On rare occasions there are interesting discussions in the comments on stories and recipes. Much more often, there COULD BE very interesting discussions in the comments on stories and recipes...
Alas, there is no way to track these discussions -- so they usually don't happen. And if they do, only with a very limited set of readers.
When I first started using this site, comments on stories were tracked in a manner similar to that of forum posts. At some point, for some reason I cannot fathom, that feature was removed.
Please return this functionality, or create some new functionality in its place. This would make all of the non-Chowhound parts of Chow.com far more interesting, far more interactive, and far more heavily trafficked.
One easy possibility that works well on a couple of other sites I frequent: Create a special forum that will contain one thread per story/recipe/etc. Creation of new threads will not be allowed in this forum (since they'll be automatically created). Each thread will have a header post that will link back to the story in question. All of the comments left on the post will automatically be propagated to the thread, and the person who left the comment will now be subscribed to the thread and can track and follow up on it.
Now comments become discussions, stories become more interesting, and best of all engineering doesn't have to reinvent any wheels (except for the integration challenge).