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Update from the CHOW Team

With 2014 right around the corner, we wanted to take a moment and talk about some key changes we’re making to the site. In the New Year you’ll see us expand our editorial coverage to enhance the kind of food and cooking experiences our knowledgeable community already shares on Chowhound. We'll be creating features and interactive stories that will give you, our users, new ways to share ideas, advice, and inspiration around food. To allow for that expansion, we made the difficult decision to move away from publishing original recipes and videos. Our amazing collection of CHOW recipes and videos will still be prominent on the site, living side-by-side with all-new sharable content, added daily. This is an exciting moment in food, and we look forward to bringing you a new, more interactive way to learn, share, and get encouragement for trying something new, be that a new way to roast chicken or a sprawling weekend bread-making project. As always, we invite you to reach out to us and provide your feedback. Here’s to enjoying a delicious New Year together!

- All of us at CHOW

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  1. So this is just CHOW not Chowhound, right?

    1 Reply
    1. re: c oliver

      I take it to mean that they see more value in the Chowhound side of things than Chow (the recipes and videos produced by their staff). So they are going to give us more ways to express ourself - and do their work for them. :)

      In other words, traffic to the site is driven more by the Chowhound discussions than the staff produced items, and they want to take advantage of that.

      Dropping Supertaster probably was in line with this policy shift, even though a lot of Hounds objected.

    2. It's hard to picture without the launch. There were many changes to this site in 2013.

      But, I'd like to take a moment to say thanks, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. It's never dull around here!

      J

        1. re: c oliver

          From the way I'm reading it I don't think anything is "going away", just how information is being provided is changing from Chow provided to user provided.

          Currently it seems most of the content is supplied by Chow, now it will be from you and me! (I think to be honest I don't venture to the other side of things, this is just my interpretation on what I'm reading above)

          1. re: jrvedivici

            The only time I go to CHOW is when I google looking for that ONE recipe :) It's a real keeper.

            1. re: jrvedivici

              Honestly I see lots of CH provided material. Some articles in the past have been entirely made up of quotes for the boards. Sometimes I feel like this is cheating. Maybe it's the teacher in me. Although to their credit they are giving credit where credit is due but I suppose as an avid poster I felt like all the recycled material was just redundant from what I had already read. With nothing original, I will have less of a reason to look at Chow (which I seldom do now).

              1. re: melpy

                I do feel like the CHOW vs. CH demographic is quite different. When I've glanced at comments regarding recipes I rarely see a familiar name. I've just always assumed that the two sites are aimed at different folks.

          2. I do use CHOW's archives for recipes and videos, but food and health issues are very pertinent to this community and I look forward to seeing the changes.

            1. Just reading this now, and I can't help but wonder who "All of us at CHOW" remains. A glance at the masthead shows the Food editors are all gone and other areas reduced.
              http://www.chow.com/about

              If original recipes and video are no longer part of the plan, I guess the Test Kitchen is going away too. And does that mean that the new Product Reviews feature is dropped as well since it relied on the food editors and recipe developers?
              http://www.chow.com/about-reviews

              4 Replies
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Hi Melanie-

                  Product reviews will continue and will be focused on tools and products that address the cooking themes that arise from the community.

                  Thanks,
                  Tracy

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Went to see where the changes lie and the list of staffers on the About link are entirely gone as of this morning.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Thanks for the update. Guess that answers my first (implied) question that TracyKaplan did not address.

                      Presumably the product reviews "about" will be edited accordingly that says, "Our Team consists of full-time CHOW editors—culinary experts with over 50 years of combined professional experience."

                      I wish the departed staff well.

                  2. Since the Chow team is all about change for the new year, I'm just going to throw this out there........how about I get my own board.

                    You know a place where people can come and take a load off or tie a load on. They can sit and put their feet up on the furniture.....open a beer and just relax awhile. Where as most of Chow requires us to drink from fine china tea cups, with our pinky finger pointing out, this would be a place you can go to burp or fart for a few minutes while digesting after a big meal.

                    Jr's-Joint.......(we will keep that as a working title)

                    Give it some thought....have your people contact my people and let's see if we can make this happen.

                    1 Reply
                    1. I am, of course, not happy that a bunch of people lost their jobs, but I did find much of Chow's "expertise" questionable. On many occasions, I got the feeling I was seeing enthusiastic amateurs playing at being culinary professionals, rather than seeing the real deal. If I'm wrong, it still doesn't speak well of the effort. (Contrast this reaction with the gang at America's Test Kithcen, or Kenji on SeriousEats-- it would be awfully difficult to come away with the same impression after observing those folks do their thing.)

                      I don't have the same criticism of the "enthusiastic amateur" element of Chowhound, because that's our whole raison d'etre. Chowhound was founded by enthusiasts (one of whom happened to be a pro food writer), for enthusiasts. But when your name is on a masthead, there's an expectation established-- I expect a higher level of professionalism from a professional publication (or something that looks like a professional publication- if you're going to dress up, you'd better be ready to dance.)

                      I think the reason why I liked Supertaster is precisely because it came off as so unapologetically amateurish. I respected the honesty of it. James Norton never pretended to be anything other than a guy with a webcam eating things, and his tongue-in-cheek responses were, oddly, simultaneously stuffy and self-deprecating (in the way he'd find tortured adjectives, not to describe wine, but to describe pizza-in-a-can.)

                      But mostly, watching the other Chow vids often made me feel like I was watching food bloggers who got a lucky gig, rather than people trained at the CIA or at journalism school. I rarely, if ever, got a strong feeling that the people in the Chow vids really had a deep understanding of whatever it was that they were talking about.

                      If sometime in the future Chow attempts to reboot again as an authority on culinary matters, rather than focusing on a community of enthusiastic amateurs, they've got to bring in people who really know their shit. No more of this "fake it 'til you make it" nonsense.

                      Well there's my 10 cents. Good luck to the new incarnation of Chow.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. Bring back the daily recipe! that was one of the best things about CHOW!!!!

                        1. and the loss of the original recipes publishing is a real loss. to me at least

                          1. The last product review was over a month ago.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: therealdoctorlew

                              I've noticed that Product Reviews has been removed from the page footer though it still appears in the drop down menu at the top of each page. Guess that tells us something.

                              And Ms Kaplan has moved on.
                              https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracykaplan

                            2. The new interactive stories?

                              So far, I noticed a fairly new column called Pet Peeves. Yesterday I took a moment to point anyone interested to the 3 Pet Peeve stories that have run so far.

                              Looking forward to learning about what's new for 2014!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: HillJ

                                Hi HillJ-

                                Thanks for calling out the Pet Peeves column. It is one of our new features for the year. I hope you have also seen some of Chris' great pieces highlighting ideas from the community:
                                http://www.chow.com/food-news/145822/...

                                http://www.chow.com/food-news/145848/...

                                More to come!

                                - Tracy

                                1. re: TracyKaplan

                                  Thanks Tracy, I'm looking forward to the announcements

                                  And, yes I have re: Chris, who joins the CH community frequently which is not only helpful but it's fun to interact over recipe ideas. Great photos too!