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Continued Feedback on Moderation Changes, and More Guidance for Bloggers

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Continued Feedback on Moderation Changes, and More Guidance for Bloggers

The Chowhound Team | Aug 29, 2014 12:22 PM

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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