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Discussion

Ongoing Feedback for New Conversation Types

LOCKED DISCUSSION

Today we've launched a fix to resolve the ordering issues you were seeing in Q&A. Answers are now correctly ordered, with the answer selected by the original poster at the top and then all other responses sorted by total votes.

We're also working on adding the ability to see who voted on each Q&A answer, and on adding a closing paragraph option to make Photo Stories more flexible.

We've seen some great example of Q&A posts to date. A few we particularly liked:

- What are the best hard ciders? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983829
- How long is too long to brine pork chops that are 2 in. thick? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983903
- Quick! Where should we have date-night dinner tonight? (in Minneapolis-St. Paul) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983778

We'd ask that everyone stay on topic and provide useful food-focused answers when posting on Q&A threads. Feedback about Q&A as a format should be brought up on the Site Talk board, to avoid taking people's questions off on a tangent.

We'd also love more feedback on the Photo Story format. Here are a few good examples so far. Check them out and tell us what you think of the format. Or, just check them out because they contain some amazing photographs of food.

- Piemonte 2014, Part II http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983856
- Try the Pomme D'Amour Pastry from Knead Patisserie, SF Mission (PICS) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983738
- My Chowhound Wedding: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984000
- Addictive Eclectic Ribeye with Poblano Pepper La Crema Sauce, MONEY [El Asador Steakhouse, Detroit] http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983773

There are also some great links going up using the new link function. Check out this one about Dolmas with an embedded YouTube video: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983879 We're doing some more work on the Linking function to make Links to other commonly used sites look this great on Chowhound, as well:
- Ricettario definitivo: 50 spaghetti recipes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983777
- Francois Payard tries supermarket snack cakes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983680

We have a number of additional improvements lined up and want to thank everyone for the feedback thus far. We've locked the initial feedback thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983655, since it was getting hard for many people to open, and started this new thread for ongoing feedback.

We hope everyone will focus on providing new feedback going forward -- the previous thread is still there, and we're working on determining where we can make changes that address that feedback so there's no need to repeat things you mentioned previously.

  1. Thanks for bearing with us everyone! We'll be heads down on improvements and hope to have more to announce later this week.

    9 Replies
    1. re: patsully

      Just a reminder. Let's lose the "debate" word in the Discussion header. Intimidating to newbies.

      1. re: c oliver

        Yes please. My previous suggested rewording is: "Discussion: Our community exists to discuss food. Jump right in!" Maybe a little hackneyed, but "Discussion: The web's food experts are ready to debate" is way too intimidating. Who are these experts? Well, ok we all think of ourselves as experts but if I were new to Chowhound I would never think to bother to "debate" with an "expert."

        1. re: MplsM ary

          I knew someone had said this and was too lazy to look. I thing it's WAY better.

        2. re: c oliver

          Please please please. Just to clarify: this appears in the sidebar on individual thread pages - the header reads "New Community Conversations are here" and then below it lists the different post categories, and says
          "DISCUSSION
          "The web's food experts are ready to debate."

          This is SUCH off-putting language. PLEASE change it.

          On the main page for the boards, at the top where one can start a new post, the different categories are shown and if you hover over the little "Discussion" balloon, a pop-up reads "Looking for in-depth food conversation? Our knowledgable [sic] Community is ready to discuss (and sometimes debate) all things food." I'd prefer to lose the "debate" part altogether, but this is much less off-putting wording. Surely it would be possible to paraphrase this in eight words or so without challenging folks to a debate with "the web's food experts."

          1. re: Allstonian

            I hadn't seen that. Thanks.

            How about "The site's food experts will talking endlessly about the most minute detail" :)

            1. re: Allstonian

              " if you hover over the little 'Discussion' balloon, a pop-up reads"

              I would never have had any idea that there were pop-ups if I hadn't read that here.

              Put the important information where no one will see it, excellent design.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Robert, I don't know your age or techy skills, but a lot of the recent things that are being described as "intuitive" haven't been for me

                1. re: c oliver

                  I've been making my living writing about software for 25 years, first as a reviewer for PC World and the like, then as a technical writer. I've been involved in many design decisions and worked closely with lots of UI designers, competent and otherwise. In some of my past jobs I had to take the lead on UI design and usability because the engineers were all hardcore coders with little sense of end users' expectations or needs.

                  A UI designer using the word "intuitive" raises a red flag for me, kind of like "authentic" in discussions of food. All UI design is arbitrary. If something seems intuitive that's only because you're used to that particular convention, e.g. having a permalink on a timestamp. Does every blogger expect that? Sure. That doesn't mean that lots of Chowhound users weren't baffled by the Link button disappearing.

        3. Thanks, J. I'm sure this hasn't been the easiest few days in your professional life. To say the least. I guess I started the +1 thing which, in truth, has gotten out of hand. I'm pretty sure y'all must be looking at options :) I'll return to the damn heart just to be a team player. Temporarily, I hope. Sleep well :)

          1. F.. it. I'm over it. I had my gripe. Thanks for your work. Let's get back to the business of talking about food and bitching at one another.

            1. I would like to reiterate my request to have the "read" post shading to be a tad darker. Right now, it's still a bit too light to be able to discern between read and unread posts.

              Also, I do think the boards are a bit cluttered. Since most of the posts are discussions, maybe lose all the "discussion" bubbles and only have the icons for links and Q&A? That would make those posts stand out instead of getting lost amongst the discussion posts.

              6 Replies
              1. re: beetlebug

                Yes yes YES - weirdly, this is one problem that seems to be MUCH worse on desktop/laptop than on android/tablet. The difference between read and unread threads is barely perceptible.

                1. re: beetlebug

                  I agree that the "read" threads really ought to be darker. Reading the site on a laptop is tricky because the screen has to be at just the right angle to be able to tell unread and read threads apart.

                  I also think you're on to something about only showing the Q&A icons. If 95% of posts are discussions there's really no point in identifying something obvious.

                  1. re: beetlebug

                    What irritates me about the slight color differentiation is that this is the third time (I think) since the Leff CH days that the powers that be have futzed with it. There is an agreeable color scheme, they futz, it becomes difficult read and then it goes back to an acceptable level. If there is one thing that doesn't need changing, it's the shading levels.

                    The shading (of closed read posts) on open threads is marginally better but the home board page is too light.

                    Unfortunately, I think the shading issue is getting lost amongst other complaints.

                    1. re: beetlebug

                      I miss the red. A lot easier on the eyes than all this white, and a more stylish, attractive design.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        Exactly. When the logo of both CHOW and Chowhound are backgrounded in red, I'm not sure why the switch to blue text/highlighting was made. The white-on-blue-or-gray is NOT easy to read.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          I miss the red as well. But when that was first rolled out, there was a huge uproar about the color scheme. I think it's because it was so bright that it was almost blinding. They fixed the shades and we all liked it. Then after a few years, they futzed with the color again. Sigh.

                          The red made the site different then other ones. Not sure why it changed other then for changes sake.

                    2. I think the changes do a very good job of doing what they are designed to do - increase the mass appeal of the Site. More "oooh pretty pictures" posts certainly helps. Anything that might actually get folks to click on links is a great step (next try and figure out how to get 'em to read the linked to material before responding, please?). The Q&A is problematic and limited, but if it helps the Site get a few more bodies to stick around until they've learned something, so be it (although, brining pork is simply wrong - but, that's off topic here).

                      There is a clearly growing mass of new "foodies" out there. Food television has figured out how to appeal to it, so has Yelp! Darden is doing it. I mean, even small, local papers are. Chow needs its piece to survive. Dumbing things down should be beneficial to that goal (Besides, crusty, old 'hounds with Adblock don't succumb to a lot of outside sales pitches.).

                      The thing is, the process inevitably leads to a reduction in the number of "experts" available to distinguish this Site from others. Over time, there has been a clear loss of true food-related professionals. Perhaps, that was intended, but those folks also played an important part in the pyramid. There likewise seems to be a reduction in the number of folks who comprehend and articulate effectively. This also leads down a dangerous path - initial attraction is fleeting without some underlying substance.

                      At bottom, I guess all I'm really saying is don't forget the bird in hand when going after the other two. Truth is, most of us recognize that we need all three. (Oh, and, the heart is still pretty lame!)

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: MGZ

                          Agreed - well said, MGZ.

                          Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Attracting new users is one thing; but losing long-time Hounds is another. Don't dumb down the site so much that it becomes a Yelpish site.

                          1. re: MGZ

                            Bravo!! Bravo!! (and yes, I hearted you!)

                              1. 1. Darkening "read" posts in My Profile and those collapsed posts in a thread should still be done. The lack of any real contrast is hard on the eyes - old and young.

                                2. Please please PLEASE consider changing the blue heart to a thumbs-up. Repeating what I just said in reply to MGZ - don't dumb the site down to a Yelpish-type site. A thumbs-up means a LOT more than a heart when someone "Likes" a post within a thread.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Much as I hate change, I like that there's an icon for photo stories. I now know to avoid those like the plague, since I'm not into porn. There are some amazingly talented food photographers in this world, but I'm just not interested in watching a slide show of someone else's meal.

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                    Oh, thank you. I thought I was the only one on the planet who felt that way.

                                    1. re: NonnieMuss

                                      Really? I though the "My Chowhound Wedding" in particular was just great.

                                      But I enjoy looking at amazingly talented food photographers' work.

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        I thought it was fabulous also. I don't care for photos of boxes and cans of ingredients and every step of prep but yummy looking food, whether made at home or eaten out is great. MMRuth, who no longer posts, used to have some great ones. She was noted that her husband knew not to expect dinner until after the flash went off :)

                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          Just not my thing. Like I said - there's some great talent in styling and photographing food, but I'm not interested. I don't object to the format, or the fact that others enjoy it. And I'm glad that they're clearly marked for those who do enjoy them.

                                          1. re: NonnieMuss

                                            So I'm guessing your fave cookbooks don't have a lot of pix?

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              I'm not Nonnie but to me there is a big difference between cook book photography and what you see in this threads. Some are quite good, like the chowhound wedding, others are as bad as The Pioneer Woman. On my phone it's is a PIA to get to the verbiage so I usually skip the thread all together.

                                              Just because one doesn't care for it on CH doesn't mean one prefers cookbooks without photos. Again, not Nonnie, just my opinion.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Well I guess for me the point of cookbooks isn't beautiful pictures, but pictures that teach or illustrate steps - whether they're pretty or not doesn't matter so long as they are clear. I have the Alinea coffee table book, in which the photography is astounding, but I don't use it as a cookbook as much as I do old issues of CI. (Truthfully I've never made a recipe from Alinea, because I'm pretty sure I'd blow something up if I tried.)

                                                1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                  Reminds me that I really only subscribe to the Playboy site for their articles. No, honestly I do! ;-)

                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                    For a time in the late sixties I was pretty much ostracized by kids whose parents found out my mother subscribed to (in order of suspicious content): Playboy, Mad Magazine and The New Yorker. I lived in a neighborhood where Common Wheel was the reading material of choice.

                                                    Back to the matter at hand... While some folks do not like the icons connoting post types, here I think it's a bug plus. Photo Stories and Q&A are easily avoided for those who'd rather not look.

                                                    1. re: MplsM ary

                                                      Your mom is my kind of gal !!

                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                        Mary, for me the issue with Q&A isn't a matter of my ignoring it but rather people who come looking for info aren't going to get it. After six or so 'replies' *I* find it totally unwieldy so imagine what someone new to the site is going to think. And the way one posts and the way it's sorted just doesn't give the kinds of answers that the discussion mode does. So IMO it really hurts the site overall.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          I think adding a sort by date button underneath the OP would help. I started a thread on that and you were the only one to reply
                                                          (Thank you :-) ) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984609

                                                        2. re: MplsM ary

                                                          I meant BIG plus. Freudian slip I guess.

                                            2. Sorry of off topic but I am unable to start of new discussion. That function simply is not working on my computer (I use Firefox). Also the collapse feature is not working for me. Threads I have read are completely opening each time I open them. This has been happening since Monday.

                                              Going to have to bow out of participating in long threads like WFD until this is fixed. Too much stuff to wade through in order to find the newer posts.

                                              Also, the "reply" box is so small - perhaps 20 characters wide. PITA.

                                              I realize engineering is probably working like crazy but this is the most messed up I've ever seen for CH. One step forward, ten steps back...

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                Hi meatn3.

                                                The issue might be that your operating system (Windows XP) is no longer supported. It looks like you're using Firefox as your browser--have you tried other browsers? Let us know if something like Chrome works better (or not) for you.

                                                1. re: DeborahL

                                                  The other thing we've been seeing is that some users using extensions like Ghostery or AdBlock that block parts of pages from loading are finding that those buttons don't work. So you may want to try running Firefox with the extensions disabled and see if that makes those things work.

                                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                    I'm running Adblock on Firefox on WinXP and I have no problems.

                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                      I'm running Adblock as well and had similar problems. There is literally some kind of slide scale on Adblock that you can adjust to refine how much it blocks. If pushed to far to one side it will literally remove certain functions of Chow from your screen, I lost my "reply" button. It took me a while of playing around before I realized I had to adjust my Adblock to allow full site functions to be restored.

                                                    2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                      Just got home and disabled Adblock on CH. Now I can sign out, text block for reply is proper size, read threads are collapsed. Have not tried starting a new post but suspect it will work too.

                                                      Thanks! Nice to have one less frustration tonight.

                                                2. I can't even sign out - the option simply isn't there. This is really tedious.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                    I'm running Firefox on XP and it works fine.

                                                    To start a discussion go to the top of the board page you want to post on and click Discussion.

                                                    https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2897/1...

                                                    You'll get the usual prompt to enter a title and then you can type the initial post.

                                                    The logout procedure hasn't changed. Go to the top right corner of the screen and click on the down arrow next to your avatar. Sign Out is one of the options.

                                                    https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2907/1...

                                                    I think one of the problems we have is that a lot of people have gone around yelling "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" Other people reading along have believed it and think that nothing works.

                                                  2. So you rolled this out? I still see "Beta" in the board header but the new types are visible when not logged in.

                                                    Also, I can vote when not logged in, which as we keep telling you means inviting the same kind of spam garbage data we saw with some previous failed new features.

                                                    Not only that, but if I clear my cache, I can vote again.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                      Thank you! I keep meaning to report both those things but I keep forgetting.

                                                      That clearing cache thing is interesting... are you clearing cookies, too?

                                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                        "Not only that, but if I clear my cache, I can vote again."

                                                        This is a special privilege extended to senior posters.

                                                        Seriously, I don't see this as a major problem. It's not like fixing a presidential election. It's a vote on a food board. They'll correct the problem.

                                                      2. Bob, Thanks. I have attempted both of those ways of beginning a new post and signing out. Neither work. I'm also Firefox with winXP. Later I'll experiment with Adblock.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                          I've got Adblock and everything works for me. As jrvedivici said, if you're running AB it may be that your settings are too restrictive. If I were you I'd try viewing the site with Chrome or IE as a first step. You may also want to disable AB on Firefox completely and see if that makes a difference.

                                                          As for myself, I'm feeling kind of guilty about using Adblock since CH is an ad supported site. I've just switched it off on CH and will make a point of clicking on a couple of ads each day. It'll take about 30 seconds.

                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                            I don't mind ads, I just can't stand animation when I'm reading or writing.

                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                              Same here. It is very distracting for me.

                                                            2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                              If one is running adblock, it gets rid of all the ads. I think. Static ads don't bother me, but popups and those that interfere with the line of site to read can be maddening to some. I'd like to run adblock and still be able to click on some ads to help CH.....especially because it is the only resource that I use. In the past, weren't all the ads static and posted on the right side banner? I can't remember.

                                                              The heart could be replaced with a trident. I'd feel just as creepy clicking on a trident symbol. Or a little clown. A smiley face or a small pie would be okay. Seriously, I don't mind clicking the heart, because I truly do love a lot of posters on my beloved CH.

                                                              1. re: rudeboy

                                                                Yes! A pie...everyone loves pie!

                                                          2. Just to clarify? No beneath the wonderful heart is more text to list who recommended?

                                                            17 Replies
                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              fldhky, on my screen there is no number beneath the wonderful heart. If someone has clicked on the wonderful heart the number appears to the right, and the list of those who clicked is in a menu above as before. (I refuse to say, "hearted")

                                                              Firefox/W8/Ad block plus.

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                I think it's just on mobile. I don't see it on my laptop (Firefox/W8/Ad block plus) but on mobile there's an extra line listing "recommended by" which just clutters the screen even more.

                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                  I find that blue line absolutely unbearable. I can't use the mobile version if that's going to be there.

                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                    OK, so it's not just me. No one else responded so I thought I was losing my mind and the only one to see it. It's really annoying.

                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                      All of those little blue lines take up a lot of space on a little mobile screen and they're so freaking bright! Obnoxious and unattractive. Who cares who "recommends" a post?

                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                    I have complained about that a number of times and have yet to get an answer on if its here to stay. It messy, distracting and if there are more than 3 "hearts" you can't see who "hearted"-its not clickable.

                                                                    My comments have been roundly ignored by the CH team

                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                      If the 1st person on the list has a long name you get Recommended by LongNamedPerson + 3 others.

                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                        Yup, there's been nary a comment (or minimal) from TPTB re: the blue heart and/or that blue line of reco'ing users (which I saw today on my phone while looking something up while out shopping) and it's HORRENDOUS.

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          And the CH team is clearly reading this thread as the reply to positive comments and to technical issues that can be fixed.

                                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                                            Bingo, foodie. It's not like patsully, Jacquilynne, et al, haven't seen what many many people have said about the blue heart during the beta and the rollout. They're just ignoring it. Which means it's a done deal.

                                                                            Again - thanks for making long-time posters feel really used. Highly disappointing.

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              Ya know, yesterday, when it had been a week, I really thought they'd throw us a bone.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                Four or five people really hate the blue heart and they've posted hundreds of times. That's hardly a landslide.

                                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                  Here's a little perspective. "Enter the Chowhound Haters" from Eater in 2007. http://la.eater.com/archives/2007/01/...

                                                                                  If you were around then, all this sturm und drang ain't nothin.

                                                                                  And a snapshot of the Chowhound people hated: https://web.archive.org/web/200701250...

                                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                    It's like Dejavu all over again!

                                                                                  2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                    Well, is it four or is it five? You actually counted?

                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  I think they are letting us work through the 7 stages of grief. DABDA:

                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCb...

                                                                    2. Alright, I just tried the photo story thingy and like it a lot! I still don't want to see bloggish things where people show boxes and bags of ingredients but I'm going to like seeing pictures with labels and narratives.

                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984242

                                                                      1. "We're also working on adding the ability to see who voted on each Q&A answer"

                                                                        I think that's essential. As the voting is now, it's spammable.

                                                                        1. Ok, several days later and I'll say that I like the new link and photo conversation types. I still think Q&A is flawed and of limited utility due to the inability to comment on a reply. But maybe I'll see the light one day. I'm even getting used to the {heart}.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                            I'm only using the heart now to keep from further cluttering up posts with +1s, etc. If this doesn't change soon, I'll either stop hearting or go back to plus one'ing.

                                                                          2. I've had a chance to try out the Photo Story format and I like it for reporting via pictures. I deliberately used mostly camera phone photos taken in dim light, i.e., blurry and dark, to see how they'd fare. At the current photo size, I won't be doing that again. They're ok when I view the topic on my phone, but they're not acceptable in full screen size on my 11" MBA, and that's a pretty small screen.

                                                                            I used all landscape, but I've seen some examples in portrait that are humongous, more than the height of my screen. That's just too big to be pleasant viewing. Are there any plans to allow posting photos in different sizes?

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                              I use an app called Simple Resize to bring pics down to e-mail resolution: 640x480. Don't know if they have a similar application for the non-mobile user.

                                                                              1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                Dim light photos will be tough to view at any width, but if they are less than 620px wide, they won't be stretched to fit the Photo Story column width. We don't intend to offer re-sizing tools on the site as we're hoping for full resolution, well-lit photos whenever possible.

                                                                                Larger photos are sized to fit the width of the post and we really like do like the taller portrait photos that folks are uploading. You don't find the table photo here to be pleasant viewing? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984000 As more and more views are coming from mobile devices, they're quite fun to scroll through.

                                                                                1. re: patsully

                                                                                  L's wedding repast is an exemplary use of the format. The portrait oriented shots are double the height of my screen.

                                                                                  I worded my query badly. I meant to ask if page rendering of photos would be available in different sizes, not whether I could upload photos of smaller sizes. Are all photos displayed to fit the text width or is it possible for the poster to select them smaller?

                                                                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                    Ah, okay I understand.

                                                                                    We want photos in the Photo Story format to appear as large and beautiful as possible, but as monitor sizes vary, we know that portrait photos will require scrolling on smaller screens.

                                                                                    We don't have immediate plans to allow for variable image sizing for smaller desktop screens, but it's good feedback and we'll consider it going forward. Typically you'd see that type of photo sizing in a gallery format, where scrolling through text is not the focus. In this case the "story" is also an important part of the post making scrolling down the page essential.

                                                                                  2. re: patsully

                                                                                    As noted, the portrait views aren't fully visible on a computer monitor.

                                                                                    1. re: patsully

                                                                                      Are photos in the photo story format a different size than photos posted to discussion format? It used to be that the ideal size for a photo posted to CH was 520 X 390 px. Is that no longer true? Could you give us a rundown, please, of ideal photo sizes for the various formats. I know I have a preset crop "For Chowhound" in Photoshop, and I'll bet I'm not the only one.

                                                                                2. When posting this reply to a thread, I got an error message that said something like, enter text before posting.
                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9827...

                                                                                  However, when I refreshed the board index, my post had indeed gone through.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                    I've had that happen several times.

                                                                                  2. Ok, I just discovered an Easter Egg. If y'all tell me it's been this way for ages... of course I will feel ashamed and a wee bit slow. Though that's not a new thing.

                                                                                    Click the down arrow (could not find the unicode down arrow) next to number of replies and all the posts expand. Then click the > arrow and the subposts disappear.

                                                                                    I wish we could see the number of subposts there, too. otherwise, neat-o!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                      I'm pretty sure that has always been there. On the old format I think it was a "+" sign that you clicked rather than an arrow, but the function was there previously.

                                                                                    2. I haven't been keeping up with all the talk and tweaks to the new formats, but I have just one or two comments on the Photo Story format. For reference, I just made a Photo Story post here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984398.

                                                                                      I like that the Captions field text limit has been increased (I think). I think I hit the limits pretty quick on my original test Photo Story (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/980226). However, I'm hoping that the Image Title text limit is also increased.

                                                                                      As you can see from my Shunji post, may of my image titles go to the second line. This is both on a computer browser and a mobile browser with regular font sizes. That means that the Image Title fields can be increased by at least a few dozen characters, as the remaining space on the second line isn't being used.

                                                                                      I'm glad to read on another thread that "outro" text field would be an upcoming feature to Photo Story.

                                                                                      I don't think this is limited to Photo Story, but I really like the "instant" upload of images. I know it's just uploading in the background as I'm adding it, but it's so much nicer than when I'd specify a bunch of images, click Post, and cross my fingers that the post would appear, with all the pics, and that it wouldn't accidentally create duplicate posts.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                        Looks great! How did you get the bold and larger font for your labels?

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          Thanks! Must be the new default format. I didn't do anything special to make the image titles bold or bigger. Interesting in mobile Safari on my iPhone, the image titles look smaller than the normal text, but is still bold.

                                                                                        2. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                          Thanks, this is great feedback! We'll definitely fix the mobile font sizes, those shouldn't have decreased.

                                                                                          We did bump the photo captions limit way higher, so that you can write as much as you'd like. Next we'll make sure that these respect paragraph breaks, for more in-depth writeups.

                                                                                        3. Ref the Q&A threads. Do you really think these example demonstrate the new format has any value to add over the old discussion layout...?

                                                                                          It strikes me that the three you have selected would all work better if you could see the flow of the conversation

                                                                                          A really great example of how the Q&A format destroys discussion is this current one on the French board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984528 - this is a topic that deserves some discussion and debate especially in the Parisian context. However, without the nesting thread that generates a discussion path many of the comments are "orphans" with no parent comment to give them context.

                                                                                          Given the USP of the forum is the added value the discussion gives it seems odd to give the option of a best of list. These destroy the discussion and we end up with lists that lack any context or validation. Votes for a topic are not qualified validation they simply move Chow towards Trip Adviser or other similar sites. Unless you can assess the quality of a posters opinion then a recommend or vote on a best of site is next to useless.

                                                                                          I believe people come to Chow for the "qualified" opinions of the board members. If its just a popularity contest we lose this insight and we might as well use TA for restaurant recommendations and simply follow those with the most votes.

                                                                                          I understand there is a concern that people could game the voting process in positive or negative ways but this is a minor issue compared to the way this type of thread could destroy the underlying value (and interest) in the boards.

                                                                                          Conversely, I can see the picture threads adding a lot of value as you can post a narrative about a restaurant or trip with photos that go with the text - no more trying to second guess which photo goes with which review.

                                                                                          The picture thread really enhances the USP of Chowhound and almost balances out the destruction the Q&A threads will reap - posters are ephemeral and once lost are tricky to replace. The Coffee thread on the French board is a major turn-off and if the board goes in that direction then I predict we will lose some valued contributors. OK its easier for the "please recommend the best croissant" brigade but those are not the posters who attract repeat visitors....and we all know repeat visitors generate site traffic that equals revenue. So whilst the Q&A thread maybe technically great they will inevitably destroy business value.

                                                                                          72 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                                                              If this post was in the Q&A format, I would log out and repeatedly clear my browser cache in order to vote it up a dozen times.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  Like I said, the same 4 or 5 people in an echo chamber.

                                                                                                  The refrain seems to oscillate between "no one is going to use the Q&A format" to "the Q&A format will destroy the site." It seems really early for predictions.

                                                                                                  Based on what I'm seeing the new Q&A format will get occasional use. That's hardly a site killer.

                                                                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                    So you counted these also? I'm impressed.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      No, I didn't count the posters but Boardreader did.

                                                                                                      Over the last week there were 756 posts on Sitetalk.

                                                                                                      You posted 250 times, Sunshine posted 79, and LindaWhit posted 78. Together you accounted for 54% of Sitetalk activity.

                                                                                                      Earlier I said that 4 or 5 people were accounting for the bulk of the complaints. I think I need to cut that number down to 3.

                                                                                                      http://boardreader.com/fp/Chowhound_C...

                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                        I suspect the weeklong trend of replying "+1" in lieu of recommending via the heart probably accounts for the big numbers from those three. There are a bunch of critics and complainers on site talk, and I refuse not to be included among them.

                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                          The Big Three didn't post hundreds of +1s.

                                                                                                          54%. That says it all.

                                                                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                              Seriously, who gives a crappy goddamn who is posting how many times about whatever subjects on whatever boards?

                                                                                                              Many of us dislike aspects of the roll out.
                                                                                                              We REALLY disliked the fact that the beta testers were used by TPTB.
                                                                                                              And we voiced our opinion.
                                                                                                              Over and over again.
                                                                                                              Because we were ignored.
                                                                                                              No one likes to be ignored.
                                                                                                              And no one likes being used.

                                                                                                              But you go ahead and keep harping about the "Big Three" who posted +1 and made many comments. Perhaps you'll be on next week's Boardreader list as a frequent poster on Site Talk.

                                                                                                              @@

                                                                                                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                        You should start a Q&A thread based on this assumption. Then we can have concrete evidence of the amount of people who detest the Q&A format! But perhaps once they experience the sheer delight of providing a quick and simple A to a Q, perhaps they will see how harmless and innocent it is. (reverse psychology right there!!)

                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983701
                                                                                                          (not to mention the inherent problem with starting a Q&A thread to ask how many people avoid Q&A threads)

                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                            Thanks for the link. I think it clearly shows that four or five vocals CHs aren't the only ones disliking it.

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              C, I think you should start a Q&A about the likes/dislikes of the little blue heart. Has the lil guy grown on you any more over the weekend? Is there any room in your heart for the Chow heart? Is there C?

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                I think it also clearly shows that people did not (and still may not) understand how to use Q&A topics. We'll get the hang of it, eventually.

                                                                                                              2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                Well in fairness that link is about the entire new format, not just the Q&A board, so you have a lot more combined disliking involved there. Perhaps a more specific and targeted Q&A just about the Q&A, would narrow everyone's specific hatred(s) down.

                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                  There are specific criticisms of the Q&A format with a lot of upvotes. They are at or near the highest voted comments in the thread.

                                                                                                                  Incidentally, the comments specific to the heart have fewer upvotes, though still a good deal more than 4 or 5.

                                                                                                                  Do you honestly believe that the majority of the backlash against the changes has not been about the Q&A format?

                                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                    junior et al, do you really think anyone other than we CHs give a shit about any of this? After a week and a half of not a single reply to any of this? Your innocence is sooooo sweet :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      Well I seem to be in the silent minority that really doesn't have a problem with many, if even any of the changes. Some of them made me shrug or scratch my head, but none have I found to be upsetting at all. So to be honest I haven't really given much thought as to who care or who doesn't. All I've been doing is trying to add some levity, some distractions, for those of you who really seem upset by it. That's all Jr is doing...

                                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                        I know, junior, I know. As one of the testers, I'm just continuing to give feedback thinking certainly one of these days TPTB are going to reply. It's their site and I'm cool with that. Time will tell what, if any, fallout there will be.

                                                                                                              3. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                Bob - some changes elicit a shrug. For me hearts vs recommend are immaterial - I know which I prefer but it doesn't effect the usability of the site.

                                                                                                                The Q&A thread does effect the usability and causes a degree of frustration, first the discussion no longer has structure, and second you find yourself re-reading previous answers as they all display.

                                                                                                                Certainly it may die a natural death. But equally you would have hoped the whole "best of" or "can't be bothered to search" posts would also die off, or at least posters would get the hints.

                                                                                                                Those types of thread put good posters off, boards full of those types of thread do decline and better posters lose interest. So why take the risk with adding a thread type that adds little and simply exacerbates the worst aspects of the site. The aspect that irritates the hell out of the more prolific posters?

                                                                                                                Maybe keep it for General Topics board to answer the inane "is it safe to eat" type question (I suspect general topics is to coral these types of question). But let's keep it away from the more insightful boards.

                                                                                                                  1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                    "So why take the risk with adding a thread type that adds little and simply exacerbates the worst aspects of the site?"

                                                                                                                    From CBS's perspective, the worst aspect of the site is probably that people who don't find what they're looking for don't stick around to click the ads that bring in the money.

                                                                                                                    They're trying to monetize an online community that they don't understand.

                                                                                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                      Those are "worst case" guesses.

                                                                                                                      Honestly, on the NYC boards we've been living with "what's the best Italian restaurant near Times Square" discussions for the last 15 years. Thousands of them. You don't need a Q&A thread to get people asking those type of questions. I strongly doubt they'll increase.

                                                                                                                      We can both guess away but by the end of October we'll have our answer.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                        End of October? Do you know something we don't? :)

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                          At the end of a 3 month trial period we should have enough data to assess whether the Q&A threads are working. Anything shorter wouldn't be enough; anything longer would be overkill.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                            "WE"? Like the Chowhound-WE or the TPTB-WE?

                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              Both. I assume the parties aren't mortal enemies.

                                                                                                                              It will be nice to have a discussion based on how things actually worked out and not on guesswork.

                                                                                                                              Winston Churchill once said "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." That's good enough for me.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                You do remember the Food Quests board though, right?

                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                  As a matter of fact, no. There are lots of boards I never look at.

                                                                                                                                  My understanding, and it may be wrong, is that it was unsuccessful. There could be a number of reasons for that. One might be that it's an inherently misguided idea. Another thought is that the Food Quests board was too narrow an area to measure its success and it needs to be available to a wider audience to assess its full potential.

                                                                                                                                  I think we should give it 3 months and then talk about it some more.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                    You should've read it. Though the concept of the board was muddled, there were still some good threads. Or rather, good ideas for threads, and people making honest efforts at responding to those threads (at least initially). They went nowhere because the format didn't allow the ideas in those threads to be explored. If you'd followed the board, it was obvious that the single biggest problem in it was the thread format.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                      Just the idea of a board devoted to Food Quests made me gag. Way too touchie feelie. That made me avoid it.

                                                                                                                                      "If you'd followed the board, it was obvious that the single biggest problem in it was the thread format."

                                                                                                                                      You know what? It wasn't obvious to the people who run the site.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                        I'm not convinced the people running the site actually read/follow it very much. Could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                          I agree with you. ANd that's why I continue to post here. In hopes that ANY fucking BODY is reading.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                          Agree they probably won't increase, but they will probably result in those threads morphing into discussions so no opportunity to redeem them.

                                                                                                                          I don't understand your issue with someone expressing an opinion, I would hope the debate and discussion adds value. We can all shrug our shoulders and carry on, but isn't it good to care?

                                                                                                                          My predictions maybe worst case, but are yours not best case guesses...?

                                                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                            Phil, I had a manager one time who told me "You aim too high, people aren't going to do that." My reply was that we'll always fall short so if we don't aim high, well, then, you complete the thought.

                                                                                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                              The people who run the site have decided to give this a shot. Saying the same negative things dozens of times isn't going to change that. There comes a time when people need to let it go and see how it works out.

                                                                                                                              A productive strategy might be to do a rough survey of major boards to see how many times repetitive questions have come up over the past 3 months. Then compare it with the next 3 months. We can also track the number of Q&As.

                                                                                                                              I'll tell you what. I'll do it for the Manhattan board and report back.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                How do they know how it works out unless they get feedback? In many technology roll outs silence is taken as acceptance when in fact it is resignation.

                                                                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                  The feedback they're getting right now consists of a handful of people saying "I don't like it" and making predictions. What I'm suggesting is that we let it run for 3 months and then look at the results.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                    Ya know, Bob, you continue to use a "handful" equivalent. Where it seems it's dozens and dozens. AND it also seems like you must be a mod since you continue to talk about letting it run for a few months. Although 'they' say that mods aren't allowed to post on things like this. BTW, the testing ran for a month perhaps. Does that count? What's YOUR agenda please?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                      My "agenda" is that I've been posting on Chowhound for 15 years. A lot longer than you. I've seen plenty of things come and go. Back in the days before the CNET purchase I donated money to the site because I didn't want to see it fold. I've never taken it for granted and I don't overreact to changes.

                                                                                                                                      Me, a mod?

                                                                                                                                      That's hilarious. I'm a long standing PITA to the mods and get deleted regularly.

                                                                                                                                      What I've suggested repeatedly is that we let the Q&A format run for 3 months and then take a look at it.

                                                                                                                                      Who knows? Maybe it will become obvious that it's a bad idea and I'll join you in wanting it abolished. I can change my mind but I'm a lot more comfortable doing it on the basis of facts rather than hunches.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                        Yes, longer than I but I'm not a newcomer either.

                                                                                                                                        YOU were the one who claimed that "four or five" people were objecting. And, without counting, I flat out know it's way, way more than that.

                                                                                                                                        So you've been around twice along as I. So how many times and under what circumstances have you seen that changes were better. And if challenged about those changes, how many times have you seen "them" change the change :) ?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                          You just got me to take a trip down memory lane. I searched Site talk for some old threads I started.

                                                                                                                                          Back in 2006 after CNET bought the site they made a series of changes. One of them altered the way the posting date was displayed. Instead of date and time we got relative dates. "Two days ago." "Three weeks ago." We got them to change it.

                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3167...

                                                                                                                                          Then there was the old policy of being really strict about answering posts with links to recent similar threads. I started a thread suggesting that all posts older than 30 days be deleted since they were stale and we weren't allowed to link to them.

                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/777065

                                                                                                                                          They eased up.

                                                                                                                                          I think the current mods do a good job. They're not perfect but Lord knows we're not a perfect group of posters. I'm confident that if the Q&A discussions don't work out they'll eliminate them.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                            "I think the current mods do a good job. They're not perfect but Lord knows we're not a perfect group of posters. I'm confident that if the Q&A discussions don't work out they'll eliminate them."

                                                                                                                                            I doubt the mods have much (if anything at all) to do with this kind of decision. Anyone with inside information who wants to corroborate or correct me is welcome to.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                              That's exactly what I was just thinking. It's not the moderators. It's the owners of the site. No, I don't have proof of that.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                              so if you're not a mod, and you have no skin in the game, then why does it bother you so much that people have opted to say "hey, I don't like this" rather than just meekly accepting whatever has been handed?

                                                                                                                                              You apparently missed the shitstorm over the rollout weekend -- there were a half-dozen discussions with thousands of responses....4-5 people weren't physically capable of that many responses. Perhaps you should go have a gander.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                sunshine I think you kind of answered your own question. Nobody missed the "shitstorm" over the weekend, nor the continued shit drizzles that have continued every day since. That's the exact reason why people like Bob, myself and a few others keep trying to bring some reason into conversation.

                                                                                                                                                If some people just said "hey, I don't like this" I don't think Bob, or myself, would have any problem with it. But as you said, a shitstorm isn't comprised of people saying "hey, I don't like this" it's a lot more. Why get on Bob for responding to give it some time, try to adapt, see if Chow does the right thing after a period of time? No offense to you sunshine, (I don't know if you were part of the trial crowd) or anyone else, but it's fairly apparent Chow doesn't really care about the out-rage or feedback thus far. Your voices are falling on deaf ears, you can continue to scream and give everyone else around you headaches, or you can accept the cup of tea with honey that Bob has offered you, sooth your throats, sit back, and watch what unfolds.

                                                                                                                                                Let me be clear with my personal feelings here; If The Powers To Be honestly cared about ANY of your feedback or complaints, I think there would be one thread by now saying "Dear Chow Community, Thank you very much for your valued feedback, please know we are taking all your comments, good and bad, under advisement and will keep them in mind for future enhancements to the site." I've noticed a mod or two make fleeting comments about reading the comments etc. but nothing that even remotely seems "official". As was mentioned above the mods are not the decision makers, they are just gluttons for punishment if you ask me. (I actually mean that respectfully Mods, it's a thankless job that you seem to volunteer for)

                                                                                                                                                Hopefully you, me, Bob and all the other contributors have many many many years ahead of us to sit here and discuss any number of subjects. It seems for now though......the changes are here to stay (for who knows how long) so why continue to fight, complain about them and not try to adapt to them?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                  Why do you feel obligated to police the boards? Do you not realize that claiming to 'bring some reason to the conversation' is inherently argumentative and begs for an argumentative response? No offense, but I sure as hell haven't seen any higher quality reasoning coming from the 'it's all good' crowd than from those making criticisms. If you want the criticism to peter out, perhaps arguing that there must be something wrong/unreasonable with the '4 or 5' people complaining might not be the best way to get em to shut up.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                    I'm not policing the boards by any means, if you didn't notice sunshine asked a question, to which I responded. That is the point of a discussion board, or perhaps sunshine should have facilitated the Q&A format which would have excluded the ability for posters to respond to each other. :-)

                                                                                                                                                    If you felt the use of the term "bring some reason" to be argumentative then please accept my apologies, that certainly wasn't my intent. Problem solved.

                                                                                                                                                    "If you want the criticism to peter out, perhaps arguing that there must be something wrong/unreasonable with the '4 or 5' people complaining might not be the best way to get em to shut up."

                                                                                                                                                    I'm not sure where I've said there is anything wrong/unreasonable with anyone, if so please show me where I did. I'm not sure why you or anyone want to lash out like this, I've never said your (or other views) aren't valid, I'm just pointing out what seems to be obvious to me, "the powers to be" aren't listening -or- don't care. (I believe the later)

                                                                                                                                                    Feel free to shout out all you want, I'm not trying to stop you. But I certainly feel or read a level of angst that doesn't seem to be going away and I find that to be shame. If my attempts at humor, calming, reasoning (sorry to use the word again) or other attempts are in vein, oh well. At least I know I tried to bring calm to my fellow users who seem to be very upset about a situation that doesn't appear to be changing any time soon. If that offends you I offer you my apologies again.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                      junior, perhaps it's time for you to 'unfollow' this thread. I know your goal is a good one but you've had your say, right? It's 'feeling' like you're getting upset that this dead horse continues to get whipped :) You know I love you :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                        I'm not upset at all, not at this thread, the changes or Chow at all. I responded to sunshine, sunshine hasn't offered a comment or follow up, but coboyardee wants to call me out for "policing the boards" really? Ok......no problem.

                                                                                                                                                        Just out of curiosity what is the dead horse I'm beating?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                          That these changes are here to stay.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                            I have no idea if they are here to stay or not. From what I've seen others post, the site has gone through various changes and incarnations over the years, so chances are they won't stay forever. But for now it seems they are deeply rooted and I don't think your voice (or mine or anyone else) really matters at this point.

                                                                                                                                                            The only thing that bothers me is seeing just how upset you and others seem to be. I know how much you all, we all, enjoy the site and I find it a shame these changes seem to have affected you as much as they have.

                                                                                                                                                            Again, I've just tried to smooth it over. If I failed, I can deal with it, I know what my intention was. All good in this hood.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                            sunshine's been away from the computer for a few hours living real stuff.

                                                                                                                                                            It was actually a rhetorical question -- reading through the shitstorm would have told you it's hella more than 4-5 people.

                                                                                                                                                            The fact that you don't agree doesn't make our opinion or viewpoint any less valid -- nor does it makes us hysterical or shrieking or any of the other eviscerating adverbs you've used.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                          Look man, I've got no animosity towards you. And that wasn't really what I consider lashing out, though I apologize if you feel lashed out against. I like using strong language, even though I'm not actually worked up. Bear that in mind as you continue reading this post.

                                                                                                                                                          Here's what I'm saying:

                                                                                                                                                          You can say 'I like the changes and disagree with the complaints,' and leave it at that.

                                                                                                                                                          You can say 'You guys are being unreasonable, and I see a lot of animosity in your complaints, and it bothers me to hear you complaining' and then argue with people who disagree. Which is - honestly - fine by me, even though I disagree.

                                                                                                                                                          But if you do the latter, and then also go on to claim that you're just bringing calm and levity to the situation, people (me, anyway) are going to call bullshit on you.

                                                                                                                                                          Bob ain't offering no tea & honey, as you put it. He's arguing (so am I, of course). Throw in with him if you like, but don't go recharacterizing the argument as a bunch of shrill whiners being calmly redirected by the rational adults in the room. Bullshit, I call.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                            {{I hear the sound of the rusty hinges on the swinging doors, I look over to see the outline of a Cowboy set against the mid day sun. I dust off the bar stool next to me......I pull it from the bar and I motion to Cowboy to come over to the stool; I shout out "Hey Bar-Keep, gimme two of your best whiskeys for me and my Cowboy friend. I throw a few coins on the bar then place my fingers in my mouth for a loud whistle for the piano player to start, then I call out "C'mon C.Oliver get on stage and dance for us" Lifts my glass to offer a toast to the Cowboy then say; }}

                                                                                                                                                            Listen here partner.......I understand completely what you are saying......and I agree. Just please keep in mind, I'm not Bob and I'm not arguing or re-characterizing anyone or thing. Please keep things in proper perspective with regard to our go-around here, I simply responded to sunshine who joined this discussion a little late in the game, you, C., Bob, Phil and myself (although all my earlier comments were simply attempts at trying to ease tension nothing truly sincere) were already engaged in a heated debate prior.

                                                                                                                                                            When sunshine joined the conversation late, I assume some tempers were still hot, but I by no means said or did anything to attack or insult the "other side". I just pointed out I thought sunhine answered their own question, that's all.

                                                                                                                                                            In the post to which sunshine addressed Bob, I don't find anything Bob said in that post to be anywhere near argumentative. Was Bob perhaps argumentative a little further up thread with you, C, Phil.......yeah I can see that, but that wasn't what I was responding to. The post sunshine called Bob out on was a trip down memory lane and a compliment to the current mods. Nice polite post no arguing, no name calling nothing of the sort. I think you mistook my post as a full endorsement for everything Bob has said, understandable, he and I seem to share a similar over all perspective on the changes, but I never endorsed all of his statements.

                                                                                                                                                            {{ I give a quick blink of the eye, tip my hat, and raise my glass to my lips and take a deep long sip}}

                                                                                                                                                            I hope this clears things up Cowboy, if not I will see you on Main St. at high noon, and we will settle this with a duel.

                                                                                                                                                            (is it a duel in the old west? Gun battle? I don't know that's the best I've got, and no I'm not challenging you to a fight Cowboy!!) lol

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                        Hey guys, want to jump in here to make sure you see an official response that we are definitely following along with all the feedback. The debate over whether or not it's coming from a "handful" or "dozens" or users isn't necessary, as we value it all.

                                                                                                                                                        We're still cleaning up some lingering bugs and design issues and as we see how the new post types are used over time, we'll continue to make improvements.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                          Well I would just like to request on behalf of my many friends who don't like some of the changes;

                                                                                                                                                          Please get rid of the Q&A format

                                                                                                                                                          Please change the heart thingy

                                                                                                                                                          Please get rid of the blue color(s)

                                                                                                                                                          Please set up an IM function

                                                                                                                                                          Please let me have a puppy for Christmas
                                                                                                                                                          (ok I tried to sneak that one in)

                                                                                                                                                          Ok everyone have I done a good job fighting for all my fellow Chow's!!!!!! (even though I don't personally care about any of these changes if it makes the masses happy please let it be done!)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                            So allow me to paraphrase what I THINK you said: 'we're correcting some technical things but, for now, nothing else is going to change.' If that's what you were saying, then I don't need to post any further here. TIA for your prompt reply.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                              We do have a few functional improvements to add based on the feedback so far, e.g. a hover state to display who has voted on Q&A answers. Overall though, you're correct that we're not going to rush into bigger changes.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                Well, at least someone has balls enough to give a somewhat straight answer. Not that I consider changing a blue heart to anything else a "bigger" change.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                I'm a Top Author! I made the list!!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                  I actually think this graph is illuminating. From Board Reader.

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                      The first graph showed Site Talk posts dropping; the second showed the overall site posts rising. Not bad.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                              "so if you're not a mod, and you have no skin in the game, then why does it bother you so much that people have opted to say "hey, I don't like this" rather than just meekly accepting whatever has been handed?"

                                                                                                                                                              Let me turn that around. Why does it bother you so much that I'm willing to wait awhile and see how the changes work out?

                                                                                                                                                              No one is forcing you to use Q&A threads. It's like going into a restaurant and being outraged that one of the 10 main course options is something you hate.

                                                                                                                                                              This discussion isn't going anywhere - we're all just repeating ourselves. With that in mind I'm going to opt out for awhile.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks guys, this does seem like a good spot to leave this be so we can focus on new feedback.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                                          Bob - I thought the Q&A concept had been running on food quests for some time. So its not a fresh concept. It strikes me that as it didn't work there it seems perverse to try it on other boards.

                                                                                                                                                          You could argue that food quests was the wrong vehicle to test it i.e. was it the format or was it the board? If that's the case why not trial it on a popular board like General Topics or Not about Food. If it flies there then roll it out wider. If it bombs on this boards then it won't fly on the tougher boards.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                            My thoughts on the test rollout of Q&A using the food quests board is that it was handled as well as could be expected. My nit (that I constantly picked) was that the board had no real purpose other than to test the Q&A format. I have been racking my brain for a while trying to think up a new board or niche for Chowhound where this could have been tested. I finally admitted defeat and concluded that in order for the posts to be folded back into other boards, Food Quests was probably the way to go.

                                                                                                                                                            To have incorporated Q&A onto an existing board would have necessitated rewriting all sorts of stuff and possibly damaging that board. And imagine the confusion. Nope, sandboxing it as Food Quests was probably the right thing to do.

                                                                                                                                                            Jeez, I am just backing away from all my hard line stances. What is wrong with me? (No need to answer that one. Thanks)

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                                        My impressions is that the feedback is not limited to a few people. What is wrong with constructive feedback early in a roll-out?

                                                                                                                                                        My experience of running change programs is the "wait and see" approach is really a "wait, and the complaints will die down" approach. Brave change agents take feedback, carefully assess it, evaluate its accuracy and sometimes change direction. The law of unintended consequences is one that is always wise to keep in the back of ones mind when driving change.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                          "My experience of running change programs is the "wait and see" approach is really a "wait, and the complaints will die down" approach. "
                                                                                                                                                          ~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                          Exactly what I've been thinking since the roll-out and the silence from any of TPTB, and just corroborated by patsully.

                                                                                                                                    2. Last night I attempted to upload photos over 4G as shown in the photo. I abandoned and cancelled after 30 mins of waiting.

                                                                                                                                      I was successful in uploading them one at a time. However, I was not able to upload 10 pix. No photo selection field box appears to add more than there now.
                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984709

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      1. For the Q&A format, I think it would be helpful to show more clearly the clarifying questions and the OP's answers. Also, as others have mentioned, being able to sort by reply date would be useful.

                                                                                                                                        In general, I don't mind the Q&A concept. Not everything needs to be discussed to death. Occasionally, I find the clique-ness of some sub-threads to be a real turn-off. And when some people just chime in to bash others' recommendations.

                                                                                                                                        1. Seeing that a lot of initial brouhaha keeps getting rehashed over and over in this thread, I'm excerpting the last paragraph of the OP. Emphasis is mine.

                                                                                                                                          "We hope everyone will focus on providing ****new feedback**** going forward -- the previous thread is still there, and we're working on determining where we can make changes that address that feedback so there's ****no need to repeat things**** you mentioned previously."

                                                                                                                                          1. I think you have done yourself and the community a disservice with the present q&a format.

                                                                                                                                            While I will never use this type of post and think it was a mistake, I think you shot yourself in the foot by not making it compatable and convertable with normal discussions.

                                                                                                                                            Probably the largest reason I don't like q&a is the possibility of new users posting what should be a discussion as a q&a. My concern would be slightly alleviated if I knew you could change it to discussion format. I realize going from discussion to q&a would be difficult with different levels of replies, but even if you could change from q&a to discussion would be useful.

                                                                                                                                            It seems odd to me to create new functions that aren't compatable with each other. Seems like it would create more problems than it solves.

                                                                                                                                            I don't particularly care about the blue heart as I don't generally use any form of like anyways, but enough people have voiced their opinion against it that I would consider holding a user submitted contest to involve the community and offer an olive branch.

                                                                                                                                            I don't expect to see q&a go as you have paid someone to make it you won't pay them to remove it.

                                                                                                                                            Would rather private messaging have been implemented rather that q&a.

                                                                                                                                            Photo style posting seems useful though.

                                                                                                                                            Really not a fan of the blue bar showing who hearted on mobile though.

                                                                                                                                            That's about it for now.

                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: TeRReT

                                                                                                                                              Just a note re private messaging. Some/many of us have email addresses in our profiles. One could be created JUST for CH messages if one wishes. I think that's enough.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                True, I also have my email in my profile, but if the point of q&a was to reduce chatting then perhaps private messaging would also be effective. Many new users also don't know to check people's profiles to find their email address.

                                                                                                                                                But fair enough it's low on the list of needs, but so were many of the changes they did do.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: TeRReT

                                                                                                                                                  I think it will not ever be considered as many people would not be comfortable with thousands of complete strangers being able to contact them. I do have an email contact in my profile so I'm just presenting the other side.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                    Yes and no. If you are setting up a private message system a simple on/off function is not a big deal. (In only know this because we have an inner office IM system and when it was being set up I was asked if I wanted this feature, like an "away" message people could use to turn off IM. I of course declined this option since I didn't want my employees to have the ability to ignore me. lol) This would allow each individual user to decide if they want to be able to accept private messages or not. Easy peasy.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: TeRReT

                                                                                                                                                    I do think a PM system would be a good thing for CH. Mainly, a PM system encourages communication in a way that placing an email address in your profile does not. I've been on various other forums, and the ones with PM systems always had more behind the scenes discussion, email or no. For some reason, I think sending an email just seems more personal and perhaps more invasive than sending a PM, even if there's no particularly good reason for why it should seem so.

                                                                                                                                                    That said, I doubt it will happen. And it's not a huge deal to me. I agree that it would be an improvement, though.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                      Another reason that has been given is that they want those discussions to be out for everyone to see and perhaps participate in. When I get an email from a CH it's NEVER to talk about food :)

                                                                                                                                              2. Thanks for restoring the clock icon and ability to change reply sort, a couple weeks ago, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                Still not liking the blue line on mobile to show who heart'd posts. Too distracting for the amount of information gained.