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Continued Feedback on Moderation Changes, and More Guidance for Bloggers

Hey everyone, our announcement thread for the recent moderation changes has grown unwieldy and split off into a few side conversations. There also are a few other threads offering feedback. We're going to close those threads and ask everyone to use this thread for policy feedback.

Thanks to everyone who has weighed in so far. We’re listening to all of the feedback and considering how new examples fit the updated guidelines. It’s going to take some time for more industry experts to join the conversation and we’ll continue to share their posts as they come in. Some of you have already enjoyed Chef Mark from Little Jewel of New Orleans hopping in to discuss his plans for opening a New Orleans deli/grocery in Los Angeles (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/969778) and we hope to see much more of that type of engagement in the future.

Many of you have posted here about individual posts nearly as soon as they go up, wanting to understand how the relaxed moderation rules affect these specific examples, and we’d like to ask for your patience there. We are working with these posters offline to improve their posts and encourage them to join the conversations here on Chowhound in a variety of ways. It does take some time for that to happen, so we’d appreciate if you’d give these new posters some space to find their way around the site.

If you have concerns about a thread, you should continue to use the "Flag" option to alert the moderation team. Calling out a user for posting an advertisement or labeling them as a spammer will likely discourage them from posting again. We believe many will be eager to engage on a more thoughtful level if given the chance to learn along the way, like any new user to our community. While we understand the desire to air your feelings on this new direction for Chowhound, individual threads aren’t the place to do it, and we will be removing replies to posts which discuss whether it’s an appropriate post for the community.

We will not have extensive hard-and-fast rules on which types of posts are permitted. Each post will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to judge the quality of the conversation. An author sharing a recipe or answering questions honestly as Andrea Nguyen has done (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985635) is extremely valuable even though the post also promotes a book. The creator of a new Kickstarter project could talk about what led them to invest their time in solving a problem instead of only asking for support from Chowhounds without engaging them.

On the whole, this will lead to Chowhound appearing less moderated, which has long been a request of many users. The good stuff will rise to the top as a result of your comments and recommendations. There will be more to ignore along the way, but we’ll continue to improve the site to make it more personalized, and easier to find exactly what interests you.

As new voices join the site, we’ll be working with them offline to offer them some suggestions, especially food bloggers and event promoters excited to share their work. In the past, we’ve asked these types of posters to cut and paste their content onto Chowhound. Going forward, we’d suggest that they do one of two things: either create a unique post for Chowhound, or use the “Link” post type to start a conversation with some original thoughts to help Chowhound users understand why they should click through to read more. For example, if the linked blog entry is a rundown of uses for zucchini, the original text on Chowhound might ask for more ideas that haven’t been covered in the post. If the link leads to an event’s agenda, the original text might describe the history or logistics of putting together that event.

Some great recent examples of this include Ziggy41’s “Georgia’s Eastside” discussion (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984724) and gabandgobble’s “Flinders Lane” review (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/978899). We know that Chowhounds appreciate posters who are interested in making an ongoing contribution to the community, and this is reflected in the number of users who view and engage with original posts like these. Over time, we hope more bloggers join the conversation as they find that posting here offers greater exposure than an outside blog can offer, but we’d ask all posters to give these folks some time to get used to this way of engaging, and a chance to participate at their own pace.

Thanks for reading,

The Chowhound Team

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  1. "Many of you have posted here about individual posts nearly as soon as they go up, wanting to understand how the relaxed moderation rules affect these specific examples, and we’d like to ask for your patience there. We are working with these posters offline to improve their posts and encourage them to join the conversations here on Chowhound in a variety of ways. It does take some time for that to happen, so we’d appreciate if you’d give these new posters some space to find their way around the site."

    Wouldn't it make more sense to lock those threads until the posters can restate their posts as posts instead of advertisements?

    Frankly, this post raises more concerns than addresses the questions we've been asking.

    Now I get why the Link format was born. It's not for chowhounds, it's for people to advertise their businesses. I feel a little queasy. And sad.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MplsM ary

      <Frankly, this post raises more concerns than addresses the questions we've been asking.>

      Indeed it does.
      Personally, I'm not happy about this at all. I've waited a few weeks to see how it plays out and I've been largely unimpressed. My regional board hasn't been sacked yet but I can tell the barbarian hoards are fast approaching the gates.

      1. re: MplsM ary

        We're hoping to be inviting towards new posters, and locking their thread immediately after posting would not be the best introduction to the site. If we have real concerns about the motives of a poster, we'd sooner remove the thread and work with them to explain how best to approach Chowhound. We've done this on a few occasions, but hope that more threads can be improved over time without taking them down first.

        The link format was not born for the purpose of advertising, but to give a clear indicator that the poster wants to discuss an off-site article or post. As we mentioned above, we know we'll always see discussions around link posts, but we hope more bloggers embrace the discussion and photo story post types to create something original on Chowhound.

        1. re: The Chowhound Team

          When barbarians are at the gates you send out soldiers. You don't invite them in and say "play nice," after they have already started sacking the village.

          I guess the CH team just wants to see the best in everyone, I'm more cynical.

          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            Why would I bother flagging posts any more as spam or other one time indesirables? I know you don't care and that the new policie invite commercial posting without any other participation.

            I don't have a stake in CH any more, the only reasons I once preferred it to any other site specifically were its no flames, no spam policies.

            Since those are clearly no longer priorities, I'm not wasting any energy investing effort or concern.

            1. re: mcf

              good point. it's kind of hilarious that the executives are pushing the word "community" while getting rid of what was a very vibrant community already. kind of like the vietnam war era "destroying a village in order to save it."

        2. I have to agree with MplsM ary. More questions instead of answers. How can it be so obvious to all the CH'ers that someone is just using the site to spam, but the threads stay up? Some of the individual posts I mentioned in my thread have been doing it for months - not participating, responding, or forwarding the conversation - just posting their ads and leaving. They may come back to say "Thanks!" or "No, I don't work for XXX company, I just love my XXX so much I post links to the website here once a week!" I know I sound sarcastic, but some of these are so blatant... It's just frustrating. Some I've tried to engage politely (Kakemann ring a bell?) and that turned into a total goat rope. Some I've asked (politely) if they work for the company, and they just (I assume) lie and say no. Well I don't believe that poster actually has 9 different models of XXX appliance that they keep posting and linking about. The kickstarters, well - I don't see many come back once they've put their ad up.

          Another good point has been made that the "real" advertisers - the ones that pay the bills - may leave as soon as they realize they can just have an intern spam the site for free instead of buying ad space. I don't see it working out in the long run.

          One "blogger" posts every blog he/she writes, and never participates in any other conversation. And the creeeepy guy who wanted people to contact him outside the site so he could sell stuff? Craigslist murderer, I'm almost positive. Yes, I'm exaggerating. I have a blog myself, and I'd love to post about it here every time I update to get a few cheap clicks, but I don't, because I like this site and don't want to bug people with my nonsense. That's not why I'm here.

          But the point remains - Chowhound has made a huge change that is hugely unpopular. Regulars are confused and upset and feel that our input and objections are being ignored. I'm glad to hear that you're contacting these spammers, but I'm not seeing any changes from the ones I've been watching. If someone comes here to spam, they're unlikely to become valuable members - they'll just drop their ads whenever they think nobody's watching. Just my two cents, FWIW.

          Edit: I see that XXX appliance lover, who claimed to not work for the company, has had ALL of their posts removed. Even the one where he/she joined another random thread just to bring up XXX appliance. Hooray! Thanks, mods. You've restored my faith just a little.

          4 Replies
          1. re: NonnieMuss

            AH HA HA HA HA, appliance lover! Excellent, I had noticed that in disgust, too, and am glad to see "her" gone, however many days later.

            1. re: kattyeyes

              Don't know how many times I flagged that one. Ridiculous.

              1. re: pikawicca

                I especially love how many of these wonderful new additions to our community fully embrace features like "photo story" so they can really promote whatever they're promoting full-on with LARGE PHOTOGRAPHS, truly like a multi-page fold-out ad in a magazine. Oh, yeah, except for free.

          2. WOW, that's a whole lot of post to digest. Good thing it's on a holiday weekend.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bellachefa

              Ah yes, the classic PR trick of Hollywood and businesses alike. Release the info late on Friday, all the better if it's a long weekend….

            2. Sorry to be blunt but, please get someone new to write for The Chowhound Team. The posts that are supposed to be informative seem like they've been written by a CEO's PR flack. Cheerfully telling us "All is well because we say so," without addressing specific concerns is doing real harm here.

              While I'm here...

              "...we’d ask all posters to give these folks some time to get used to this way of engaging, and a chance to participate at their own pace." Their pace seems to be linking to their blog and nothing else.

              1. Regarding ads, actual ads, posted as discussions or as a reply to a discussion, some have been taken down (the illegal tuna guy, the German restaurant in NJ, the lobster roll shill), yet others (links follow), are left up. This is very uneven moderation. Are we to believe that CH is working with these posters to help them engage with us?
                Pizzeria http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1187...
                Squid ink pasta http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/987158
                Catering Kickstarter http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/987157
                Knife http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9239...

                1 Reply
                1. re: EM23

                  I don't have a problem with any of those posts. I thought the squid ink was a little silly but whatever...

                2. The obvious and blatant spam posts can (and should be continued to) be flagged, even if they may not be removed immediately.

                  And while they sit there and wait for judgment by the moderator team, they can be easily and safely ignored without the entire site going up in flames. Or to hell. Or whatever else posters are worrying about.

                  It works quite well for me, and I use this site a lot.

                  18 Replies
                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      If only they were so quick about adding "ignore" (or "block poster") as an actual feature ...

                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          Practice makes perfect, signore vedivici.

                          1. re: jrvedivici

                            There are lots of threads, even posters, that I ignore. Maybe my reading pattern helps:
                            - first check the 'following' page
                            - scan the 'latest' for whole site;
                            - scan one or two specific boards.

                            Imagine what would happen if someone started a 'spam' thread, and no one responded. It would soon sink to the bottom of the 'latest' lists and out of sight. If it remains at the top, it is only because responders are keeping it there.

                            Responding to spam is the same as responding to trolls.

                            1. re: paulj

                              Yup, I flag for the mods but don't reply to the post and definitely do not click on any links.

                          2. re: linguafood

                            Yes! But if you just ignore it, and move on... Who will be there to clutch your pearls and wring hands? Who will be there to swing the saber and fight " the good fight"?

                            Lord, the all drama about some changes to a commercial website is staggering to me. I suppose I am not as emotionally invested as some. I really like this site and hope it will stay reliable. But, if not, there are other options for discussing food and getting tips and information.

                            There are still really great tips, ideas and advice here. When *that* goes away, so will I. I can handle filtering through the crap if need be. I do it daily in real life, who doesn't?Otherwise, ignore, ignore, ignore. I am focusing on what I need to from this site (and others) and I am still very happy with advice from chowhounders! I get great information 90 percent of the time.... and I appreciate that. Because I have to ignore some spammers....okay. Price to pay for a free site.

                            1. re: sedimental

                              Where is that "ignore" button, anyway?

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Yes, so we could TiVo-ize CH to meet our needs and skip the commercials.

                                  But they won't let us, since delivering us to those commercial posters is what this site is now all about.

                                2. re: mcf

                                  Well, on my computer, iPad and phone, the ignore button is also known as the "back button". Once you have been exposed to topics you are not interested in, you simply hit that button and...."poof"...like magic.....that whole topic or post is history!!! It is amazing! In just one click....it's like you were never there at all! A fresh list of topics appear, every time.

                                  AND.....If you never want to go back there, just hit the little yellow star button. Poof! I do it all the time and it works like a charm. Some days, the magic buttons get hit a lot ;)

                                  1. re: sedimental

                                    Yes. Free will and all. It's a mighty tool, that one.

                                    1. re: sedimental

                                      I often ignore topics that I don't want to see, but I'm referring to the ability to screen out posters who may be in a topic I'm interested in and whose posts are commercial or otherwise undesirable to me consistently.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        Long before the recent changes there was a short list of posters that I worked hard to avoid.

                                  2. re: sedimental

                                    FWIW I haven't noticed any spam on my home board - Manhattan. On the other NYC board, Outer Boroughs, there's one spam post . No one responded to it and it's quickly sinking to the bottom of the date sorted list.

                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                      Yeah, I'm having the same experience. Must be heavier on the LA board.

                                      But none of the 9 boards I follow have seen an increase in spam. Huh. Maybe the sky ain't falling just yet.

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        Or the LA board is more defensive of its territory?

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          In order to be defensive, there needs to be intruders. I don't follow the LA board at all, so I wouldn't know (nor do I care - not my monkey, not my circus).

                                3. The current state of affair seems to be clairvoyant and prescient of what the future will hold for the site (sorry, studying for the SAT so trying to use these dam works, hopefully that makes sense, if not cents).

                                  1. "we will be removing replies to posts which discuss whether it’s an appropriate post for the community."
                                    __________
                                    To be clear though, it's still OK to reply that their product or service is junk and their sales pitch dishonest and you wouldn't consider buying said product or service and recommend others do the same... right? Just like before the big change?

                                    19 Replies
                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                      Of course. It's always fine to voice your opinion and let someone know that you don't have an interest.

                                      It's less acceptable to accuse a poster of being dishonest. If you're suspicious about the posting patterns of a particular user we'd like you to flag the post rather than comment.

                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                        "It's less acceptable to accuse a poster of being dishonest."
                                        ________
                                        That's one inherent problem with this new policy: what happens when the advertising strategy is itself dishonest? Before the change, it was always fine to say X company has deceptive marketing. Now, pointing out a deceptive sales pitch can sometimes necessitate calling a specific poster dishonest.

                                        Examples include the alleged shill army for Naked Wines, or this (pitiful) squid ink thread:
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/987158

                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                          I simply cannot believe that squid ink one is still around. If that's acceptable, then anything goes. Clearly. Pathetic.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            I can only hope it remains as a cautionary tale of sorts.

                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                              I asked recently who's Jacq's replacement is and the 'team' didn't reply. I wonder if the moderators are getting any guidance at this point. That perhaps they're not allowed to deal with, i.e., delete that type of post. Above their pay grade, so to speak. Hmm, wonder how many of THEM have quit :)

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                It is possible that there is not one replacement for her, or that the position has been eliminated. I am more interested in the on going editorial policy than knowing the org chart at chowhound.

                                                1. re: cwdonald

                                                  I'm really asking who the mods report to and/or consult with. Are they making independent decisions on what stays and what goes? Are they making decisions by committee? There seems no rhyme or reason and having a management gap could certainly be part of the problem.

                                                  1. re: cwdonald

                                                    Especially since they're so moving away from this being a community, and the zeal for volunteer moderating would have to have taken a huge hit.

                                                    I doubt they're going to pay for that much diligence.

                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                    I think her replacement is 'Rosie'

                                          2. re: cowboyardee

                                            Seems like it, here's an example,
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9850...

                                            And yes, we're still waiting for some meaningful engagement from this spammer.

                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                              Now, now--we're not supposed to call them "spammers." These are "new members of the community" or "thoughtful new voices," don'tchaknow?!

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                We can't yell "SPAMMER" at them but it's okay on Site Talk ONLY to call them that. Right?????

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  other words not to use: alan turning, turning test, chatbot.

                                                  1. re: Vidute

                                                    Ugh that thread is a train wreck haha

                                                    1. re: Vidute

                                                      To the Mods who deleted these references: search "crochet salmon". QED, Case closed.

                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                        Hey! What's wrong with crochet salmon?

                                                         
                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                            salmon crotch? excellent in miso glaze.

                                            2. The way to grow this site isn't to bring in restaurant owners and cookbook writers. To increase popularity give us useful tools (like mapping, addresses, cross-referencing, better design) to find and report on great restaurants. That's why food critics and bloggers have been mining us for years. People across the country go on Chowhound to find cool, delicious places to eat when they travel and in their own towns. Make it indispensable and easy to use. Don't flood it with people who have agendas. Jeez...even the word "Chowhound" has been deleted from the Chow newsletter.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: Barry Strugatz

                                                Yes, it's part of the move from Chowhounds to Chowmongers.

                                                  1. re: Barry Strugatz

                                                    barry, for some reason you sound like a guy who has been on here since CH's inception.

                                                    is that correct ??????????

                                                    thanks for the post.

                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                      barry has been here for ages. i had a different screen name back in the '90s, when i was introduced to the site - and its founder in person. i loved the initial iteration, just because it was small, informal, filled with people who were excited to share and to meet like minded hounds (the original chowhound manifesto made a clear delineation between chowhounds and foodies). that changed as it grew, but it was still person-to-person.

                                                      this revamp is a one way street. they throw it out there, you eat it, like it or not.

                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                        To quote Mr. Bernstein in Citizen Kane, "From before the beginning, young fellow."

                                                      2. re: Barry Strugatz

                                                        Barry was one of our first and best users. He was the guy who told me about DiFara Pizza.

                                                        His posting is absolutely dead-on right. It's so obvious that you'd have to be a fool to miss the sense in it.

                                                          1. re: Barry Strugatz

                                                            Just wanted to note that Chow editorial swiftly spotlighted this thread at the time (http://www.chow.com/food-news/123198/...). Like countless other finds later deemed newsworthy by mainstream media, this one surfaced first here on Chowhound.

                                                        1. Frankly, I think this continued exchange between the CH Team and we the people is a exercise in futility. Nothing is going to stop or reverse the latest changes. They have been made and they're going to stay. The Team is hoping the active protesters will either run out of steam, or simply run away as others before us have done. From now on there will be two camps: those who seek information and education regarding cooking and restaurants/travel, and those who want to advance their latest projects via free ads no matter how outrageous. Each will have its own following, I'm sure. It's up to the users to decide, as always, how they are going to play in the sandbox.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. At least this guy puts his affiliation right in his user name.

                                                            SMH

                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9196...

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                              Gosh, that's funny:
                                                              Green - salad and fruit
                                                              Brown - vegetable

                                                              Why can't we chop vegetables on the green board?
                                                              Should we only chop spoiled vegetables on the brown one? :)

                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                does not compute
                                                                does not compute
                                                                warning Will Robinson!

                                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWwOJ...

                                                                  Maybe it's a board just for potatoes. :D That's it--it's for cutting POTATOES and BANANA BREAD.

                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                      I'm really glad we got that sorted out. ;) I feel much better now.

                                                            2. Soooo, your showing no respect or loyalty to the community, many who have been here for chowhound forever give or take a few years... but you're recruiting mercenaries while dismissing the posters who have lived here all along? I'm still not sure, but that seems to be the message you're sending to each and every person who has contributed to this forum for years, have donated their time, their thoughts and their opinions.

                                                              Dismissed:

                                                              "We are working with these posters offline to improve their posts and encourage them to join the conversations here on Chowhound in a variety of ways...

                                                              As new voices join the site, we’ll be working with them offline to offer them some suggestions, especially food bloggers and event promoters excited to share their work...

                                                              but we’d ask all posters to give these folks some time to get used to this way of engaging, and a chance to participate at their own pace."

                                                              9 Replies
                                                              1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                Pardon me but are they saying - "Fuck you very much"?

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  all these years, i've been scolded plenty, but I've never been taken by the hand offline and mentored to improve my posts...I've never actually been encouraged to engage and participate at my own pace

                                                                  1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                    In fairness, I have to say that Jacq did do that with me. More than once. But that was because I had some 'history' with the site and I guess she saw something worth investing in ? But for a one time poster? No. There remains stuff that we're not being told. But that's okay. We can take it or leave.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      don't give yourself more credit than you deserve-
                                                                      what makes you "something worth investing in" than another-
                                                                      we should all be treated equally and given an opportunity to express our feelings without being COACHED on how to respond.

                                                                    2. re: Bellachefa

                                                                      Something is definitely odd here... we've sent you close to 60 emails, so if some reason our emails aren't getting through to you, we'd definitely like to try to resolve that. Feel free to drop us an email at moderators@chowhound.com and we'll see if we can figure out where the disconnect is.

                                                                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                          How many have you sent me?? New sub thread "Who is the Mods most Loved Member"!!

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                            I have clearly not been properly indoctrinated. I bet they tried harder with you. I'm a bit of a wild card when it comes to drinking the cool aid.

                                                                            1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                              What comes around goes around. . . and what goes around comes around......

                                                                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZR64...

                                                                  2. I come here for discussions with people like me. I don't come for advertisements or restaurateurs trying to get free advertising. Let them pay for ads and put them on the side if you need to make money. Don't bastardize this site. I want to hear from real people with real opinions even if I don't agree.

                                                                    1. One thing you could always count on with Chow was an honest opinion from a pretty well rounded group when it came to kitchen products.

                                                                      Since the rule change, an internet dealer of vacuum sealers, who has never taken one apart let alone repaired one, chimed in with a link to his site toting the virtues of a particular brand of sealer.

                                                                      I was given the exact sealer for free and took it apart to see what was in it. Cheap Chinese POS all the way. I called him on it and hopefully Hounds saw my reply.

                                                                      Question is how much junk will sneak through?

                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                        Link please? This is critical I believe. 'They're' inviting these people in but 'they're' not taking responsibility for what's being advertised. Shame on CH.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          and some posts critical of CH decisions are also being deleted as well. not surprising.

                                                                          1. re: debinqueens

                                                                            That's so disturbing and isn't that new?

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              it could be. unless i am misdirecting my posts, it feels like i've had a couple removed - sans scolding - and there was nothing inflammatory. a bit of snark, perhaps, but no ad hominem attacks or anything like that.

                                                                              1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                In the "olden days" (you know, like before Jacq left?) seems like we got more communication when people were deleted.

                                                                                1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                  debinqueens

                                                                                  We have emailed as recently as 08/26/14 to your registered email address. If that address is no longer valid, please let us know.

                                                                                  Thanks!

                                                                                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                    It is valid. When I replied, my email was returned as undeliverable.

                                                                                      1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                        I just replied to a recent email from Adam in regards to deleting me basically out of curiosity to see if it came back undeliverable. It went thru fine. This auto out of the office reply came back.

                                                                                        Deborah Lewis
                                                                                        To Me Today at 7:46 AM
                                                                                        Our office will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1, for Labor Day. Enjoy the long weekend!

                                                                                        --
                                                                                        Deborah Lewis
                                                                                        Quality Control/ScrumMaster, CHOW.com
                                                                                        CBS Interactive — Entertainment and Lifestyle
                                                                                        235 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
                                                                                        415.344.2570

                                                                                        Follow @CHOW on Twitter!

                                                                                        1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                          the out of office holiday reply makes sense to me, but i have had the same experience since the purge - got an e-mail (politely) scolding me for making comments about the authenticity of certain posts in another thread. i wrote a response and got an "undeliverable" message -- even though the email was signed by someone else, it was sent from jacq's deactivated account.

                                                                                          1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                            There was a problem for a couple of days this week with that undeliverable message going out in response to emails to the moderators, due to the deactivation of Jacq's account, but the emails did come through to the rest of the moderators. It looks like in fixing it, another issue has cropped up with that Out of Office message you got. There probably won't be a fix for it this weekend, but once everyone is back in the office, we can make sure it doesn't happen again.

                                                                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                              If Deborah Lewis is the ScrumMaster and is out of the office

                                                                                              who are you?

                                                                                              what is a ScrumMaster?

                                                                                            2. re: debinqueens

                                                                                              The same happened to me a day or 2 after she left
                                                                                              I guess it is their new way of preventing a discussion/debate

                                                                                            3. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                              My email address has been temporarily added to the moderators@chowhound.com email list in the wake of Jacquilynne's departure, as a backup only. Apologies for the auto response being sent out widely, that was an unforeseen mishap. You should continue to contact the moderators--rather than me--with any questions about Chowhound. Thanks.

                                                                                            4. re: debinqueens

                                                                                              Well, that seems apropos wrt this new CH team mode of operating.

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      Does anyone own a vacuum sealer?
                                                                                      AUG 05, 2014 by EaterBen in Cookware

                                                                                      The company was Doug Care Equipment. I believe the owner's name is Doug. He is a drop shipper who knows little if anything about the product he sells & does not offer any repair service.

                                                                                  2. Three words for TPTB: Market Basket, boycott.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                      Nicely done. :-) Although I'm not sure Californians would have any interest in an Northeast Coast supermarket fight. Even if it was national and international news in what the associates accomplished. I do doubt it would happen on CH.

                                                                                    2. "The internets has spam and advertising when it used to be such a nice place. I'm gonna stop using it unless it cleans up its act."

                                                                                      Sorry to be glib. Written plenty of more reasoned posts in the past week. Just need to blow off some steam. And before anyone points it out, yes I know it's nowhere near a fair comparison. Internet does not have one authority with ability to control its content like CH has.

                                                                                      Also, the internet, and more specifically the web, really WAS a much nicer place when I started on it back in the early 90s with the NCSA Mozaic browser...

                                                                                      1. So, maybe you can help me out?

                                                                                        Ziggy and gabandgobble's posts are the shining examples of what happens when you work offline with bloggers to encourage them to participate? Maybe I'm missing something, but they both appeared to be pretty much "run of the mill" review posts that got relatively little attention on one of the most active local boards. (I mean, you get more responses in an hour from 'hounds on the Manhattan Board simply asking the average OP to clarify his post than gabandgobble has gotten on her entire thread in two and a half months.) As far as I can tell, the only thing new about them is that they close with a direct link to the blog instead of a statement that simply says, "If your interested in more detail or pictures, my blog address is noted on my profile page." It's kinda like a math tutor holding up as examples two kids whose grades were exactly the same after a year of extra work, and boasting through a smile, "See, with our help, their grades didn't go down at all!"

                                                                                        But, on the upside, you did get two new bodies. That's good.

                                                                                        As to continued feedback, I'm sticking with the opinion that the "Hello Kitty" hearts suck (somehow, every time I get about halfway through a thread, I start craving yellow moons and orange stars). I am also of the mindset that all the bitching is getting old; however, so is having smoke blown up my ass. In a way, the OP is just as much a "shill" as a lot of the stuff that's being flagged, you know?

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                          Sorry for any confusion. Neither of those blog posts reflect anything we've done on our end. Both are longtime posters, and not new to the site. We were pointing out those posts as examples of the types of posts we think would work well for bloggers, going forward. Some bloggers who participate on Chowhound (those two posters, for example) already participate that way. Some bloggers currently cut and paste their reviews in their entirety, but we'd really prefer to see bloggers creating an original post for posting on Chowhound, and we thought those two posts were nice examples of that type of post.

                                                                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                            Why would any blogger want to cut and paste their reviews in their entirety--so that content becomes YOURS as well as theirs?

                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                              This is what the previous blog policy requested, but that's no longer what we are requesting.

                                                                                            2. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                              Just so long as you're not working with the "new voices" on the clarity of their prose.

                                                                                          2. Several weeks ago, a new poster asked a question on the Florida board, setting up an improbable scenario of conditions and asking how to handle some supposed eating requirements on an upcoming trip to Florida. After some serious Chowhound responses, trying to be helpful and trying to make some sense out of the conditions the new poster specified,a couple of Chowhounds started speaking out loud that this person was just putting us on. Lets have fun at these foodies' expense kind of thing. (That's my paraphrase today- no Chowhound used those words on the thread.) Up the that point, the new OP had never replied to Chowhound suggestions with any "thanks, I could try that," or reply with any clarifications on their original outragious conditions/ requirements. So the suspicion from the rest of us seemed quite justified, IMO. The reply posts that dared call the OP out on the possibility of a phoney premise were pulled from the thread. I think sometimes it is 100% valid to leave the evidence that some posters have a problem with the validity of a post- it just shows we are capable of some critical thinking. Now the surviving thread reads as if we are all a bunch of naive jerks, trying to be helpful, but being taken for a ride. Pulling the reply posts was the wrong decision, Team. btw, this one-time poster has not posted since. I do not think for a minute it is because they got a skeptical reception from others on Chowhound- they initially got a very broad, supportive bunch of responses.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                              There have been a bunch of these on the "Not About Food" board -- posts from first time posters asking if they are "rude" or if someone else is "rude" or what "Chowhounders would have done" in some ridiculous, over-the-top, improbable situation. Clearly the intent is to rile everyone up and start one of those 300+ threads where everyone argues back and forth about cultural norms, starts psychoanalyzing the OP or their fellow hounds, and that inevitably devolves into a snipe-fest before it is locked.

                                                                                              I've called out a few of them for the trolls that they are (and was joined by others, so clearly I wasn't the only one feeling skeptical), but my and the other posts were always deleted for being unfriendly or unwelcoming, and I was asked to ignore the thread if I didn't like it. *shrug* I disagree with this moderation policy; I think we should be able to call it like we see it, and I don't think letting trolls stir things up does a single thing to benefit the tone or culture of the site, but hey, not my call, so whatever. I still flag sometimes, but knowing it doesn't make a difference, usually I don't bother.

                                                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                Yup, right around Thanksgiving last year there were a series of stories on NAF about incredibly rude behavior at family dinners that were flat out unbelievable. I posted a comment that there must be a group of sorority sisters drafting these pieces and competing to see which one could elicit the most comments on their NAF posts. My comment was deleted, along with others that expressed skepticism as to the veracity of the original posts. Meanwhile, none of these OPs have become repeat members of the CH "community."

                                                                                            2. I've just realized something. If I see a new thread from an unknown poster, I am now checking their profile. If it's a first timer, I ignore it. Didn't use to do that. The slack requirements these days are causing me to consider someone guilty til proven innocent. Kinda the opposite of what the TEAM claims they want. Oh well.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                Funny how that happens, huh? I've been doing the same thing. First time posters with an initial post that seems tailored to rile up usually get ignored by me.

                                                                                                Complete contradiction of what the CH Team wants. But they opened up the can of worms. If that's the type of poster they want (one-time fly-bys specifically posting to set the regulars up for a fall), I'll pass.

                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  Yup.

                                                                                                  I was well into a helpful reply yesterday when I said "nope" not helping.

                                                                                              2. And what's this shit down at the bottom of the page?

                                                                                                20 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                    You don't see part of big red letters that might spell chowhound, along with the word recommended and then links to zucchini fritters and other things?

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      Nah, not seeing any of that. I just see "related," stuff and "trending," stuff. no wonky CH letters either. I do recall seeing it once or twice maybe a week ago, just figured it got fixed.

                                                                                                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                        i see it. my profile apparently indicates that i want to find the best crab cakes in maryland (a state i last visited in 1996), discover where to buy Muna tea and need to know "chowhoundish use of food sites."

                                                                                                        well, on the bright side, Cialis isn't there...yet.

                                                                                                              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                                Oops, ABP - Ad Blocker Plus. Sorry about that.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  Yeah that's what I got too, I forgot the name.

                                                                                                            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                              I do too. AdBlock Plus and Firefox. I checked and everything is functioning. The word CHOW or parts of the word are appearing. It started appearing just today. The bottom ads are powered now by Yahoo instead of that other recommend symbol with the eyes that JrVV. mentioned in another thread. I'm just ignoring but it PMO.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  I saw MM's post the first time around. I wasn't seeing the CHow then. It just started up today. See my post above.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    it could be a secret software camera that is zooming in and out and monitoring you

                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      Yep. Me too. But from her posts and CH's reply it sounds like they're aware of it.

                                                                                                              1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                                                it's just a gentle reminder that you're long past due for a return visit to md.

                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              I wrote about this a while ago. It seems the letters have shifted to the left a little: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985073

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  Now it looks like this: HO HO HO. Too funny.

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                    You see HO, I see IC, which works as both "I see" and "ick",

                                                                                                                2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                  On my computer, they read, appropriately: IC IC IC

                                                                                                          1. Is another moderation change that all threads critical of moderation or policy get locked?

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                They'll probably do away with Site Talk next.

                                                                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                    They explicitly explained why they locked those threads = in order to keep all the feedback in one thread: this one.

                                                                                                                    Seems to be working swell so far, no?

                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                      The locking frenzy includes more than just the recent moderation change threads. That's why I included a picture.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                        Every one of those threads either started out or evolved into a discussion about the new policies.

                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        The Jim Leff thread on Chowhound branding was also locked - I thought that made it into the picture I posted - oops.

                                                                                                                        Look beyond page 1 to see what got locked. Too many threads to make it into my faulty pic. A real rout took place.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                          Although I wasn't around during the Leff Era, I thought it was pretty tacky to lock that one.

                                                                                                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                            Thank you for pointing that out. I can only hope that was a mistake by an overworked moderator who was not thinking clearly. The updates to that thread are not about the recent changes in moderation and I think the discussion there has stayed on topic of what it takes to maintain the chowhound brand. It should not be locked.

                                                                                                                            The other thing that locking a thread does is to remove it from site search results. So it can not be dredged up readily in future periods as I did with that one.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                              Re your second paragraph, I didn't know that. That sucks, if you'll pardon the expression.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                Locked threads are searchable now.

                                                                                                                              2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                How do you have the threads sorted that the locked threads are all showing in order?

                                                                                                                                Outside of the Jim Leff thread, I'm still not seeing anything that wasn't about the changes.

                                                                                                                                Also, some of those threads were locked 10 days ago, others 2 days ago. Threads get locked all the time. But since this thread is still open, clearly they aren't locking every thread that's critical.

                                                                                                                          2. Up thread I saw a link to the "Squid Ink Pasta" thread. Obviously this is vendor taking advantage of the new opportunity for free advertising.

                                                                                                                            While I sincerely doubt that any comments and objections Chow/hound members make on the Site Talk board will result in a reversal of the new rules around bloggers and "professionals" I most definitely believe that the folks who actually pay to advertise here will have a voice.

                                                                                                                            If folks truly want to effect positive change in this respect, I suspect it may be more effective to email the companies that advertise on Chow/hound to let them know that while they're investing their shareholder's $$ in advertising, folks like the savvy Squid Ink Pasta Guy are getting far more web space and traffic FOR FREE.

                                                                                                                            Advertising $$ = sustainability for this website.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                I have always had ABP and don't know anything about ads on CH but how does CH do their advertising?
                                                                                                                                Is it all through one company? Better off contacting that entity instead of individual advertisers. They may not even know their ads are here.

                                                                                                                              2. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/987544

                                                                                                                                Totally making ongoing contributions to the community right? I flagged it this morning. Working with the OP? How can we improve this post?

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                    Why would you flag that? That's such a great contribution to the community. The New Chowhound is just SO GREAT!

                                                                                                                                  2. WE'RE LOSING THE LAUGHTER!!!!!

                                                                                                                                    Food is about celebration
                                                                                                                                    Celebration is about laughter

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                      dang I should have copywrited that. just came off the top of my feeble head

                                                                                                                                      now a new member will market it! and sell ads to ch

                                                                                                                                      1. I have been a member of egullet for over 10 years but have been inactive for a 2-3 years.
                                                                                                                                        Since the changes have taken place,here, I have been lurking there.
                                                                                                                                        They have an interesting board-topic watch-
                                                                                                                                        Has chow considered taking this approach?

                                                                                                                                        28 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                          Could you elaborate on that? I recently joined. Not clear on what you're describing. Maybe a link?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                            Topic Watch
                                                                                                                                            A sub-forum flagging topics that are being considered for splits, merges, or deletions of strings of off-topic posts.

                                                                                                                                            http://forums.egullet.org/forum/379-t...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                              Really interesting. As with other eGullet things I'm not finding this completely intuitive but I kinda get the point. I think :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                I've been over at eGullet a few times now.

                                                                                                                                                Meh.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                  It's certainly not as conversational which can be very good at times and not so good at times. There are some whiz-bang :) cooks over there, that's for sure. Regional forums are a joke. And I ADORE the food pix but that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                    Plenty of gorgeous food pics on this site, too.

                                                                                                                                                    It definitely made me appreciate CH more. Those forums look like the 80s called :-D

                                                                                                                                                    Takes all kinds, of course, and clearly there are plenty of people who like it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                      I too took a cruise over there a while ago, prior to these changes. The local board for me (NJ) didnt really seem like it saw much activity. As the matter of fact I had a very difficult time figuring out just when threads and posts were made or dated.

                                                                                                                                                      I did notice a few familiar names though I don't kiss and tell.

                                                                                                                                                      Perhaps the most discouraging was the very 80's or perhaps more accurately the late 90's look to the site. I found it very outdated and very non-user friendly.

                                                                                                                                                      It wasn't my cup of tea, but that's just my opinion. I certainly think Chow has the best user format of any others I've visited (yelp, trip advisor, eGullet), but again that's my preference.

                                                                                                                                                      None of these current changes are deal breakers for me. Perhaps my business background gives Chow more consideration for trying to increase their market share. I have no problems and complete appreciation for what they are attempting to do. Do I personally agree with them, no not at all. But by the same token I know I'm getting EXACTLY what I'm paying for.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                        They're making you pay, junior?

                                                                                                                                                        Aw, you've been had '-D

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                          Hey Jr,

                                                                                                                                                          One of my issues is that to date when I am researching a new future cooking product, I come to Chow and get very sound advice from professional chefs, some very serious experienced home cooks & most importantly folks who service such products. None have a vested interest in which product I buy and most seem willing to lay out both the pro's & con's of the products they have used or repaired.

                                                                                                                                                          Recently I saw a drop shipper who knows little to nothing about the inner workings of a product he sells pushing it on Chow. I know the inner working of that particular brand he was pimping and stepped forward and called it what it was, a POS. But what if I missed his post, how many people would have taken his word and thrown a 100 bucks out the window.

                                                                                                                                                          I don't know, maybe I am being unrealistic. I just think Chow had a pretty high integrity level and I am afraid the new policy will have a negative influence on that. But then who the hell am I?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                            Hey Tom! I'm familiar with the experience you are referencing, the shrink wrap machine, correct?

                                                                                                                                                            In my opinion Tom nothing is stopping you from coming and asking your questions of chefs, cooks, home cooks and food enthusiasts in general. Just as you always have. Now you have people peddling their goods (or perhaps bads) but if you or anyone is just going to ask the seller for their opinion of the product they are selling, and no one else, well buyer be ware I would say.

                                                                                                                                                            Just because people are advertising their products that doesn't excuse us from doing our due diligence before buying. I agree it might present us with ideas we didn't have before, but at the end of the day it's always our responsibility to do our own research.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                              Yeah Jr it was the shrink wrap machine.

                                                                                                                                                              Your right........good, bad or indifferent, there is no substitute for due diligence and at the end of the day the only person one can truly hold accountable is the reflection in the mirror.

                                                                                                                                                              I just hope we don't get to the point where advertising revenue influences moderators with their delete buttons.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                That's more of a concern to me, inundating the site thus diluting the threads or topics of value. I do wish they would come up with a designation of some type to identify the advertising posts so we know to avoid them all together, but hey for now and extra click or two isn't a big deal. (For now and a click or two, make it a few dozen clicks to find one or two quality threads and my opinion will change)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I guess like most things in life time will tell :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                    I liked the suggestion of a $ sign after their screen name.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                      It's already been decided on the Jr board threads that are advertisements will have an icon in the image of the late & great Billy Mays. You see a picture of that bearded beauty and you know you are one click away from the latest and greatest slap chop currently on the market!!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                Excellent point, Tom. IF you hadn't seen it.... There are so many things that I don't know about...but I tend to not take action based upon unknown persons. But not everyone is as cynical - or would that be wise :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                  Your right Cathy, those of us who have a few years under our belts :-( and have been on Chow for a while know who has specialized experience with certain products & know exactly who to reach out to for good info. Hopefully the water will not be too muddy for newcomers. Time will tell.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                    You may call me Cat or Cath or Catherine...but never Cathy :)

                                                                                                                                                                    I've fought to no avail to get CH to ban medical advice. It will be interesting to see if this becomes even worse.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                      I've seen a number of subthreads with medical advice disappear.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                        I'm glad to see that. The ones I've flagged seem to live on forever :)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                          Subthreads with a lot of advice are more likely to be deleted than one off posts. I think the policing (both by readers and moderators) is tighter on Media threads than on the Special Diets board.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                      Based on Cookware threads, newcommers often come with lots of misinformation - which set of pots or knives should I buy? how do I avoid this toxic material or that? Which is better, this pot sold by Mercola, or that set promoted by Oz?

                                                                                                                                                                      I doubt if a salesperson for one of these lines of totally-nontoxic-cookware would fare any better than a naive poster who heard about the line from Dr Oz.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                              they used to be excellent when I lived in New Jersey and b4 they changed their policies.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                Just my own curiosity--what changed about their policies that made you like it less? I'm really not interested in joining another food site, but can't help wondering why it lost its appeal for you.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                  it has been awhile since I was last active- I truthfully don't remember-a Senior moment-
                                                                                                                                                                  It was at a time when Jason Perlow left

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                    ....and when I moved to Florida.
                                                                                                                                                                    The local boards were not as good after he left

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't remember the reasons why he was ousted-at the time I was posting there I was not interested in board politics or structure

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                            yes-most of the time they don't dumb down things
                                                                                                                                                            for ppl who don't get the point

                                                                                                                                                    2. You know, I really like the lightening up in the moderation, and haven't seen much spam.

                                                                                                                                                      As to the former, it must be hard for the reflexive defenders of the prior arbitrary overmoderation to deal with the emerging fact that it's *not* the end of Western Civilization. They find themselves in a bind when the "perfect" is acknowledged by the gods to need improvement.

                                                                                                                                                      In a way, I think it's better for everyone if these unhappy folks move on. God's Speed, I say.

                                                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                        it's not less moderation, it's the same amount of moderation applied in different places.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                                                                                            Hi, deb:

                                                                                                                                                            I believe the mods themselves have described it as lightening up, so quibble away.

                                                                                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                Well, in the alternate universe of CH moderation, perhaps it takes more work to moderate less. Or possibly they're working extra hard at lightening up. Or was Jacq simply making up the new approach of not moderating the $#it out of things?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                  taking a step back for a broad look? the latter.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                                                                                                    Hi, deb:

                                                                                                                                                                    Applying Occam's Razor, the simplest reason the latter possibility is ridiculous is that they *have* lightened up.

                                                                                                                                                                    Considering all the layoffs, cutbacks, etc., I'm not sure why anyone'd cop to working less, even volunteer mods. "Yessiree, working even harder now that we've got less to police."

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                      If anyone thinks the moderation has gotten lighter then they're not paying attention. I find it capricious. Sometimes overly strict and sometimes too easy. My opinion is that no one is in charge. With Jacq, like the decisions or not (and I sometimes didn't) there was consistency.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                        the main difference, from the outside, is that there now seems to be a tiered moderation policy. where the boards (not the features) were formerly forums where everyone was on equal footing, there are now content providers (advertisers and their staunch supporters -- steering clear of that other "s" word) and "posters," the latter of whom seem more likely to be moderated with a heavy hand.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                                                                                                          As far as I can tell they are just relaxing two rules - no-light-hearted-banter, and
                                                                                                                                                                          - no commercial promotion.

                                                                                                                                                                          Vulgarity and comments directed more at poster than the topic are still subject to moderation. And those rules apply equally to pros and amateurs.

                                                                                                                                                                          "They" are not out to get us, the ordinary poster!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                          Moderation is too strict when it is applied to me and my friends. Moderation is too lenient when applied to the posts I flag.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                            Our experiences differ, thankfully.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                        Simple hard nosed rules are easier to administer than more nuanced, flexible ones. That's why parks have rules like 'no dogs' as opposed to going into details about about poop, harassing wildlife and people. And health departments ban dogs from restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                          Only for police who can't or won't think. I was once ticketed for my dog "running at large" in a park, when he was walking at heel. The judge who tossed the fine especially enjoyed my cross-x of the officer.

                                                                                                                                                              2. why am I now getting the newsletter daily ????
                                                                                                                                                                I have 3 of the same thing since friday

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Omeghan

                                                                                                                                                                  We made a mistake that caused duplicate emails to go out over the weekend to some users. We've fixed the issues and you won't see it again. Thanks for the feedback.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I'm a slow learner. I just figured out half of the puzzle of why 8 year old posts are being topped on a daily basis. The chowteam is doing it by putting the "Related" sidebar on the right hand corner.

                                                                                                                                                                  However, that doesn't explain why half the resurrected threads are from first time posters who signed in to top old posts.

                                                                                                                                                                  It is a conundrum.

                                                                                                                                                                  That said, I think the new chowteam is shilling us out to lazy professionals as their own little personal think tank. As evidenced by the michelin man threads. Any post the questions the new poster's motives is deleted automatically. And yet the one time poster, searching the think tank hasn't been back after starting 3 threads within the hour.

                                                                                                                                                                  Of course lazy food writers and bloggers have used chowhound for years for free research. But we weren't openly whored out as free lab rats.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I feel like many of these comments are overly focused on the obvious shills/ads. Yes, those are annoying and don't belong here. But they are really easy to spot as ads and ignore, and also are unlikely to affect reports by regular users.

                                                                                                                                                                    The bigger issue in my mind is those threads mentioned in the OP. The Little Jewel thread and the Andrea Nguyen thread. Are those having an impact on subsequent Chowhound discussions? Do we trust the positive Chowhound feedback that has already ensued and may continue? Or do we wonder if those reports are unduly influenced by the posters' positive interactions with the business owners on this site?

                                                                                                                                                                    Personally, I'm going to take those professional threads and subsequent Chowhound reviews with a grain of salt. These are all noise to me. If enough of these pop up on the boards I frequent, I'm going to use this site a whole lot less.

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: churros

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm trying to understand this viewpoint. Did we just take reviews on CH prior to this policy change as completely impartial and accurate? And when someone writes something positive about a place, aren't they influenced by positive interactions with the business, whether it was the food, the service, or a combination?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure what you're getting at. Reviews are by nature subjective. There's no right or wrong or being completely impartial and accurate.

                                                                                                                                                                        I would just rather not have CH reviews influenced by things *other than* food and service. For example, these "valuable" conversations by business owners, otherwise known as good PR.

                                                                                                                                                                        I think that Chowhounds, even with the best intentions, can't help but be influenced by these threads. So I'm not going to rely on any of these reviews myself.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: churros

                                                                                                                                                                          Edit: Not gonna get into it. Obviously each of us can use or not use the information on CH how it best suits each of us.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Moderators, I am sorry if this was asked before, but I am hoping for clarification.

                                                                                                                                                                      What is the current policy on posting links to groupon and similar discounts? Can it be done and who can do it? Can the same one be posted multiple times? (No I am not writing a bot to post multiple links, just do not want to hit report if not appropriate.)

                                                                                                                                                                      TIA.

                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                                                                        We've allowed these for some time now... some boards used to have running threads listing those types of deals but use of them seems to have fallen by the wayside. Here's one from the past:http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8042....

                                                                                                                                                                        Our rules on insiders would mean that it’s OK for restaurants to promote their special deals now. We previously asked people to edit links to such deals so that there’s no personal referral benefit going to the person posting it, and that may not be a condition these days… it probably depends on how many we’re seeing posted, and who is posting them. But you are definitely welcome to post great deals you’d like to share with fellow Chowhounds.

                                                                                                                                                                        We'd prefer to have that sort of deal link posted once; most of our users perceive repeated use of the same content to be spam. We'd generally moderate it as spam if it was flagged for us, unless we saw a solid reason it should appear in multiple places.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                                                          so coupon deals are a no go, but kicstarter campaigns and ads for new restaurants by restaurant proprietors or their PR firms is fine ????????????

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry if we phrased our post in an unclear way... it is OK to post coupon deals.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                                                              dope, not that i ever do, just curious.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                                                            Not true; most of your posters consider it spam the first time it appears.

                                                                                                                                                                            We just have given up thinking that matters to anyone else.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Dear Chowhound,

                                                                                                                                                                          Please figure out what the hell you're trying to be and how to monetize your data. Do you want to be crowdsourcing like Quora, curated news aggregator like Eater, media attention seeking whore like Instagram yet still retain the charm of an old school "forum"? Whatever it is, figure this shit out.

                                                                                                                                                                          You have a lot of data, both structured (geo, chain, food vs drinks, even religious stuff like kosher or not) and unstructured data to monetize from, but yet your ads suck and not relevant to me at all.

                                                                                                                                                                          Implementing all the greatest hits in disparate voices like the lame approval seeking heart, the plus one up voting, the photo story, link adding features is maddening and unfocused.

                                                                                                                                                                          Having "professionals" and/or bloggers to add content is not a big deal. All social networking sites do this, it's call sponsored content. Monetize that shit out. As long as it's annotated that it's sponsored content so the user has the option to opt in or opt out, no one cares. We want you to make money to keep this site up. I click on these sponsored ads/content all the time to things that I hate just so sites I like make money based on my clicks.

                                                                                                                                                                          Personally, I just want one new feature. I want the STFU icon/button like what Melanie Wong proposed a while back.

                                                                                                                                                                          -A user

                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KathyM

                                                                                                                                                                            I hit the heart prompt just for you! because valentines day is just months away and I heart your comment

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KathyM

                                                                                                                                                                                Or in other words, no one will buy the Chow if you're giving the milk away for free?

                                                                                                                                                                                Another vote for a STFU button. +1

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. "AgLocal’s Farm-to-Doorstep Approach: A Case Study in Conscious Consumerism"
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/990078

                                                                                                                                                                                    Despite the title, the photo story post above is an advertisement. If it is a case study for anything, I'd say that it is an example of how to exploit this site. The founder, Naithan Jones tweeted at 5:43PM PDT yesterday to thank Chow for writing that piece! That was just minutes after that post went up.
                                                                                                                                                                                    https://twitter.com/NaithanJones/stat...

                                                                                                                                                                                    It has been retweeted, including by AgLocal investor Marc Andreessen. Andreessen has put it out on loglr.com. There are probably more instances of viral sharing but I'm not going to research this exhaustively.
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://loglr.com/i/149309

                                                                                                                                                                                    If the piece was indeed written by Chow.com as the founder of AgLocal says, it should have an appropriate by-line on it and be marked as a sponsored post. Chow's feed cotinues to promote this piece on the right hand side as a photo story.

                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                    43 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                                      Can I do that? Write about my blog, then tweet thanks to Chow for writing about my blog? Gotta run - I have a glowing review to write!

                                                                                                                                                                                      For real though, I flagged that hours ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                                                        I flagged it too and posted a reply. My reply has been removed, so the mods saw the flag.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's another tweet, this time from AgLocal thanking Chow.
                                                                                                                                                                                        https://twitter.com/AgLocal/status/51...

                                                                                                                                                                                        Edited to add: And on facebook,
                                                                                                                                                                                        https://www.facebook.com/aglocal/post...

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, we're working with these guys to edit the post, which we did not author. We're hoping they'll join the conversation. Thanks for your patience.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                            They've tweeted about their Chow "write up" 5 or 6 times now, but others are starting to call them out. Retweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                              I would never trust someone who ran such a scam. Work with them if you want. I will never read a post from them!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                you are hoping outright spammers/shills want to join in the conversation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                'zactly which planet were you borne on?

                                                                                                                                                                                                as to the "we welcome the industry" theory - nothing wrong with this. dating back to the 1980's "we" granted free flag time to industry experts who were actually willing to share their knowledge and expertise. participate? yes. participate free? yes. advertize, flog-yer-blog... no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                is it really so difficult to discern the difference?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Your stock isn't exactly rising with the Hounds over this, Pat. Watch out for the CBS bus...

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Why was your original reply deleted?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Others have written in this thread that posts challenging the site's policies are being erased, so it seems there's interest in this topic in the "community."

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pat?

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                                                That's what the marketing types call "native advertising."

                                                                                                                                                                                                If it had nothing to do with CBS, why is it being promoted in the sidebar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, it's pegged as an example of how to use social media to market one's e-commerce site.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://inagist.com/all/51471818488506...

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That site is all about social networking. But you can't find a single honest review about them anywhere. They tweet, instagram, facebook, link in, etc. It's been 24+ hours, and their ad is still up in General Topics. They're tweeting all over the place about Chow's "nice write-up" of their company. I doubt they're interested in joining the conversation - notice they haven't been back, and thankfully nobody's biting their bait. They're getting called out on twitter and facebook for false advertising, which is fun to watch. They don't respond though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I emailed them calling them out. Waiting for a reply.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jackiecat

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's AgLocal's response to my email:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I am a little confused as to what you mean by scam on Chowhound? We started a blog picture story with them upon their request to be featured in editorial as well."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK Chowhound - is this true?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jackiecat

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would assume they're fudging a little. They probably asked Chow to let them post it as an advertorial or "real" article, and Chow encouraged them to use the blog/picture format instead. Maybe that's the "at their request" part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't understand why it's still up though, or hasn't been changed from the blatant advertisement that it is (by a company who certainly hasn't come back to join the conversation). One of their tweets reads "Thx @chow for a great write up on a little company called...", implying that Chow wrote the piece. I do find it scammish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fun fact though - search "aglocal" on this site and you get their ad and one mention by a CH'er who tried them and had a negative experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, CH is taking native advertising to a new level.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Many thumbs down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey guys, this is not paid content or advertising. Our team talks to a lot of people in the food world and we occasionally encourage them to join the community to get feedback. It is up to them how they do it, but we'll continue to try to guide them in the right direction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              As always we appreciate the feedback.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                                How are they going to get honest feedback if you delete negative replies from their posts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jackiecat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, the BS is getting deep around here. These are not "people who want to interact." These are companies who want to advertise for free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It would be one thing if Chow adopted the almost universal standard of tagging content that is advertising. We could probably handle that. How C BS I thinks advertorials can be seamless (or disguised) within discussion forums is infuriating. It is becoming apparent that CHOW no longer acknowledges or even recognizes that its users have brains.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What I don't like is that they can post an ad that stays up for days, violating CH's policies, but if anyone replies calling them an ad, or spam, or the truth basically, it gets deleted within minutes. And there's still no response to many of the questions posted on this thread. It doesn't seem like feedback is really the priority, unless it's positive. Which it won't be, because the actual participating site members have been very clear on our "we hate spammers" position, and hate being ignored when we see flagrant violations of site policies, flag them, and continue to be ignored.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And it is advertising. They posted an ad for their business and are all over social media saying that Chow wrote a story about them. They asked no questions of members, and have not returned to do so. How does that not qualify as advertising?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You are covering some specifics that we addressed directly in the original post here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "If you have concerns about a thread, you should continue to use the "Flag" option to alert the moderation team. Calling out a user for posting an advertisement or labeling them as a spammer will likely discourage them from posting again. We believe many will be eager to engage on a more thoughtful level if given the chance to learn along the way, like any new user to our community. While we understand the desire to air your feelings on this new direction for Chowhound, individual threads aren’t the place to do it, and we will be removing replies to posts which discuss whether it’s an appropriate post for the community."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's just one specific. Yes, you say not to engage with the individual posters. Yes, engaging with an individual poster is against policy and is going to be removed. But their spam is against policy as well, and is not removed. We are trying to use THIS thread to air our feelings on this new direction from Chowhound, but we are not getting any real answers and our feelings seem to be ignored. Why do spammers' inappropriate threads get three days (or forever) to work with you, and our inappropriate objections are zapped instantaneously? Why not work with us, the users of the site, and help us interact with them better? Flagging these days feels like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it out to sea. While I understand the reluctance to discuss specific posts in this thread, the unacknowledged poster in this instance hasn't returned once to join in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In short, it seems like encouraging (unpaid) advertisers to participate in Chow is more important than the opinions of those already here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You're still trying to "guide them" - and yet their blatant advertising post remains up. REMOVE IT, and tell them how you want them to re-post it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But you've not done that. Which really means you're fine with this type of advertising, and in being OK with it, turns off loyal users of your site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And yet you all don't seem to care about that fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Greetings LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This entire AgLocal thread issue is worse than blatant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomorrow the fast food or supermarket chain,(fill in any here)domestic or foreign introduces the ????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All organic,biodynamic meat lovers,vegan meal...at 2usd...and splashes it out here on CH,and the post lives.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      blatant advertising is perhaps an understatement...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here on CH I don't even want to think about who is an honest purveyor or not.Or who eats the mistakes if the product sucks etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But now we have a blatant "endorsement" of AgLocal on the boards. go figure

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I get the feeling the CHOW team feels this site is fine, except for all the pesky regular users. If only this could be an all advertising site that would attract millions of clicks on ads - that's the ticket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It also does these new 'professional voices'/shills no favors. Some hounds might actually be interested in a food related kickstarter, or supporting small food businesses, just not when they are misrepresented as 'part of the conversation' and not noted as sponsored or commercial. I have a food business and website and would love to sell to hounds, but there is no way in hell I'm going to make up some self-promotional post and try to pass it off as "discussion". Let's discuss how delicious my product is and how you can send me money for it? Not the discussion any regular posters are looking for. The current situation is a huge turn-off and ends up putting those commercial posters in a bad light. (I hesitate to use 'professional', as there are many culinary professionals on these boards. I've been a pastry chef for 15 years and I'm only a professional if I'm selling something?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But, if there was a commercial board, people looking for foodie gifts might look for links to shopping or causes to support, or restaurants to invest in, etc, and if hounds were able to rate their transactions it could actually help some small businesses build e-commerce instead of resentment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This. And if the posts were for local products or services, a link could be placed on the local board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You’re already participating here, so you’re doing exactly what we’re hoping to achieve with these new posters. You have new information to offer that would be of interest, and we do hope you post it… not with a goal of promoting your product, but with the intent to help other food hobbyists who are wondering how to translate their passion for food into an income-generating business. How did you refine your recipes? What steps did you have to take to get commercially certified? How did you connect up with local purveyors to carry your products, or how did you decide to go direct to consumers? These are some questions that really haven’t been addressed here on Chowhound, and we think there’s interest in that type of discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We really don’t want people to view Chowhound only as a place to promote their business/product. We want all new posters (including business owners) to take interest and participate in a variety of topics here, and we do contact each business poster and encourage them to get involved in other discussions. We ask them to share tips on their favorite restaurants, or recipes, or share knowledge they’ve gained through their business. In the course of their participation on Chowhound, if they run across threads where they feel their product/service/business would be of interest, we want them to feel welcome to offer those as an option. As with any tips here on Chowhound, it’s up to the reader to determine which tips they want to pursue, and which they want to ignore. We do think that many posters here would be interested in trying out a product/restaurant/service offered by trusted fellow posters who have helped them out with other tips and inquiries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When we're not able to work with the poster to turn a post into something more valuable, we’ll remove them as we've now done with this case and a few others discussed lately. It may take some time to see if that conversion can happen, and we ask you all to be patient with us as we work behind the scenes on that process. Thanks guys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As usual your answer talks about you, CHOW and them, the business owners. I really wish you would address us, your users with something other than "be patient."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We have been patient. We've offered up myriad ways this could work to everyone's advantage. You never address the actual problem, even when you bother to answer at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BINGO, babette. For someone who throws up an obvious SHILL on this site that the Mods allow to remain up - I won't patronize their business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                These shill posts are quite unlike the cookbook writer who engaged the community in answering questions about ingredients, how to prepare something, etc. If I WANTED advertising, I wouldn't have downloaded AdBlock Plus. But if there was a specific Commercial board to which I could go and search for new and interesting products? I'd bookmark that board, and check out the conversations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And even more importantly? I'D PROBABLY BUY THINGS! And isn't that what these purveyors want? People to buy their products? As a consumer, however, I don't want it shoved down my throat. But the way TPTB have chosen to allow posts, it is being forced upon me. And for that reason, I won't be buying what they're shilling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My kitchen cabinets, pie-safe pantry, and former hall coat closet are filled with lots of new-to-me food products - I'm a sucker for new mustards, honeys, herbs, spice blends, new food products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I ***AM*** THE CONSUMER THEY WANT. But they're not going to get it by the shilling they're doing and that TPTB are allowing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Funny thing about that 'shoved down my throat' stuff - I wouldn't know about it if I wasn't following this thread. Somehow my ordinary browsing of CH topics misses most of this shilling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I couldn't agree more. There have been a number of perfectly legitimate issues raised about that post and the responses from the site spokespersons haven't addressed them. That AgLocal post is a stealth ad - nothing more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am presuming or hoping this was written by your joke writer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am an oldie here at CH,still have 2 of the very old original tshirts...one never washed or worn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One day later no clear answer,waffle or weasel words are not the same as a clear answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yet you were so very very careful to pad around the ???
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and never mention AgLocal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                boy with a joke writer and lawyer...bravo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                my real response will be below to LindaWhit and jackiecat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: patsully

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  " Our team talks to a lot of people in the food world and we occasionally encourage them to join the community to get feedback." And that would be the perfect time to segue and provide them with guidelines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "It is up to them how they do it, but we'll continue to try to guide them in the right direction" That is an incredibly naive pov. If you do not provide firm rules and quick removal of violating posts then you will simply be used repeatedly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Perfectly stated. That AgLocal post was allowed to hang around for *far* too long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Testing time is over. It's time to get it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "I smell $$ for Chow."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'd be happy to smell $$ for CBS Interactive (which I think is who you mean). That would increase the likelihood of this place remaining open.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Alas, I smell only ¢¢ for them. This seems like a self-defeating and desperate play for scraps of traffic by lazy, unimaginative, uncaring managers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, too many ways to fix this problem, if they see it as a problem!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jackiecat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Perhaps as interesting to me as an answer will be how long it is before a clear and simple "yes or no" answer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              appears from CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              About 24 hours ago PatSully stated they are still trying to work with AgLocal and invited them to join the conversation (this thread?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know better than to type my real 2cents,but much of the logic applied by CH here is perforated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here's DiningDiva's honest review of AgLocal's product on the San Diego board:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9819...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That should be the Chow write-up that gets shared on the interwebs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To be fair, one of AgLocal's owners responded to DiningDiva with a pretty level comment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I've been talking to him on twitter. I'm glad he stepped in himself instead of relying on PR folks. Much more honest engagement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  His tweets sound reasonable as well. I wonder if they really did ask to have their post removed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/990078 was posted by user AgLocal, and uses the word "we" to describe the company, so while it's misleading to say "thx @chow for a great write up" it's obviously the company's own promotional material.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Why is this topic locked with no explanatory note from Chowhound Team?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985235

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Recently, I've noticed several threads being peremptorily deleted. Maybe it's a part of how the new "community" operates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I bet Jim Leff will find it sad but amusing that a well respected poster on the Outer Boroughs board posted that he's waiting for more posts on Yelp to bring up a restaurant's ratings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Then there was this thread -- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/988399 -- where the chef/owner posted asking us to please post to Yelp to help his business.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it's becoming obvious that the changes to Chowhound are making it irrelevant and Yelp is the place to be.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: el jefe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wrong. Chowhound and Yelp are totally different beasts. Always have been.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. And speaking of nonsense:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "We know that Chowhounds appreciate posters who are interested in making an ongoing contribution to the community, and this is reflected in the number of users who view and engage with original posts like these."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Most of the posts I've come across are true hit-and-run "I've come to promote myself" and nothing more. I don't see these posters "making an ongoing contribution" and why would they, as it's likely a conflict of interest to talk about someone ELSE's delicious product, restaurant, event, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kattyeyes and Jim Leff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  AMEN, OK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  two to five years ago any specifics in a reply:example cookware and regional supply and service that even remotely smelled of (AND I DO MEAN REMOTE),whiffed of favoritism,....were pulled,what BS.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If someone posts an honest answer,with caveats about multiple sources ,who and where to try for ? and it is still pulled.What are the guidelines?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I need help putting a target on the shill.Having just looked up to the right on my on the screen,I have all cookies blocked and five advertisements.This must be an issue for our host as more and more of us operate this way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yet with all the discourse on this topic/thread I have not seen one iota of change to posting guidelines or the faq.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Odd at best.