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Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

I'm wondering why there is little activity on this Board compared to others.

Are there few people logging on because they don't know about Chowhound or care about the kind of info available or find themselves drawn to other sources for such info?

Is the geography too broad to build an on-line Chow community (I live in CT and have to wade through Cape Cod)?

I can see how it can easily get circular. Few people logging on because there's not much new to see. Few posting because they get few replies.

I assume the folks running Chowhound have data on some of this.

But I wonder what might be done by those of us reading this that might help to ramp things up and make it a livelier, more fun, and more useful scene.

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  1. What would you like to talk about (I'm not being snarky--what are folks talking about on other boards that's garnering good discussion)?

    I think the wide geographic area is part of the issue--I have nothing to add to a lot of threads. For myself, I've been trying to post whenever I try someplace new or enjoy a particularly good food experience. Sometimes folks pitch in with their own thoughts, sometimes not. I also appreciate the RI-based monthly threads on food news; those threads often have many posts.

    1. I think the geographic area is way too wide. The Cape and South Shore should be it's own animal, and RI and CT should each have their own boards.

      It's tough to wade through all the posts to get to what you're looking for and I usually just end up using keywords in the search when I'm traveling to find recommendations. It's not conducive to a board that I would read every day like the Boston board. Unfortunately I don't spend enough time in southern NE to post regularly here.

      1. I used to visit this board daily. Nowadays, not so much. There are a so many food-related blogs out there, a few focused on my immediate area (lower Fairfield County, CT), that have more up-to-date info on the restaurants/cafes/chefs, etc. here and around the area. I agree that the Southern New England board is geographically large, and I also find myself wading through posts to reach a relevant topic. However, it can be useful to read about an area I might be visiting, like RI, the Cape, or other parts of MA. Since Chow was one of the first blog sites I came to love, I just can't give it up.

        1. This has always bothered me about this board and the Northern NE board. I think it has to do with the lack of diversity if you are more than 30 mi outside of any of the major cities. Ask any semi adventurous home cook and they will tell you of 45 min drives just to get keffir lime leaves. Walk around most of their supermarkets and see what is available for fish, ethnic ingredients. You can't blame them because that stuff won't sell. I have had some of the worst Chinese food of my life in some of these areas. Historically, classic New England cuisine is quite drab, and has always been limited by the climate, so the people who have lived here for generations don't have the pallette for some of the more exotic flavors. I have taught a cooking class many times over the years where I make fresh garam masala. Most of my students have never even smelt anything like the spices I am using, let alone taste them. I go on food road trips 2 hrs. to get ingredients. Lucky, in my town of Brattleboro we have a relatively solid group of restaurants and a great coop. But alas.....I am so happy to have my daughter in Boston for college so I can get my fill at The Dumpling House....

          2 Replies
          1. re: jefpen2

            jefpen2...I guess I'm lucky that I can find almost anything I need for any dish I want to experiment with. Kaffir Lime, just down the street at my Asian market. Spices for that homemade garam masala? Patel Brothers has a huge market about 3 miles from my house. I have often wished I could give "Tours of Ethnic Markets in Fairfield County". We have Asian, Latin, Indian, Polish, German, even Russian. It's great! My only problem is that a lot of the labeling is in a foreign language, so I rely heavily on images on the packaging. But, I'm with you about the lack of good Chinese food close to home. There's always Chinatown!

            1. re: jefpen2

              You have apparently not been to western Ma where there are many great restaurants and several Asian markets.

              The geographical area of the board is too wide, I have no interest in most of the area it covers.

            2. I think it's symptomatic of a general decline of the site overall. My home board seems to b experiencing a decline in activity too, and all the geographically adjacent boards have little activity as well.

              I'm afraid the most recent site changes will only exacerbate the problem.

              1 Reply
              1. re: carolinadawg

                Just used the stupid new heart symbol to agree with you. Each change the make is for the worst.
                That said, I am mostly in southwestern CT, but do go to other areas of the state and RI and MA during the year. When I was teaching grad school two days a week in northern MA and staying over in the Worcester area I made much more use of the board. Similarly, after 30+ years I sold my vacation house on the Cape and haven't been to the Cape or Fall River/New Bedford in 2+ years so I don't read posts covering that area.
                However, I just read a post about a restaurant in Warren RI. My daughter works on a small cruise ship that has its home port in Warren. I get there 4-5 times per year and she always says there's nothing to eat in that town. Now I've found a good suggestion.

                My local scene/activity was decimated by the mass defection led by JFood a couple of years ago after the Tri-state metro board was abolished. The defectors formed a new site for CT, but that has faltered as well. I think many of us are just tired of the same old coverage and the non-food annoying tipping threads.

                Besides, I miss Hamden native, the late Veggo and never see a post from Shaogo (paul) anymore.

              2. I'll just add that I agree that many of the boards geography is just too wide including this one. I live on the south on shore and spend lots of time on the cape/islands but a rarely get to RI and CT so its hard wade thru pages of things that are irrelevant to me.

                Since I don't see them changing the boards anytime some the things that I try to do is to keep the board more active:
                +always put the name of the town and/or state in title
                +remember to do write ups, even if it a place you go to often highlight what they are doing new, different
                +join in on inquiries even its not your town. We spent an enjoyable Thanksgiving in Newport so I'll put in my two cents about places we like/didn't like when I see Newport questions.

                just a few ideas :)

                1. I, too, have noticed the decline in posts/discussions here and I suspect it's partially due to the overly broad geographic coverage. I only care about RI and Mass when I'm taking a road trip (found some great recs for Providence when we went to Waterfire a couple summers ago, for example, and some equally helpful suggestions when we took a trip up to Williamstown/Mass MoCA a few Novembers back.) But on the whole, I'm more interested in discussing/discovering places closer to home, and for that, unfortunately, I find better info on the New York boards, since there's not a lot of local (Danbury/Northern Fairfield/Lower Litchfield) chatter here. I feel like a "tri-state" board would maybe work better for me... and probably others... but that doesn't necessarily mean that it should be reinstated. I tend not to get my knickers in a twist over web site/board changes. But I realize (and understand why) most people don't care much for change and react negatively to it.

                  But yeah, I also wonder what we can do to make this a more interesting and helpful board... I know I appreciate all the good info and tips I find here and try to reciprocate when I have something helpful to contribute. Although, I must admit that I have occasionally sensed an undercurrent of hostility/snobbery from other posters (this is a general CH observation, not exclusive to THIS board), particularly when they disagree with someone else's opinions, which -- at least for me -- is a pretty big turnoff that makes me want to take my toys elsewhere to talk about food. I've watched certain posters assert that other posters' opinions about places and dishes are WRONG, which I find kind of silly, since everyone's tastes are different and opinions are not facts, no matter how insistent someone is that they are. ;-)

                  1. I was dismissing it as a summertime lull in both posters and resto activity. Biscuitboy doesn't miss the "defectors" (cough, banned, cough) one bit, and feels this board is better off

                    1. I agree, for the most part, that the board has slowed down some. The geography covered is just too immense in my opinion. What I have found different about the SNE board compared to others is that when someone posts with a query about a specific town or area, they get a fairly good answer quickly. I have posted on other boards before going on a trip and usually it takes a while for a decent response, San Francisco board and the New York State board specifically. The SF board became an argument between a few posters with insults and berating comments. I got quite discouraged and ended up just asking locals on the street when I got to the Left Coast.

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: Lenox637

                          Full disclosure: the Bay Area is my "home" Board, to which I was unfavorably comparing the SNE one. :) No surprise--no "objective truth" re what constitutes good food OR how hounds do or don't go at it!

                        2. The geography is big, but I'm not sure several smaller boards would solve the problem either. I check the site once or twice a week and find that I can pretty easily scan the most recent posts looking for either titles with familiar restaurant names or that have been helpfully titled with 'Providence', 'RI', or 'Newport' (my areas of interest). Maybe a simple dialog allowing posters to tag their post with a location would help ensure that the geographic relevance of a post is more obvious.

                          I don't hate scanning through the titles of posts not about RI. Found out about decent BBQ in western MA that's not too far of a drive that way. Hell, I think I discovered New Haven pizza here years ago because it was written about so often that I was curious and read a few posts from 'outside my area'.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: barfly

                            I don't know that smaller geography is an issue, either. The Atlanta Board is certainly geographically small, but it also experiences little traffic.

                          2. sundeck sue

                            I agree with your sentiments that the Southern New England board needs attention. Some days I find little that attracts me.

                            I am a Rhode Islander and when I dine outside of Rhode Island I head for Boston (love that board), southeastern Massachusetts, Fall River/New Bedford or the Cape. Consequently, I enjoy the Rhode Island, southern Massachusetts, and Cape Cod posts.

                            I seldom go to Connecticut to dine and often find the Connecticut posts of little interest. Sometimes when I am scrolling past post after post from Connecticut I get discouraged and think it ought to have its own board.

                            I really don’t have a solution for the Southern New England board. Perhaps you are right and it encompasses too wide an area, though before New England was split into Southern New England and Northern New England that board was active and vibrant so maybe size isn’t the issue. It may be there is little commonality among some of the geographic areas.

                            I hope as more people respond to your post, issues will be identified and addressed.

                            In the meantime, I am trying to be more active, with less lurking, more posting and replying to posts.

                            1. If you think the Southern NE board is slow, check out the Southwest board. It can go for weeks with no posts and there are only four or five people who contribute at that. It covers Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Vegas (NV) and Phoenix, so talk about a wide geographical area.

                              And many of the posts are from travelers who don't take the time to search the boards for restaurant recommendations which have been done over and over and over.

                              One of our little group posted a while back that posting on the Southwest board is like an echo in a canyon. Hello? Hello? Hello?

                              1. Hey, this post already has 18 replies and it was only put up a day ago. Sounds like the Southern NE board is alive and well, just quiet.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Bugsey34

                                  and we haven't heard from regular/frequent contributors such as Kattyeyes yet.

                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                    Yeah,Katty-Kat...Here's a bowl of milk (or gelato!)

                                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                      I hear you guys. ;) I want to say it seems we go through this each summer. I know I've wondered it in the past--was it the economy? Were people just not going out as much? Is everyone in vacation mode? Did we talk about everything there is to talk about? I hope not--and don't think so.

                                      I'm grateful to this board for so many places I'd have not have known of otherwise. But I do think lumping us in with RI and MA didn't seem to be the best move for us.

                                2. I mostly lurk & have something to post only when it would be interesting enough others.

                                  1. IMHO, the entire site delcined with its sale by Jim Leff to Cnet and then the accquistion by CBS. Jim made decisions based on his passion for authentic foods and his dedication to his contributors. Chow was home grown and hand crafted. Personalities flowered Chow was more artisnal. It all got a little less personal and more corporate with the sale.

                                    As for this board, CH jumped the shark with the redistricting of the old tri state board. In Southern Connecticut we feel part of the metro New York area, and don't regard ourselves as New Englanders. Westchester is just a few minutes away...the Cape hours away.

                                    We had some great contributers who left the board for greener, more local pastures like CTBites Locovoices, if you will.

                                    6 Replies
                                      1. re: stamfoodie

                                        Otoh, the rest of us who might have grown up in CT, lived in cities along Long Island Sound, worked in her cities, and farmed here, feel no connection to NYC and the metro area. The board keeps us informed about what's good within driving distance. It takes another click to check on Manhattan and the outer boroughs and upstate NY, and I keep them in my list. It's not a big deal. Seriously, is it too many to wade through or too few about lower F'fld County being part of Westchester?

                                        1. re: stamfoodie

                                          I'm in the same boat as Stamfoodie. As a Greenwich resident, I find more relevant postings on the NYS board. The Westchester contributors are much more active on that board than any lower Fairfield County contributors are on this board. It's too bad, though, because I would love to read and write more about FFC places on here. I read CTBites regularly but the reviews there can't always be trusted so I use it more for information than opinions.

                                          1. re: mla19

                                            "I read CTBites regularly but the reviews there can't always be trusted so I use it more for information than opinions." That's how many of us north of you feel about anything we read in the Hartford Courant, so I hear you.

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              The courant writes happy-shiney fluff pieces and not a true review, I guess that's the "new media"

                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                The food sections in the newspapers today except the New York Times are plain awful.

                                        2. The Cape gets a flurry in the summer but the Berkshires is usually only active among a small group of longtime local posters whose experience is valuable (!) but not too much new insight except from the occasional visiting hound. Since moving here I no longer rely on Chowhound and have been forced to use Trip Advisor and the other one for reviews of places we might like to try.

                                          1. Well I for one got tired of a few Cape Cod "experts" expounding at length on their favorites and ridiculing/bulling anyone who would dare to disagree with them.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: OuterCapeFoodie

                                              But this is another reason that those of us who don't live on the cape need to hear from more of those of you who do. I only get two weeks a year on the outer Cape and I hate to waste any of it eating in some crappy restaurant that used to be somebody's favorite but now sucks.

                                            2. well, living in the pioneer valley, it's not as though too many really interesting new restaurants open on a regular basis. this means posters from this area tend to wheel out a fairly fixed list of faves when questions arise. i do try to post if i hit a really great meal somewhere, but during the summer there's so much fresh produce around area (and i have a neighbor down the street who raises organic beef, plus an amazing smokehouse about a mile away), that i don't really eat out too often in this season. i do hit roadside stands now & then, but not too much has changed since i did my last hot dog round-up. one thing i was thinking about was trying every restaurant in the town where i live (deerfield) and posting a thumbnail guide for visitors. i've been dragging my feet on finishing up, but maybe i should just go do it. there really aren't that many. maybe some other folks would be interested in doing something similar for their town, neighborhood, whatever. might make for some lively reading, ranting and discussion.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: fatheryod

                                                That visitor guide is as great idea.

                                                I'd encourage you to talk up the smokehouse (if you haven't already), your produce finds, and other provisioning for home cooking. Learning about local food sources is always welcome.

                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                  Want to underscore this encouragement.

                                                  At least in western CT, where I am, there's a lot of change, some bad (Rte 7 development gobbled up another of my favorite farms; and the fish truck guy who used to drive down from Maine to New Milford each week went into real estate), some good (I keep hearing of new artisanal farmers and craft food purveyers).

                                                  Which is to say: updates on local food sources, more than welcome.

                                                  1. re: sundeck sue

                                                    I wondered what happened to the fish truck... hadn't seen it in a while! And which was your favorite farm on Rte 7? Just curious!

                                                    1. re: saturngrrl

                                                      I think the fish truck guy went into real estate (a parable for our times...). But he evidently didn't sell the business, if he ever owned it. I liked him--Anton something--and loved his Captain's Cut scrod.

                                                      There is a fish stand on 202, between New Milford and Bantam, behind a gun shop--but the prices are way higher, the quality less terrific, the sellers a bit stand-off-ish, the provenance of the catch more variable (to be fair, Anton had some non-New England fish too, but we only got the stuff he drove up to Maine for each week, freshly caught; and you could taste that, boy).

                                                      There's also evidently a fish truck in Kent, which we've yet to get to. Ditto a fish store in Morris, off 202, on Bantam Lake Rd., West Shore Seafood (we just found this place and have had their fried clams and lobster rolls, which we loved, but not yet fish from the store).

                                                      As for farm on Rte 7--I can't remember the name (sigh). Maybe in Brookfield, not far from the flea market, on the opposite side of the road. Just remember that at a particular moment in the summer, they had amazing melons.

                                                      1. re: sundeck sue

                                                        I bet you're talking about Larson's. They are (or were?) close to the flea market and on the other side of 7. I haven't seen any activity there yet this season, so I'm not sure what's up with that. They used to do a corn maze and sell corn (and other good stuff - amazing tomatoes!) on the corner of Federal Road (202) and Route 133 in Brookfield, and then they moved north. I just called the number that's listed on their website -- which hasn't been updated since 2012, apparently -- and got a "the number has been disconnected" recording. :-( I wonder if they're gone for good. If so, that makes me sad.

                                                        Thanks for the fish stand/truck/store info!

                                                    2. re: sundeck sue

                                                      wow, I remembered the lobster man the other day driving up rt 7 from wilton to danbury. Used to remember passing him all the time and was amazed he did business for so long.

                                                      One reason I think this part of the board is a wasteland is because of the shift from the metro NY board to "new england" and "new york".

                                                      Honestly I don't care about anything outside of fairfield and westchester county. The fact that my hometown board was forced to be generalized into "new england" threw that right out the window.

                                                  2. re: fatheryod

                                                    Does the Deerfield smokehouse sell to the public ?

                                                    1. re: sakeandgin

                                                      yes indeed they do. they're open 8:30 - 6:00 monday through friday. no website.

                                                      Pekarski Sausage
                                                      293 Conway Rd South Deerfield, MA 01373
                                                      (413) 665-4537

                                                      https://plus.google.com/1120489817895...

                                                  3. I think that unless someone has a specific need, they don't tend to think about it. I had not thought about it for a while until I was seeking oven advice and then posted myself. I was genuinely surprised at both the quantity and quality of responses I got. One person spent significant time explaining how different types of ovens work and it took a whole page to do it. Having been re-engaged recently, I go back and browse the boards and then try to help where I can. When I mention Chowhound to people here in Fairfield County, most people have no idea what I am talking about, but are pretty eager to check it out.

                                                    I like the idea of streamlining geography, as I too live in CT and we need to go through comments on several other states to see something close to home.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Sherbro

                                                      I lurk too, more than post. I just recently had to replace my range, and I did use thus site to help me make my decision.
                                                      I live in the same town as bagleman and tend to agree with him.

                                                      There are few places around here to eat, but I don't give up hope. :)

                                                      1. re: barbaract

                                                        barbara....
                                                        You see that I keep updating my neighborhood Italian in FFD County thread............

                                                        This Thursday, Mrs. B and a GF went to Marisa's for supper. Mrs. B had the hot lobster Roll. Huge amount of lobster, but absolutely tasteless. It was as if they dabbed 3 dpts of butter on a dry roll then filled with big chunks of lobster meat. The lobster had not been sauteed/heated in butter and was tasteless. Mrs. B had to add salt to get any taste at all. GF ordered eggplant Parm and sent it back. Hard as could be, needed a steak knife to cut. Marisa's has gone downhill.

                                                        Was at Franco Gianni's for lunch last Friday, eggplant was fine, but other at the table ordered Fried Calimari and found a 4" piece of fried wire in the food.

                                                        The best Italian this summer has been at Trattoria Roma on RT110 in the White Hills Center, but they are closed for vacation this week,

                                                        The sad thing is that all the talk in the Trumbull FB groups is about Cheesecake Factory opening on Tuesday at the mall. I won't be going, ever.

                                                        Wednesday Night we'll go to the Smithy, they just keep doing it right.

                                                    2. I agree with the others who have noted the geographic area on this board is too wide. I live in Greater Hartford/central CT and 9 times out of 10 when I come to this board, the majority of posts I see are about places I don't live or frequent. The Cape probably drives 50% of the traffic on this board. I'll chime in if there is a discussion about something in my area but those times are few and far between.

                                                      1. I stand guilty for not posting much on this board of late. Two reasons: first, I was recently in Italy and have been more focused on that board pre- and post-trip. It's a pretty lively board and often helpful. Second, when I am home on the Cape, I mostly do my own cooking. For the most part (and with a few notable exceptions) I prefer my own cooking to what I find dining out on Cape Cod, so I don't feel that I have much to contribute.

                                                        I don't think that the geography is too broad, provided people properly title their posts to indicate the specific town or area.

                                                        1. I lurk but I don't post. I really don't have much to say. I like to keep informed on which restaurants are opening and closing in RI.

                                                          I find this board to be informative when it comes to things that are happening in RI.

                                                          1. I have been using urbanspoon and yelp mostly, unless I know where I am going ahead of time or going on vacation and looking for specific advice from you guys.

                                                            12 Replies
                                                            1. re: javaandjazz

                                                              Just curious--because you don't see as much activity here, so you now rely on other sources? I've always felt there's extra value since I've come to "know" and trust familiar voices here on CH.

                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                With the phone it makes it easier to find a place when you are out and get reviews right away. I think chowhound is more for specialized dinners and specific places.

                                                                1. re: javaandjazz

                                                                  That makes total sense. This site is not easy to navigate on the fly, particularly from a phone!

                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                    This. The lack of a CH app in 2014 is incomprehensible.

                                                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                      as a 60 year old who doesn't-doesn't want a smart phone, the ONLY time I want to see app and CH in the same context is a discussion of what to have as a starter

                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                        So? No one would force you to use an app. You'd never need to know it even existed. It wouldn't change your CH experience in any way. Only those of us living in the 21st century would use it.

                                                                          1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                            carolina.................
                                                                            I posted that I didn't want to see it. SO, if as you post I'd never know it existed it wouldn't bother me.

                                                                            But if it was launched and there were all kinds of page top banners and links promoting it every time I'm on CH I'd find it annoying.

                                                                            I stopped using a particular bank, because every time I logged on to their on line banking to pay bills I was bombarded with promos for their mobile app. Eventually I had to refuse downloading the app each visit in order to get to my account. No smartphone, but these apps work on my kindle and I don't want them.

                                                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                          Couldn't agree with you more. It's always puzzled me why there isn't a CH app. Yelp has one. UrbanSpoon has one. TripAdvisor has one. CH needs one!!

                                                                          1. re: saturngrrl

                                                                            Guess I've opened a can of worms here. I put off getting a smart phone for the longest time and two years ago I was a convert and swear by them now. You have the world of information anywhere you happen to be.

                                                                            1. re: saturngrrl

                                                                              And it has to tell me where to eat near where I am at that moment, not near where my home is.

                                                                  2. WARNING, LONG POST:
                                                                    Wow, a great thread and something close to my heart. Also, a credit to the CH moderators that it's been allowed to continue. The CH of several years ago would have killed this thread on the first day, which was one of CH's problems that lead to its current state.

                                                                    Dating myself, I've been on CH since about 2001 when I read about it in a Calvin Trillin book (I think) and have been on internet forums waaay back to the late 80's. I think forum communities allowing far flung people to geek out regarding whatever topic strikes their fancy has been one of the true triumphs of the internet and it's saddened me to see their popularity wane overall and CH in particular (although the last 1-2 years have improved).

                                                                    The overall trend of forums of all types declining has been well documented. They are kind of the long-forum journalism of the social networking age. I think the NYTimes even proclaimed their death in an article. This has been attributed to several reasons:
                                                                    - The rise of the blog format
                                                                    - The subsequent rise of Twitter and Facebook as social outlets
                                                                    - The huge move to smartphones and tablets, neither of which are forum friendly
                                                                    - The fairly static nature of the forum interface. Many online forums are using interfaces little changed from the late 90's/early 00's (CH is better in this regard)

                                                                    CH had several unique issues over time which lead to a loss of posters in my opinion:
                                                                    - The somewhat odd geographical divisions in the forums, which have been well discussed...
                                                                    - The changed mission of the site, from an initial hyper-focused "club" of sorts committed to finding little-known, authentic dining to a general food and restaurant website, which turned many long time posters off...
                                                                    - Generally less happening in the food and restaurant world to talk about during the recession and time after. It felt like there was waaay more happening each month in, say, 2006 than today. Lots of homogenation in things like markets too...

                                                                    The biggest reason for the decline I think, at least for the RI posters, was that after the CH takeover there was a really draconian forum modulation for a while that was deleting forum topics left and right. I knew a lot of people online and in the "real world" in RI who told me that totally angered them and they've never come back, including some very high volume RI/PVD posters who really were the backbone of the community at the time. These people were sick of answering the same questions every few weeks (ex: "Where should I go in PVD for Waterfire?" "What is the best restaurant near Brown?") and the moderators said the geographic forums were purely question-response format about restaurants, nothing else. That killed a lot of great conversation that's never returned. One long time high volume RI poster who started a topic about what restaurant types the PVD scene could use (ex: tapas, ethiopian, etc) had that topic deleted (not a question-response about restaurants) and that was the final straw for him. I even left for a year or two after having a post deleted in which, in response to a question from someone, I posted a response with several links to other CH threads about that topic. At the time (maybe even now), linking to other threads was banned (discouraged discussion).

                                                                    I think CH has picked up again in the last 1-2 years. I find Yelp and Urbanspoon useless (what are the standards of the reviewers? Garbage in, garbage out) and I think the far better quality here will continue to win new fans. I think if they can tighten up the geographic divisions between forums, de-clutter the website and simplify navigation, and continue to encourage more freewheeling discussion, the future is bright.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Garris

                                                                      Garris,

                                                                      Intelligent and well thought out, especially regarding the general demise of fora.

                                                                      One thing I will say of the SNE CH, In general, a lot of the snarkiness of the old Tri-State Board has been reduced. Those food fights got awfully personal. Though they made for lively reading, I know a number of posters, like Doris, dropped out after many ad hominum attacks.

                                                                      The current SNE board is far more respectfull. I just hope its slide is not partially due to the more civil exchanges.

                                                                      That said, Gillis, I hope you are not being pollyanna about CH picking up in the last 1 or 2 years. It's escaped my radar.

                                                                      1. re: stamfoodie

                                                                        I think the SNE board has always been respectful more or less, and that has nothing to do with the slide. I can't speak to other fora.

                                                                        Regarding CH picking up, I think the RI chat has. I can't speak to other areas or topics. RI wise, it was REALLY dead for a while. A few years ago, there would be 1-2 posts per month, if that. Today, RI-wise, a good topic will get several posts and they'll be several threads per month. That's huge compared to the tumbleweed ghost-town of a few years back (again, RI-specific), so "picking up" is all relative.

                                                                        It's all a far cry from the sepia-toned, halcyon days of the original CH, where it felt like no one could drop a pan in a kitchen in PVD without it being posted about or discussed here, but I'll take whatever improvement we can get.

                                                                        BTW: Just searched Google for "providence restaurant forum" and CH didn't come up until #10, and that thread was someone asking on CH for OTHER non-CH PVD food chat sites! They need to increase their Google visibility...