Helpful ReplyWhere Did Everyone Go?

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Russ Jackson
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2010/10/15 18:50:59 (permalink)

Where Did Everyone Go?

Is it me or have members just stopped posting. There was a time when there were 40 or 50 members online. Now it is barely over 20. Was it the site change and nobody adapted? Getting rid of certain topics off the main page that caused overall intrest to drop. This site used to be exciting, funny, irritating, informative, and electric. It seems to be headed the wrong way. Anyone have suggestions or comments? Or is it just me?...Russ
#1
Buffalo Tarheel
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/15 19:14:38 (permalink)
Russ, the site still has some great postings, interesting reports, and outstanding pictures.  I don't know that I'd say it's headed the wrong way.  I do know that I have neglected to post reports from some of my trips over the last few months, and your note is a good reminder for me to make sure I get back on track and stop being just a taker.  Thanks for giving a gentle push!
#2
smokestack lightning
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/15 20:02:02 (permalink)
Just my two cents worth. I am long time roadfood fan. Both of roadfood and of the Stern's work. Lurked on this site for years before I couldn't resist and joined to post. In the last year or two in my opinion the site has been less and less interesting and less fun. . For me, the fun and interesting part of the site has been the trip reports and suggestions for new places and the restaurant reviews and suggestions. I of course realize that it is a commercial site and that there are many people here for different reasons. We seem to have a few different groups of posters. The hot dog professionals and other restaurant owners. I think the move to have a separate section for them was a good move and helpful. I certainly support them but some of teh discussions like types of carts and cooking gear are not of interest to me. So that worked. Then we have the recipe and cooking posters. Its an interesting area but not what I personally come to the website for. Maybe we should have another separate section for their posts as well? Then there are the posts that have absolutely nothing to do with roadfood. Cars, football, kids, television, etc. Lets call tehm social networking. I think those belong on facebook or other social networking sites. Then we have what i consider the real problem. A small group of long term frequent posters that are arrogant and rude and mean. They seem to feel enfranchised to flaunt the rules and know they will probably get away with it. It is too me a very sad situation. I keep hoping that they will be prohibited form being so unfriendly and mean. They taunt and challenge new members. Call people names and egg each other on. Regardless of their age or number of posts or number of friends they degrade the site enormously.
 
Just my thoughts. I can predict that some of them
will make rude comments. So be it.
#3
catosaurus
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/15 20:17:45 (permalink)
I've just been so $%^&* busy at work that I don't have time to do important stuff, like post to RF forums!
#4
Buffalo Tarheel
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/15 20:26:00 (permalink)
Catosaurus,
I hate it when work gets in the way of the important stuff like Roadfood!  However, I still need that paycheck, so I think I'll stay with work for a while.
 
post edited by Buffalo Tarheel - 2010/10/15 20:31:27
#5
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/15 22:26:22 (permalink)
smokestack lightning

Just my thoughts. I can predict that some of them
will make rude comments. So be it.

What a thoughtful post. You are to be commended for your perspicacity.
#6
joerogo
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/15 22:56:09 (permalink)
The layout of the old forum software was better, IMO.  Having all the posts broken down according to forum was very important.  Now, if there were a lot of people posting, topics get lost on the second and third page, never to be seen again.  
 
Also the ability to automatically update the forum page.  Didn't know what you had, when you had it.
 
Sometimes change is good, and sometimes it's like ketchup on a hot dog. 
 
Trip reports were/are the life blood of this site, again, IMO.  The people taking time out of their day to do these reports were shown absolutely no respect.
 
There is other stuff, but I believe most know my opinion.
 
 
#7
mar52
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/15 23:39:32 (permalink)
I'm always here but I don't always have something to say.  I'm not lucky enough to be able to travel or go to a lot of restaurants.
 
I live through all of your trips, hoping that someday I'll also be able to give you my feelings on the place.
 
I can't be chased away because I like it here.
#8
AndreaB
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 00:19:57 (permalink)
I think everyone's just been busy working.  This is the best site.
#9
mayor al
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 06:22:40 (permalink)
I agree with Andrea and the others who say that priorities may inhibit the amount of 'spare time' available for cruising the site. Even an old guy like me me has chores and other projects that sometimes interfere with Surfin' time.   AND tighter money has really cut into our travel time, hence fewer trip reports.
#10
leethebard
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 09:44:28 (permalink)
The same great people are here...some are indeed annoying at times...but it's a free country...view want you want...and if one of us annoys you, don't pay attention to what they say...you get to know everyone around here...a few are mean, others comedians...many very astute and knowledgable about good food, and some down right damnb fascinating...it's the BEST site around...have fun...share...learn....
#11
Mosca
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 12:02:43 (permalink)
This stuff comes up all the time. People come, people go, some lose interest and others find it. Use the site as you see fit.
#12
mr chips
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 13:00:10 (permalink)
I know some people are using other places(face book) to write about their lives and express opinions. Some people are traveling less and not writing reports as much. I still write reports without photos but others do not. And we are all posting a bit less in the misc. section. I know I still post but not as much as i used to. The site is a lot more comfortable and less edgy than it used to be and whether this is good or bad is a matter of personal preference. it is still my favorite go to place when eating in a strange city and is a wonderful way to meet interesting people.
#13
EdSails
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 16:53:15 (permalink)
I had taken somewhat of a necessary hiatus but I'm back. Restaurant reviews and more trip reports coming up!
#14
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 18:05:00 (permalink)
This is a really interesting thread - I am listening to you feedback, and it sounds like we need to be doing more to encourage people to post trip reports.  I really enjoy them and also guilty of not posting my adventures.
#15
quijote
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 22:45:00 (permalink)
If there were a way to embed pictures directly from computer files onto posts here, perhaps more people would do trip reports. I know that I certainly would have been more active in this regard if that were the case. For some people, it may not be a big deal to upload pix first onto an external site and then link to those pix in a report, but for me it's just a layer of hassle to deal with. (If I want hassle, I can get that at work!)  Additionally, having to do such extra tasks compels me to want to organize (label, archive, etc.) all of my pix: often a forbidding task, and something I'll have to do eventually, but don't always have the time for right after a trip. If I could just draw the images right from my computer, I wouldn't have to (or feel the need to) monkey around so much.
 
Also, when I joined this site, I got a sense that only trip reports with photos were acceptable. I realize that some folks do photoless reports, and I understand that the visuals really do enhance the reports manyfold, but perhaps more could be done to encourage photoless reports when the alternative is no report.
 
Lastly, to echo previous comments, I really like this site and have benefited greatly from the knowledgeable and well-traveled people who post here. However, there have been some unfortunate conflicts between posters of trip reports and the people who read them. It seems to me that people should be allowed to create their reports in pretty much any way that suits them, but some readers have aggressively tried to micromanage these efforts. Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to develop a Trip Report Set of Guidelines (even if they allow for reports to vary wildly in nature) so that authors and readers may have principles to follow and refer to, rather than having to engage in a weird (and demoralizing) dance of heckling, second-guessing, and other distracting moves.
post edited by quijote - 2010/10/16 22:48:39
#16
Greymo
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 23:08:10 (permalink)
I  used to love to do trip reports  but  got sick of  people asking where the pictures were or else  no  respomses at all. so I have  quit doing  them  as  the  emphasis seems to   be  on pictures rather than on good information.  I have read  wonderful  reports here, without a single picture,  and  reports which  were long ,  drawn out, and  really  offered no  Roadfood experiences as one thinks of as being  Roadfood.
 
The  Sterns became famous for their   Roadfood trips and  reports,  without a single picture  but  that  has  all changed.  Visuals are  now demanded.
#17
sk bob
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 23:20:02 (permalink)
I'm still here. I'm not going anywhere else for food sites.
to lurk maybe, to talk & post, no.
#18
joerogo
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/16 23:45:12 (permalink)
sk bob

I'm still here. I'm not going anywhere else for food sites.
to lurk maybe, to talk & post, no.


You missed a good lunch on Friday.
#19
Russ Jackson
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 03:34:20 (permalink)
The moderators should know if posting and new memberships are down. Maybe some new catagories, ease of picture posting, a couple of new moderators, a personal email to some of the members that have dissappeared might build a little excitement....Russ
#20
joerogo
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 10:14:14 (permalink)
Russ Jackson

The moderators should know if posting and new memberships are down. Maybe some new catagories, ease of picture posting, a couple of new moderators, a personal email to some of the members that have dissappeared might build a little excitement....Russ

 
Hey Russ, I don't know about membership, but posting is defiantly in the toilet since the upgrade.
 
Here's what happens, someone takes the time to do a trip report, asks about where to eat, etc, then overnight the hot dog people post like crazy(not that there's anything wrong with that) and the trip reports and RF stuff gets buried never to be seen again.  It seems like the only stuff that stays on the 1st page is the pro and misc stuff.
 
And I agree that the moderators are sometimes overwhelmed and could use some help.  Also, the moderators drive the conversations on the site and are extremely knowledgeable.  With that said, I think you would make a great moderator, along with Miamidon, Brad Olson, Mar52, Nancypalooza, and many other long time posters who are even tempered and knowledgeable.
 
And I agree about the idea of a survey also.  No better way to find out if there is a problem.  Whistling while walking past the cemetery does not work.
 
This is a fantastic site, loaded with fantastic people.  The direction it's heading is not good, again, IMO.
#21
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 10:38:46 (permalink)
I think a survey is a great idea.  What sort of questions should we be asking?
#22
rumaki
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 10:42:24 (permalink)
I certainly agree about the difficulty of posting photos.  I don't use external sites, either, so my trip reports (such as they are) are necessarily photo-less.  I've gotten postive feedback, anyway, but I have often felt that I'm not really playing the Roadfood "game" when I do that.
 
Moderating isn't easy.  I'd be careful about choosing additional moderators.  I think moderators need to be "moderate" -- not self-righteous or egomaniacs.  And it takes a lot of time and attention.
 
Maybe it's the tension of the times, or maybe it's the online environment, or maybe it's the tone of the hot dog vendors forum, which seems to attract some folks with very strong views and very little patience.   I, too, have detected increased hectoring, personal attacks, self-righteousness and intemperate reactions to relatively innocuous things.  Some people seem to fly off the handle for no serious reason.  I know most here take their Roadfood seriously, and don't appreciate it when people criticize their pet places, or get something factually wrong.   But everyone's entitled to an opinion, and everyone makes mistakes. Rather than assuming that someone is an idiot, it might be nice to be charitable, and give him or her the benefit of the doubt -- at least, absent irrefutable proof of trolling or deliberately posting falsehoods.
#23
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 10:55:24 (permalink)
joerogo

Here's what happens, someone takes the time to do a trip report, asks about where to eat, etc, then overnight the hot dog people post like crazy(not that there's anything wrong with that) and the trip reports and RF stuff gets buried never to be seen again.  It seems like the only stuff that stays on the 1st page is the pro and misc stuff.


I wonder if it'd help to have a direct link to the "posts since last login" version of the forums page right there on the home page either directly before or directly after the short list of new posts.  That's how I do most of my browsing and with the right filters I never see anything from the vendor/business forum unless I enter it deliberately.
 
At this point in time I don't think the software upgrade should be a major factor when it comes to participation.  It's a moot point for anyone who joined after the installation and the rest of us have had plenty of time to adapt, although I suspect there might be a few who refuse to go through the learning process simply because they're stubborn.  I write software for a living and believe me when I say that people like that do exist.
 
I don't mind if I make a meal or trip-related post that doesn't get much feedback.  I view the forums as a clearinghouse for food and dining information and that's my main reason for posting, although I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy the "off topic" section.
 
Brad
#24
wallhd
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 10:55:33 (permalink)
Photos or not, I love the trip reports. Keep 'em comming.
 
Wally
Plattsburgh NY
#25
Russ Jackson
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 11:43:39 (permalink)
It is kind of like a Roadfood diner that changes its menu and the regulars hate it even though they haven't tried the new items. The new people might like them and the regulars feel like they have been slighted. If the regulars feel like they were part of the changes they support them and give them a try. Try changing too many things and nobody feels comfortable. I think taking the Lighter Fare Fourm off the main page was a mistake as it allowed members to get to know others sence of humor, likes, dislikes, common bonds and interrests between members old and new. Plus it allowed posters to search current topics while involved in a conversation and waiting for responses. One would realize that while one poster might appear to be one way that upon getting to know them it was more there sence of humor. It created stimulation and a friendship. I know early on and even today my posts are taken totally different than they were posted by new members whom may not understand my humor or viewpoint. Let members do the daily poll. Like Today's Poll Question Submitted By......
 
I would serach the members by post count and find those who have stopped and ask why they have vanished?  I would ask current members what they miss and what they like. Find out what current Moderators are doing to stimulate threads. On this site and others. If Members are using other sites find out what is successful. There is a huge data base here and a ton of information.  You could ask new members what sites they posted on before and why they left.
 
If you think the machine is running perfect its time to break it a little to make it better.
 
If you don't change someone else will change for you. Some of the best ideas are stolen or given to you by others. If your core regulars are not happy or feel involved they will most likely not tell you unless asked they will just go elsewhere wishing things were the way they used to be or a combination of old and new.
 
If you make a change and it doesn't work you must change it back or try something new......Just some opinions of a member that has taken alot from this site. And hopefully given atleast a little back...Russ 
post edited by Russ Jackson - 2010/10/17 12:28:35
#26
chewingthefat
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 15:12:10 (permalink)
joerogo

Russ Jackson

The moderators should know if posting and new memberships are down. Maybe some new catagories, ease of picture posting, a couple of new moderators, a personal email to some of the members that have dissappeared might build a little excitement....Russ


Hey Russ, I don't know about membership, but posting is defiantly in the toilet since the upgrade.

Here's what happens, someone takes the time to do a trip report, asks about where to eat, etc, then overnight the hot dog people post like crazy(not that there's anything wrong with that) and the trip reports and RF stuff gets buried never to be seen again.  It seems like the only stuff that stays on the 1st page is the pro and misc stuff.

And I agree that the moderators are sometimes overwhelmed and could use some help.  Also, the moderators drive the conversations on the site and are extremely knowledgeable.  With that said, I think you would make a great moderator, along with Miamidon, Brad Olson, Mar52, Nancypalooza, and many other long time posters who are even tempered and knowledgeable.

And I agree about the idea of a survey also.  No better way to find out if there is a problem.  Whistling while walking past the cemetery does not work.

This is a fantastic site, loaded with fantastic people.  The direction it's heading is not good, again, IMO.


Michael Hoffman, hands down, everyday the 4th of July!!!
#27
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 16:41:04 (permalink)
chewingthefat

joerogo

Russ Jackson

The moderators should know if posting and new memberships are down. Maybe some new catagories, ease of picture posting, a couple of new moderators, a personal email to some of the members that have dissappeared might build a little excitement....Russ


Hey Russ, I don't know about membership, but posting is defiantly in the toilet since the upgrade.

Here's what happens, someone takes the time to do a trip report, asks about where to eat, etc, then overnight the hot dog people post like crazy(not that there's anything wrong with that) and the trip reports and RF stuff gets buried never to be seen again.  It seems like the only stuff that stays on the 1st page is the pro and misc stuff.

And I agree that the moderators are sometimes overwhelmed and could use some help.  Also, the moderators drive the conversations on the site and are extremely knowledgeable.  With that said, I think you would make a great moderator, along with Miamidon, Brad Olson, Mar52, Nancypalooza, and many other long time posters who are even tempered and knowledgeable.

And I agree about the idea of a survey also.  No better way to find out if there is a problem.  Whistling while walking past the cemetery does not work.

This is a fantastic site, loaded with fantastic people.  The direction it's heading is not good, again, IMO.


Michael Hoffman, hands down, everyday the 4th of July!!!


Yeah, sure. Thanks, but I'm busy enough as a sysop on the Political Debate Forum.
#28
chewingthefat
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 17:49:06 (permalink)
It"s Sunday, 5:45 pm, 9 members looged on, 1112 guests, that seems like an odd imbalance, although I must admit, I rarely check those numbers...that said, I have noticed a big reduction in new topics and posts...maybe if someone started a topic about 5 Guys!
#29
Mosca
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Re:Where Did Everyone Go? 2010/10/17 19:32:37 (permalink)
rumaki

I certainly agree about the difficulty of posting photos.  I don't use external sites, either, so my trip reports (such as they are) are necessarily photo-less.  I've gotten postive feedback, anyway, but I have often felt that I'm not really playing the Roadfood "game" when I do that.

Maybe it's the tension of the times, or maybe it's the online environment, or maybe it's the tone of the hot dog vendors forum, which seems to attract some folks with very strong views and very little patience.   I, too, have detected increased hectoring, personal attacks, self-righteousness and intemperate reactions to relatively innocuous things.  Some people seem to fly off the handle for no serious reason.  I know most here take their Roadfood seriously, and don't appreciate it when people criticize their pet places, or get something factually wrong.   But everyone's entitled to an opinion, and everyone makes mistakes. Rather than assuming that someone is an idiot, it might be nice to be charitable, and give him or her the benefit of the doubt -- at least, absent irrefutable proof of trolling or deliberately posting falsehoods.

 
I don't know what happened to the picture posting. There's a new thread about it. I've been having trouble, Holly had trouble, but none of the authorities have indicated they read it. Pictures show up in the add message box, and in the preview, but when the message is posted the picture is gone.
 
Regarding the hectoring, strong opinions, and personal attacks, take heart; this forum has always been that way. The mods have done a great job of toning it down to what you see now.
 
I blocked the hot dog people as soon as I found out how to. I recommend anyone else who is bothered by them to do the same. Sorry, don't like them. I'll never, ever order a hot dog from a cart, ever again.
 
Trip reports... yeah, way down. Lots of reasons, I suppose. The top reporters aren't around much any more, is one of those. No one else has picked up the slack. Yeah, I think people feel their reports are underappreciated. I don't travel much, never have, and when I do, I go to the places I'm used to going. They're roadfoody places, sure, but I've already reported on them. I spend the most of my time here in the "social networking" part, the off topic area, mostly because of that; I got nothing to add to the other part. But I still want to keep up with what's going on.
 
The forum software... it's strange. It was strange before, and it's strange now, too. The old forum was too restrictive, the new one is too different. I would think vBulletin would have been a better choice, it's widely adapted and people are used to it. But, folks got their reasons, y'know.
#30
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