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Release Notes Feb 13, 2014: New Food Quests Board

Hi everyone,

As of today's release, we have a new topical board on Chowhound called Food Quests. Here's the link: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/96

The description reads "Ideas and advice for all your food projects," and we've created this board to further connect our community members when they are diving into a new food project. So, if you're embarking on a new food adventure, whether it's making your own cheese, butchering meat, brewing your own beer, or learning how to can homemade jam, this is the place for you.

We realize there is some overlap between this board and some of our other topical boards, and we think that's okay. This board is really meant for do-it-yourself projects, and we're encouraging folks to try out this board and start brainstorming and exchanging ideas with others who regularly take these on.

In conjunction with the launch of this board, we're also trying out a new format for Chowhound. Check out this Site Talk post to find more information about this format, which we're calling "workshops.": http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/965021

For the time being, all posts on the Food Quests board will be in this workshop format while we test it out and continue to develop the tools and features. So if you see a topic in Food Quests (or any discussion marked with the red lightbulb icon), you'll know it's a workshop as opposed to a regular discussion.

Eventually, the plan is to roll out this workshop format as well as regular discussions across all boards, meaning that when you start a new discussion on any board, you'd have the option of choosing which type of discussion you want to start.

Feel free to ask any questions about the new Food Quests board here. For questions or comments about the new format (workshops), please check out this Site Talk discussion. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/965021

Dave MP

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    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks! I've added this link into my original post, too.

    2. So if I'm making chicken soup for the first time, I come HERE to ask questions, rather than Home Cooking?

      5 Replies
      1. re: CindyJ

        We're not strictly limiting the contents of Food Quests so you could post there, but whether you'd want to depends on whether you view making chicken soup as a major project or something you just need a decent recipe for and then you'll toss it off for dinner tonight.

        I could certainly see Chicken Soup as a Quest -- if you wanted to learn about making stock, for example, and developing flavors in soups and other aspects of it as a project.

        1. re: Jacquilynne

          I guess I don't really understand why, say, making stock wouldn't still be on HC. Are y'all going to move such general topcs to FQ? TIA.

          1. re: c oliver

            As Dave noted in his introduction, there will be overlap between Food Quests and existing boards, as there is now with Home Cooking and Vegetarian, Special Diets, BBQ, Kosher, etc. There isn't a single right answer to which board something has to be on to be correct and we don't plan to move things unsolicited. As the board gets more established, we may offer to move things if we think they'll get better answers on Food Quests than on Home Cooking, but even that's likely to be a ways off.

            1. re: Jacquilynne

              This trend toward Balkanization of cooking topics is uncalled-for and fraught with confusion. If this is your attempt to segregate serious postings from the in-crowd, puerile, boozinnuendo chit-chat, it is misguided. The latter needs culling, not the former.

              1. re: greygarious

                "the in-crowd, puerile, boozinnuendo chit-chat,"

                Just have to tell you what a way with words you have, gg! Well said.

                I also am unclear as to the point of it.

      2. I really dont get the title of the Board - to me a food quest is when I go out to find something obscure - and ingredient or a food - but here its being used for basically a cooking project. Why not call it "kitchen workshop" or something similar - or even "cooking quest"

        Its also hard to understand why this topic has been separated from the Home Cooking Board unless the site is just trying to figure out a new way of managing threads.

        Im troubled by the voting down - recommending a contribution ought to be good enough here without dissing others..

        1. I'm sorry to bump this thread with a repetitive comment, but I still don't understand this board. Can you all explain it more clearly? How do you determine the difference between a "quest" and a simple "anyone have a good recipe" question?

          11 Replies
          1. re: NonnieMuss

            I didn't make the board nor do I plan to frequent it, but I imagine it's for quests like -" I want to make the best lemon bars ever and these are the recipes that I've tried and how I've combined them, but something is still missing, any ideas?"

            The HC board is the place for - "I'm looking for good lemon bar recipes." The place-based boards are where you find - "Where can I get the best lemon bars in ****?"

            1. re: 512window

              I see what you're saying and that's probably the case. However if I search on the Home Cooking board for lemon bars then any that are on the Quest board aren't going to show up. I hate to yuck their yum, but this seems in every way counter-intuitive.

              1. re: c oliver

                You'll also note that many "quests" are from people with little or no Chowhound history. Think we're confused... just imagine if it's your first post on or exposure to Chowhound. Icky.

                1. re: MplsM ary

                  Okay - glad to know I'm not the only one. As an aspiring cheesemaker, I thought it sounded like an interesting idea for a board. But one man's sandwich seems to be another man's quest. C'est la vie.

                  1. re: MplsM ary

                    I feel really bad for those new posters, whose questions go largely unanswered, partly because their questions really aren't suited to that board.

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      I think that ties in with Nonnie's post above. What qualifies as a quest for one person is just Home Cooking for many of us.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        I'd say most, and practically ALL. It wasn't broke but they decided to fix it. I wonder how many of those newbies asking their questions on FQ found it on their own, and how many are plants, or friends of CHOW staff who were requested to use that board to help it along. For myself, I can't imagine any reason to ask there rather than on HC or other topical boards.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          I was trying to be nice :)

                          I just took a glance at the board and don't see anything there that doesn't perfectly fit on HC. Unless there's something I (and you and others!) are missing, it seems not just silly but just wrong. Seems like almost every post on CH, cooking or eating out, is either a quest or an answer to a quest.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            Well like I said, I'm interested in cheesemaking. I've hung around the cheese board some, but it's about 95% other cheese-related topics, so if i could specifically find the cheesemakers on the quest board, I'd be happy to "workshop" or whatever it wants me to do. But it doesn't seem to be working the way it was intended to.

                            It is true that many of the posters are new or their first post is there, but more of the posters are either regulars or have been members for awhile without being too active. I counted.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              I just looked at a new post there from a new poster. About sous vide-ing shrimp. Had this been on the HC board I and others would see it. Stupid.

                        2. re: MplsM ary

                          Hence the restaurant searching problem happening over there.

                          I think the word quest is the biggest problem.

                  2. Could you put up a "planned"/plotted/ fake FOOD QUEST so CH'ers could see an ideal use of the Board?

                    2 Replies
                      1. How about a sticky to describe what the board is supposed to be for (with examples, maybe) and how it works, since it's different from all the other boards?

                        One of the threads I had posted on got moved to Food Quests (wrongly, as far as I can tell) and when I pulled it up I had no idea what was going on! The Food Quest page itself was no help; I had to come here to Site Talk and do a search to find this topic.

                        Very user unfriendly!!!!!!

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          Ruth – Are you saying that a discussion that you contributed to on another board was moved to FQ? That seems out of order that CH would do that. I hope it’s not so.

                          1. re: EM23

                            Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. I didn't even know there was a Food Quests board until this thread popped up with a new reply on my "followed discussions."

                            As I noticed when the Cheese board was started, they will populate a new board with existing threads they feel fit the topic.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              /snark Here's yet another wonderful thing about the new format - when a post gets a number of down votes it gets hidden. One need to click "show hidden posts" to see them. This really adds value to an already wonderful click-fishing concept. /snark

                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                That's normal with comment rating...the comments with the most up votes always remain at top. Jacques and Julia could post cooking tips and we might not see them because they get buried by comments that have more votes. I read Redditt boards sometimes and that feature is annoying.

                              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                Did you perhaps notice the Spaghetti Squash thread when it appeared in the gray "Discussion" list at the foot of the page, and click onto it there? I did that once, not realizing that the topic was on FQ, which I have no interest in nurturing.

                                If I initiated a thread on one of the other boards and it was moved to FQ, either because someone flagged to suggest that, or because the Mods were doing cosmetic surgery on the FQ topic list, I would be boiling mad!

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  Possible, except I'm pretty sure that I would have noticed the up and down thingies.

                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  Yowza! I remember reading that they can’t move threads off FQ while it’s in beta but it never occurred to me that they might move threads on that were started on another board. I think this is different than the threads moved to the cheese board. In that case they were moved from one discussion board to another. What you’re describing means they are reassigning comments from a regular discussion to a project thread and that makes your comments open to up and down voting. That stinks.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    We haven't moved any posts to the Food Quests board, and don't have the ability to turn a regular discussion thread into a workshop format thread. We only see one post from you on the Food Quests board, and it was on a thread that originated on the Food Quests board. We're not sure how you came across it, but it was on that board when you posted to it.

                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                        Thanks for the clarification. I don't know how I missed the workshop format!

                                        My points about the explanatory sticky still stand -- as you know, I'm a long-time user of this site. If it's not clear to me, then I doubt it's going to be clear to other people.

                                3. The Food Quest Board is beyond useless. The purpose is so ambiguous causing posts which do nothing to further the idea. I pity the new posters who ask a question there - the lack of responses due to most of us not going there is bound to discourage them from finding the good stuff on this forum.

                                  Please, kill it or do something to nurture it.

                                  1. Here's the banner ad, "Do you create unique foods? Tell us about it." And when you click on the "Tell us" button, it takes you to the Food Quests board.

                                    7 Replies
                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                        While I think the workshop format itself has some potential, trialing it on the Food Quests board isn't giving it much of a workout. The threads posted there don't offer much meat for discussion, and this might be one of the reasons.

                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                          The problem I see is that the banner leads people new to Chowhound away from site navigation and into a morass of an ill-defined board. They are being lead to what they think is the entirety of Chowhound discussion.

                                          Compounding this problem is that posts suggesting they post on another board are often down-voted into nothingness and/or deleted.

                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                            you do NOT have to be a CH member to vote!!!

                                            I +'ed a comment the other day, then discovered that CH had not logged me in for my session when I tried to comment.
                                            So, I voted without being recognized as a member.
                                            Experimented, (- not logged in, replaced by + logged in) and it seems to be true.

                                              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                I wanted to comment on the Dog Watch Stonington CT food quest. The bouillabaisse is excellent. Onion soup is a bit vinagary but they warn you ahead of time. Also, dog friendly. A big old chocolate lab(?) came in with a patron and laid down. I didn't have a problem with it but I know some people here would. The reason I'm saying this here is because I'll be damned if I say it over there and get voted down for good advice.

                                                Why some of you continue to do so is beyond me.