Check out the new Chowhound
For a long time Chowhound was an independent online bulletin board site that focused mostly on restaurant reviews. This March, they were acquired by Cnet and I noticed today that they recently re-launched their site.
While I lurked around the old Chowhound site from time to time, looking for restaurants to take clients or seeking cheap and delicious lunch spots near the office, I never posted. I was intimidated to make my thoughts known among so many rabid overly obsessed foodie-types. Plus, the site was slow (because the founders struggled to pay for enough server-power to keep up with the growing fan base of their site), the interface was confusing and there wasn't a way to search through all of the information on the site. I liked Chowhound's retro text-based design, but it was too much work to use.
The redesigned site is slicker and easier to navigate. For those of us who aren't up for scrolling through pages of board posts, I'm excited to see their Digest feature. It looks like editors are posting the best of the boards here and adding their own commentary as well. Smart.
Before the re-design, I didn't even know they had a section devoted to Home Cooking. I have to spend some time there. Since Cnet also acquired Chow magazine, there's more to come, I'm sure.
Sramana Mitra: Interesting post on the biz reasons for large media companies to acquire food sites.
Village Voice: Interview with the founder of Chow Hound