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What will it take to bring folks back?

ICDOCEAN1's picture

What will it take to bring folks back? (post #69871)

Gosh what is it going to take to bring folks back?  This is indeed a sad state of affairs around here and I was just wondering what Taunton can do to bring back forum members?  I would love to start a list, here, of responses, all in one place instead of scattered about for "the powers that be"  to read and basically in short form so no one can misunderstand thoughts and feelings concerning this ghost town.  Even if we can just drag members back for one response would be more than I can hope for as I think mostly everyone has just given up.

I certainly don't know what needs to happen and why there has been so much resistance from the the "developers" regarding what long time users want and expect here. 

Any constructive thoughts for them to ponder.  Oh never mind the word ponder, seems that's all they do. 

It really is sad to see so little participation here and check out the lack of participants in Cook the Issue (lasts a year over several issues) and I am doing it just for the fun of it and to add a little more cooking discipline into my life.

T & T archive needs serious attention!

gardencat's picture

Why I'm not here (post #69871, reply #1 of 25)

I won't take this place seriously unless the company does.

  • The last update was nearly 2 months ago...
  • There is an apparent lack of respect for the community that was here and that would need to be addressed.
  • The increase in junk postings by people who are trying to sell something is not appreciated.
  • Too many people are still having access troubles to the forum and new issues in that direction seem to show up regularly
  • the site navigation is not pleasant
  • If I wanted my profile photo on my post, I would have put it there. Having the change mean it is automatic and that I have not been able to change it for an avatar makes me very uncomfortable posting. I was fine with our community members clicking on my profile, but now that the site is open to the world, doing this without letting us know first and letting us change that setting is wrong.

I'll stop now

ICDOCEAN1's picture

Great Start (post #69871, reply #2 of 25)

That is exactly what I was looking for as too many thoughts about the changes here are scattered and buried.  Hopefully many more will chime in and maybe someone will take all of us seriously and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS PLACE!

There is a serious waste of talent and knowledge that has been beamed up and away from Cooks Talk and rather than "apparent" lack of respect, I find total lack of respect more accurate. 

I still can't believe that anyone is being payed to demolish what was once a good place to be, this is now tedious and how long can one do CPR?

Taunton, send in the troops and "get'er done already.  The newbies are struggling for answers here.

Jean's picture

I wander back here maybe once (post #69871, reply #24 of 25)

I wander back here maybe once a week. I click on Recent Posts and scroll through the topics to see if anything interesting is going on.  With luck I'll  find 4 - 5 that I want to open, maybe 1 -2 that I want to post to and by that time I'm starting to get carpal tunnel from all the scrolling and am ready to leave.  Like NOW. :(

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
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gardencat's picture

I agree (post #69871, reply #25 of 25)

But you are finding more to respond to than I am. So very sad.

lorian's picture

Why I'm Not Here (post #69871, reply #3 of 25)

Sadly, I'm on dial-up still.....yes, dial-up.  It takes so long to get into the system that I generally forget what I was looking for in the first place!  I also have a hard time finding this particular area with all of the other things offered.


"If at first you don't succeed, maybe failure is your thing!"   --bumper sticker
ICDOCEAN1's picture

Why I'm not here (post #69871, reply #4 of 25)

Don't feel bad, but even on RR high speed, this site is the slowest some days, not nearly like dial-up I am sure, but keep those complaints coming!

Adele's picture

Sadly, I'm on dial-up (post #69871, reply #6 of 25)

Sadly, I'm on dial-up still

Me too, which is the reason I check here at lunch from work.  It is incredibly frustrating at home, way too slowwwwwwww. 

I find I miss the 'new to me' threads that were posted under a heading.  Now you have to click the heading and then see the 'new'.   Before, you could see what was new without clicking on a heading.

The 'Forum Status Updates' have not changed since March 12.  It is now May.  Even my mathematically challenged mind can see that that's a long time.  :)  

It's simply user unfriendly.

And, the biggest problem I have is loyalty. From Taunton to us, the long time users of the forum.   Since Li left as moderator it seems no one cares.  Actually, it doesn't seem that way, it IS that way.   Very sad.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

kathymcmo's picture

For me to come back and post (post #69871, reply #5 of 25)

For me to come back and post regularly, this forum would need to have more professional-caliber design and administrative resources devoted to it. Improvements would need to occur with a regular cadence, instead of on a quarterly or slower basis. Dripping out a change or two every 16 to 20 weeks is not adequate. Management would need to show us a modicum of respect by finally divulging a timetable for when each planned improvement would occur. And itemizing which changes will happen and which ones they can't or won't make, so we can decide whether we're wise or foolish to keep hoping and checking. First on their list, to show evidence that they are serious and cognizant of the specific major limitations of this site for allowing real conversations would be to eliminate the laborious nature of the navigation. I have to spend WAY too much time clicking open a folder list to ID any new posts, hitting the back button to go back to the discussion bar, clicking open another folder list, scrolling up, scrolling down, scrolling up, scrolling down, scrolling up, closing a folder list, scrolling up, scrolling down. And the "new" feature would have to work, e.g., if I open a thread that has a new post listed, then when I go back to the folder list that post should no longer show as new. The design revisions have been an improvement, but the navigation and functionality is still very poor. Like putting lipstick on a pig, as they say.
MEANCHEF's picture

I think everyone has said it (post #69871, reply #7 of 25)

I think everyone has said it well. It pretty much boils down to Taunton's attitude and lack of attention to the problems. They can deny it all they want, but their actons show a totally absence of caring.
Gretchen's picture

Kathy and Mean have said it (post #69871, reply #8 of 25)

Kathy and Mean have said it exactly.  It is VERY apparent that Taunton has no respect for this SITE.  I'm pretty much finished. I have come every day, several times and answered where I thought I could. it isn't worth it. We said it at the beginning, and have said it over and over. THEY DON"T CARE.  So, the question is, why should we. Answer. We don't have to.

I have asked point blank if we are ever going to get "new to me" a week or so ago, having asked it for the other 5 and a half months.  Robyn opined "I hope so" after blah blah blah.  I honestly do not even think she knows what that feature is. ANd it is for sure the "techs" don't have a clue about it.

So, gosh, I don't think it will be happening.

mireille_c's picture

Why I won't come here anymore. (post #69871, reply #9 of 25)

First, mods of this forum should have started this thread it they would care.

The role model Taunton has to be inspired by is Delphi forums.

Why all the members who were here, originally, are at the other forum?

The reason is it's way more convivial and we can converse easily, without all the constraints we have here on this forum.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

Not happening is pretty much the consensus ROBYN (post #69871, reply #10 of 25)

Thanks Gretchen, What techs?  Shut the place down, no one can breath  life into it any longer.  The poor newbies don't get it and a few will not take direction so, sadly they are the only ones to suffer.

They don't care, pretty much, and perhaps when the magazine subscriptions drift off, someone will figure out that many of us were dedicated to the magazine and the forum, gosh, the magazine has just  two of us in Cook the issue, and quite frankly, that is an insult to the magazine.  I am such an amateur.   What's next?


BTW Grouper around here, open, but the seas have been too rough...Maybe some next week as my fisherpeople call it.

Marie Louise's picture

What will it take? (post #69871, reply #11 of 25)

At this point, I don't think there is anything that Taunton can do or say to get the majority of the former posters to "come back." 

Instead, IMO, the question we need to be discussing is: What needs to happen to create a new community here? 

kathymcmo's picture

Hi M-L! Hope you're enjoying (post #69871, reply #12 of 25)

Hi M-L! Hope you're enjoying retirement.

My answer to your question would be essentially the same. The lack of functionality of this site, coupled with the nonprofessional design and administration of it will hinder a new community from forming just as it has driven the old community away.

Gretchen's picture

That makes perfect sense to (post #69871, reply #13 of 25)

That makes perfect sense to me--and is certainly borne out by the past months. 
Where ARE all the newbies   that were predicted to come so it made NO difference that the old crowd left?!! HMMMM.   New may come but what will they find to answer questions if that is their need. I guess ML can do it, since this format suits her.  AND of course, the threads won't get "too" long any more.

As for Rosemary's saying subscriptions may drop off, I don't really see that much "power" of our little intrepid group.  I guess it might affect the home website, but who knows--or cares.  There is just not the excitement that used to run through the forum with the arrival of the new issue and the recipes.  BUT of course, plenty of OTHER good things to discuss on the new old board.  They may have truly killed at least one golden goose here.

Marie Louise's picture

An Experiment... (post #69871, reply #14 of 25)

First of all, hi back, Kathy! I am enjoying my "retirement;" I'm casually looking around for a half-time job, but I'm in no hurry to stop enjoying my spring off. We should all try to get together up your way-w/ Karen, too-before it gets too hot. 

Now for the experiment...

Go to the home page of Fine Gardening. Right up at the top there is a tab labeled "Discussion." If you click on it, it will take you straight to their forum.

Now go to the home page of Fine Cooking. There is a icon for "Cook's Talk." But that Icon doesn't lead you here, it opens a long drop down menu. "Forum" is one of many choices. I doubt that most visitors to the website know this place exists-and the few that do arrive are promptly told by someone that no one is here anymore, and if they want their questions answered they should go to MadMom's site, with a link "helpfully" posted for everyone who reads the thread to see. 

Let's be honest here. People left because they didn't feel valued, not because this site is so bad. This forum layout as it is today is better than most. People are asking for functions that don't exist at 90% of other forums, including the grandfather of all discussion boards, the WELL. It is not about the functions, it is about the lack of communication. 

My conclusion is that Taunton in general and Fine Cooking in particular is not interested in having a vibrant online forum, with wide-ranging conversations on political issues, as part of its brand. That's why they have buried this forum where no one can find it. They'd rather promote guided conversations about a single topic, such as "Cook the Issue." They are paying the bill, they have the right to do whatever it is they want. 

I'd Cook the Issue along with you, except that last year they changed the font to something I can no longer see. So i don't subscribe anymore. 

Gretchen's picture

Let's be honest here. People (post #69871, reply #15 of 25)

Let's be honest here. People left because they didn't feel valued, not because this site is so bad. This forum layout as it is today is better than most. People are asking for functions that don't exist at 90% of other forums, including the grandfather of all discussion boards, the WELL. It is not about the functions, it is about the lack of communication


Forgive me if I disagree completely--I have before, as have a number of others. We told them from the beginning that "new to me" was important because of the long scrolling through LONG threads( that we still have on Delphi).  As Kathy points out, if the NEW label is on several posts through a thread, and you go to the first one, it disappears from the rest--or on the second page of a thread.
  It is just NOT a good format for the style of interchange that we have on CT.  They ignored that request continually. NO one has asked for a complete return to the old format. This one is NOT a useable format--or pleasant to navigate. Glad if it is good for you--as I said before also.

If you want to split the hairs, YES, it is about the lack of communication about the lack of anything being DONE about the functionality of the board.

I do completely agree with you about the "guided conversations about "cook the issue".  I said it when it first was published, and that issue was such a disaster. Cook the Issue is just a way to get hits on the site and the carrot of a prize for doing the most, or whatever it is. It is a ploy for traffic, and nothing else.

And indeed, they get to have their way. And welcome to it.

mireille_c's picture

I desagree too (post #69871, reply #16 of 25)

Ditto to what Gretchen said.

Marie Louise's picture

At this point, I doubt that (post #69871, reply #17 of 25)

At this point, I doubt that there is anything that Jason or the owners of Taunton could say or do to bring back a quorum of former posters back to this forum. And I agree with many of you who have deduced that bringing you all back is not exactly high on their to-do list.  Our current conversations used to be prominently featured on their website to attract new users; now it is buried at the bottom. This forum has been transferred to the basement office. 

I understand the negative reactions. It is different and was sprung on people without warning. But it is not exactly like that "new" function is an industry standard. A change from what was here, yes, but many if not most other sites don't have it-and the members manage to participate and communicate effectively. 


"They" are not going to do anything to bring you back; if they were, they'd have started this thread and/ or sent all of the members an email. If people come back, it will be because enough of you want this site to succeed as it is designed today, without any apology or welcome back from Taunton. And I'm guessing there are too many negative feelings for that to ever happen. 

So... I think the Fine Cooking experience we all knew and loved for so many years is over.

The magazine has changed, the website has changed, and this forum was is dead. That wonderful decade of coming here, eagerly discussing the latest issue as soon as it came out is over. The forum change is the final nail in that coffin. For me, it was over a long time ago, when I couldn't read the magazine anymore. Every time I spot a new issue at the store, I open it, hoping I will be able to read it. I even bought one home a few months ago, but that font is just too hard to see to be useful to me. 

You all were wise to regroup at a new site. It appears that it is your permanent home. 

mireille_c's picture

I love the new site (post #69871, reply #18 of 25)

I love it.  Come and  join us:

ICDOCEAN1's picture

Cook the Issue (post #69871, reply #19 of 25)

I pretty much jumped in on the project because I missed the last one and I have found that I like pretty much all of the recipes that I have made, especially the lemon bar cheesecake. 

There were a ton of people participating last time and I thought that there would be many more this time around, but that is not the case.

I don't know what you mean by guided I did a cook the issue search, bookmarked it and that is where I start from when I want to post my recipe or comment. 

As for prizes, I really couldn't even tell you what it or they are and I guess that I really don't care as I am having fun, keeps me a little disciplined and I am taking some pictures of my recipes to add to MasterCook files that have had no pictures for years. 

WOW $5 for a soft shell crab, that is a little steep,  not more than $3-3.50 around here and we have a lot of crabbers that clean and freeze them immediately so I never mind if I have to buy frozen and that way we can have them all year long. 

Gretchen's picture

These are "whales" and (post #69871, reply #20 of 25)

These are "whales" and delicious. We were just south of you this week and they were coming from McClellanville the week before that. I have rarely paid less for large ones--have paid $3 for small ones.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

Whales (post #69871, reply #21 of 25)

I don't care what size they are, just glad I'm not allergic to crabs as is one of my siblings.  The waters around here are warming up fast and we had a nice haul of blue crabs a week or so ago, just enough to make you want more!

Tomorrow night is crab cake night around here, we are so spoiled living here.  I am off to seek out quinoa recipes and was looking for one with corn, so far only one that sounds good to me, then again do I want to spring something new on folks?

SallyBR1's picture

I tried, and tried to enjoy the new site... (post #69871, reply #22 of 25)

I still check and login maybe once a week - but it is way too cumbersome to be pleasurable.  For instance, this thread.  It was marked as having 4 new posts.    It took me forever to find them, and I honestly don't think I had already read the ones NOT marked as new.

Last weekend I ALMOST replied to a discussion that was a couple of years old, without realizing it.


I imagine it took an herculean amount of work to change the old site into this, move all the threads, etc etc.  So it seems to me that it would be worth for the organizers to make it as an attractive online experience.  It is not.   I visit a few forums, not all of them with the Delphi format (which, can be a bit of a pain unless you pay for the upgrade), and they all have plus and minuses, but are "enjoyable".   This site is not the case.  It pains me to admit that, because I do feel a sense of loyalty to Fine Cooking.

They did improve the magazine considerably, but the online aspect sucks.   I renewed by magazine subscription, but won't be renewing the online version.   

I know this has all been said before, so it's all old news.  But sometimes it feels good to vent. 

Marie Louise's picture

I miss you here... (post #69871, reply #23 of 25)

even though we chat via email every week. 

I am starting to wonder if this site performs differently on a Mac (although Heather and I have the same laptop and she can't navigate it either.)

Right after the first post in a thread there is a set of pull down menus that lets you change the settings. I didn't set mine, but there are ways to manipulate how you view a thread. Try that, see if it helps. 

When I open up a thread, the new messages have a great big red NEW in the right hand corner. The other site I read a lot is Garden Web-that is the dark ages compared to this. 

PS the old thread was me! I'm cooking out of that Way to Cook Supper book and I wanted to add my questions/ comments to the existing thread rather than start a new one.