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[When I sign people up and verifiy their registrations, I ask for a real first/last name and city-of-residence, stressing that these are to be held in private. Basically, I need to know who is posting here to avoid anonymous potshots taken at restaurants. However, I'm finding that developing this site in my spare time has been a LOT of work, especially registering new members and dealing with technical issues. So I'm going to be getting help with validating memberships from a trusted individual whom many of us already know, and this person will have access to that same information. (There will also be someone coming onboard to help me with technical and software issues.) I don't think this is a big deal, and maybe I don't even need to mention it, but in the interest of full disclosure I thought I should. Privacy issues are important to many people, and they're also important to me. Please PM or email me if this is a problem, and I'll try to find a workaround although I'm not sure what it's going to be. Tired, busy. Rocks. P.S. And if you're reading this and haven't registered, please do!]
In our Sports Forum, we have a thread on your rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson. I've followed Watson carefully for the past four years, and have watched every single moment, of every single game, that he has played for the past two years. If you're concerned that Watson can't be an "NFL-style," pocket quarterback, well, I think that's a legitimate concern, but I also think that Watson - even though he can scamper - has a pocket-quarterback mentality in his head. The scrambling quarterback works best in college; the pocket passer works best in the NFL, and I honestly believe that Watson has the tools and the discipline to be both. Here in Washington, DC, we suffered through the agony of watching Robert Griffin III, who won the Heisman Trophy for Baylor, and for whom the Washington Redskins gave up a *fortune*. RGIII was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and *deserved* it, producing one of the greatest seasons in NFL history by a rookie quarterback. However, RGIII was never taught to be a pocket passer, and the Redskins allowed him to be a sitting duck for the NFL's monster linebackers, who used him as a tackling dummy. The Redskins didn't take him out when he became visibly injured (it was very, very hard to watch), and just like that, RGIII's career was over (or, at least, it's probably over). Don't think for a moment that Deshaun Watson isn't acutely aware of the sad tale of RGIII. All he needs is to be taught how to transition from college to the NFL, and you just may have yourself an All-Pro-caliber QB for the next decade. I'm going to be pulling for the Texans, and for the great Deshaun Watson - I only hope that he has someone down there who can teach him properly; otherwise, all bets are off. One thing you shouldn't worry about is all these articles about Watson's interceptions. The articles fed off themselves; I actually *watched* every play Watson made for the past two seasons, and he threw a total of about five lousy interceptions; the rest of them came with a large dose of sheer bad luck, irrelevant situations (an 80-yard, Hail Mary with 2-seconds left in the half, for example) or missed patterns by his receivers - the interception tally wouldn't worry me in the least. You've got yourself a champion on your hands, and at least one person up here in Washington, DC who will be pulling for him. Cheers, Rocks
I am asking all readers (not just current members) to issue one-sentence statements, each describing a single problem or issue with this website that they'd like to see improved upon, fixed, resolved, or at least acknowledged. These can (and probably should) be simple bullet-point items. Examples: * It's very complicated to upload a photo * The website is confusing, and makes me not want to bother * You're an overbearing administrator [for something like this, an additional level of detail would be appreciated] * I can never find what I'm looking for [again, this could be improved upon with an additional level of detail] Please do not go into much detail - simple, one-sentence issues are what I wish to hear, and (unless things are just personally nasty and mean) what I will address. Unless things are written specifically to be mean to me, I promise not to edit or erase anything, and I promise to reply to every single point. This is is not an exercise in "patronizing the members"; quite to the contrary, I hope to be able to work on these issues and address them. I'll be gone all day, and I hope to look things over in the next few days, and respond to each point. Again, these should be one-sentence items, and if I need clarification, I will ask. Cheers (and thank you all for being members and/or lurking). If you lurk, and wish to say something, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or better still, click here and join. Rocks
I'm going to keep a running list here of tasks here that need to be performed in order for this to be a better community. Please PM me if you have any interest in volunteering - these simply will not get done without help! And also, if you have an idea that I haven't thought of, please also PM me to let me know your thoughts - I'm all ears! 1) Investors - If you, or anyone you know, sees a bright future with us going national, and no longer being limited to restaurants (refer to Yelp, Chowhound, Angie's List, Craig's List, etc.), write me at donrockwell, the dcdining-dot-com address. We need money, and lots of it, in order to thrive going forward - there's no pretty way to say that, so I just came right out and said it. 2) Dining Guides - Duplicating "important" restaurants that are currently in the Multiple Locations Dining Guide into DC, MD, and VA. This is the #1 complaint we get, and justifiably so, but until now, I haven't made the time to do it. I suspect I'll simply do this myself, but for now, I'm going to list this here. 3) Member Outreach - We care. So much so that I consider our members to be our #1 resource and most important asset, and I don't mind shouting that from the rooftops. Our members set us apart from all other restaurant resources on the internet. I have several ideas regarding this that will serve to make the already-strong bond between website and members even stronger. 4) Award Program - 2,000 people at the RAMW awards last night? Well, it's good PR for the restaurants, I suppose, a huge money-maker for RAMW, and certainly an ego boost for the chefs, but I'm betting that an award coming from this community will be something recipients tell their grandchildren about. It will necessarily start out as small potatoes - a certificate and a pat on the back - but the winners can be darned sure that they deserve to win. Do you know who the judges of the RAMMYs are? I'll leave it at that. 5) Updating the Indexes - Leigh, you were *great* when you were great, but now you're gone, and there's no audit trail. Our forum indexes have fallen badly out of date, and we need to get them current again - our indexes are what make this website a valuable resource. I've got the Restaurant Indexes covered (and that alone is a full-time job), but we badly need to get moving on the other forums. 6) A News Hound - Just as the amazing cheezepowder has latched onto restaurant openings like a pit bull, we need to clone her and have that same level of enthusiasm for various other things, one of which is to keep current in linking to articles written by other news sources. We should be your "one-stop shop" for any and all restaurant news on the internet, sort of like what DC Eater does. It sounds vacuous, but it's very useful to be able to get interesting and relevant content from one central repository. 7) Helping Me Update dcdining.com - We've got to eliminate the concierge stuff, and turn it into a pure blog (in other words, have *only* the WordPress blog as the landing page, and hide all the other stuff). This should be extremely simple for anyone who knows how to program websites - hopefully just a few hours' work - and I will rededicate myself to writing restaurant reviews if this can be done.