Chowhound is dead

Chowhound is dead.

I was late to the party.

Chowhound was birthed in 1997 by Jim Leff and Bob Okumura but it wasn’t until 1999 that I began regularly {and voraciously} reading it on a daily basis.

Back then it was the wild, wild west of food boards with free wheeling exchanges between devout lifers as well as people who were just figuring out that food could be more than just calories to keep you alive while you worked, watched television or participated in other life activities {if there are any.} Today the once mighty board is graveyard dead.

This can be attributed to one fatal error on the part of the CBS corporation (who purchased the website in 2006): the allowance of and subsequent rise to power by-anonymous moderators who drove off the passionate posters in the name of blandness and homogeneity.

I was there long enough to put up a few hundred posts documenting our explorations of Holland, Turkey, Hungary, France, Slovakia, Austria and most of the Deep South.

Then one day in 2011 I received the following email from the aforementioned moderators:

We’re sorry you’ve been unable to respect our requests to adhere to our guidelines for bloggers. We’ve deactivated your account.

If you think you’ll be able to respect our guidelines going forward, let us know and we’ll reactivate your account.

The Chowhound Team
For Those Who Live to Eat

My crime? Putting up a link in a comment to one of my own websites. Shortly thereafter many other regular posters began being banned as well.

Scribes who had dedicated themselves to eating every bowl of posole in central Texas were dismissed. Folks who were on the hot guts sausage trail in small-town Texas? Given the boot. Looking for the best beef chuck ribs in Austin? You were no longer allowed to post your efforts on Chowhound.

Leading us to now, March 2022, the site has announced that it is shutting down.

I’m surprised it managed to last as long as it did.

Oh, and they also blacklisted John Mueller, the godfather of the modern barbecue renaissance in Texas.

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