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Adding your 2 cents without first counting the tips in the jar, so to speak

Personally, I consider it disrespectful to your fellow Hounds to start a new thread on a non-time-sensitive subject without first searching for a previous one on that subject and adding your thoughts to IT instead.

Likewise, to add a post to a thread without first reading the previous comments. If I agree with one or more of these and have nothing new or different to add, I click the recommend button on those that say what I would have, rather than posting a separate "+1". It appears to me that the number of those has decreased since Hounds have begun noticing and using the recommend feature.

On the other hand, some threads get very long, to the point where reading all the comments before posting becomes overly burdensome. Do you have your own "cut-off" number, and if so, what is it? I seem to read 50-100, depending on how many long vs. brief posts there are, then skimming the rest, before weighing in if my viewpoint/suggestion is not already included.

Just the other day, the 15th on a thread of brief posts repeated all the answers from the first 14. Does Poster 15 not bother to read the thread, or is s/he a digital Narcissus, someone who loves the sound of their own typing? Ooh, a new neologism: internarcissus. I've got a little (mental) list, of Chowholes, and it's got a new member.

End of rant.

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  1. Cutoff for me reading a post around 8 days.I might reply 2 x on subject.I'll wait for it to die and come back.How many more times can you reply to, or read ------------ Forget about it.

    1. Sure, I think we've all read these types of threads AND been guilty of repeating comments already made. We may not realize we're doing it. Or, we may not realize how that 15th post comes across. Does the Recommend feature cut down on some of those types of CH comment behaviors? I think so. I also think the boards are designed to encourage group speak, group think and piling on of shared ideas. Being heard/read is one fundamental reason why forums work.

      Is it disrespectful? I don't think the majority of people posting are being anything more than helpful and excited to contribute THEIR voice to a thread.

      And FWIW, your references to Chowholes, mental list and new member offend me more. Why? Because you're focusing on forum behavior you can't control rather than any value actually offered in a thread to make your point.

      Happens all the time on threads, one person does something off and that somehow ruins an entire thread of replies? Not for my CH reading dollar it doesn't. I think that type of attention disrespects the rest of the people trying to contribute. Why hand over the value of a thread to one person who doesn't care?

      I don't count the tips in the jar usually I value the service.

      1. "Chowhole" - like it. I'll never use it, but I like it.

        scenario(s) "I'm going to be in your town tonight in 20 minutes - need killer suggestions!" and on a slow-moving board.

        or "I found a great deal on tomatoes - whatta I do?"

        or (worse) being chastised by someone who DIDN'T read the OP's query, when one is in fact replying precisely to the post.

        life's too short to care. just ignore it. "reply" is voluntary.

        7 Replies
        1. re: hill food

          Huh? Scenario 3 I get, but I am mystified as to why 1 and 2 would bug you.

          Scenario 1 just seems like a post by an optimist, and why not? I think I have been guilty of that kind of post. I travel a lot, take a lot of road trips and sometimes find myself in need of a place to eat. These days mostly I use yelp but chowhounders are usually more discerning, so sometimes I'm just praying that, serendipitously, someone will be on the slow-moving board and see my post.

          Scenario 2 doesn't bother me either. Sure, there have probably been countless threads on what to do with tomatoes, but food, like most other things, has it's fads and innovations, and a tomato thread from last summer will not have the same responders, recipes, etc as one from this summer. So, unless there has just been a seriously long thread on tomatoes in the past week or so, I don't see the problem.

          It's funny, I don't really find myself irritated by much of anything on chowhound, except bad restaurant and recipe advice. and even then, I know that's subjective.

          1. re: missmasala

            Re scenario 2 - I disagree. The new thread will have the same recommendations, if not completely then for the most part, as all its predecessors. Different responders, maybe, but the same content. If I see one more question about Zuni chicken......!!! Recipes are not time-sensitive the way restaurant recs are, what with chefs and businesses coming and going.

            1. re: missmasala

              heh - search for ones on slow boards like Great Plains or Prairie Provinces like "HELP I land in your city in 20 minutes and I'm sure I'll starve!!!!!" or more seriously, the DC board for "kid-friendly lunch near the Mall" or SF for "best taqueria". sure things change, but not within a few weeks.

              as for how a specific ingredient is used, little can be done that hasn't already except for technique. or found through a search of this site or others.

              1. re: hill food

                Okay, I hit "recomend" but I MUST say more :) Well, not more, but a strong affirmation. Regarding Home Cooking, if it was sound advice ten years ago, it still is And has probably been added on to so you get "the rest of the story." I really like reading those.

                1. re: c oliver

                  oh yes, when the OP updates and reports back on their use of the data provided or how others build on it in whatever the category is the best.

            2. re: hill food

              I actually like threads like scenario 2. It's not that the poster doesn't have (or can't find) ideas on his/her own. It's that she/he wants a discussion. If I find a great deal on tomatoes and ask my wife "what shall I do with all these tomatoes", I'd be disappointed if she pointed to the bookshelf... I'm expecting a bit of banter back-and-forth as we explore some possibilities.

              Unless someone is looking for strictly factual information, I think it's disappointing when someone (sometimes myself, I admit) refers them to a previous thread. It's as though someone came to you wanting a discussion and you instead handed them a recording of a discussion you had with your other friends last year!

              1. re: drongo

                But the discussion has already taken place. I'm in awe of the CHs who have the patience to post multiple links to previous discussions.

            3. I don't like replying to a thread unless I've read all the previous replies, which results in my ignoring several massive threads that keep coming up. Like you, my personal cutoff number is around 50-100 previous replies. My reason for this tendency/preference is that I want to contribute something of VALUE to the conversation, and not just repeat another person. For that reason, I also quite like the recommend button.

              I'm not sure if replying before reading through the replies should be considered intentionally disrespectful, but I have previously felt "ignored" when I responded early on to a very simple query and 30 posts down the line of similar replies, somebody else posts the exact same link and suddenly everyone thinks it's a great suggestion. It just seems like certain posters have more credibility, whether it's due to how long they've been on CH or something else. I'm just glad there is now a feature that allows us to unfollow posts that get tedious.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ohmyyum

                ohmy, if a thread is super long and the discussion runs for days, even weeks, I won't necessarily remember every comment that was made over time and those comments are now appearing as collapsed/read by me already. I might open them again if the entire thread is short but not likely if say 25 posts or longer. All of this to say, I may be guilty or may be reading examples of repeated value and not realize it.

                I also think its human to want to say things your own way from time to time.

                I also think your observation and some posters appearing more comfortable with each other than the general population is valid.

                But tedium aside, I enjoy CH threads for the entire discussion not just bits and pieces.

                Your comments for instance don't just provide value and a good deal of playfulness but they contribute to the entire discussion. So thank you.

              2. Greyg, I'd love to hear your thoughts on CH's that use the Recommend button and rarely if ever write an actual comment. Is that some sort of report card, passive agreement to a poster or laziness? Or, or, or...

                And does the new "un" button have the responsibility of turning your gaze away when everything in our being wants to respond?

                The site now offers several ways to back out of any discussion "we" once elected to be a part of so what more can be done to address human behavior that would satisfy the need to be heard when discussions don't go our way?

                I don't believe an answer exists beyond self control.

                1. I used to get miffed (ok, sometimes I still get a little cheesed off), when people replied without reading anything other than the OP. My miffed-ness depends on the kind of topic. If someone is asking for advice, then really, I think it behooves the respondent to at least skim the topic to see if anyone else has suggested whatever clever damned thing they are about to type. Apparently that just takes too much effort for some people.

                  When it's a general topic - say one of the jillion threads on the worthiness of cast iron, then piling on with near identical posts doesn't bother me.

                  I have no idea why I seem to separate the two - I guess if someone is looking for information, they probably don't mind if people give them the same information more than once. Huh. Whaddayaknow? I guess I've stopped being miffed at all.

                  1. "Personally, I consider it disrespectful to your fellow Hounds to start a new thread on a non-time-sensitive subject without first searching for a previous one on that subject and adding your thoughts to IT instead."

                    This is what I prefer to do, but then it annoys the people who don't like it when you resurrect an ancient thread. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you do, someone's not going to like it.

                    I like to read through the previous comments too in order to minimize redundant replies, and if I don't have the time or energy because there are too many replies, I will preface my post with: "didn't read all of the responses (too many / no time), but I think..."

                    I don't have a cut-off number, it depends on where I am, what I'm doing, and how interested I am in the discussion.

                    But having said all of that, I don't believe that it's always disrespectful, I think sometimes people might just be lazy, tired, distracted, or new to netiquette, or new to the interface / culture of the site. It can irk me on the days when I've got my cranky pants on but hopefully those days are the exception rather than the rule.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ursy_ten

                      it is nice when someone starts a new thread with the preface of something like "I searched all the old posts and the basic topic wasn't really my question and the posts didn't answer it so here it is:...."

                      1. re: ursy_ten

                        <<Sometimes it doesn't matter what you do, someone's not going to like it.>>

                        Just look at Site Talk and this point is proven time and time again.

                        1. re: ursy_ten

                          If I happen upon a thread I've not read before and it's even at about the 50 post point, I figure everything's been said that *I* would have to say so I don't post.

                        2. Yes, it feels like no dialogue has taken place and the oblivious poster is wiping an eraser across the earlier posts but, that said, along with folks who never answer the op but move the direction to their favorite place or topic and folks who make interminable lists that are straight out of Fodors, I find I have a choice: identify them and don;t read their posts, read them just so I'll get my dander up and grind my teeth, or talk myself into just enjoying the posters who inform and respond. I don't always choose the same path so I have trouble taking my own advice!

                          1. It all depends. Regarding starting a new thread versus adding to another one, I most often post in Home Cooking and I have no qualms about starting a new thread once I've done a cursory search for, say, Coconut Cake recipes. I'm looking for new ideas and do not believe that the final word on Coconut Cake has yet been written.

                            On the DC board, I am more thorough about searching for previous posts before I post a query about where to find/eat/go visit. We all get bored seeing, for the 75th time, a request for kid-friendly restaurants w/in walking distance of XYZ. A poster who shows that he has done his homework before asking is much appreciated.

                            As to number of posts, after about 100, I start tuning out. I rarely open threads with +250 posts. Only if they are particularly interesting or seem in danger of flaring up.

                            1. Sorry but some of the threads on chowhound are just too long to bother reading every reply before posting.

                              Oh and yes I just posted in this thread without reading any of the replies.

                              oh well.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: rasputina

                                I feel like if I can't be bothered to read a thread then I shouldn't be posting. A ton of people saying the exact same thing is annoying, to me anyway.

                                1. re: rasputina

                                  Rasputina, your comment here makes it sound as if you don't care to know what anyone else has to say, you just want your opinion known.
                                  Isn't learning from others a good part of CH's offerings? Personally, I'd rather read than post. I find your viewpoint curious.

                                  1. re: kitchengardengal

                                    I'm embarassed on those occasions when I've missed what someone wrote and then wrote the same. I've replied TO someone, pre and post recommend button, to add emphasis to what they've said. But it seems just wrong to not read a thread before posting.

                                2. I enjoy when 2 or more people post at the same time and the responses to 'above' have nothing to do with above. Happens to me. And I rarely jump in after 100 posts as I have trouble remembering which thought is original to myself and which is a corollary from somebody else.

                                  The last time I noticed, the gay Barilla thread was approaching 800. I stopped reading at about 150 when the mods jumped in with words to the effect that everything that needed to be said had, and it was no ,longer representative of a chow worthy subject. Entertainment wins over content.

                                  People who do not search do raise my ire. But the search engine here is very specific. So I try to be understanding.

                                  Would love to have your list of Chowholes. Even if I am on it. Especially if I am on it so I can evaluate according to your standards. Which may be higher or lower than mine. Because even when you know a train wreck is coming, it can be fascinating to observe the process.

                                  1. For whatever reason, it bothers me when someone posts an answer to the OP without reading the existing posts. I guess I find it disrespectful, particularly, when the OP is posing a question that has a pretty simple answer, e.g. "I left the mayo on the counter for eleven minutes while I walked the dog. Is it still OK to eat?", and the first few posts have answered the question. Even worse is when the 'hound in questions prefaces his or her response with, "I haven't read any of the other posts, but . . . " and goes on to state that the condiment is fine to eat.

                                    In my mind, it just screams, "Objection! Asked and Answered."

                                    In an attempt at full disclosure, I only read greygarious's Heading and then proceeded to skim, in a very cursory fashion, the first two sentences of the post. Frankly, it seemed only fair.

                                    1. Fox hunting with "hounds" (while on horseback) is a fun sport in many countries of the world. In the Southeast USA it's more commonly just a bunch of guys sitting around a fire, drinking adult beverages, and listening to the "hounds" give chase to the fox....which they almost never catch. Out of say 30 'hounds' maybe only 4 or 5 dogs are really running the scent of the fox....the rest are just running along behind 'saying' me too, me too, me too, me too. meeee tooooo!! Seems that Chowhound has an over abundance of Me Too, Me Too Hounds. ~~ Remember, if you are not the lead dog, the view never changes!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                                        I know less than nothing about hunting with hounds but I wonder if, at any given time, the same 4-5 hounds are running the scent. Don't they switch off the "leadership role," like geese in formation or cyclists in a peloton? I see no harm in sometimes being the yapper in the back just running along for fun.

                                      2. Some posts I'll quit reading when the same arguments are being made repeatedly, or if the vibe of the thread has little to do with food. I.E. the Barilla Pasta thread. It was like talking politics at Christmas. Nobody wins and some get their feelings hurt.

                                        If any of my requests for information seem to be disrespectful, because I didn't do the leg work, I apologize. That was not my intent. Feel free to not answer me.

                                        1. ...ohhhh is this where I'm crouched behind a couch hiding....yikes
                                          I haven't the time to read a huge # of posts, nor do I care too. there are posters greygarious, (you had a special moniker for them) who's posts are invisible to me. I often read newer posts that are visible as opposed to unhighlighted ones.whether redundant or not, I enjoy reading opinions of posters who I especially admire.
                                          and, I personally do use the recommend function and wish there was a button for the opposite.