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SAB Jul 15th, 2006 10:24 AM

Long time posters
How many of you have just given up on responding to overbroad, general questions, such as where should I eat in California, or responding to questions that appear almost daily, such as where should I stay in [fill in blank for popular location]? A recent thread in which a poster became somewhat indignant about the suggestion that he/she do a search and then repost a more specific question, made me realize that I have basically given up responding to such general questions and confirmed that it was a good decision. I wonder how many people have done the same thing, and think it is sad that posters with a lot to share probably aren't responding to people who probably need such info the most.

Anonymous Jul 15th, 2006 11:14 AM

Yup, I now skip right over a lot of threads that I once would have replied to. These include vague titles with no geographic hints (they're usually about Alaska anyway) and those that do specify a location but sound vague like "What should I do in California". Now that I think of it, it's been at least a year since I replied to a query about hotels in NYC or Washington DC.

happytrailstoyou Jul 15th, 2006 11:24 AM


Posts such as "where to eat in California," "best pool in Las Vegas," and "most beautiful place you have ever stood," are (IMO) not worth responding to.

I also seldom bother with questions that can be answered by or

I am also mystified by those who want an explanation of how to do in a week a trip that requires two weeks.

However, the most frustrating posts are the ones that complain about advice that was given to them without knowledge of facts they add later, such as they are traveling with an elderly relative who can't walk or that their hotel budget is $75 per night.

aileen679 Jul 15th, 2006 11:38 AM

I don't respond much on Fodors because I just don't travel much. However, I do live in a tourist city and post often to the forums on Tripadvisor.

But I am getting tired of those general questions and I have stopped answering. The questions start like this: "We are coming to ________for ___days. What is there to do?

I want to ask why on earth did they plan their vacation without knowing what we have to offer.

And then, they want a CLEAN place. I want just one person to say "We want a dirty place."

cfntmpn Jul 15th, 2006 11:45 AM

I am amazed how many posters don't first do a search on the locations they want to visit! There are so many threads already posted regarding "best restaurant in Chicago, best hotel in LA, best beach in Maui," etc... that there is no need to post a new one.

nevermind Jul 15th, 2006 12:00 PM

I don't understand why some posters get so upset when a question isn't phrased they way they would like, or when they accuse people of asking questions without doing proper research.

The search function on this forum isn't really intuitive, and often the results are kind of odd if one hasn't phrased the search in just the right manner. This can lead to the appearance of little research, when it was, in reality, just a poor choice of search words.

I don't really care how people phrase their questions and I don't automatically assume they haven't researched. If I don't feel like responding, I don't - and I don't find it necessary to announce that I'm not responding.

True, some people are lazy, but I don't want to dash someone's enthusiasm or excitement over an upcoming adventure just because they haven't asked for info in a way I deem "appropriate".

IMHO this is a place where we try to help one another. With that in mind, I'll continue to look at vague posts, offer advice when I feel like it, and not sweat it when I don't. :)>-

LoveItaly Jul 15th, 2006 12:02 PM

Thanks SAB, I thought it was just me, lol.

I am so tired of SF hotel/restaurant questions. How to get to Rome from the airport, how to pay for things in Europe, will it be hot in Italy during August, how to get from the Marco Polo airport to my hotel in Venice, etc.

I assume that newcomers are not aware that these questions have been asked weekly or daily. I assume that due to Fodor's popularity they just post here first without doing any research on their own.

In that I have been on overload these last weeks due to some problems I have found I just don't really have the energy or the interest to keep posting the same info time after time. Again, I thought it was just me, but perhaps not. Thanks for this thread.

MelissaHI Jul 15th, 2006 12:07 PM

I felt really guilty for feeling the same way. But it's true! there have been so many posts on "Which island?" and then there's the vaguest of the vague in titles: "Help please!"

I've been doing a search for them and then posting references to the related threads. I know, this is like doing your kids' homework for them, but .....

For the people who get huffy about being told to do a search or repost a specific question, that's just plain rude! (Which thread was that?)

L84SKY Jul 15th, 2006 12:15 PM

The people that ask, "what should I do?" are nothing but lazy, so I try to restrain myself and not answer them. My answer would be, of course, "read a book you knucklehead!"

BayouGal Jul 15th, 2006 12:18 PM

GREAT thread, SAB! I used to read threads with no responses to see if I could help in some way. Well, I've tried to stop that . . . not only does the person posting take offense to receiving search instructions, or web links, but other posters often come along because your response topped the thread and slam you for the advice you provided or didn't provide. It's tough to even try to be nice sometimes! :)

TravelTess Jul 15th, 2006 12:23 PM

Hey, you could be the same as a certain poster, Google up the answers, add lots of smileys and pretend you've been everywhere as you give baaaaaad advice. Right Syrahkim?

BayouGal Jul 15th, 2006 12:23 PM

Oops, that should be "use" not used . . . I am paranoid since the spelling/grammar police were here recently! :)

amaclise Jul 15th, 2006 12:33 PM

I sometimes feel there are just as many threads lamenting, "Don't you hate it when new posters do this, or don't do that" as there are threads asking what to do with 3 days in NYC. And the latter is actually in need of some help.

magiccarpet Jul 15th, 2006 01:21 PM

What a relief to know that there are some posters who enjoy catering to the slothful.

I would like to send you my carpet, which is in need of cleaning.

BayouGal Jul 15th, 2006 01:22 PM

Sure, put it in the mail!

happytrailstoyou Jul 15th, 2006 01:23 PM

Anybody who can't figure out what to do during three days in New York City might be happier going to Disney World or throwing money away in Las Vegas.

Judyrem Jul 15th, 2006 01:29 PM

I feel the same way too, too bad it is quite off putting. Have a tendency lately to not get as involved as I once was. My favorite one so far is "helicopters"....?????? What? Here there? Where? :-(

SAB Jul 15th, 2006 01:32 PM

I'm not upset or lamenting anything or knocking newbies per se, just expressing a frustration, which apparently other posters share. To those of you who don't find it frustrating, more power to you. I hope you would agree that giving long time posters a place to express their frustration is OK--better that they do so here than be snarky or get into a cyber fight with a newbie, don't you think?

TheWeasel Jul 15th, 2006 01:51 PM

I'm not really a *long-time* poster, but I find myself getting more irritated than I used to when I see the same questions over and over. I try to ignore them. If I see a generalized question, I usually tell them to be more specific and let it go at that. The weather questions and mileage bug the crap out of me. It's not that hard to find out what the average temp is for pretty much anywhere in the country, nor is it real difficult to find out how far it is from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (or some other example).

Underhill Jul 15th, 2006 01:52 PM

I'm fast losing patience with the people who clearly want only to be told to do exactly what they want.

Mincepie Jul 15th, 2006 01:55 PM

Well, hopefully there are some"non long time posters" who are still willibg to help those new travellers who are excited and yearning for information. Isn't that what this as all about. I read lots of questions, but just don't have the knowledge to help. I also understand that you may all be jaded and have every right to stay silent...but remember there are posters out there who may not have travelled much..don't use the computer much ....or who just want some specific info.

SpeedBuggy Jul 15th, 2006 02:05 PM

I don't think anyone here is saying they stay silent. I am VERY new and just read the thread "West Virginia." Go read it, that's exactly what (I think) they are talking about.

I do my research on my own. I just found this website and it's a great one. I'd be embarrassed to ask experienced travellers some of the things these long time posters are talking about. I don't think it's sour grapes, but it may be frustration over trying to explain routine functions of this website to a newcomer who doesn't want to hear that and wants it all done for him/her. I just searched most of the screen names here and these people give a lot of advice, including today. So it's not like they are not helping others.

Just my thoughts on the topic . . . not trying to make enemies!

Loki Jul 15th, 2006 02:20 PM

My favorite as of late is:

"Will there be snow in VT at XMAS?"

It comes up once a week. My crystal ball is starting to lose it's luster I've had to use it so much lately.

Chowhound has a similar phoenomenon:

"I'm going to such-and-such restaurant (that serves everything), what should I order?" Without giving any indication as to what they generally like to eat. Maybe they'll be in VT at XMAS.

SAB Jul 15th, 2006 02:26 PM

Mincepie the reason that we are long time posters, some of us from before Fodors required screennames, is because we like helping others who are excited about travel and want information. I, like probably everyone came to the site to get information and because people were so helpful, I have stuck around so that I could reciprocate. I believe most long time posters have similar motives. Very few are here to be snarky or to showoff our knowledge (I know Tess--there are exceptions!!!!!) or to discourage newvbies or discourage their enthusiasm. Over the years we have responded to the same inquiries over and over and over and sometimes it is frustrating, which was the only point of this post. As I previously posted. please allow me and others the space to express our frustrations, without chastizing us.

J62 Jul 15th, 2006 03:13 PM


I find that 99% of the posters here on Fodors are great - helpful, experienced, willing to offer good advice. There are some who I really dislike - sometimes they make me angry, other times disgusted. At times I'm more tolerant of seemingly inane questions, at other times I just roll my eyes.

At times I find it best to just walk away for a while, maybe a couple of days. After my angst has subsided I usually come back, browse a few threads of interest. My participation waxes and wanes.

Scarlett Jul 15th, 2006 03:23 PM

BayouGal, things are really tame here compared to the pranks and rudeness that used to go on.
Take a break if you feel like it but don't let someone make you feel like going away..Those who have value on these boards are easy to spot..

Sometimes we (speaking for Fodorville) answer everything because we feel like it and sometimes we just read and don't have the energy to one makes any of us answer or help, but I will say that most posts that are about places or things that I have no interest in, I don't even open.
There are plenty of people posting here, so there is an answer for just about every question.
I have been posting on Fodors for over 5 years, so far I have not given up ~
Once in a while, someone does not take directions or advice kindly and reply to a poster in a defensive or rude is annoying but part of posting here with a large amount of strangers who cannot see the "tone" you are using.

BayouGal Jul 15th, 2006 03:30 PM

thehumps posted a vague question on purpose, folks. I foolishly took my time to try to help, then that poster informed me on the thread I topped that is was a prank--they didn't post that fact on their original thread so others would not see the true intent of their vague question.

mms Jul 15th, 2006 03:30 PM

TravelTess--If I knew how to do the thumbs up emoticon, I would give you a dozen of those!!!

It is even worse on TripAdvisor...pretending to live here in Oregon. As Beachbum has described it, it is like us locals have to follow behind picking up the mess that has been made.

Scarlett Jul 15th, 2006 03:36 PM

Thumbs up is a Yes so (( Y )) ((Y))
Thumbs down is a No so (( N )) ((N))

Yes, for a lesson in frustration, go to Trip Advisor forums and read about Portland and the Coast. Apparently a once a year visitor knows more than any of the residents..

trippinkpj Jul 15th, 2006 03:37 PM

Vague does get a little tedious. Most of fairly specific though. Sometimes, if I see a post that I know has been responced to many times, I'll pass it over. Othertimes, I feel more patient.
Bayou Gal- I don't like that a prank was pulled on you. I think it was unneeded.

trippinkpj Jul 15th, 2006 03:37 PM

I meant to say, most posters are fairly specific.

mms Jul 15th, 2006 03:41 PM

Thanks Scarlett((Y))

chicagolori Jul 15th, 2006 04:43 PM

I feel the same irritation but its mostly for the lack of a more organized board. It would be great if there was a way that the most popular topics somehow had their own type of bucket to be in that people could see right away. Like a folder or the way one organized documents on a computer.

BayouGirl - don't stop posting. I love your posts and we all fall for the pranks. Think about it this way - the stupid humps may not have needed your help but the next time someone searches for the information, it will be there for someone sincerely needing the information.

Loveitaly - you are the most patient, nicest, kindest person on this board so you must really be fried with issues as I have never seen you express irritation. So, good luck to you and know that you are one of my favorite posters for all of the above reasons.

Scarlett Jul 15th, 2006 04:48 PM

chicagolori- Ditto! especially re: LoveItaly, :)

chicagolori Jul 15th, 2006 04:51 PM

and may I say "The HUMPS are CHUMPs"

TravelTess Jul 15th, 2006 05:02 PM

=D> Bravo! Good job.

Tess <----who carries a pooper scooper.

cmcfong Jul 15th, 2006 05:12 PM

BayouGal, rather than leave because of one or two losers, stay for all the sweeties who love you! Scarlett says it so nicely. Take a break if you need it, but come back soon.

LoveItaly Jul 15th, 2006 05:14 PM

Chicagolori and Scarlett, I don't know what to say, so I will say a simple thank you.

I do try to understand that a lot of people do not know how to do research for their trips. And I do try to answer questions or give my thoughts when I can. I certainly haven't travelled all over Europe like a lot of Fodorites so my knowledge is limited. And even regarding Italy I have travelled so differently in Italy than most it is often hard for me to give advice, but I try to when I think it will be helpful.

Actually what annoys me the most is the mean and rude posters, and I have been the target of a few of them. But IMO that is their problem not mine. I just figure they must be very unhappy people and I am so glad they are not part of my family etc. Most of our Fodorites are a joy IMO and I feel blessed to have several Fodorites that have become true friends.

Thank you again for your very kind and loving comments.

QC Jul 15th, 2006 05:20 PM

I am constantly amazed at how some people are totally incapable of doing a rudimentary Google search, yet somehow manage to find a highly specific travel site and <i>register for it</i>, then navigate multiple submenus so they can ask &quot;is it hot in San Francisco in August&quot; or &quot;how do I get to Midtown Manhattan from LaGuardia&quot;.

Or, even better, the classic &quot;I just booked a three week trip to (destination). What is there to do there?&quot; These people must be very rich and very stupid.

I honestly do not mind people who ask simple questions that only a local would know- <i>What's (attraction) really like- do you think it's worth it</i> or <i>Which restaurant near the hotel would my 80 year old mother probably like?</i> Are both reasonable. Because the point of the boards is <b>opinions</b>.

It is hard sometimes ot translate guidebooks into real interests or figure out from a map how far things are from each other. Perfect example is that I never get tired of people asking &quot;Top of the Rock versus Empire State Building&quot;, this is an example of an good type of question since it relies on <i>the opinion of locals and visitors</i> rather than something objective that can easily be looked up oneself. Following up this question with <i>should I book my tickets ahead of time</i> is also good- unless you have been there before and seen how crowded it is you are unlikely to know, and the attraction website will not tell you it is unreasonably crowded.

The rule of thumb should be <b>type the nouns from your question into Google and hit 'I feel lucky' if still stumped, come here and ask.</b>

chicagolori Jul 15th, 2006 05:25 PM

I have gotten to the point where I actually find the rude posters amusing and even funny. I try to picture them sitting at their keyboard, red in the face, grinding their teeth, soaking in anger - and i sort of get amused now because no matter what, i am having a great time on the board while all the while they are about to bust a blood vessel.

Also - I always wonder if some of these people are like my problem employees who get all upset over everything, take everything WAY to personally, and generally make everyone miserable. I have one person in particular who I often think of when the nasty posters get going. I say to myself, &quot;This is how (so and so) would be if she were a Fodorite.&quot;

So you have to take some bad with the good i guess...

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