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Do you wonder why the Chow site stinks?

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I heard the site is so bad because they fired everyone.

This juicy tid-bit can to me from an 'unnamed source' who said there was an after-hours knife fight in the building and soon after the entire staff was sent packing.

Apparently they have a bird (like the one Homer Simpson used to manage the power plant) running the entire site. O and they might have one intern helping the bird.

Can anyone else confirm this?

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  1. I wonder how long this will be up...

    9 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Longer than I thought..

      1. re: miss_belle

        22 minutes and counting...from 10:59AM PDT on 4/15/14.

        1. re: kaleokahu

          The longer this is up, the more it seems like the OP is on to something ...

          1. re: lambretta76

            Maybe, although I'm not smelling any but the usual background stink.

            More likely the Mods and their flagger coterie are glossing over the title...

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Now it's back up. Hmmm,,, wonder if there's a denial on its way...

              1. re: kaleokahu

                A denial of "an after hours knife fight"? LOL

                1. re: carolinadawg

                  You laugh but something is not quite right here.

          2. re: kaleokahu

            teehee

        2. re: kaleokahu

          Maybe the bird hasn't figured out the flag function yet.

        3. Aw, suh-weet. Gossip that doesn't involve *other* hounds.

          1. Seriously the content seems to be on repeat

            19 Replies
            1. re: comegetit

              Seriously -- what are you talking about? Can you give an example?

              TIA!

              1. re: linguafood

                How many new original recipes have you seen in the last couple of months?

                1. re: jpc8015

                  Sorry, we talking about Chow or the 'hound? Maybe I was confusing the two. I don't spend much (if any) time on the former.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I assumed we were discussing the Chow site. It is noticeably awful as of late. I started to notice a downward trajectory quite a while back. Very little original content.

                    1. re: jpc8015

                      Some Corporate bean counter finally calculated the CBS ROI on Chow and ran into their bosses office yelling "DNR, DNR, DNR!!!"

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Yeah, they don't have to pay us and we do better work.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Remember when Arianna Huffington sold the Huffington Post to AOL for about a trillion dollars and all of the unpaid volunteer writers were pissed?

                          1. re: c oliver

                            I still don't like the way the hounds are portrayed when used in an article made up entirely of quotes written by us.

                            1. re: melpy

                              You mean taking things out of context, even if they are quoted, like this.

                              melpy says "I still don't like...hounds..." (g)

                              1. re: Servorg

                                Or...

                                "I...like the...quotes written by us."

                                1. re: jpc8015

                                  Even better!

                        2. re: jpc8015

                          So I didn't miss anything. Whew.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            You would not have missed anything if you hadn't seen Chow in the last year.

                            1. re: jpc8015

                              Didn't think so. Been on the forum since '07 or so; Chow has never played much of a part.

                  2. re: comegetit

                    Not sure what you mean by this comment. But I will say this. You've obviously gotten away with more than most posters on this board ever would. That speaks volumes to me. And it's not good.

                    1. re: miss_belle

                      Hi, m_b:

                      LOL. This thread is... er... direct, I'll give you that. But I'm not seeing too many posts over time from the OP; not like they're a bomb-thrower or anything.

                      I hope the OP can add a little more substance to the details of what s/he heard.

                      Aloha,
                      Kaleo

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        To be perfectly honest with you I am fast losing interest in this thread. He/she needs to just spill the beans and get it over and done with. They appear to have some type of immunity here. So what the heck:-)

                        1. re: miss_belle

                          As Sam Clemens said, secrets tend to be either too good to keep or not good enough. So hopefully we'll learn more.

                        2. re: kaleokahu

                          It's relatively obvious that Chow.com has been gutted - no videos, no reviews, very few new stories. Almost no new content at all.

                          The 'bird' is most likely a reference to John Birdsall, who seems to be the only Chow staffer still writing stories that aren't pastiches of Chowhound threads.

                          I don't know anything about a knife fight or whether it was meant to be taken literally in the first place.

                    2. Smells ok to me.

                      But then I like durian.

                      1. I found it suspicious that the Mod transitioning to teaching middle school would leave at not-quite-the-end of March.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                          Happens often, for instance covering a maternity leave, full time substituting in one district, etc.

                          1. re: mcf

                            As a school admin, I could add 1000 other scenarios to your list... but they didn't seem like reasons to leave what I thought was a FT gig.
                            However, I re-read the OP, who said:
                            "my plan is to become" a MS teacher.
                            That'd lean me toward his starting school, as a student in an Ed program.
                            My real point was to imply that he might have sensed the Winds of Change and flown the coop before the "knife fight."

                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                              I suppose that's true. Any number of scenarios could be. What I do know is that in the past coupla/few months, CH has taken a seriously unwelcome turn, and I have difficulty thinking it's been easy for the mods.

                              1. re: mcf

                                Absolutely true.
                                I run hot'n'cold with CH and usually take 4 month breaks when I hit my fill line--I've gotten disciplined but other posts stay up, I start too many threads that aren't answered, I feel too acutely that I'm not in the in-crowd.
                                This time back, people are missing [some contentious ones] and there are hordes of newbies who can't seem to search.
                                However, whole aspects of the CHOW "experience" have been eliminated-- recipes, Supertaster, and also the "advice" column?--which makes me wonder what is happening, really.
                                It's like having a job in Asia-- you're never completely surprised to go to work one day and find a bike lock on the door.

                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                  I get the same feeling, and sense worse is coming and we will no longer be anything like a community.

                                  1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                    I like your posts. But then again, I'm not in the "in crowd" either. I don't really care, however, because I am too busy with work to actively participate in discussions, and I get my validation from my real life friends, in real life. While there are some posters I enjoy reading more than others, I'm mostly here just to share and learn and be nerdy about food in a way that I wouldn't be with my IRL friends. I hope you stick around.

                                    To stay OT, there was never much of value to me on the chow site anyway so as long as chowhound isn't disrupted, I'm not too fussed about them axing chow.com.

                          2. Someone help me fill in some gaps. Here is my basic understanding of the history of Chowhound;

                            It was started as primarily a blog, I have seen some links to the old site which is still sort of alive in the annals of the internet.

                            At some point Chow grows and CBS Entertainment purchases the site with some dreams of grand-ore in creating some multifaceted all inclusive food related forum.

                            This goes on for several years, building and adding options and different forums, Chow vs. Chowhound is born.

                            Now according to recent events and this thread CBS has gutted the program, pulled the plug, stopped funding and we are digressing to primarily just a food blog as the site's humble origins.

                            Does that sound about right? Am I reading between the lines correctly? (FYI I have NO actual information regarding anything I'm saying being accurate, just trying to put the pieces of what I'm reading together)

                            Please share...........

                            60 Replies
                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              I'm hoping for someone like Chelsea Manning or Ed Snowdon to leak the full Jim Leff-CBS purchase and sale agreement...

                              ...or maybe the confidentiality clause's term has expired? Jim?

                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                I took a quick peek at the Chow site some time ago and I have zero interest in it.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  Of the old Chow site? With the Scooby-Doo-ish looking mascot? That site?

                                  (were you in the knife fight Veggo? I soooo would have had your back!! I lost a knife fight once, and have the scar to prove it)

                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                    Jr, you can be my wing man anytime!

                                2. re: jrvedivici

                                  Not much in clarification, but
                                  1) most folks wouldn't call the original a 'blog," because that would be more about a single author with an audience. It was more of a list-serv community.
                                  2) Most 'Hounds don't like/ need/ appreciate most of the CHOW content
                                  3) Due to over/under moderation, format changes, revenue generators, poor search, and awkward/ confusing regional divisions,
                                  even if the CBS stuff disappeared, CH wouldn't be trimmed back to its original roots.

                                  1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                    1.) Fair enough I agree with your description
                                    2.) I've never really understood the Chow vs. Chowhound thing to begin with
                                    3.) Ok
                                    4.) So more or less my overview seems fairly accurate?

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      "4.) So more or less my overview seems fairly accurate?"

                                      Nah...just too tired to "school" you... ;-D>

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        I'm not sure anyone was talking to you Servorg! :-p

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          Hey, Jr. - I operate using your playbook. Are you not talking to me? I don't give a flying fu...er, never mind!

                                    2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                      If CBS pulls the plug then the only place this site will exist will be in the wayback machine.

                                      Unlike the original Chowhould, this runs on proprietary software. From the content management software of old, it's been pinched, pulled and squoze in myriad ways to what you now see. Because it's solely owned by CBS, it will just disappear should they choose to let it go.

                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                        "Because it's solely owned by CBS, it will just disappear should they choose to let it go."

                                        Aaaack!

                                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                          Since CBS is a publicly held company with shareholders that they report to they would need to sell the the CH site, should it come to that.

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            Who would buy a loss leader? Easier to just let it go. Television Without Pity wasn't sold. http://www.vulture.com/2014/03/how-te...

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              Why would they HAVE TO sell it? Corporations shut down units all the time, unless there is significant sale value.

                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                I'd had the same thought, M. I worked for a large corporation and they shut down an unsuccessful division.

                                      2. re: jrvedivici

                                        I wasn't around "back then" but understand it couldn't support itself. With today's internet I wonder if things have changed. Having the monetary backing does come with the overmoderation.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          I thought Leff was simply making a personal finance decision, and assumed it was lucrative.

                                          I think the most brilliant feature on chowhound is the graying out of posts you've already read or clicked on making it simple to see the latest addition to a 400 post thread.

                                          1. re: Bellachefa

                                            With all due respect, I like to think of myself as the most brilliant feature on Chowhound. The graying of posts will have to settle for the second most brilliant.

                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                              alas, you are neither gandalf the grey or gandalf the white, although you do pale

                                            2. re: Bellachefa

                                              "I thought Leff was simply making a personal finance decision, and assumed it was lucrative."

                                              On the contrary, the site was bleeding him dry. He was about a month from closing it down when he got the buy out offer. (I've been on CH since 1999 and watched it all happen.)

                                              On Leff's personal blog he writes at length about the CH sale. There are multiple installments. The early ones make interesting reading.

                                              http://jimleff.blogspot.com/2008/12/c...

                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                thanks for the link

                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                  I was hoping someone would have the link to Leff's blog postings about the sale.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    It can be found here:
                                                    http://jimleff.blogspot.com/

                                                    1. re: scoopG

                                                      Yes, I know. I was responding to Bob Martinez, who had posted it just above. Thanks. :-)

                                                  2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                    Has anyone figured out how much he got for it?

                                                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                      Why is that anyone's business?

                                                      1. re: coll

                                                        I would think it might be the business of the many benefactors that donated money to keep the site afloat before he cashed it in. It's none of my business though.

                                                        1. re: Bellachefa

                                                          No money was ever solicited as donations. Jim always made clear that he didn't want donations, but rather asked those who thought the site had value for them to pay what they thought their use of CH was worth. For me it was a couple of hundred dollars. For others (I'm looking at you, David Kahn) it was a lot more.

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            When the wellspring of your creativity becomes too expensive to maintain, you sell it for a profit. That's how Richard Branson became wealthy.

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              Before the buyout the server and bandwidth expenses were sinking the site. The rather small donations I made were a drop in the bucket compared to what was actually needed to keep Chowhound alive.

                                                              People moan and complain about CBS Interactive but we were a hairsbreadth away from losing Chowhound altogether. Instead of the buyout we could have logged on on to find this: http://jimleff.info/closure-home-page...

                                                              I donated money to prevent that page from becoming reality. When CNET came along it was a reprieve from Chowpocalypse and I never felt anything other than 1) relief and 2) glad Jim could finally get some sleep (and hopefully anything else he needed).

                                                              I never donated with any thought but to help keep the site running, which benefited me by keeping me entertained and informed.

                                                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                And if a paywall went up now, about 80% of those who moan and complain about CBS Interactive would evaporate.

                                                                1. re: Samalicious

                                                                  Are you seeing that as a negative, or a positive? ;-D>

                                                            2. re: Bellachefa

                                                              They were donating, not investing. To me, when I donate, I don't expect a payback except for good feelings.

                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                      "I wasn't around back then"......I thought you were on Chow when it was still DOS based?

                                                      "I couldn't support itself".......really? How expensive can a site like the "old chow" really cost to operate? If it couldn't support itself how did it get purchased by CBS? I would assume it has some form of positive cash flow to demand a purchase price, rather than CBS just replicating it from scratch.

                                                      Things that make you go hmmmmmmm..........

                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                        I've just read that CHs used to donate money to keep it going.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Really? Fear not, I'm planning a hostile take over!!!

                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                            Really. And yippe re the take over!!!

                                                          2. re: c oliver

                                                            There were things to buy to help contribute - magnets, t-shirts, I forget what else. I still have my Chowdog magnet on my fridge and a t-shirt I wear (Chowdog logo over the left breasticle area) when I'm potting herb plants.

                                                            Something that was popular on the two coasts was a Chowhound Passport - requesting "Bring me the authentic food - not the tourist stuff!" in several different languages.

                                                             
                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              I bought lots of stuff. My husband sometimes still wears his Chowhound T-shirt.

                                                          3. re: jrvedivici

                                                            Hi, Jr:

                                                            My guess is that the suits saw something they could buy to use the Hounds as a ready-made, affluent audience for all that ad crap they keep putting up.

                                                            The problem being there's not a whole lot of sensible product tie-in on the ChowHOUND side, and the CHOW side is so blatantly ad-driven (and -craven) that few Hounds can stomach it. I'm sure you noticed how the semi-transparent "reviews" which *I* think were intended to tickle Hounds into visiting Chow, were loudly called out as fluff-pieces by the Hounds. And how everyone with any sense has Ad-Blocked themselves to the max.

                                                            We should be prepared for this whole once-great thing to either disappear or its functional equivalent, morph into a subscription site.

                                                            Aloha,
                                                            Kaleo

                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                              K, you and I sometimes disagree (ha!) but I fear you're right about this. I wouldn't mind a subscription site but do fear what would happen overall.

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                Maybe there's hope for us.

                                                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                How long has CBS owned the site?

                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                  CNET bought Chowhound in 2006, and CBS Interactive bought CNET in 2008, I believe.

                                                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                    Ahhhhhhhh............that explains a few things. That makes a lot more sense......so CBS inherited Chow as part of another acquisition is what you are telling me. That makes all the sense in the world then, Chow was just a bonus to something much larger. I couldn't figure out why or how a company like CBS would "buy" a struggling food community, blog, etc.

                                                                    Don't worry, no matter what goes down you will always be my dog, Dawg !!

                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                      My life is now complete! ;-)

                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                        Here's an interesting interview with Jim Leff regarding the sale of the site to CNET in 2006. Might help answer some of your questions:

                                                                        http://professorsalt.com/2006/03/10/i...

                                                                        And here's an interesting article about the history of CHOW:

                                                                        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/16/din...

                                                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                          ..."...Robert Sietsema, ...said he still finds the Chowhound boards helpful, but he said the quality of the discourse over the past few years has declined as more dabblers and dilettantes came onboard. “There’s less interest in the signature find..."...Instead of people scouring off-the-beaten-track neighborhoods, there are obvious questions, like “Where can I take my parents after a Broadway show?’’

                                                                  2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                    Which would explain why they left this thread alone.:-(

                                                                    1. re: miss_belle

                                                                      I am hopeful that in the zeal to maximize profits through change, that feedback such as what this thread provides is a reminder that good intentions can implode into disaster.

                                                                      1. re: miss_belle

                                                                        Hi, m_b:

                                                                        There would be flatus most loud and foul in the pews either way, don't you think?

                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                    2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                      The old site (pre-CNET) used obsolete technology and was extremely bandwidth intensive. Hosting services charge for bandwidth and as a result Leff was paying thousands of dollars as month.

                                                                      Read all about it - http://jimleff.blogspot.com/2008/12/c...

                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                        Thousands in bandwidth? Guy was an idiot then. Plop some HTTP compression on the web server and problem solved. This isn't rocket science.

                                                                        1. re: Shazam

                                                                          Did you read at least the first installment of "The Sale"? The "guy" was also doing this, as Bob Martinez said, using obsolete technology, maxed out credit cards, savings, etc. He admits they made mistakes, but did what he could afford with a purely volunteer staff. It could have gone down in flames many times (and it almost did), but they managed to keep it going until the CNET sale.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            HTTP compression has been around forever. It's more his technical incompetence. Good thing somebody bailed him out, I suppose.

                                                                            1. re: Shazam

                                                                              OK, guess you didn't read it. But unless you were there, you really don't know what they were dealing with (i.e., obsolete technology).

                                                                  3. re: jrvedivici

                                                                    My understanding:

                                                                    Chowhound and chow.com were two non-related entities before the CNET buyout of chowhound. They were merged together once ownership of chowhound changed hands.

                                                                    Chowhound has always been a forum of sorts, though of course originally Jim Leff's contributions figured fairly prominently. Chow.com was constructed of the remaining staff from a food magazine that failed. It went web-only around the time of the buyout and featured articles and videos - professional content.

                                                                    Much dicking around has occurred on both sites - format changes, functions added or dropped, etc.

                                                                    Recently, TPTB decided that keeping a full staff of writers, photographers, videographers, etc, is no longer profitable enough for the Chow.com side of the site to justify, and the staff has been cut back to a ghost crew. New content on the Chow side has ground to a halt, and not much should be expected in the future.

                                                                    The chowhound side of the site is continuing as a forum, more or less in the same vein it always has. It's possible that TPTB will eventually decide that there's no value in keeping it running, but that remains to be seen. Presumably it requires fewer staff than the Chow side of the site did, since most of the mods are volunteers anyway. Jacqueline and the tech support are needed, but not a full creative team. It's possible that DaveMP found himself laid off as part of budget cuts, or it's possible that he left for his own career opportunities - I couldn't say (I think he was a paid employee, but I could be wrong).

                                                                    Either way, I'm not too worried at this time about the future funding of chowhound. It's gotten by on relatively little funding in the past, and seems to have decent traffic - and at any rate, it seems to have dodged the heavy cuts that just came to the Chow side of the site. Any fans of chow.com, however, are probably out of luck indefinitely.

                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                      Thank you for taking the time to clarify things.

                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                        I could be wrong (I often am - just ask my wife) but I don't recall any Chow side before C/NET came on the scene. I believe Jim and Bob had Chowhound and that was it.

                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                          I think you are correct. Carolinadawg linked to an article on the origins of the Chow side. It seems as though it was a failing food magazine that was bought by CNET and went web-only around the time CNET also bought chowhound. I edited my post above to reflect this.

                                                                          The stated goal of Chow also kind of highlights why it was always an uneasy match with chowhound. Chow was apparently supposed to serve a young crowd who cared passionately about food but didn't really know too much about it. Whereas chowhound has always been a little older. And though all skill/knowledge levels were welcome, chowhound was generally more geared towards people who were already knowledgeable, especially earlier on in its development (AFAIK).

                                                                    2. Between this thread, if it is true, and the execrable workshop format that's being tested with the Food Quest board, it looks like we may all be joining eGullet soon.

                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                        I went to check eGullet out based on reading about it on this site. I was very unimpressed with the site from an aesthetic stand point and over all found it to be fairly un-user friendly.

                                                                        (I did see a few familiar faces/names over there.......you know who you are you dirty stay out cheaters!!)

                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                          eGullet has some rough edges, but they play at a pretty high level over there for the most part. The user-unfriendliness may be a filter, I dunno.

                                                                          You might try ChefTalk, Cooks Issues, and Gardenweb, too.

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                            I agree, not visually or navigationally friendly. But if the content is better then I could prob get used to it. I am usually a bit neophobic....

                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                              Papa don't leave me!!!!!!!!!

                                                                              1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                ewwwww

                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                  Tough crowd. It's a joke, relax!

                                                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                    I was joking too, Sara. No offense intended.

                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                      None taken. It's all dirt off my shoulder around here anyways. Glad to know you have a sense of humor, though!

                                                                              2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                Take a breath, many of us, including me, are former e-gulleters.

                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                  eG is kinder and gentler after big admin changes over the past year

                                                                                  1. re: sal_acid

                                                                                    Thanks, I may check it out again.

                                                                              3. re: greygarious

                                                                                I haven't paid much attention to Food Quest, but it seems to copying some of the voting ideas of Stackexchange. Their home cooking section is: http://cooking.stackexchange.com/

                                                                                The first food group I followed was Usenet rec.food.cooking. Chowhound was little better than Usenet, and not nearly as good as the vBulletin based forums. It took forever (on dsl) to load long pages. I wonder if there's an archive of chowhound prior to CNET.

                                                                                Here's a post from 2003 on another forum:

                                                                                "... those people are waaaaay more sarcastic and impressed with themselves than anyone you'll find in the food pages of any metropolitan newspaper. Also, the interface of the site is dreadful;..."
                                                                                http://webcache.googleusercontent.com...

                                                                              4. "I heard the site is so bad because they fired everyone."

                                                                                I don't agree with your premise and I'd like to ask why you would even start this thread.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                  You do realize the OP seems to be discussing Chow and Chowhound?

                                                                                2. For all this doom and gloom about the Chow side, Chowhound has gotten a lot of new blood. We are seeing a lot of new posters who have apparently found Chowhound via general web searches. I see that in the revival of old threads, especially in Home Cooking. Whether they stay will depend in part on how welcoming the old denizens are.

                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/971222

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                    Screw them. ;-)

                                                                                  2. So I asked this questions somewhere in here but I'm going to ask it again, with my reason for asking it included.

                                                                                    Somewhere I had read that at one point, in the past, Chow had 800,0000 unique users. Does anyone know what the current amount of "unique users" are? (Also how do they define that term? 800k usernames issued? 800k hit's per month? What is a unique user)

                                                                                    Follow up question for those wiser than I, (that means all of you) when evaluating a value for a website, for example let's say this site is Chow, strictly for example purposes of course, the value I would assume is in the user count I inquired about above. I know in my world, commercial real estate, traffic count is selling factor especially for retail. I'm assuming your traffic count for web sites is tied into the number I'm inquiring about above.

                                                                                    Next valuation consideration would be advert revenue? A simple P&L of your revenue minus your expenses will give you a good idea of what if any profit your site is running at.

                                                                                    Again from what I have read the Chow vs. Chowhound was an arranged marriage of two separate entities rather than an evolution of one to the other. How many people here think Chowhound would suffer from the complete loss of Chow?

                                                                                    Your feedback is appreciated while I consider my master plan to take over Chow.....then the rest of the world!!! Bwahahahahhahahahah (Evil mad scientist / 70's villain laugh)

                                                                                    18 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                      Don't know the factoids on any of your questions but I have a feeling that "taking over Chow" is how you can make a small fortune out of a big one...

                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                        I would tend to agree with you if it wasn't for some of the speculation in this thread that CBS might let this just die on the vine or just pull the plug. Perhaps that was the expectation for the Chow vs Chowhound side of things, but regardless it just got my wheels spinning. If CBS were to consider just letting this, us, die a premature death, why not inquire a little bit.

                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                          I think I said this elsewhere on the thread but I don't believe a public company can just let an asset die a premature death. I think they would have to try and sell it first as they have a duty to their shareholders to maximize profit (or at least minimize loss).

                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                            I don't disagree, but in purchasing a "distressed" asset, simply assuming debt can be the value exchanged. Hey, I'm a dreamer what can I say, when I see or smell a potential opportunity I inquire. I've made and lost a lot of money this way over the years.

                                                                                      2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                        http://boardreader.com/domain/chow.com

                                                                                        may have your answers.

                                                                                        A query like
                                                                                        http://boardreader.com/fp/Chowhound_C...
                                                                                        gives info on a particular forum

                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                          Thanks so much for the info. I'll have to look it over more closely when I'm in front of a computer rather than my phone.

                                                                                          From my initial review it seems that first link is showing both how people find chow, what site the are coming here from, then where they are leaving here and going to. Is that correct?

                                                                                          The second link looks fairly interesting as well. I noticed I'm the 3rd most active author!?!?! Hahaha I'm assuming that is strictly for threads started within a week, not total contributions or posts within a week, correct?

                                                                                          Thanks again, good stuff!

                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                            No, it's total posts per week. And it's most often the same names, with a bit of juggling of position.

                                                                                            If the speculation that Chow and Chowhound are in trouble is true, perhaps that explains the recent surge (as discussed on another Site Talk thread) in revival of old threads by people posting for the first time. Perhaps someone with a financial interest is creating new screen name accounts to pad the number of CH participants, in hopes of increasing the monetary value of the site.....

                                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                                              But would they be reviving old, sometimes very old, threads to do that? It make more sense to make provocative posts of active threads - ones like the 'is a hotdog a sandwich' thread. Or one of the 'I have food network' threads.

                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                Really? I would think I had 100 total posts in a week, not just 15? Gosh entertaining you folks is exhausting!

                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                  You were looking at just the activity on the ST board. I didn't realize the top contributors were available on a board basis and was referring to total posts. That list of the top 10 contributors of the week generally runs from ~300 down to ~100 posts.

                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                    Anyone have the link for the overall site? Paulj' s is just for the Site Talk board. thanks.

                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                      http://web.archive.org/web/*/chowhoun...

                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                        http://boardreader.com/site/Chowhound...

                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                          Thanks!

                                                                                                  2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                    Here's one such thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/252091

                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                      I believe I've heard that Google's search algorithms vary from user to user, but for me, if I google "my pi long island", that thread is the second search result. Is it the same for you? I suspect that's what brought new posters to that thread.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                        Sometimes for fun I run the same search through Bing...just to see what the results look like from that engine.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                          It's completely possible. But some of us have noted a pattern in the style/types of screen names, too.

                                                                                              2. One reason that the site sucks sometimes is the aggressive policy of deletion when there is a suggestion of personal controversy between posters. Then often the wrong post gets deleted. Controversy is like spice.

                                                                                                33 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                  My observation is that posts that get deleted deserve to be, in keeping with the CH mission and posting guidelines.

                                                                                                  Including some of my own.

                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                    Yet others that equally deserve to get deleted, don't.

                                                                                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                      Yes, like folks who use online forums to stir stuff up because they are lacking excitement otherwise.

                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                        Newsflash...humans/life ain't necessarily fair, logical or consistent.

                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                          Thanks for that blinding glimpse of the obvious. That ranks right up there with "first world problem" as a conversation stopper.

                                                                                                        2. re: mcf

                                                                                                          So, it appears you think some people are allowed to express their opinions, while others aren't? I guess the determining factor is if they agree with you. Got it.

                                                                                                          1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                            No, wrong inference! Not at all. I said my posts get correctly deleted routinely.

                                                                                                            I wasn't implicating you.

                                                                                                            1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                              My philosophical point was no less blindingly obvious than your complaint was. But your complaint just makes it seem that you want life to be perfectly fair here on CH. Maybe if you live a few eons it will all even out? But that ain't gonna happen either. Better put your sunglasses on dawg, or the glare is going to be very hard on your perfection seeking eyes...

                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                Shouldn't we all strive for the best in all facets of life? (After all, the whole point of this site is to pursue the best things to eat?) I think so. But if you are well satisfied with much less, then good for ya!

                                                                                                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                  Striving for the best. What does that mean in this case? When it comes to judgement calls, in this case in terms of moderation decisions, (or the subjective taste of food in another example) you will never, even achieve perfection, because it can't be done.
                                                                                                                  Where you stand on any given moderation call means that one group of hounds is going to be happy and another group is going to be unhappy.

                                                                                                                  But that doesn't mean that if you flip the decision on it's head to make "your" group happy that anyone has achieved perfection.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                    You're only considering the moderation policy as it currently exists. Perhaps there are other policies that would be better. That is the point.

                                                                                                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                      " Perhaps there are other policies that would be better."

                                                                                                                      My point is changing moderation policies would make them different, but better is simply in the eye of the beholder (like beauty). Not to mention that moderation has definitely changed here over time toward allowing much more chit chat and other off topic posting. Jacq has admitted to this.

                                                                                                                      This type of thread on Site would have been long gone in the past. Now it's allowed to be fully fleshed out by all comers.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                        In a way I wish I was as easily satisfied as you, but not really.

                                                                                                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                          Forget half empty...Do you see the glass as having any liquid in it at all?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                            I think CH could be better, that doesn't mean I don't like the site or don't find it useful. In fact, I like it so much I care about it being better.

                                                                                                                            Let's move on, shall we?

                                                                                                          2. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                            Yeah. In Mary Land (a very nice pricessipality I've constructed in my head) that would never happen. But of course in Mary Land everything is ideal and tacos do crap ice cream*.

                                                                                                            *Thank you South Park.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                              I think a part of the problem is the 'pruning factor.' When a post gets deleted, so do its replies.

                                                                                                              Thus, a part of the problem lies in what to delete. When a hateful post begets many 'right back atcha, bud,' ripostes, it is an easy call. When an uncomfortable or questionable post is responded to thoughtfully but there is still that bothersome root - root and branch are more than likely deleted.

                                                                                                              I've been looking around at other CBS Interactive sites since first responding to the OP. I think others might do the same. It's educational. http://www.cbsinteractive.com/brands/

                                                                                                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                I recently got a "note." My post wasn't exactly spot on but they were leaving it as there had been so many replies they'd have to delete too much. So at times, yeah, they do it just right.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  See - I've never ever received a "note." I get deleted. Count yourself "lucky."

                                                                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                    I can assure you that the list I'm on is not one that you want to be on :) Or :(

                                                                                                                2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                  Actually, what I was talking about is the opposite of the "pruning factor". That is, the original post, which is inflammatory or attacking, stays, and the replies calling the poster out get deleted.

                                                                                                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                    Right on.

                                                                                                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                      Such as, oh, I dunno - this OP? I think the Chowhound Gods above have given us a great gift here. I LIKE that there are debatable subjects - and that we can, with veracity debate their worthiness!

                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                        We get A LOT more latitude on ST than other boards.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                          No, not at all like the OP on this thread. And yes, there are many debatable topics, the problem is that the debate is monitored and edited as if we need help and protection.

                                                                                                                        2. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                          Seriously - look at other CBS Interactive sites. http://www.cbsinteractive.com/brands/

                                                                                                                    2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                      When you get boredom you gotta change the mission and the guidelines. No subscribers= no achievements.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                        But we've been seeing a large influx of subscribers of late, there's been discussion about it.

                                                                                                                        If you're bored reading civil, on topic posts about food, CH may not be your thing.

                                                                                                                        I think folks who hate moderation should use unmoderated forums. I have friends who won't participate in anything moderated, feels like having a nanny to them.

                                                                                                                        I'm here this long in part because of the moderation keeping the pissing matches down, though not as well as in the past.

                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                          I'm BARELY still here because of the moderation, but in my 7 years I no longer engage in bar fights. I'll have an occasional cocktail with my proctologist, who has a 4 handicap.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                            only 17 posts in the last 24 hrs. :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                              18:) I agree, too many.
                                                                                                                              It was a rainy day and I was home alone with a lot of cheese.

                                                                                                                    3. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                      The OP was not talking about Chowhound forums, but about the 'cover' site with recipes and 'features'. Not much has been happening on Chow, possibly because of staff cutbacks. Chowhound, on the other hand, continues to be as active as ever.

                                                                                                                      There are plenty of threads on Site Talk about moderation. Some complain about it being too strict. Others about it being too lax. Maybe I should flag this subthread as being off topic. :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                        and any mention of monsanto.

                                                                                                                      2. Yea, it stinks because of the censorship from the Mods. But on the other hand. Were else would you get to bitch and be a know it all ?

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                          Subway walls and bathroom stalls. Both are distinctions of pathetic merit.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                            ...and occasionally comic and political genius. There are books on the graffiti of the Roman Empire, and the scholarly consensus is that we are richer for having it.

                                                                                                                        2. I wouldn't miss CHOW at all but I'd sure miss Chowhound.

                                                                                                                          I've learned so much from the Cookware board and I love the community of the Home Cooking board.

                                                                                                                          I've travelled, shopped and dined better because of the Regional boards.

                                                                                                                          I enjoy the banter here on Site Talk.

                                                                                                                          ...and who could forget the Banana thread?

                                                                                                                          I do hope the evolution of CHOW ≠ the loss of Chowhound.

                                                                                                                          1. This reply to a post perfectly sums up the Chow side of things for me:

                                                                                                                            http://www.chow.com/recipes/11095-bla...

                                                                                                                            I've learned so much more about ingredients and how to cook from the 'hounds than I have from what the Chow staff has produced itself. What Chow has produced internally lately is simply stuff to be linked to on aggregate pin-it sites, it seems.

                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                              Unless I'm misreading it, the reply you linked from lisa13 endorses the Chow-produced recipe as "great" and faults 'hounds who posted "silly comments" without actually trying it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: squid kun

                                                                                                                                Yes, basically the Chow side has turned into a visual to comment upon, or pin its photos to other sites, much like you’d do with funny dog gifs.

                                                                                                                                When it does get something right, like that recipe, they’ve no idea how to serve it properly. I see it time and again.

                                                                                                                                Their recent meatball recipe was close to 50% fat in finished form. But it sure looked pretty! Oh, it had some kale, too! Tres chic.

                                                                                                                                1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                  FWIW, I tend to have the opposite reaction - I would be more interested in reading chow if it had a lot more content like the meatball recipe and a lot less content like the ham & cheese sandwich.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                    Out of curiosity, what made the meatball recipe interesting and appealing to you? Is it a recipe you'd make at home as written?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                      The meatball recipe was something that I probably wouldn't have developed on my own, whereas that doesn't apply to the sandwich.

                                                                                                                                      As to whether I'd make it at home... to be honest, yeah, I probably would. It's a little labor intensive to make very regularly, but I'd make it when I know I've got a little down time or as part of a dinner I'd host, or I'd maybe even riff off it for a cooking competition (I occasionally host and/or compete in them, and they're a lot of fun). In fairness, I do often tweak recipes to adjust them to what I have available. I don't have a meat grinder, but I'm sure I could come up with a work around.

                                                                                                                            2. The mods disagree with me that Toronto restaurants generally serve expedient crap and overpriced and when I post to this effect I get deleted. Happened again last week on a thread about shawarma, the OP was complaining about the chicken being put on a griddle after it is cut. ECO.
                                                                                                                              I can pretty well guarantee that I know more about shawarma than the mods.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                This thread is about the Chow side, not moderation on the Chowhound side.

                                                                                                                                But if your posts get deleted, it is more likely because of how you express yourself (and write about other posters), than the content.

                                                                                                                              2. It's been 6 weeks since this thread was started. It's been interesting to hear the range of perspectives.

                                                                                                                                From my point of view I'm very grateful the site exists. It's a home for informed (and occasionally not so informed) opinions about food around the world and remains unmatched in its broad coverage of ethnic cuisine. There's also plenty of information about high end and neighborhood restaurants.

                                                                                                                                I find the moderation to be pretty even handed, better than it was 10 years ago. I speak as someone who knows about these things - I was a mod on another food site and it's a difficult and thankless job.

                                                                                                                                One last thing. The site is free for us to use. With that in mind I'm inclined to cut the Chow management lots of slack.

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                  I agree with all you've said but, as I think has been said above, I'm pretty sure that most of the negative comments are about "Chow", which is not the same as "ChowHOUND". Chow is the 'master' site name and really not these boards. When Chowhound was acquired by CNET they already owned Chow and rolled Chowhound into it. The two are different in content. It seems as though most regular Chowhound posters spend little or no time with Chow itself. I know I don't ever go there unless a link takes me there.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                    Apparently there is not a lot of anybody spending time on Chow.com.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                      Fair enough. I tend only occasionally visit the Chow site. If it's underwhelming (and I don't know if it is) it doesn't bother me because I don't see it.

                                                                                                                                      My concern would be if Chow needs to be successful in order to support Chowhound. If that's the case I wish them the best.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                        Chow looks old and weary.

                                                                                                                                        The photos are not great. In this day and age of food porn from amateurs, this professional site's pictures look like an astigmatic grampa is behind the lens.

                                                                                                                                        The layout is tired. There are tons of cool layouts for blogs out there, but Chow looks to be stuck in 2006.

                                                                                                                                        The writing needs work and so does the choice of subject matter.

                                                                                                                                        If, as you say "Chow needs to be successful in order to support Chowhound," then I am depressed as all Hell.