The SF Bay Area Dish of the Month (DOTM) has been running strong for 24 months!
Looking at stats, lots of hounds went out, ate the dish of the month, and reported back about a version they hadn't eaten before. These threads have been fun, and are useful for the community. But I don't know if DOTM is living up to its potential in terms of new discoveries and experiences:
Across the 24 completed DOTMs:
- 116 different Chowhounds tried versions of dishes they'd never had before. 40% ate more than one DOTM (see graph).
- each month, about 13 people go out, eat the dish of the month, and report back (see graph).
Are you wondering why DOTM threads are so long when only 13 people per month are eating the DOTM? For one, some contributors post about a few versions of a dish. DOTM posts are also filled with tips about past experiences. These tips can give valuable guidance, but DOTM is an opportunity to try new things and break out of the echo chamber created by past posts or earlier experience. The exploring aspect is what distinguishes the DOTM from thousands of other threads.
That brings us to the related issue of voting.
Only 2/5 people whose votes cause a dish to win actually eat it (see graph). Who wants to dress for a Halloween party when the hosts don't wear a costume?
Yes, things come up, but the pattern tells us that people are treating DOTM as a recommendation request instead of something people want to explore themselves.
What can we do to encourage more participation through active exploration and eating?
**My graphs got clipped by the image viewer, so stats for 7 DOTMs are listed on separate graphs I uploaded after the OP.