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Ability to differentiate between Updated and Brand New Discussions - Is this helpful to you?

This is a general question for logged-in users of the site, and I'd love to get feedback from a variety of people.

With the design changes that came in December 2012, we introduced a way to differentiate between Brand New (you've never read them) and Updated (you have read, but there's a new update since you last read it) discussions. For the first three months, it was indicated using arrows, but then in March of 2013 this changed to a blue dot, which you see to the left of the title on board pages.

Prior to December, there was no way to see this differentiation. Threads were either read (in entirety) or new (which could have meant entirely new, or could have meant a thread you've read before with some new posts added)

So, the question I have is: Is this type of differentiation useful to you?

Some points to consider:

1) This differentiation (currently blue dots) is only useful on Board pages and the Chowhound homepage, when you are logged into the site.

2) You do currently see blue dots next to discussions in your profile, but these aren't really useful at all. If something is in your profile, it means you *must* have read it before, which means there are really only two states a discussion could be in: updated (with a blue dot) or completely read (grayed out)

So, to reiterate, I'm most interested in finding out whether you find this type of differentiation useful as a user. Is this something you look at and care about when browsing board pages?

Thanks!
Dave MP

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  1. Oh bummer, I was hoping this was some way to differentiate ancient threads from current ones.

    1. No, it doesn't make a difference to me. What I have been saying for years is that I would like to see a way to tell when a new response to a thread I have posted on is a reply to my own contribution to that thread. For example, if there's a long thread about favorite childhood desserts that I posted on, I am not interested in following it once it's months old and longer than the river Nile. But if someone posts to reply to my post there to tell me that there's now a mix that's just like Whip 'N Chill, I'd like to read that. Even more if I've asked a question that someone is answering.

      ETA: It WOULD be good if a color change or icon were used to call attention to the resurrection of a seriously old thread. I'd suggest over a year but whatever. Someone just revived a 12yr old one on what kind of wines to use for braising. That's not a time-sensitive issue so no big deal, but when readers forget to check the date of the original post, it leads to superfluous posting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        The only problem with being notified only whens someone replies directly to one of your comments is that since indented threading only goes three levels so I often see people simply replying to the last comment in a subthread even when responding to a specific comment further upstream.

      2. I'm a muddler, meaning I just muddle through it all. Doesn't make much difference to me either. Poor Dave! You're working your heart out and no one seems to notice. But thank you! ;-)

        1. Hi Dave-

          I do find it helpful. Often times I read a post that interests me but am either too busy to respond or am curious to see what others say. When I come back it makes it easier for me to find those threads by scanning the blue dots.

          I mostly use it on the main discussion board but if I remember where I saw the interesting post I will use it there too.

          3 Replies
          1. re: foodieX2

            When you say you use it on the "main discussion board" do you mean this page? http://chowhound.chow.com/boards

            1. re: Dave MP

              Yes exactly. When I have a few minutes I like to jump to that board after my profile. Give me a quick view of hot topics

          2. I do use the blue dot indicator, often. If I've read a thread that I haven't contributed to, it lets me know there is more to see next time I come across that thread.