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Not eating out or just not posting?

Seems like traffic on this board is way down. The other day I asked for recent experiences with Ray's to the Third and got only one response. I've also noticed fewer new topics and generally fewer replies.

Are people eating out less or just not posting as much?

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  1. When the whole Chow site was redesigned a few months ago, posts severely declined ... don't know why.

    1. Interest, for sure, has waned!
      Baltimore posts are practically nil!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Hue

        True, I assume every post now is about DC.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Sort of a u-turn but I've always wondered why Baltimore and DC were combined into one board. I guess the Powers-that-be assumed that lots of people will drive 40-60 miles for dinner (downtown to downtown, more if you live north of Baltimore/south or west of DC). I love Baltimore but get there maybe once or twice a year and rarely go just for a meal. I go to NY more often than I go to Baltimore. Sample size of one, I know.

          1. re: Just Visiting

            Same here... I would go to NYC to visit a restaurant but would not do the same for Baltimore.

        2. re: Hue

          Funny, but I seem to notice that there are more Baltimore posts (that don't interest me).

        3. I have noticed this lack of posting also. Hope we start seeing more.

          1 Reply
          1. re: knitone

            Maybe it's because of the weather. Nationally restaurants have been hit hard by this harsh winter.

          2. I totally agree with you--there doesn't seem to be the interest of "posters", especially in the Baltimore area. I can't believe that it is just a manifestation of the changes in the Chowhound format--I agree with wayne keyser, that the redesigned format is not as agreeable as the previous.

            Then again--we can't blame the newer format that was implemented a while ago. Perhaps lifestyle changes, etc. are a contributing factor, which is definitely my situation.

            Having been accustomed to dining out about 3-4 evenings, it was fun to post my observations and then receive responses. I recall "WhiteMarsh John" was very enthused about the opening of P.F. Chang's in the White Marsh area--he has not posted anything in quite some while. Same with "Hon" She always recommends "Mamma's on the Half Shell." Haven't heard much from her.

            I hope to one day resume my dining out experiences, budget and lifestyle permitting.

            Okay--all of you Chowhounds--let's liven up this board--Spring is upon us--no more snow, no more excuses to stay at home. We don't want Baltimore to revert to the dining wasteland that it was decades ago. FoiGras

            1. The harsh winter weather may be a reason for lack of participation.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mister Big

                Mister Big--yes I agree with your observation with regards to this past winter--BUT--the Chowhound postings have been very sparse over the past few years--and it could be accountable based on the "new" format.

                I am hoping that all of us can get back on track and make this a "go to" for dining out opinions and suggestions. I truly believe that the dining scenario in Baltimore is becoming much more sophisticated and adventuresome.

                I would gladly try every new option that the Chowhounds have suggested. Looking forward to all suggestions and opinions--Baltimore is Best--tell me if you disagree. FoiGras

              2. My two cents....I've made some queries and suggestions on this board a couple of years back....like my local board, the responses were from those who thought they were smarter than everyone else and they criticized everything and everything others had to say....right down to how the proper way to cook and eat and eat a crab was.

                What's the point in posting under those conditions.

                3 Replies
                1. re: fourunder

                  That's just the way people are, on boards and in real life. That's the way human interaction is, on boards and in real life. Once you enter the highway of human interaction, you find some are polite, some not, some funny, some not, some helpful, some not, and some just want to run you off the road. Fasten your seatbelt!

                  1. re: fourunder

                    I am saddened that you've had a negative opinion with responses to your postings. I agree with you whole heartedly that the human interaction is off of polite-ness.

                    But, I want to hear about your recent dining experiences that you can share and , perhaps, inspire the Chowhounds to come back on board and make this a fun and enchanting venue. I, like you, am looking forward to a positive response. FoiGras

                    1. re: fourunder

                      Yes, it is tiresome to hear that there are no good bagels, pizza, barbecue, et al, in DC.

                    2. I have been using this board on and off. I have received some good tips. I recently posted about Table 21. Based on Tom Sistesnia's recent review of Fiola Mario, I will be going there this Sat. and will post my comments about it then. It is supposed to be expensive and I will try to order with that in mind. I'm retired but the chef was from Mastro years ago. When working I had several business dinners there and loved it. So I hope to taste some good food and find it is worth it.

                      1. In my case it's a combination of eating out less and also having been on Chowhound for at least 14 years.

                        1. I don't eat out all that much so I don't feel qualified to weigh in on "best XXX in the DC area" type of threads. I do like to participate in food sources posts about farmers markets, stores, farm stands, etc. but the prevailing interest here seems to be restaurants.

                          1. Don't fret. Once tourist season starts, the board will be flooded with out-of-town chowhounds wanting to know where to get the best local crabs or crabcakes in/near the Inner Harbor.

                            In other news: Yelp, EaterDC, and donrockwell.com

                            1. My financial circumstances changed, not drastically, but enough to make more high end restaurants off my list. Restaurant Week started out great but no longer appeals with the limited menus and "upcharges". I stopped participating 3 years or so ago. I still adore my ethnic haunts. I still crave and slurp my big bowl of pho. I love good saltenas. I also love to cook and have been challenging myself. The disposable income I had for fine dining out is gone.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: rHairing

                                I don't think Chowhound is or was intended to be limited to fine dining. Lots of people prefer the ethnic restaurants (I'm one of them) which are great food/great value and indeed, they post their experiences here. So if that is why you've been hiding, don't hide anymore.

                              2. Or is it just because local people are on so many social media sites that they just aren't real interested in Chowhound any more?

                                1. I'm eating out far less often than I was a couple of years ago and even just several months ago.

                                  1. Nasty weather, probably. People are hating life.

                                    1. I feel the same way about board traffic-- but for me, it seems to be ALL of CH.

                                      My theories [get your salt shakers ready]

                                      -- CH is too old, take I
                                      There are too many people who have seen the same questions repeated, and although the askers are Newbies, the Vanguard shoots them down or ignores them

                                      --Ch is too old, take II
                                      some boards have a serious "get off my lawn" type attitude. I have seen it since I started reading Ch over a decade ago, but in the last about 8 months it's become marked To Me [although rarely TOWARDS Me]. Admissible Language has realllly changed.

                                      --the internet. Although I don't really trust sites exclusively built for reviewing, they are faster to read and MUCH easier to search when I want some ethnic place within an hour of my work/home. Were you around when CH had real restaurant links?

                                      --weather. A school in my area has had ONE 5 day week in 2014. Hourly workers are being hit hard, and even those who might be rolling in dough can't get out of the house to spend it on gourmet dough.

                                      -- and, hearkening to 1992, "It's the economy, stupid"

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                        I think there's a lot of good points in here. Specifically the mobile/convenience feature of some review sites that make actually finding a place to go on short notice much easier.

                                        1. re: gregb

                                          That is absolutely true. A few months ago we went to the movies (very rare in and of itself) in a neighborhood we don't get to often. I put the address into Yelp and instantly found a pizza place that turned out to be pretty darned good. (The Dons in Cascades (Sterling), if anyone cares).

                                      2. People don’t search older topics before starting a new one. These duplicate topics are killing interest in the site.

                                        I get tired of seeing the same “Are there any good restaurants in DC?” or “I’m in DC for 2 dinners – where do I eat?” questions asked over and over.

                                        A simple search uncovers dozens of duplicate topics.

                                        The site could use improvement to facilitate the finding of topics before starting a new one.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: BlueRidgePro

                                          SO agree with a better search function. Half the time, I end up googling chowhound followed by specific query terms because the ch search function found nothing. And then I might get 3 or 4 threads and I have to read through them all.

                                          And yes, I get really tired of the bagel/crab/pizza questions. Two people have now asked in the space of 8 days.

                                          1. re: BlueRidgePro

                                            Well....there's the crux of the problem. If you want new ideas and new blood we have to engage new people. But if we scoff at the new people when they ask something we've already seen, then......

                                            I'm not saying I don't shake my head when I see the same questions I've seen before. But I think that's where we are.

                                            1. re: ccbweb

                                              I hope that we could refrain from scoffing at new people. It does annoy me that people won't even bother to tell us part of town, preferences, price range, and other basic info so you have to start out with this dialogue before you can ever tell them about restaurants. It seems inconsiderate on their part - asking strangers for info but not bothering to give basic info. "HI! Any place good to eat in DC?"

                                              I am active on a board about an entirely different kind of activity and you do sometimes see that. Someone is going to a given state or country and wants to know what they can see there. They expect people to write what would amount to a book because they haven't narrowed it down at all. Plus there is a huge amount of info already on the 'net and very easy to access/search, so at some point you feel like you just don't want to put in the time/energy to help them. And then after all that, it turns out that they actually have only one morning free...in a specific location....

                                          2. I moved away from the area a few years back and when I return to visit we tend to stick with the old favorites.

                                            On my new board ( Boston) every month a New/Closing Restaurant thread is started and it tends to get heavy traffic. Maybe that is something to consider trying?

                                            Another thing I have noticed on the Boston board is the willingness of people to leave the city and head into the suburbs and beyond for good food. I never really got that feeling in this board ( except for The Inn@LW).

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: viperlush

                                              Some people on this board travel beyond the city (or cities) for food; some do not. In addition, for the suburban DC posters, some are not comfortable traveling into the other state. That's a part of life in this area, not just this board, I think. There are reasons for that; some are perception (some think that something is far away because it is in another jurisdiction when, in fact, it is a five or ten minute Metro ride from downtown DC, or, in one case I remember, two blocks across the DC border; some are fact (driving from one suburb to another in certain time periods may not be very practical with the horrific traffic here).

                                              I think that participation in other forums is a big part of the reason that Chowhound traffic is down.

                                              As for me, I don't think I ever was a very prolific poster. I am certainly less so because my diet is now somewhat restricted, as I have been gluten free for about 1 1/2 years. There are entire categories of food that I can't eat now, much less post about.