NOTE: A version of this appears in General Topics, but I've added some other comments here...
A conversation with Jim Leff today made me understand that Chowhound is in dire trouble, and will disappear very quickly unless something like a miracle happens. I
read the several pitches for the Chowhound store as something like a public radio pitch--we need your support, we can't make it without, etc., but unlike public radio (which of course we all love and support), Chowhound really is a gonner without a very fast and very large infusion of cash. Although Jim and I don't always see eye to eye,I, for one, would be quite upset if I woke up tomorrow or a week from tomorrow and this site had disappeared. I'm very grateful for everything Jim, Bob, and the rest of the staff has put into it, including their own money. So although I do feel I
contribute to the site--by posting, as we all do (this is in reference to a thread about zagat.com on this board), it seems another kind of support is required. Jim feels he has already expressed this, but until today, I hadn't understood the gravity of it, so I'm betting others didn't either. (I was too busy to read all the way through the targetted email, etc.) WHen I mentioned the problem to my mom, she said, "Well, I don't want a magnet, but I'll gladly send a check." So whether or not you're interested in owning a refrigerator magnet or a tee-shirt (I don't mean to disparage the merchandise, which seems to be really high-quality, well-designed and worthwhile, but some of us just aren't interested in merchandise...), if you value this site, if you value being a part of this community, I think it's time to ante up, and quick! The subscription services, by the way, sound vrey worthwhile.
Here's what I'm thinking: this L.A. board is one of the most active and vibrant, so why don't we see how much we Angelenos can pull together! Please donate $20 or whatever you can afford or think the site merits. The price of one good food guidebook would be more than $20. Thanks for your attention, and I hope we can pull together!