I miss the old manifesto.
Just reread the old Chowhound.com "ethics statement" from back in the day.
Ethics Statement (from Alpha Hound Jim Leff)
I guard my anonymity and my opinion cannot be bought. I always pay my own tab, and this site will never contain food advertising. May I eat nothing but Wendy's for the rest of my life if I ever offer less than purely objective chow advice.
And now we have a board dedicated to chains, and- oh- one or two food advertisements :)
I wasn't around back in those days but I understand that the site wasn't financially supporting itself. I don't know how one would get that without accepting advertising. I do, however, feel that it's more about the number of 'hits' than about the substance of some boards/threads/replies. And we have a board about "Not About Food." Huh? And off-topic subthreads that hijack the OP. Et cetera.
Fascinating. Love the idea, but wonder how the board was paid for before the advertising?
I'm guessing such a thing could still exist, but the users would have to be charged a monthly or per-use fee in order to keep the site viable. Curious to know if there are enough users willing to pay to make that an option.
"Now" we have a board dedicated to chains? It's not *that* new. And surely, Mr. Leff -- in his never-ending quest for deliciousness -- would probably find something delicious at one of them there chains.
But yeah, it's the end of the world as we know it.
And I feel fiiiiiiiiiiiine :-D
So what's different? Most, if not all posters on Chowhound are anonymous. Participants and moderators are vigilant against spammers. I don't pay attention to the food ads, and you don't have to either. That fact that I and others are frequent contributors to threads about Trader Joes (the busiest ones on Chains) does not compromise our Hound status. I also don't doubt the credentials of Hounds who mourned the passing Supertaster.