well. It would be too isolated and isolating.

                                                                        Up-thread I'd made a suggestion that Dave said would work which was to replace the word "What's" with "What WAS" for dinner when we move onto another thread. Seeing Harters post above, I'd like to modify my suggestion and have the word "was" in square brackets. So, once we'd moved on to a new thread, the old one would change from:

                                                                        "What's for Dinner #617 - Hello Boston edition"

                                                                        to read:

                                                                        "What [WAS] for Dinner #617 - Hello Boston edition"

                                                                        It might not be quite as specific as "OLD" but it keeps most of what we like the same and, still provides a visual and verbal cue that we've moved on.

                                                                        Just a thought.

                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                          LindaWhit RE: Breadcrumbs Jun 15, 2013 04:30 PM

                                                                          That works for me, Bc.

                                                                          Ambitious thinking with the "#617" thread. :-) (I know, I know - it's Boston's main area code - just bustin'!)

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            Breadcrumbs RE: LindaWhit Jun 15, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                            >>Ambitious thinking with the "#617" thread.<<

                                                                            Well since our "OLD" has clearly been causing problems for all the folks who have yet to discover the genius that is the WFD thread, I'm anticipating an onslaught of new cooks in our kitchen once we've dropped it.

                                                                            We should be at #617 before the end of July!!

                                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                            Frizzle RE: Breadcrumbs Jun 17, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                            I'm liking this suggestion too.

                                                                        2. re: Harters
                                                                          tcamp RE: Harters Jun 15, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                          I also agree about keeping WFD on the Home Cooking board. I often search for a recipe or an ingredient I recall from a thread on HC and would rather not have to search in two places.

                                                                        3. h
                                                                          HillJ RE: Dave MP Jun 15, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                          I did kinda like the idea of a WFD archive though....even without subthread-ing, some organized flow of the entire collection would be nice.

                                                                          If the Search engine improvements Dave is hinting at will allow for shooting straight to an archive that would be great.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                            EM23 RE: HillJ Jun 15, 2013 01:50 PM

                                                                            I rarely post on those threads, but lurk occasionally for recipes and cooking ideas. It would be great if there was a way to find recipes posted to WFD through a search function.

                                                                          2. d
                                                                            Dirtywextraolives RE: Dave MP Jun 17, 2013 07:35 PM

                                                                            Big surprise, now you're letting them go & chat longer, so it's tying up the board with lots of older threads?

                                                                            As someone who had once rallied to let the threads go longer so as a participant, I wouldn't have to constantly bounce from thread to thread to find what I was looking for, I have to say I've got no sympathy, LOL!

                                                                            But as a frequent contributor on the main HC board, yes, it would be nice to stick it up with the other stickies so the rest of us don't have to constantly skip by it to peruse the rest of the boards content.

                                                                            But, as usual, you will get a lot of flack and whining for "touching" their sacred thread. Now they are claiming it is *solely* about their "home cooked" meals?! That's laughable. Karma's a bitch.

                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                              LindaWhit RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 17, 2013 08:01 PM

                                                                              I'm not quite sure how this is "karma", Dweo. But OK. If you feel the need to beat the deadest horse ever on Chowhound, feel free.

                                                                              And it's not "tying up the board with a lot of older threads" if you read DaveMP's OP.

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                Dirtywextraolives RE: LindaWhit Jun 17, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                                                I just find it incredibly amusing that now all of a sudden, y'all are letting the thread go way past the sacred 300 that it used to be..... Something I politely suggested in my attempt to help the thread become more user friendly, but was severely rebuked for....

                                                                                Now the mods are looking for a way to do the same....make it more user friendly. Why would they need to find a way to "deal" with older threads unless they thought they could improve the experience somehow, especially for the rest of us? But I got the feeling a while ago that for the regular posters, it was never about how to make the thread more friendly and inviting for the rest of CH, it was really only about how the regular posters wanted to keep their baby the same. What goes around comes around.

                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                  linguafood RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 17, 2013 10:22 PM

                                                                                  I would *still* love it if we kept threads to 300-350 posts -- and I don't access this site on mobile devices, but it seems tedious to try to set a limit... and most often, someone decides it's time for a new thread around the late 300s/early 400s and -- BOOM, there it is. Which is totally a-ok with me... as long as it stays under 500. That's my absolute limit. There. I said it :-)

                                                                                  But seriously --- the WFD is prone to chit-chat for any number of reasons (a fairly regular group of contributors resulting in private chatter, compliments... but also many follow-up questions about recipes and sources or details about prep -- which I think is one of the great things about it), but I'd say the most refreshing part of it is how freaking friendly and drama-free it is/has been for the most part... compared to any number of other threads (and I'm not even on the NAF boards these days).

                                                                                  So I don't quite understand your amusement, given that you decided to opt out of the WFD thread.

                                                                                  You either like it or you don't. There are any number of threads I either can't or won't follow for a variety of reasons. We all have offline lives, and you specifically have pointed out that it's almost impossible for you to keep up with all the posts on WFD -- well, I do too sometimes. So what I do is skim through them and look for inspiration. And to occasionally post my own boring contribution. Chicken piccata. Again. Woot.

                                                                                  Most of the other contributors to the thread really don't seem to have much of a problem with the thread occasionally running past 400.

                                                                                  Personally, I think maybe 500 should be the ultimate cut-off, but who am I to decide? I don't open any threads with more than a 1000 replies, b/c... well, I'm lazy.

                                                                                  All that said, I *still* don't understand with the designation of (OLD) for older threads.

                                                                                  Maybe I'm dense.

                                                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                                                    roxlet RE: linguafood Jun 18, 2013 04:47 AM

                                                                                    This is ironic because accommodating DWEO's request for longer threads was one of the reason's the number of posts was extended. 300 was never "sacred," but rather a way to help those with slower connections or using mobile devices. As it is, I rarely will look at the WFD threads on my phone since it takes forever to scroll through 300-400 posts.

                                                                                  2. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                    Harters RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 18, 2013 05:14 AM

                                                                                    I'm another who regretted the move from around 300 posts. Other than WFD, I can't usually be arsed to open any thread which is 300+ posts - even those to which I may have previously contributed - I simply don't have the interest.

                                                                                    Are we now discussing WFD's thread length to a purpose - or should we be returning to Dave's suggestion that "OLD" is a disincentive to folks opening an old thread, wheareas some other re-titling (like "What WAS for dinner) is not a disincentive. I'm sure Dave has the evidence to support his view but it completely beats me as to what it might be (not that I need to know, of course - the site owners do as they wish with their site)

                                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                      LindaWhit RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 18, 2013 05:54 AM

                                                                                      Interesting take on how lengthening the thread was *supposedly* suggested. :-/ But OK.

                                                                                      And 300 was never "sacred". It was what worked for those on mobile devices and slower computers (I've tried looking at the thread on my Kindle, and it takes forever to scroll through, so I understand mobile users' dilemma, even if you don't).

                                                                                      You chose to leave because the thread didn't adhere to your tightly regimented viewpoint on how the thread should be - recipes and/or WFD only, no chit-chat. Which, in the opinion of the majority on that thread, is what makes the thread so enjoyable - a combination of recipes, WFD, and chit-chat. It was your prerogative to leave the thread. There is no "what goes around comes around", as you seem to think.

                                                                                      But as you have obviously seen, Dweo, we tried extending the thread to a max of 400 - and it seems to work, for the most part, although I don't think it should go much further than that length, as it gets unwieldy even on faster, newer computers.

                                                                                      But even more interestingly, the thread is quite open and inviting and friendly, as evidenced by many new posters joining the thread. So it's VERY user-friendly, it seems.

                                                                                      But getting back to the original reason for this thread, the Mods' position on the thread is to potentially remove the "OLD" addition to the title when we move to a new thread. I'm not sure why, and I still don't agree, but hey - it's their sandbox. We just get to play in it.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        fldhkybnva RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 06:15 AM

                                                                                        I agree, I don't get the reason for this thread at all. I often find OLD posts and if I feel the need to post, will do so.

                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                          donovt RE: fldhkybnva Jun 18, 2013 06:43 AM

                                                                                          Here's my take on the "old" tag. If unfamiliar with the workings of a site, the word "old" might make me think the thread is no longer relevant or possibly even closed. That's just a guess, and as somebody who doesn't use WFD, it makes no difference to me. Just wanted to give the perspective of an "outsider".

                                                                                          1. re: donovt
                                                                                            HillJ RE: donovt Jun 18, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                                            And if I was a newcomer, all of the information is new to me even if it's marked OLD. Until I "catch up" and realize how the Home Cooking board works and that some OP's actually follow more of a project pattern then others, I'm looking at a sea of new topics, subject headings and information overload to the right of my page view.

                                                                                            By day two..day three..I'm starting to understand how these boards work.

                                                                                            As someone who has stood over the shoulders of a newcomer and taken them thru the site page by page, they aren't asking about the word OLD, they are asking "how much time do people spend on this site??"

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                              donovt RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 06:53 AM

                                                                                              Not all newcomers are spending days looking through the site. Many are just looking for info. Clicks bring in revenue, and if "old" might deter some people from clicking, then I can see why they want to change it.

                                                                                              1. re: donovt
                                                                                                HillJ RE: donovt Jun 18, 2013 06:56 AM

                                                                                                Here's the thing donovt, we don't know what the majority of lurkers are actually doing. Newcomers haven't shared their opinions in this thread in great numbers...where are they :)

                                                                                                As for revenue, that's not my concern. DaveMP didn't ask us to comment on revenue. As a member, I know what I like and what I pass over. The word OLD doesn't stop me from reading a thread...especially if its NEW to my eyes.

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                  donovt RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                                                                  A lot of people were saying that they don't get why "old" was a problem. I'm just offering an opinion on why it might be.

                                                                                                  1. re: donovt
                                                                                                    HillJ RE: donovt Jun 18, 2013 07:04 AM

                                                                                                    Sure, those of us taking the time to contribute all are. I just wish more attention was paid to these topics by a majority membership.

                                                                                                    A few loud voices doesn't represent the CH community at large.

                                                                                      2. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                        fldhkybnva RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 18, 2013 06:14 AM

                                                                                        It's not uninviting. I wasn't always a "member" and I just started posting and have been well accepted as any would, it's an open forum.

                                                                                    2. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 18, 2013 06:13 AM

                                                                                      "letting them go and chat longer" wow...

                                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                        linguafood RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 18, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                                        "so the rest of us don't have to constantly skip by it to peruse the rest of the boards content"

                                                                                        That's been an issue for you? I find *that* incredibly amusing, and sorta kinda unbelievable.

                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                          Harters RE: linguafood Jun 18, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                                                          Lingua - in the UK we have a expression that defines someone as a "wind up mechant" ;-)

                                                                                      2. boyzoma RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                                                        Can't we just mark it with [PAST] or something similar which would take away from it feeling "OLD"?

                                                                                        1. Dave MP RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:17 PM

                                                                                          Hi everyone,

                                                                                          Thanks to all for their thoughts on this, and for being willing to compromise on how these titles work.

                                                                                          I have changed the titles on three previous WFD discussions to see how they would look. So check these out:

                                                                                          Option 1A: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/873347 - This is an older discussion, without a fun title to it. I simply added the date that the discussion was ended, instead of putting the word [OLD].

                                                                                          Option 1B: This is the same as above, but it's a newer thread, which has a title. Again, I just added the date the discussion "ended" and people moved on to the next one.http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/902185

                                                                                          Option 2: I put the dates in here too, but put both the start date and the end date. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/903255

                                                                                          My feeling is that Option 2 is somewhat redundant, since you can already easily tell the day that the thread started. But if people like it much better than Option 1, I think it could be OK.

                                                                                          The thinking behind these ideas is:

                                                                                          1) Active posters/participants: be on the lookout for when a date gets added to the end of a title. If you see a date, it's an indication that a new thread has started and it's time to move on.

                                                                                          2) Non-regular participants: might see results of WFD discussions in their search results, but would not be deterred or confused by the word "old"


                                                                                          Based on feedback here, I don't think there is enough support to make a whole new board for WFD. But it could be something we do someday if people want it.

                                                                                          I suggest that we try out one of these two options, and if people end up having trouble locating the most recent discussion, we could also consider adding an announcement/sticky to make it even easier.

                                                                                          Thanks again to everyone for the patience and good humor.

                                                                                          Dave MP

                                                                                          57 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Dave MP
                                                                                            tcamp RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:21 PM

                                                                                            No link to Option 2 which I think will be my favorite.

                                                                                            1. re: tcamp
                                                                                              HillJ RE: tcamp Jun 18, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                              worked for me, tcamp..

                                                                                              1. re: tcamp
                                                                                                Dave MP RE: tcamp Jun 18, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                                                sorry, i put it in right after you wrote this :)

                                                                                              2. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                HillJ RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                Well for starters, it's nice to see that there is plenty of room for spelling out in all three examples. So the idea of abbreviating the WFD was never needed. Don't know why we tangled over that :)

                                                                                                Whatever the group majority decides I'll enjoy. I'm only disappointed more CH's didn't weigh in.

                                                                                                but what works best for the mobile user?

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                  Melanie Wong RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 01:21 PM

                                                                                                  If you're looking for more input, did anyone think to post a link to this Site Talk thread in the current WFD thread? (I'm not a participant)

                                                                                                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: Melanie Wong Jun 18, 2013 01:22 PM

                                                                                                    Dave MP did so a few WFD threads back, which is how most of us found out about what TPTB are looking to do.

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                      Melanie Wong RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 01:24 PM


                                                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                                                                        HillJ RE: Melanie Wong Jun 18, 2013 01:38 PM

                                                                                                        and yet the under served still haven't joined the conversation.
                                                                                                        and the pool of CH's currently contributing to WFD topics aren't all in this thread either.

                                                                                                        your comment on "site clicks" was not part of DaveMP's OP here so thank you for putting in a piece to that side of the WFD puzzle.

                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                          Melanie Wong RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 04:45 PM

                                                                                                          Well, it's much more fun to talk about cooking than site design for most people. :)

                                                                                                          Not being part of Chow management, I'm not afraid to talk about $$$s.

                                                                                                2. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                  boyzoma RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                                                  Dave MP - I looked at all three links you provided. Here might be a confusing part - Your dates in the title give an end date, but if you look immediately at the "latest" post, the date is different in all cases. So that gives the illusion of "well, do I look at this or not". I never thought of this until I actually saw it in print. It might confuse people as well. How do you post an end date if people are still posting? Just my 2 cents again. If I HAD to go with one, I would prefer Option 2 with the start/end date. That way the first post they see is also the start date and still allow for a fun title.

                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                    HillJ RE: boyzoma Jun 18, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                    What an obvious point you just made!! Here I was thinking the thread would be locked once an end date was included..no?

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                      linguafood RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                                                      But why would old (oops, sorry, whatever we're supposta call 'em now) threads get locked?

                                                                                                      Given that people still occasionally post to old(er) threads, why would that not be possible anymore?

                                                                                                      The "end" dates don't make sense to me at all. Keep trying.

                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                        HillJ RE: linguafood Jun 18, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                                                        Oh don't look to me for answers on this one. i'm a student, sitting in the back of the classroom, lingua.

                                                                                                        I'm still trying to follow this..

                                                                                                      2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        boyzoma RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                                                        Well, we can't lock a thread, since someone may have asked for a particular recipe or tips and they wouldn't be able to get them. So I want to know the dates :). Thanks for the validation.

                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                          HillJ RE: boyzoma Jun 18, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                                          in order to progress to the next WFD thread and begin a new start date? I have no idea...why not just archive the entire collection in one place? Like the monthly cookbook projects and the OP Gio started so no one loses their favorite projects...

                                                                                                        2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                          Dave MP RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                          We are not planning to lock the WFD threads.

                                                                                                        3. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                          LindaWhit RE: boyzoma Jun 18, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                                                                          Agree with boyzoma. Based on that, Option 2 might be the way to go - give the full date parameters of the thread. Once they're added, people will know to still read, but that there will be a linky-link to the follow-on post.

                                                                                                          So whoever creates the new thread would just need to give the date parameters in the report to the Mods.

                                                                                                          I *am* still giggling at roxlet's #168 thread ending in the future, however. :-P

                                                                                                          roxlet Oct 13, 2012 09:18 AM
                                                                                                          What's for Dinner #168 (10/20/13)

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                            HillJ RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                                                            time capsule.

                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                              Flux capacitor usage as well.

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                HillJ RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                archive is so much easier.

                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                  What - using the term [ARCHIVED] on it instead of [OLD]?

                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                    HillJ RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 12:49 PM


                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                      LindaWhit RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                      That works for me as well (sorry if you've already mentioned this upthread, HillJ).

                                                                                                                      Dave MP? Would that solve the "OLD" issue?

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                        I tried :)

                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                      Dave MP RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                      Would rather not do this, either. Not quite as bad as the word [OLD], but there are similar issues.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                        Doesn't archive suggest a collection though. If you're trying to convey to newcomers that the WFD project has legs...how does a date differ from OLD. To me the word archive suggests a collective.

                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                Dave MP RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                Oops :)

                                                                                                                Hey, at least I've adjusted to the new year now that it's June! :)

                                                                                                              3. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                Dave MP RE: boyzoma Jun 18, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                It's not really the end-date, since the discussion would not be locked, and people could still continue to post as much as they want in that thread.

                                                                                                                It's really the Date that a new Discussion got Started, which will indicate to most active participants that they should move on. Of course, the post within the thread also does this, and provides a link.

                                                                                                              4. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                JoanN RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                If I weren't already familiar with WFD and, more importantly, with this discussion, I would think that a single date at the end of the title meant that the entire discussion took place on that day rather than over a period of time.

                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                  linguafood RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2013 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                  Sometimes, it *is* almost just one day...

                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                    HillJ RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                    another valid point. a date could wind up being just as confusing as the word OLD...

                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                      linguafood RE: HillJ Jun 18, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                      Funny, I never found the word (OLD) confusing. But I'm pretty damn smart. Why not give new users the same benefit of doubt)

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: linguafood Jun 18, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                        oh confusing OLD wasn't my issue either.

                                                                                                                    2. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                      Perhaps last comment: MM/DD/YY

                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                        Dave MP RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                        Agree that the date might be somewhat confusing, and might imply it all took place that day. I guess that's the argument for Option 2.

                                                                                                                        But I don't think the date is a deterrent in the same way the word [OLD] is, and that's what I'm trying to solve. That's why I'd be OK with Option 2.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                          roxlet RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                          How about the word "Through"

                                                                                                                          What's for Dinner (Through 11/14/12)

                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: roxlet Jun 18, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                            Ding, ding, ding! We HAVE a winnah!

                                                                                                                      2. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                        fldhkybnva RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                        I think similar to #1 perhaps an addition of last comment date at the end of the title

                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                          boyzoma RE: fldhkybnva Jun 18, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                          Well, that could be confusing too. Because sometimes I will comment in an [OLD] WFD thread much later or I bookmarked something to try and then comment either on a recipe I loved/changed or responded to/from an asked question. Then the title date would be irrelevant, wouldn't it?

                                                                                                                        2. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                          Harters RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 01:19 PM


                                                                                                                          There is a specific international issue with the dating. Whilst I fully appreciate that most Chowhound users are American and, therefore, are used to that format for dating, other users from large parts of the world use the format of DD/MM/YY. At first glance at the titles you link to, I think it may appear to be meaningless numbers for many of us - they dont jump off the page as dates.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: Harters Jun 18, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                            Would "Through Jun 18, 2013" work, Harters?

                                                                                                                            I know that Europeans use a 18 Jun 2013 format, but it would still get the proper month across.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                              Harters RE: LindaWhit Jun 18, 2013 01:42 PM

                                                                                                                              Yep, that'd work, Linda.

                                                                                                                              It's an issue I'm always conscious of ever since my Kentucky lawyer pal managed to screw up his hotel reservation in the UK.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                              boyzoma RE: Harters Jun 18, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                              Good call, Harters. I didn't even think of that. And since we are International, another version such as LW states would make sense.

                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                Dave MP RE: boyzoma Jun 18, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                I did a sample version of this here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/905291

                                                                                                                                I think it's a little long this way, but I am OK with it.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                                  roxlet RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                  Works for me....but then it was my idea, lol! (at least the "through" part). LindaWhitt has the date honors :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                                    juliejulez RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 02:47 PM

                                                                                                                                    I like this one.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                      foodieX2 RE: juliejulez Jun 18, 2013 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                      fine with me!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                                      JoanN RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                      The word “through,” in this sense, indicates a passage from one end to another. Without the word “from” and it’s date, the implication is that it’s from the beginning. (Okay. Too erudite. But that was what I did in a previous life.) I think it’s awkward as hell and no more understandable to a newbie than “old” would be. That said, regulars and frequent lurkers will figure it out no matter what it’s changed to and this seems the best compromise so far offered.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                        roxlet RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                        Always the editor!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                          JoanN RE: roxlet Jun 18, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                                                                                                          After more than 40 years in the business it, unfortunately or no, comes with the territory.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                          Harters RE: JoanN Jun 19, 2013 03:10 AM

                                                                                                                                          Having looked at the amended title on #225, I agree with Joan about the "through" or "thru", that does look awkward.

                                                                                                                                          The inclusion of "from/to" would improve (does American English use "through" instead of "to"?)


                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                            Dave MP RE: Harters Jun 19, 2013 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                            I understand your point, but I think the initial post date, which always appears next to the title no matter where you're looking at it, implies the "From," so adding that to the title would be redundant.

                                                                                                                                            Even if this is not totally perfect from a gramatical standpoint, I think it's an improvement over the previous process. So thanks everyone for the cooperation and ideas!

                                                                                                                                        3. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                                          boyzoma RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                                          I can work with this one. I don't want to be a chow "downer". But in all honestly, I still don't see what is the problem with [OLD] :)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                            roxlet RE: boyzoma Jun 18, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                            Yes, that was my original response too, boyzoma.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                              boyzoma RE: roxlet Jun 18, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                                              Yep! PS: I love your "puppy" :)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                              Melanie Wong RE: boyzoma Jun 18, 2013 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                              [OLD] stops potential readers from opening threads. Loss of eyeballs results in lost revenue. Lower revenue makes this site go belly up. The site shuts down, no more WFD.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: Dave MP
                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 04:27 PM

                                                                                                                                              This works! And you could save 3 spaces by making it (Thru Jun 18, 2013). :-)

                                                                                                                                      2. o
                                                                                                                                        OhioHound RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                        Dunno if this suggestion has been specifically made before, but it's a combination of some of the comments I have seen. I like:

                                                                                                                                        "What's for dinner? (6/18/13)"
                                                                                                                                        And, after a new thread has started, it is changed to:
                                                                                                                                        "What was for dinner? (6/18/13)"

                                                                                                                                        6/18/13, in both cases, would be the start date of the thread.

                                                                                                                                        The subsequent thread would have the new beginning date, such as "What's for dinner? (6/20/13)"

                                                                                                                                        That way, it's not off-putting to newcomers who find Chow threads through web searches.. yet, it still allows for regular Chowhounders to quickly take note if it's current or past.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: OhioHound
                                                                                                                                          boyzoma RE: OhioHound Jun 18, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                          I see your point, however it does not give an "obvious" notion that there might be a newer posting. Nor the option in the title to look for one. :)

                                                                                                                                        2. LindaWhit RE: Dave MP Jun 18, 2013 07:20 PM

                                                                                                                                          Well, let's try the new "OLD" format for the WFD thread. I just asked the mods to mark this thread with a (Thru Jun 18, 2013) on the subject line. Hopefully that's OK and it works for all.


                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                            Dave MP RE: LindaWhit Jun 19, 2013 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                            Looks good, thanks!

                                                                                                                                            I may go back and change some of the old ones, too. I will try to remember to put in the correct year this time :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                              HillJ RE: LindaWhit Jun 19, 2013 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                              I like it. Simple format. And I'm now reading through the archive of WFD's...such good stuff!

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