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This Board & Declining Participation


Joe H
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Part of the equation is the apparent loss of many who earlier posted frequently. Numbers on the board @1:00PM that were 125-130 now are two thirds or less of this. Is this a reflection of the D. C. dining scene and interest in talking about it or, of something else?

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My guess is, most people post while at work. Look at posts over the weekend. It seems, to me at least, that there is little activity during the weekend.

Many people take vacation in August.

I see more new names on this board now than I ever have before.

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There are multiple reasons, but I think Don's participation has a lot to do with it. I'm not calling him out, as I know that he's quite busy in his life with things outside of this messageboard, but when he posts on topics the board seems to light up and people will share their own experiences on restaurants he reviews.

I agree with Mark and others about vacationing and whatnot as well.

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I think it's just the time of year, everyone's traveling or relaxing, trying to enjoy summer before labor day comes. also, i wonder if, with the economy, people are eating out less, giving them less meals to review? recently i've noticed that many of my friends seem to be getting together for drinks and a couple bar nibbles rather than dinner, and I feel sort of silly reviewing drinks and bar nibbles.

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Part of the equation is the apparent loss of many who earlier posted frequently. Numbers on the board @1:00PM that were 125-130 now are two thirds or less of this. Is this a reflection of the D. C. dining scene and interest in talking about it or, of something else?

I've noticed this more anecdotally... seeing my favorite parts of the forum often going hours or days without posts.

I think maybe more and more former foodies are defecting to Ron Dockwell's pro-bulimia site, Scarf-and-Barf.com.

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I would love to share, but I was told in no uncertain terms that my opinions were no longer welcome, so I will just keep them to myself.

I like your opinions too...

But on the board slowness- Chow hasn't slowed up very much, but maybe a little, I haven't seem some of the normal posters I like on there, as much recently, but there are new people. It could be perhaps because many people aren't dining out as often, or not at places they think are worth posting about. For instance I went to Vapiano the other night because it was close and it had been so long since I had been, I forgot it wasn't great- I was reminded though. But people probably already know this, so probably not worthwhile to post. I don't think you go there expecting stellar food? And last week was RW so God knows I didn't want to get in the middle of that mess. I know I am not eating at as many high end places- not because of the economy more for my new car, but... Maybe with all the hiring the Federal Government needs to do we will have people with good incomes and plenty of time to eat :rolleyes:

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I would love to share, but I was told in no uncertain terms that my opinions were no longer welcome, so I will just keep them to myself.

As of 1:20PM Chowhound's D. C./Baltimore restaurant board had a total of 34 posts. On here, including the Baltimore board, there have been a total of 9 in the exact same time frame which started at 12:01AM. I am not including the other boards on either Rockwell or Chowhound-only the two boards dedicated to local restaurants.

In the past the total number of posts on here have approached if not equalled Chowhound. My point is that the amount of participation on here is experiencing a huge fall off that does not seem to have impacted Chowhound. I am making no value judgments, only noting that it is happening.

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I think people in general go through fazes where they post or dont. This board is just like any other activity in life...sometimes you just have enough, dont care anymore or find other avenues. Facebook is a prime example...I was all into it when I discovered it in Dec, and I might post once every few weeks now. It can be especially boring to read about the same threads or restaurants over and over. The Ray's empire is always good period...so how much more can a normal person take of the same praises or repetitive questions about it?????? :huh: The additudes of some of the self anointed "foodies" and their postings are enough to make me not even log in for long periods...eventhough I usually tune in daily to see whats going on. Self promoters on this board are also quite draining at times. People take a break from all types of relationships and communications and this is no different. The world will not come to an end, nor will the site (hopefully) :rolleyes:

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I think people in general go through fazes where they post or dont. This board is just like any other activity in life...sometimes you just have enough, dont care anymore or find other avenues. Facebook is a prime example...I was all into it when I discovered it in Dec, and I might post once every few weeks now. It can be especially boring to read about the same threads or restaurants over and over. The Ray's empire is always good period...so how much more can a normal person take of the same praises or repetitive questions about it?????? :huh: The additudes of some of the self anointed "foodies" and their postings are enough to make me not even log in for long periods...eventhough I usually tune in daily to see whats going on. Self promoters on this board are also quite draining at times. People take a break from all types of relationships and communications and this is no different. The world will not come to an end, nor will the site (hopefully) :rolleyes:

I think Chris has summed it up very well. For my part, I've found that my enjoyment of a meal and of the company in which I was eating it was being compromised by the thought of having to post about it afterwards. I also have the impression (for which I have absolutely no empirical evidence) that the membership has ballooned while the overall quality of the postings has declined. The repetitive focus on certain threads and personalities, to which Chris alluded, contributes to this impression.

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This board has always had some ups and downs, frankly I spend more time reading blogs now then I did 4 years ago. There are many more internet sites that distract me then there were when i was posting more frequently. While I still see a real need for the board, I would love to see a WIKI option so I can always go to the first post to see a resuratant's website, hours, phone number etc. I also know that there is more good information on this board compared to many other boards out there.

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I'm pretty new the the board and so may be way off base but here goes:

1. I might be reading too much into the posts but I think Sthitch might be referring to the fact that if one has a strong opinion, they might get splashback that is unappealing. I criticized an Italian restaurant for putting too much olive oil on my fish and caught a lot of hell for it. My posting declined after that.

2. There are some cults of personality. For example, my husband and went to hellburger and didn't want to deal with the crowd so went one Sun. morning (noonish). Less crowded. We were not impressed and I wanted to write my opinion but the cult of love, and my fear of the proprietor, kept me from doing it. (my biggest problem is that I got mushrooms on my burger and it didn't really *taste* as good as it looked.)

I have a question regarding redundant posts. I post a lot about PS7's (b/c it is one of my favs) and 14K b/c I go all the time and like it (for hotel bar food, it rocks). Is that bad form?

Thanks.

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I have a question regarding redundant posts. I post a lot about PS7's (b/c it is one of my favs) and 14K b/c I go all the time and like it (for hotel bar food, it rocks). Is that bad form?
"Some" would say yes. "Others" like myself think it's awesome that you're so passionate about the place and want to share the love.

"Others" think you should absolutely post to your heart's content. Please continue.

"Some" can suck my grandma's jar of preserved mammoth dicks.

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The new version of the software: I just don't like it. I used to come browse multiple times a day, and now I only check in a few times a week.

This is a big reason I am not using the board as much. I don't even like to search for information anymore, never mind participate. My initial assessment of "butt-ugly Facebook/Invision mashup" hasn't changed. :rolleyes:

I think Chris has summed it up very well. For my part, I've found that my enjoyment of a meal and of the company in which I was eating it was being compromised by the thought of having to post about it afterwards. I also have the impression (for which I have absolutely no empirical evidence) that the membership has ballooned while the overall quality of the postings has declined. The repetitive focus on certain threads and personalities, to which Chris alluded, contributes to this impression.

I would add that there are some repetitive posters, too, that add into my decline in interest. And at the same time, a lot of colorful personalities have been chased off, and while that decreases conflict and promotes a more "informational" focus, it makes the site dull as dishwater when there is no give and take between the membership.
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Personally, I do check the board a bit less since the software "upgrade", which I don't care for. I've also fallen into the cycle of not posting on meals because for many of them, another post would echo comments made by many others on the restaurant thread. Also, I find if I wait more than a day or so after a meal to get something up, my memory starts to get hazy...

All forums have ups and downs. Don't know if this period can be considered a "down", and honestly I'm not worried about it. Dr.com remains the most informative, troll free, and interesting food forum in DC by a long shot.

The level of civility, even among "controversial" posters here is really incredible. In the past four plus years, I've seen folks come in with first posts that on many sites would be considered complete troll jobs, only to later become valued members of the forum. I don't know if anyone here also checks out Mark Squires board, but compared to the schism that went on there, this "declining participation" or whatever is a walk in the park.

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The level of civility, even among "controversial" posters here is really incredible.

I think that's a HUGE credit to our amazing moderators: mktye, MrPorcupine, bilrus, cjsadler, hillvalley, legant, ol_ironstomach, synaethesia, zoramargolis, and of course Don himself. I've never seen anything on the Internet that's as well managed as this site. It's like they're editing a frakking newspaper. Seriously, thanks guys. You make the boards much easier on the ol' Mark One Eyeball.
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I also am turned off by the new look. I still read posts, but I find it harder to tell when there is new content. It has been a while since there was a chat with a local chef, and I liked those a lot. I also used to look forward to Don's "Lettres de mon moulin" postings.

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All I know is ...

1) I just got back from King's Dominion riding roller coasters and water slides all day long with a 12-year-old.

2) Lunch: Chick-fil-A! Snack: Dippin' Dots!

3) I am exhausted.

4) Aperitif to come in the next five minutes: Plymouth and Fever Tree

5) Will perhaps drink it in the shower.

6) Dinner. Meat. Need.

7) Vent away - it's perfectly fine, and I'll reply later when I have the time and energy to write a detailed response.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Things change and evolve. People leave, new people join. After so many years, there's probably not as much new to chew over every day. But that does not IMHO diminish the value of DR.com. This site continues to be a remarkable community where people who share a passion for food can connect and share experiences, information and knowledge. There are a number of entertaining and creative writers among us, and the occasional boor who seeks to stir up negative passions and controversy. To me, it's all good. And as far as I can tell, Don Rockwell is a genius and a god.

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All I know is ...

1) I just got back from King's Dominion riding roller coasters and water slides all day long with a 12-year-old.

2) Lunch: Chick-fil-A! Snack: Dippin' Dots!

3) I am exhausted.

4) Aperitif to come in the next five minutes: Plymouth and Fever Tree

5) Will perhaps drink it in the shower.

6) Dinner. Meat. Need.

7) Vent away - it's perfectly fine, and I'll reply later when I have the time and energy to write a detailed response.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Intimidator305 will be in the style of Six Flags New England's Superman ride which, for years, was ranked #1 by American Coaster Enthusiasts. It has been designed to be more thrilling; the intention is for it to be ranked as the number one steel roller coaster in the world. The man who is responsible for this is as passionate about thrill as we are about food. His father, in the '40's, flew open cockpit biplanes. His son, who today helped conceived Intimidator305, experienced this at a really young age. For him, the intensity of the thrill lasts to today; that intensity will be his career achievment at Kings Dominion next year: it WILL be the #1 in the world.

He will be the first to ride it after the "water dummies" in testing. He told me that he is looking forward to this first ride more than any other. The first drop by the way is approximately a 30 story fall at an 85 degree angle. This is almost true vertical-face first. There will also be a lot of air and a great deal of banking on it.

Water slides? I have sold the first looping water slide (yes, looping) to the world's largest water park, Noah's Ark, in the Wisconsin Dells. This starts with standing a "capsule" and after a short countdown, having the floor fall out from under you, allowing you to literally fall almost eight stories down a kind of elevator shaft...into a loop.

http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=30649

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Yep.

Sorry, I know it's not Don's "fault" but I hate hate hate the upgrade's look and usability.

:rolleyes: I just don't get it. It looks different, but not that different. And most of the features I use I figgered out quickly enough. And this coming from someone technologically incompetent and lazy enough that her husband says "RTFM" on a fairly regular basis.

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For those of you that hate the new software, just use it more and you'll get used to it. I hated it too. HATED it. But I got over it and got used to it. It's quite easy to find new posts and the advanced search function is powerful enough.

Posting ALWAYS goes down during the summer months, weekends and holidays. Plus people come and go. That's the nature of things.

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Water slides? I have sold the first looping water slide (yes, looping) to the world's largest water park, Noah's Ark, in the Wisconsin Dells.

I miss Wisconsin Dells. :rolleyes: I also missed the State Fair cream puffs this year. :huh::)

This board has been my solace during my difficult times right now, so I am *very* grateful to those I've met here.

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This lasts about 5 seconds, but that might be just long enough - 400 ft vertical drop at 90 degrees..

http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/park/rides/coasters/top_thrill_dragster/index.cfm

He also did Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster and Six Flags Great Adventure's Kingda Ka which is a shade over 450' tall. But both of these are essentially rocket sleds where the 40+ story ascent and face first freefall was first conceived as a way to burn off the 125+ mph speed in an almost nonexistant space. Neither is a traditional rollercoaster with twisting, somewhat convoluted track with severe banking and speed humps where you literally catch air. Most coaster enthusiasts ranked Six Flags New England's Superman higher than either of these. Cedar Point's best coaster is Maverick which he also did. At KD Volcano the Blast is Intamin's also.

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For those of you that hate the new software, just use it more and you'll get used to it. I hated it too. HATED it. But I got over it and got used to it. It's quite easy to find new posts and the advanced search function is powerful enough.

Posting ALWAYS goes down during the summer months, weekends and holidays. Plus people come and go. That's the nature of things.

I was very unhappy with the site at first, but once I got through reading the items in the transition from the upgrade, I've found using it more has helped; I can easily navigate the "view new content." I have tried the advanced search function and have NOT had success. And I don't have time to try to fiddle with trying to search, so I generally won't post if I can't find a topic quickly and easily. (Read: someone else has posted and I reply) I'm hesitant to start an entire new topic when I know that I've seen it somewhere on the site before. I have had some luck in using Don's trick to use google and add "don rockwell" to the search, instead of using the search function on this site, but both options are cumbersome.

There used to be an area at the top of a thread to choose options for that thread and I can't seem to find where that is now hidden. And there used to be a place to select the active topics for the last day, week and month, and now I only see the option for the last day (which brings up the last 24 hours.) I don't find it horrible, just not very user friendly and sometimes too much of a pain to do a search and/or add a post.

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Since Don has refrained from providing detailed explanations on how certain restaurant managers should sodomize each other with with a certain bivalve, my interest has waned. :rolleyes:

Two kids and an au pair have eroded my dining out funds, and no one wants to hear about the Halibut I cooked last night (it was pretty good). I am too technically illiterate to notice a difference in software. I want to ride that waterslide.

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Since Don has refrained from providing detailed explanations on how certain restaurant managers should sodomize each other with with a certain bivalve, my interest has waned. :rolleyes:

Two kids and an au pair have eroded my dining out funds, and no one wants to hear about the Halibut I cooked last night (it was pretty good). I am too technically illiterate to notice a difference in software. I want to ride that waterslide.

We will have a video camera in the top of the capsule with a live feed to a huge monitor so people walking/driving by the park can see riders fall through the floor. The fiberglass itself is almost translucent to the point where you can see facial details on the riders. In Slovenia (first one) fifty to sixty people at a time would stand and watch people fall into and through the loop. I rode this and it is the most intense thrill ride I have ever been on. This includes over 400 coasters. What is the most terrifying is that when the trap door falls open you have actual freefall; the experience of falling without a seat/vehicle/strap is absolutely frightening. Literally you feel as if you are falling to your death.

Rather, you are falling into a loop which is its own sensation. You pull up to 2.7 G's in this which is the opposite of the negative G's in the "elevator shaft." Several parks will have this with two, three, four loops side by side in '011. At Noah's the top of the capsule will be almost 90' above the ground.

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My own usage declined rapidly after having a kid and changing jobs. I now lack the money to go out all the time. Moreover, when we are out, we are generally with a toddler whose mood affects my opinions way too much for me to view them as worthwhile to anyone else. And, I rarely have time to type more than around 150 characters.

To that end, I was still reading everything constantly until the upgrade. It came out of nowhere and made it very difficult to read anything. As I was annoyed with it every time I logged on for a while, and there was no indication of when it would improve, DR.com got lower in my clicking rotation. That being said, I have found it to be much improved recently, and I still do check fairly frequently. I hope that things pick up a bit because I really enjoy this forum, much more than the others.

I know that everyone has their own reasons, but those are mine.

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I want to sincerely thank everyone. I believe this has turned out to be one of the most passionate and heartfelt threads of any that I have read in my years on here. I do believe it was appropriate; whether or not it benefits the board, whether we have learned anything as a result is almost academic. Rather, Don has given us the opportunity to express our thoughts without censorship or editing. I believe this is a consideration that is absolutely paramount to the success of any board.

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