Sunday, October 23, 2005

Why Chowhound.com Sucks

The greatest thing about the Internet food site, Chowhound.com, was it was there. In 2001, I found it (via a diary of site "Alpha Dog" Jim Leff in Slate.com). When I got there, some really smart foodies like Zim, ReneG, Seth Zurer, ErikM, and LeeK had already found the site. Over time, more great foodies like Hat Hammond, the Brilliant One, Aaron Deacon, MikeG, Cathy2, JiminLoganSquare, OurPalWill, GWiv (and hundreds more) all found the site. Except for Wiv who was kinda lured on to Chowhound from the decrepit Chi.eats, everyone else pretty much found Chowhound on their own. And we were VERY happy we found the place. We all learned so much about Chicago, about food, about people. Today, you will find none of us on Chowhound.com. And because we are all vanished from Chowhound, the site hardly offers much about Chicago, about food and about people.

Read this post to know why. The exact reasoning for Chowhound's laser-focus is what makes the site a failure as a database. If you cannot cultivate a local food community, you cannot expect to populate a board with useful tips and tidbits. Read Chicago's Chowhound board today. See what is there and what you can learn. Compare this to what was there a few years ago. Compare to LTHForum.com (or any split-off board like OA or Mouthfuls). If you cannot attract and interest great foodies, the Seth Zurers, the RSTs, the SteveZs, the Sazeracs (and all the other LTHForum posters I barely know now) of the world, how can you expect to attract great postings?

1 comment:

Curmudgeon said...

Chowhound community manager Jacquilynne who weighs over 310 pounds, as you can read on her blog at
http://www.jacquilynne.com/mt/mt-static/diet/reasons_why/ does not like negative comments on Chowhound. She only likes positive comments. She censors anything like concerns about food ingredients from China. At the above address you can read about her chafing thighs, 100 day menstruation, not being able to see the scale and the contortions and sweating involved in cutting her toenails. I wasn't kicked off, but I quit. The few chowhounders I met were weird, not the sort of people I want to know, and the restaurants they touted were often bad. I think I'll look elsewhere for restaurant recommendations.