takeiteasy takeiteasy posted September 30th, 2010 at 6:04 pm to Ask ANH Discussions. Viewed 126 times. Answered 120 times.

I've seen a lot of posts be failed/meh'ed. There was usually nothing offensive about them. I don't really understand...Isn't the idea of an online forum to share opinions and hear other people's ideas regardless of whether you agree? Isn't "failing" someone kind of out of line with the spirit of that? It seems rather rude.

Last answered by joochian about 108 months ago.

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bandroid wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 6:27 pm

i hope..no one fails or meh's this question and breaks ur heart.

well on a serious note, answer to your questions lies in your own words.. "Isn't the idea of an online forum to share opinions and hear other people's ideas regardless of whether you agree"...so those people who fail or meh your answers or any answer, you got to take that feedback in a positive or neutral manner, regardless of you agreeing with their fail or meh or not..

Who knows why they failed or meh'd, they may have different perspective..so instead of whining n feeling bad,try to analyze from several perspective..do some root cause analysis, use 5Why technique or tai chi for a philosophical perspective..

Chopper wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Good answer Bandroid

Vegas wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 7:27 pm
Vegas (elite user)

I do agree with Bandroid - it isn't a big deal. Nevertheless, I do think some people fail for stupid reasons. For example, if I type out a lengthy negative review of a place, carefully detailing where I felt things need to be improved, or perhaps comprehensively justifying my 1 star review - as I usually do - personally I think it's pretty moronic to fail the review just because you think that place is great. You didn't have the experience I did. If you did have that experience, would you be happy? Perhaps it would be nice if people thought a bit more carefully when they're doling out the MFs. But overall, I'm not losing any sleep.

bandroid wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

As the OP's avatar name is "Takeiteasy"...must also take it easy in daily life..afterall the world is not going to end for someone's meh/fail.. :)

dawnation wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 7:41 pm
dawnation (elite user)

Perhaps they have other reasons for failing reviews?

A recent example, Vegas, is your review of the battling Bo cafes - no, i didnt fail you, but someone did, and perhaps for the same reason I thought about doing it. While you were def endangered, the fact is, we dont know what happened between the two "biddies". Such a display of rage, most assuredly causing a loss of biz for the evening AND bring on unwanted police attention was probably created by something very very serious. I won't try and speculate as to what. And - normally I agree with you on most things, just not this one.

So, long story short, perhaps the fail is to indicate more than someone loves the place that another person one-starred. just a thought - i could be wrong.

Vegas wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 8:21 pm
Vegas (elite user)

Bollocks to that, Dawny. I don't know nor care what went on between those two biddies, and stupid biddies at that. Whatever their reasons may be couldn't possibly even come close to excusing their reprehensible behaviour. The fact is that the pavement was and is not an appropriate place to wage an all-out turf war, considering the risk of collateral damage to innocents. Those two daft old tarts shouldn't be running businesses. And yes, I will use offensive language to describe them, because I hold them both in great contempt.

Overall, if you won't give a business owner a one star review for proactively placing all their customers in serious danger, you will never give a one star review.

pippasweetie wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 9:17 pm
pippasweetie (elite user)

People meh and fail you for a number of different reasons, including -
- They disagree with your opinion.
- They find your answer offensive.
- They like the venue you rated badly (as mentioned above)and will support it regardless.
- Your answer/review description was poorly written, spelled, or constructed.
- Your answer/review was too short eg one line-and not a review.
- The person rating doesn't like your NH persona, so they fail you just because it was you.
- They are in a bad mood.

It can be "rude" as you say as well as a passive-agressive crutch to "lurkers" who read NH,are highly opinionated- but never contribute reviews or information. It can also be a way to provide feedback to the writer and make a strong statement.

New contributors often feel the sting of a "fail" much more deeply than those who have been around for a while and have grown more thick skinned.

NickinNam wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Pippa said: "- The person rating doesn't like your NH persona, so they fail you just because it was you."

Yeah, I get that a lot.

At the same time, I get a lot of "Well Writtens", "Funnys", "Accurates" and "Usefuls". I even made a joke about it recently on Vegas' search for a Marriage Celebrant thread.

We do not know the total number of our fails and "meh's". We do know what our "props" are.

As of today, after about two years on the site, I have 2018 "props".

Statistically, mine break down as follows:

Accurate 33%
Funny 25%
Well Written 23%
Useful 19%

So it could be said, that for the most part, over two years, my responses have been accurate answers, written with a sense of humor, written well. These answers have been useful to people.

Some people dislike me.

1. They can't handle the truth (Accuracy) (or don't like it said, preferring to lick the behinds of every lazy backpacker who comes here looking for a place to buy baked beans when the answer is always the seven same grocery stores).

2. They have no sense of humor. (Funny)

3. They are illiterate, and wouldn't recognize a well written argument if it climbed off the page and hung its participles in their eye-balls. My participles never hang. That makes it even more difficult for them.

4. They prefer to criticize than help. (Useful).

9 times out of ten, when you see a "fail" or a "meh", you never read a peep out of the cowards that click them. They are "drive-by me-fers".

They are, inconsequential. They exist only in their own minds, and at the bottom of their mugs of lonely existential despair.

They count for nothing.

They are nothing.


Useless as a chocolate teapot.

Newman wrote on September 30th, 2010 at 11:24 pm
Newman (elite user)

"It seems rather rude."

Most of us probably find it more amusing, than rude. This is a community, we try not to take each other too seriously all the time. I'm unashamedly a fan of TNH because it is so successful at being a community resource - and the whole community makes it so. A few Fails here and there doesn't change that one bit.

de2facon wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 12:10 am
de2facon (elite user)

Do a TNH search on an old classic thread ,the " Who are all those Mehers and Failers out there ?". It will give you an idea of the history of this perplexing issue and some thoughts from many of the folks still around since the question was first propounded a few years back.

No answers to speak of but it makes for interesting reading.

I' confident someone will M/F me for bringing up that classic oldie.

Well then, as we used to say in high school just before you took a swing at someone: If you're feeling froggy MF, then leap Mo' leap.

de2facon wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 7:06 am
de2facon (elite user)

After a long arse day, I gave the OP and subsequent comments additional thought.

It seems to me that the abcense of any comments whatsoever on posts, messages or reviews one could truthfully deem Well-Written, Funny, Accurate and Useful, is equally, if not more rude than a drive-by or revenge MeFer. (Long sentence, I know. Long day. Staff overworked).


Did there ever come a time when you put fingers to the keyboard, tapped out what you believe was a prize-winning contribution, only to find that
" No Comment" popped up where the " Was this answer.." space resides?

Would it be fair to say that you were puzzled?

Isn't it a fact that it made you feel a bit compelled to ask, Wtf?

I raise these issues because they seem legitimately associated with answering the OP. And without venturing too far into the Valley of The Great Discussion ,I think looking at the MF matter from the perspective of " No Comment" is also appropriate.

Over to youse ( that's you in the plural).

Despite being geographically challenged at the moment, I've come to observe that nothing in life is routine but most things are more predictable than others.

Let's see if I'm right.

dawnation wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 9:58 am
dawnation (elite user)

relax, vegas - that wasn't a personal attack, merely an illustration that sometimes fails come when you disagree with the spirit of the review. a better example are the fails i garnered above.

to clarify, I agree about the violence and I am glad you were not hurt. i still say you don't know what triggered it and blanket dismissals of causation are just as dangerous.

TscTempest wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 10:07 am
TscTempest (elite user)

...whay back yonder in the Chattahoochie, it's gets hotter...

@the OP, The ghosts of Christmas's Past:
:- Utter Rubbish
:Who's going to get...
:- Who are you MF's...
:-Who are... (Take 2)
:- Anonymity

As you can see this is not a new topic. It's a fun topic, that's probably why it keeps coming up.

I thought there was a thread on Karma Points, but couldn't find it, it was probably an aside conversation on an unrelated thread. However, like De2 alludes to, the lack of response is sometimes more compelling than the fact that some twat decided to use up their Meh/Fail quotient.

Noted:- some few have been having lots of fun meh-ing and fail-ing every post in this thread - Like all the past questions on this topic, it is true to form. "Takeiteasy," welcome to the fray!


Vegas wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 10:28 am
Vegas (elite user)

"relax, vegas - that wasn't a personal attack"

I know, I wasn't responding as if it was. I used the word "bollocks" because I heartily disagreed - and continue to disagree - with your assessment.

"i still say you don't know what triggered it and blanket dismissals of causation are just as dangerous."

Just as dangerous? You really believe that? C'mon. You're right, I don't know what caused it, and I still would believe it's entirely immaterial in this instance - and what's more, I suspect if you and/or your loved ones were in the firing line, you'd feel similarly. The fact is that adults with a duty of care over others don't get to use 3rd party causality as an excuse to explain lapses in that duty of care - especially gross lapses like the one I described. "She really, really, REALLY pissed me off and/or offended me, so I have an excuse for endangering the lives of others in my response to that" - no, you don't. Ever. Period. This is part of the responsibility of being an adult.

Vegas wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 11:56 am
Vegas (elite user)

Incidentally, the only person I've failed on this thread is de2, for throwing something over to me when I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to be considering. This made my uncaffeinated head hurt at 7.25am.

DabHand wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 12:15 pm

What is the record number of fails that any post has ever received?

DabHand wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 12:17 pm

My personal record is thirteen, and you were all wrong

sabres59 wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Can i have a few more fails and Meh. I am feeling left out. Oh, and if your post is deleted and it had some fail and mehs, do they still count for you or do they vanish like a prom date's virginity too?

de2facon wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 1:05 pm
de2facon (elite user)

@ vegas: having been through this discussion a few times in the past ( see TSC's well-researched compendium of M/F threads), I now proudly wear dem dar fails like a cowpoke's notches. But it's interesting that you're the second person to tell me (first was a PM) that he awarded a fail only because it was too early in the HN morning to start looking at the whole fail phenomenon through a new lens.

I guess we've got to add another reason to pippa's list--Fail for asking thought-provoking questions at the wrong time of day.

I'm saving my Karma Kredits in anticipation of a Fail Fest.

If my observations discussed above are correct, the party should be starting just as soon as a certain " quotation mark" notable hits the ground running.

You know, as the clock strikes back in my neck of the woods, my uncaffeinated brain is is unable to process a coherent response at this time.

I'll throw you a fail even though I think I know what you are asking me to consider--just for the hell of it.

Those threads TSC lists are an interesting read.

@ sabres59: you asked and have have just received. As to what becomes of the broken mehs and fails, who have comments now departed ( name the song win a prize). Good question.

natinnam wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 1:37 pm
natinnam (elite user)

Bring back "Utter rubbish", Hippo and Jimbo, Meh & Fail just dont cut it! Mods dont even rack up our Meh & Fails, dememed worthless and cast aside like a cat with 3 legs. Its a waste of a right click, nerds wear them with honour, come on mods wake up to the revolution.

The ladys love me, iam off to learn computers and iam taking over !!!!!!

pinto wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 10:25 am

Some time ago the Times of London published an article on the website “Trip Advisor”
The main thrust was that the site was becoming a victim of it’s own success.
The site is such a success that it has now attracted third parties who approach participators offering to provide a service of reviews from sites all over the world and also will apply commercial sabotage to competitors. Hence the integrity of this site is now extremely suspect..
In other words because of it high profile exposure it was becoming corrupted by its own users for purely commercial reasons.
It would seem that TNH could proceed down a similar path with the proliferation of mercantile sock puppets using the site for free advertising and for commercial sabotage of their competitors. I would think these are the anonymous M’ers and F’ers.
Personally I feel I would have failed in a posting if I did not attract numerous M & F.

suddenpaws wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 11:07 am
suddenpaws (elite user)

I very rarely fail anything, but I do if it is for a legitimate reason. For example, I fail reviews when a manager from an organisation or company goes on TNH as a customer or client and gives the company a wonderful review as an 'independent source'. That's dishonest, and deserves to fail.

de2facon wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 11:22 am
de2facon (elite user)

And so it begins.

Round and round it will go.

Where it stops, only the Moderales know.

In the meantime....

An interesting point regarding the potential identity ( shills for proprietors or competition) of anonymous M'fers and F'ers.

But having been a long-termer on this site, I feel confident that most, if not nearly all readers here, are astute enough to recognize BS reviews, unwarranted and out-of-left field M/F ticks to be indicia of rien.

I think folks here are pretty savvy. (OK, maybe I'm a bit naive. I mean at first blush, I really thought the "Polar" thread a few weeks back was asking about Ngay Sap).

It's interesting to note that the same techniques described above are rampant in movie reviews. And for that reason, I almost totally discount the purported objectivity of most professional movie critics. In fact it's very surprising how many movies first panned by the critics later emerge as
'Undiscovered Classics" several years later.

Many people on the board are teachers.
Arguably, they are not just instructing people how to speak English;they are participating in the creation of the future by developing skills for critical thinking in a foreign language.

That same principle applies to reading reviews of the best bar or eatery, namely, think for yourself and make up your own mind.

DabHand wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 12:22 pm

So has anyone beaten my thirteen (undeserved and incorrect) fails, or is that the record?

Vegas wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Vegas (elite user)

No comment. Hey, there IS something in that, de2! But then again, I have just had two double espressos.

TscTempest wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 3:45 pm
TscTempest (elite user)

@Dab: I believe the record is 24, but I could be wrong. You'd have to check some of the old archived threads, to confirm that.

pippasweetie wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 6:35 pm
pippasweetie (elite user)

It's hard to know the "winner" as some really failed answers got pulled for being offensive etc

Grant wrote on October 4th, 2010 at 10:23 am
Grant (elite user)


@Vegas: 'This is part of the responsibility of being an adult.' What? That wasn't in my rule book. Admittedly I just skimmed it and could of missed that chapter.

I'm all for racking up the fail tally on Elites. New members might be a bit daunted so leave them out of it.

Why fail? Too bloody lazy to type a response.


de2facon wrote on October 5th, 2010 at 9:02 am
de2facon (elite user)

Even though I now proudly wear my fails like Olympic Gold Medals, I respectfully disagree about racking up the fail tally for any member new or old.

If the tally were made public, it would take the mystery out of things, decrease the number of future threads on the same topic we are currently discussing, lead to fail contests ( fun, but remember Utter Rubbish) and eventually eliminate anonymity ( see prior thread ).

No sir...and I say, anonymity now, anonymity tomorrow and anonymity forever.

And I thought when " " appeared on the scene, the Fail Fest would begin in earnest.

In the background I hear that song playing. " Hit me with your best shot".

TscTempest wrote on October 5th, 2010 at 10:20 am
TscTempest (elite user)

...it was me ;-)

Grant wrote on October 5th, 2010 at 10:24 am
Grant (elite user)


Fail for knowing who the hell Pat Benatar was.


de2facon wrote on October 5th, 2010 at 10:46 am
de2facon (elite user)


1/2 fail only on the song.

I didn't remember the name of the singer until it was posted. A bit after my time type of music.

Was that your best shot(s)?

" Touche!!"

sabres59 wrote on October 5th, 2010 at 11:09 am

When are we going to have a fail party at the most fail bar in Hanoi. Oh, what bar has the most fails or least amount of stars?

Vegas wrote on October 5th, 2010 at 11:24 am
Vegas (elite user)

No, it needs to be in a bar that's failed. Maybe at that Cuban bar that closed down a few months ago.

de2facon wrote on October 5th, 2010 at 11:29 am
de2facon (elite user)

I reckon these recent responses have not yet strayed too far off topic...

A Fail Party...Do it on Halloween night. The costumes will help preserve anonymity but also supply a new topic as in Who had the best and worst get-up at the shindig?

Judging from a quick glance through the Top Spots, my choice of venue has now been resurrected as ----- II Bar.

DabHand wrote on October 5th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Only complete failures talk about fails , so I just failed everybody again.

For me failure is not an option

Newman wrote on October 13th, 2010 at 7:34 am
Newman (elite user)

The recent experiment conducted in Review Land seems to indicate that some people will just Fail for the hell of it. In fact, some people simply can't help themselves but Fail reviews for events/places that they know nothing about and /or didn't attend, so are actually in no position to make any comment. They are clearly Failing the reviewer.

Which is, as I said above, amusing.

domingorio wrote on October 13th, 2010 at 12:45 pm
domingorio (elite user)

I fail people because its fun. And they most likely deserve it.

Longh wrote on October 13th, 2010 at 12:59 pm
Longh (elite user)

I am interested in this thread as of late because apparently people are failing me based on the people I associate with.

DabHand wrote on October 13th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

fail, fail ,fail away gently down the page merrily, merrily, merrily, fail is just a click

Vegas wrote on October 13th, 2010 at 3:14 pm
Vegas (elite user)

"I fail people because its fun."

You think it's fun clicking a button? You need to get out more.

sabres59 wrote on October 13th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I would like to request more fail clicks under my name please.

Newman wrote on October 13th, 2010 at 6:53 pm
Newman (elite user)

Considering the laughable number of Fails and Mehs I picked up today, I would have expected to see a lot more reviews being posted. Of course, most of those reviews would probably be knee-jerk reactions to my knee-jerk reaction. Nice to know I am in good company.

The thing about Fails is that people complain about apparent injudicious use of Reviews or responses on Ask ANH, but think nothing of injudicious Fails. Kinda self-defeating really.

Maybe a Fail enhancement would be to have a Fail click produce a dialogue box enabling comments be sent to the ANH or Review author explaining why they got Failed - kind of like the Tips section on Tops Spot entries. I'd be more than happy to do that with anyone I choose to Fail - I wonder if others would be too? Of course it could also give ownership to Fails, which might also be a interesting development...

clock iconThen Some Time Passed...
Newman wrote on December 12th, 2010 at 7:30 pm
Newman (elite user)

Why do people fail everything?

Check today's reviews to see that it's because two people posted real reviews of an actual experience but the Spot fans just couldn't stand seeing their precious Spot being 1-starred.

While we're on the subject of "Why...?", what is it that prompts people to suddenly review a place they obviously frequent often, just because they disagree with someone else's review? I am interested in what is behind users feeling the need to passionately defend a Spot based on another user's real experience. Any ideas anyone?

TscTempest wrote on December 12th, 2010 at 9:30 pm
TscTempest (elite user)

The "Meh" "Fail" and formerly "Utter Rubbish" classifications that are used by this site have been a bone of contention for many people and businesses alike. It inherently allows for the anonymous lambasting of a comment or site review with absolute impunity.

Over time, when groups of people either develop a dislike or a particular poster or a dedicated preference and vested interest in a particular spot, this classification is misused and often abused.

As such, it fails to meet the intended use that the creators of this site originally envisioned - well, at least as far as I understand it, after 2 1/2 years in Hanoi.

It has been a constant bone of contention for many people. e.g. how can a review be failed because someone says they had a great time in some spot with their friends? It defies convention, understanding and fathomability. It's clearly hate mail. However, is it hate mail for the spot or for the poster - that is a question.

This site, prides itself on the provision of 'real world experiences' from 'real people' who feel compelled to communicate their experience in some place: it builds community - yet it restricts in the most extreme form, public debate, so much so, as to have removed even the inappropriately place former forum for discussion that allowed for management of community opinions, views, conjecture and debate.

As such any dissent is not welcome. Also, as such the Meh and Fail buttons on a comment question or review are also forms of dissent which, in keeping with current site policy "Should" be removed.

The New Hanoian is a forum for communicating information about life in Hanoi. Spots worth visiting, and Vendors who should be avoided. Let the Review stand by the words it has been written with. Let people step up and debate, through contrary experience expressed, rather than anonymously RATE the commentary.

The Meh and Fail system is now redundant and serves no purpose rather than to antagonize the community that actively supports The New Hanoian.

There is no right of discussion, not option for rebuttal, no rhyme or reason for the rating system beyond "Not Useful" It is time for the Meh and Fail classifications to be removed. They serve no useful or constructive or community building purpose. they are a derisive and devising, negative influence in an otherwise dynamic and evolving community.

They have to go!


JHuyen wrote on December 12th, 2010 at 9:37 pm


pippasweetie wrote on December 12th, 2010 at 10:48 pm
pippasweetie (elite user)

Tsc = showing your 'age' with the "utter rubbish" comment. Poor Newman and many others won't have a clue what you are on about !

To answer Newman's question, I guess people defend their fav top spot because they really really really really like it. It doesn't mean the bad experience of other reviewers is null and void. The defenders are just having their say too. Nothing wrong with reporting your bad experience. Is there something wrong with loving your top spot?

Sometimes people review a particular place just after others do because they are reading the NH home page and that is what they notice. They have some time, or passion and decide to write a review - good or bad. There are often "runs" of reviews on certain places. Check it out.

de2facon wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 1:00 am
de2facon (elite user)

Funny, but when Utter Rubbish was all the rage, it seems that URs were being handed out like jelly beans out of a jar. Quite unlike the current Ms or Fs which at times seem vindictive.

As noted in some of the earlier entries on this thread, I maintain, most, if not nearly all readers, are savvy enough to smell a BS review. And that includes the glowing reports of some places that aren't fit for human consumption.

I tend to pay M and F reviews no serious mention. They are akin to the purportedly objective reviews of movies and hotels on other sites.

TSC raises some excellent points on debate and discussion. I remember the time so well, and with a tearful eye, the memory makes me want to hoist a few and sing " Those were the days my friends, we thought they would never end".

pippasweetie wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 5:42 am
pippasweetie (elite user)

Now this from a spot lover -

"Having read the last two reviews I felt the need to stand up for this place"

Says it all, really.

Newman wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 7:55 am
Newman (elite user)

And that is my point. Not until reading those could the user be bothered to make a review. Has not been prepared to review the place previously and let us all know how great it was, until it was thought the Spot was under attack. Now, all of a sudden, they must defend their Spot. And, take a swipe at the two previous reviewers along the way. Such action reduces the credibility of the review and the reviewer.

I just don't get it.

(And I own up to my Meh's I gave Pippa...)

Grant wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 8:02 am
Grant (elite user)


Out, damned Spot! out, I say!


de2facon wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 9:19 am
de2facon (elite user)

" Out, damned Spot....". Man that has got to be one of the funniest posts I've seen 'roun these parts in a dog's age! It really hot the Spot.

Yeah, I know. I'll get a Meh for the last part.

pippasweetie wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 9:23 am
pippasweetie (elite user)

Yes, and it will be from Newman

de2facon wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 9:27 am
de2facon (elite user)

Ya' know, I may have to skip the Meh and Fail myself for typing hot when I meant hit the spot. Gotta get me some new specs....

Newman wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 9:57 am
Newman (elite user)

So apparently, Grant is not a Spot Lover but de2 is a Hot Lover...

How the hell do ya write a review for that...???

de2facon wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 10:23 am
de2facon (elite user)

Hot you say? Damn Hot!

As to how write a review, just proceed as we have been. A...(shhhhh) de facto... discussion ( gotta keep that quiet). And don't let anyone know otherwise the Moderales will promptly put a stop to all this. Maybe we can continue for just a wee bit more, Sort of like ringing in some holiday good cheer.


Donkey-abroad wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 12:05 pm
Donkey-abroad (elite user)

Speaking with my Mod hat on, if this thread stays on topic as a genuine debate about the merits of the Meh/Fail system, then there is no need to fear being deleted. While it has been asked in the Etiquette section of Ask A.N.H. this would have fit just as well in the Meta category which allows for de facto discussion, within strict boundaries, on the workings of this site.

And now for my two cents worth. And I want to make it clear before I start, that although I am a Mod here, the views I am about to express are entirely my own and should in no way be construed as representing the views of the guys who own and run this site.

Tsc said:

"This site, prides itself on the provision of 'real world experiences' from 'real people' who feel compelled to communicate their experience in some place: it builds community - yet it restricts in the most extreme form, public debate, so much so, as to have removed even the inappropriately place former forum for discussion that allowed for management of community opinions, views, conjecture and debate.

As such any dissent is not welcome. Also, as such the Meh and Fail buttons on a comment question or review are also forms of dissent which, in keeping with current site policy "Should" be removed."

I have to say that I strongly disagree with this statement. If public debate really was restricted on this site, then threads like this wouldn't appear. I think the guys that run the site are very open in allowing debate on the workings of the site, and genuinely appreciate and listen to the opinions of users when it comes to the workings of the site.

Yes we no longer have the discussion category, and yes we all had a lot of fun (myself included) getting involved is such fun discussions as "Are there any strong atheists in Hanoi?" and "who is Hummer man?". But lets be honest here for a while, did any of these threads actually add anything positive to this community?

And it has to be remembered that not all discussion has been stopped; questions about the culture of Vietnam, and for example threads about numbers and counting are still appearing and are welcomed if they stay on topic.

The purpose of this site is to help provide information to genuine enquiries about life in Hanoi. That often can mean quite dull questions about where can I find this or that. But it has to be remembered that that is the whole point of this site. There is no requirement to get involved if you don't think much of a question.

Removal of the discussion section to my mind has greatly improved the tone of this site, and we now see far less trolling on the boards as the people who have done it in the past now realise that all their hard effort is simply going to disappear. I am responsible for a large amount of the deletions that occur in this section, and I can assure you that "dissent" as Tsc puts it, is not one of the bigger problems I have to deal with.

The majority of my time is spent removing duplicate questions and directing users to existing threads where they can ask their questions, or deleting posts that are simply dragging threads way too far off topic.

Another thing that used to be a problem, and has been part of my mandate to remove, is posts where a questioner is being attacked. There used to be far too many instances of a new user posting a question, and then being hammered repeatedly by people for not doing a search. The outcome of that, people feel afraid to post a question and those new users who have been slammed feel very uncomfortable about coming back and posting something again. For my mind that is something that is detrimental to everyone.

Now that we see a lot less of that, I think you'll agree that we see far more variety of users contributing to the Ask A.N.H. section which is good for everyone.

As alpha said in one of the threads when they decided to shut down the discussion category, this site is not here for the personal amusement of regular contributors, it is for the benefit of the whole community and it primary purpose is to provide useful information to people who need help.

Now on the subject of Meh/Fails. I agree that it does sometimes seem to be a problem and I don't think anyone yet has come up with a good solution. I think the whole Karma Credits thing has been helpful, restricting the number of fails any one user can give in a week based on the contributions they have made to the site.

I think that the best solution is probably to see more people giving positive props when they are deserved. We all know that there are 101 reasons for people using the Fail button, but if people took the time to go through reviews and prop them with Usefuls, Well-writtens etc, then I think the negative props would start to appear insignificant.

I try to read through the front page reviews most days and give props when a user has provided good information. If everyone did this, then the whole scoring system on TNH would work much better. Not everyone's review weighting is equal, so the more people respond both positively and negatively, the more accurately people's opinions would be reflected in a spots score.

While you often see some undeserved fails flying around, I don't think that is a reason to remove the fail button. Maybe there could be some improvement to the system, and I guess here would be a good place to put any helpful suggestions to solving this problem.

For my mind, one of the reason I use the fail button, is when an owner is reviewing their own place. Even if they have been honest enough to tell us they are the owner, it still irks me to see it as they are obviously going to give their business a 5 star review that will scew their spots score going forward. To me I think if an owner wishes to give a review of their place, there should be a way for them to do so, without giving the place a star rating. If I knew their review was going to have no effect on the spots score, then I wouldn't be offended to see them reviewing their own business.

Grant wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Grant (elite user)


Brevity is the soul of wit.


Newman wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 1:25 pm
Newman (elite user)

Brevity is obviously not Donkey's MO... does this mean Donkey has no soul...?

On the buttons, for me it comes down to interpreting why a button is pushed:

Well-Written: The post/review is well constructed, eloquent and puts forth a sound and reasoned argument or opinion.

Funny: it made me laugh!

Accurate: I agree with the post/review and think it reflects reality as I see it

Useful: This is information I can do something with now or in the near future or that I can see would help others.

Meh: nonchalant shrug of the shoulders, neither agree nor strongly disagree.

Fail: ??? could be for any number of reasons but is undetermined. And here is where it falls down for me. is it a personal attack, is it a really strong disagreement, and, is it actually followed up with any kind of explanation? Sometimes Fails are followed up and I really respect that. Users who will write a post saying "x-user, I failed you for that and here's why..." do the site and all users a great service.

As I mentioned above, I think a Fail with no reason might as well not exist. I get the karma points thing but am not entirely convinced it actually would matter if Fails did not exist. I also think that Fails for new users could be highly discouraging and misleading, based upon feedback I have received.

I do agree with donkey that more use of positive props, particularly for new users who often contribute absolute gems of information, would be a great improvement.

Yours in mediocrity

A Witless Soul

de2facon wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 1:27 pm
de2facon (elite user)

Donkey-abroad presents a well-reasoned and thoughtful analysis of Mod life.

Now that I've hung up my spurs, I see that moderating is still a tough job. There are long stretches of chasing duplicate or misplaced posts broken only by the entrance of the now rare troll. But the most difficult part of the job is keeping discussions ( even if they don't solve the OP, they often have their own merit as insight into expat/local ideas) on track. At best, you try to let the 'discussion' run its course and hope the question gets answered.

I don't have a solution to the M/F issue. I think compared to Fail, that Utter Rubbish was more congenial. These days, it seems the use of Fail is often vindictive-but can sometimes be constructive. When used wisely or in fun, it helps keep the lid on the kettle.

Do I miss some of the fun discussions? Sure I do. Was it ever easy to be a Mod and hold off from participating in a vigorous way? Yup, a very tough balancing act.

One solution to the problem of regulating posters who fail to do a A.S.K. TNH search is to configure word sensitivity to block certain posts until a search takes place. For example, if a person posts a question on visas to Mongolia and the question has been asked and answered, he would see a notice telling him to do the search--before the post registers. Conversely, if he posts on where to get cheap tickets to East Timor and it's never come up before, the post will register.

The word sensitive programing would work like some of the computerized HR resume screening.

I'm not a computer guy and it's a bit past my bedtime, but you get the idea.

Chuc ngu ngon.

natinnam wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 1:38 pm
natinnam (elite user)

Who gives a f*ck ?

Grant wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 1:56 pm
Grant (elite user)


@JHuyen: What was Haizzz? You were agreeing with a Hail Hail but you then fell asleep?


DabHand wrote on December 13th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

^That's a whole lot of posts I have to fail, not got time right now, but I'll be back

Donkey-abroad wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Donkey-abroad (elite user)

natinnam raises an interesting point, and I think for him and others who are Elite users, the answer probably is we don't care. We've achieved Elite status and so no number of fails is going to take away from that. But as Newman said, I think for new or irregular users, fails could be discouraging and stop them from getting involved in the future.

That however doesn't stop me from using the fail button when I think it is deserved. Following on from Newman's run down on how he sees the button, I thought I'd give a run down of some of the propping I've done in the last day or so to shed some light on how I use the prop system.

I gave billibob's review of The Cart a "useful". I didn't think it had quite reached a level where I would give out a "well written" and as I have never been to The Cart I cannot say whether or not this was accurate.

I gave papeduc's review of Don's Bistro a "meh" and a "fail". Why? Well "meh" because they have put no effort into the review as far as I can see, and have given no details on which I can judge their statement. The "fail" because I have been to Don's several times and always been impressed. So without reasoned argument as to the one star, then this review fails for me.

I thought maud's review of Quan An Ngon was "accurate", and I think it will be "useful" to other people on deciding whether or not to visit this spot. I didn't feel that the level of detail was enough to merit a "well written".

Again, papeduc's review of The Cart was a "meh" for me, there is not enough detail here for this review to be of any use to me.

mwestermann's review of Don's Bistro got a "well written" from me for being a well constructed and informative review. I found it very "useful" and I will give this review serious weight if I ever consider having breakfast or take away at Don's. I didn't give it accurate, because I have never tried either of these services. They are at the opposite end of the scale to my opinion of Don's, but they have given me enough detail that I can see why they came to the opinion they did.

I think there were some undeserved mehs and fails flying around on some of these better reviews.

Certain spots simply seem to build up a fan base that are not prepared to hear anything bad said against their favourite spot. My Burger My is probably one of the best examples of this. If someone gives this place anything other than a glowing 5 star review, then no matter how well written and detailed the reasoning, the user who posts the review is going to get "failed" into oblivion. To me, this is an abuse of the system.

This is one of the reasons that I held off from reviewing this spot in my early days. I was never impressed with the place, but didn't fancy racking up the fails, so I avoided reviewing it. Now I have no interest to return there and so would not review it because of the length of time since I've been there. However if I was to return there now, and still formed the same opinion, I would not fear writing a review, because as natinam put it, I wouldn't give a (insert expletive) what the fanboys thought if my opinion differed from theirs.

Also I imagine if a spot owner is on the site and sees a negative review of their business, it is probably very tempting for them to reach for the fail button. This seems a shame for me if an owner is doing this rather than contacting the person who had the bad experience and trying to resolve their complaint. I also think an owner failing a review of their establishment is an abuse of the system.

So where have all these musings got us. I'm still not sure. There are problems with the fail system, but I still find it to have a purpose at the same time. And this seems to be the difficulty. I think there is a need for people to be able to negatively prop someone and for this to be visible, however when this is abused it can be detrimental.

I agree with Newman to some extent that you should own up to the failing you do, but this wouldn't always be appropriate in the review section. I believe part of the reasoning for having the "fail" in the first place is to allow people to quickly rate something, rather than start a back and forth argument that ends up being flaming and losing the initial point of it all.

So my suggestion. Well for now, anyone who feels that the fail system is damaging should make sure that they are doing their fair share of positive propping to balance things out. And if anyone has a way to improve the system, they should put it out for public debate. I'm sure if a workable system that had the backing of a lot of users was put forward, the guys running to site would give it their consideration.

And again, I just want to make it clear that I have not talked with the guys running the site about this, and the opinions I have expressed here are mine and mine alone.

Grant wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 12:57 pm
Grant (elite user)


To sum up....

'So where have all these musings got us. I'm still not sure'


de2facon wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 1:06 pm
de2facon (elite user)

O.K., You just got a "Well-Written" and a "Useful" for the post. Let me explain my use of those terms as it applies to most threads or reviews.

To me ( non-ESL type that I most obviously am ) something can be " Well-Written" because it is a masterpiece of of the art of writing, ( yes, there are at least two folks here who are in the running for a future Pulitzer ) or ,it states a general position with which I might agree. Such posts gives some food for thought, sort of the post that makes you think.

As to "Useful", it means the post has merit for current or potential use. Depending on the subject matter , I can employ the posted information now or store it away for future reference. Some key examples are travel posts and street foods.

There are a number of places I've been reluctant to review because (1) I know that notwithstanding a well-deserved lousy rating, there will be a hail of fail following on a less than stellar review,(2) If I really told ya'll what I think of XYZ hotel or eatery, my employers would "Fail" me out of future lecture assignments. Cyber-anonimity. What's that?

But I sincerely think that there are some very savvy folks posting here. I was surprised to learn that a number of people on board *didn't* have an MA or PhD. That is not to say degrees are where it's at with being in the know. Instead, it is truly telling that we have some really bright and well-informed people posting on the board without all the hoity-toity letters following their avatar. The education doesn't matter a brass farthing; it's what posted that counts.

Finally, seeing that it is once again past my bedtime, I have to agree with Natinam to whit:

" Who gives a f**k".

True, but it still makes for interesting discussion.

Chuc ngu ngon.

DabHand wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I'm not being funny, but this has to be the most self-gratifying mind numbingly pointless thread I have ever seen on any website ever

Donkey-abroad wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 1:27 pm
Donkey-abroad (elite user)

@Grant, yeah I'd say that was a fair summary of my rather long winded post. You got a "funny" and "accurate" from me on that one.

I was merely showing that while the system is far from perfect, there are ways to attempt to use it successfully.

Why are we stuck with an imperfect system? Simply because coming up with a better idea is very difficult when you try to hammer out the details.

de2facon wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 1:38 pm
de2facon (elite user)

@dabhand: You are usually pretty funny. I mean you could give " Beer" a run for his money. But self-gratifying. I think not. More like honest
( permitted ) discussion. Besides, if it's so mind numbing and pointless ( your phrases), why the hell did you participate so much?

Please don't delete. I think my comment is within the realm of permitted discussion. What we are really talking about here is ways to improve the site. I'm asking dabhand, who I find to be really funny, for his rationale.

Yeah, I was supposed to hit the hay an hour ago. I hope I make it to the hearing on time.

Grant wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Grant (elite user)


I've been proped! I feel vaguely violated....


de2facon wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 1:47 pm
de2facon (elite user)

"Proped" you ask?

Say, isn't that something that happens in Kiwi airports?

I know, Fail or removal of post forthcoming.

DabHand wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

@De2Facon, you missed my point you see, you see how I got 2 fails there, that was my point you see, i figure people fail stuff because they don't like , what the poster has written, so I wrote something people wouldn't like instead, and thus the fails came, but there are also the fails that you get from people who don't like something you said before , I get that sometimes, so indeed there are many reasons to fail, but I don't actually live in Hanoi so i never read any of the reviews, so I don't know about any of that. I did ask for a review board for other areas including Hon Gai (Halong City) where I live, which now has a staggering FOUR nightclubs, that's just in lil 'ol Hon Gai, the powers that be did say they would make one but I guess they failed

grubby wrote on December 14th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Dabhand: http://halong.newhanoian.xemzi.com/en/venue/top

Time to start entering Ha Long spots, I think...

DabHand wrote on December 15th, 2010 at 1:19 am

Whehever I try to write them great big long names I always miss a bit out and it never seems to work

DabHand wrote on December 15th, 2010 at 1:25 am

Just tried it, it's too complicated

de2facon wrote on December 15th, 2010 at 2:11 am
de2facon (elite user)

In my self-gratifying and pointless mind numbing way, I now see the humour and promptly awarded a couple of Funnys in place of what initially merited a plethora of richly deserved Fails.

Man, ain't technology great?

Grant wrote on December 15th, 2010 at 8:21 am
Grant (elite user)


Unfortunately all the places worth reviewing are somehow under water according to Google. Google Faail.


de2facon wrote on December 15th, 2010 at 8:45 am
de2facon (elite user)

GoogleFaail. Sounds like a new kind of Scandanavian appetizer. Aquavit, lutefisk and GoogleFaail.

TscTempest wrote on December 15th, 2010 at 9:03 am
TscTempest (elite user)

Don'tcha just love it! Merry Christmas everyone.

clock iconThen Some Time Passed...
TscTempest wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 11:46 am
TscTempest (elite user)

The OP wrote:
>Isn't the idea of an online forum to share opinions and hear other
>people's ideas regardless of whether you agree?

Apparently not.

Today, outside Segafredo, Xuan Dieu, I encountered a man. He made it clear, in no uncertain terms that if I, or any of the regular users on this site, were to post, hostile, stupid, or answers he did not like, to new user questions, jaws would be broken.

I want to make the following statement absolutely clear.

My opinions are solely my own. They do not represent the opinions of any other member, OR group of members, NOR that of TNH, it's employees, representatives, or its owners. My opinions are my own, and will be expressed in whatever manner I see fit.

It is a matter of public record on this site, and on others, that I have ALWAYS advocated for people to respond and otherwise conduct themselves in a

manner. Whenever I have failed to do so, I have publicly noted it and issued a retraction.

I do not respond well to threats, implied, verbal or physical. Should this situation repeat itself, or escalate, the person(s) responsible will be reported to the police.

Tolerance is the ability to hear what someone else has to say, regardless of whether you like what they have to say, or how forcefully they put it. But tolerance is not a one way street. It requires effort and willingness to at least hear out what the other party has to say, from ALL parties involved.

To the OP, unfortunately, there are element in this community that will not tolerate the expression of contrary opinions in response to their own, and who are more than willing to take it into the "Real World" and follow up their dissatisfaction with threats involving potential acts of violence.

Again, I repeat,

I do not respond well to threats, implied, verbal or physical. Should this situation repeat itself or escalate, the person(s) responsible will be reported to the police.

* References:
Use Browser Search feature (ctrl F) and search for "Firm")
...and many more.

Vegas wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 11:52 am
Vegas (elite user)

Unbelievable. The crackpots really are out in force at present.

ElemenoPea wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

tempest, I know that post has something in it but I'm confused trying to read it... What exactly happened?

Vegas wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 12:03 pm
Vegas (elite user)

Er...he isn't writing in Esperanto. I believe the following is fairly clear:

"Today, outside Segafredo, Xuan Dieu, I encountered a man. He made it clear, in no uncertain terms that if I, or any of the regular users on this site, were to post, hostile, stupid, or answers he did not like, to new user questions, jaws would be broken."

ElemenoPea wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I understood that part obviously, what's the rest about?

And a fitting fail in the fail thread there Vegas. Thanks.

TscTempest wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 12:24 pm
TscTempest (elite user)

@ElemenoPea, ummm, which part?

Tolerance is a two way street?

When expressing an opinion in public, or responding to one, we 'ought to be,' Firm, Friendly, Fair and Frank?

What do the four F's mean? Click the red link and browse through the TEFLChina posting. This will put all my other thread comments on the subject in context.

As for the Browser Search Feature, it allows you to search within a webpage for specific text.

Hope that helps to clarify things. :-)

pistachio wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

hey i know people who cant go in temple bar because they wrote bad reviews. I watched the owner tell I really nice guy he could never come back in because he wrote a negative review.

joochian wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

maybe the rating system can implement ala youtube: thumbs-up or down? or agree/disagree...
but i actually still like this ANH current rating system.. so cheers to the failers/mehers...

joochian wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

too bad there is no edit/delete comment button
(like the ones in linkedin)

Grant wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 1:17 pm
Grant (elite user)


@TSC: Why wouldn't you report it to the police anyway? Why wait for things to get worse?


TscTempest wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 1:54 pm
TscTempest (elite user)

Report what, Grant? That some individual said some threatening words towards me, approached to within one meter, said a few more threatening words then walked away, all while I sat on my motor bike?

To do so, would be escalation on my part. I wish to diffuse the situation and allow it to subside.

As it stands, beyond my saying "hello" as I got onto my bike, yes, I'd seen him before, this unfortunate incident is of his making. He chose to be there, and then to approach me. It is of his making and I want no part of it.

I would like to see this incident relegated to where it belongs, as an unfortunate incident, that doesn't require any further escalation, follow up, or repetition.

Grant wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 2:00 pm
Grant (elite user)


I like smoothies but not enough to want to be consuming them for the next couple of months. Yeah I would be reporting just that.

It's your call though, of course.


DabHand wrote on June 11th, 2011 at 12:48 am

Owners threatening posters, can only end one way, you can't win things in SE Asia, not if you are the one away from home. Already it seems that any post or thread doesn't exactly 'tow the party line' is removed very quickly. A few more bribes to the right places from pissed off business owners etc and it's curtains for TNH. I hope not of course, I like the site.

TscTempest wrote on June 11th, 2011 at 7:51 am
TscTempest (elite user)

@ Dab, no mate, this is where the misinterpretation occurs. There are clear lines of engagement for this site. And moderation is conducted in such a way as to be consistent, mostly, with those guidelines (TOS, User FAQ, Business Owner's FAQ) etc.

As such much of the abusive and hostile commentary that is so prevalent on other forums, blogs, etc. Is not evident here. Certainly there are some strident views expressed from time to time, but in the most part, it's fairly benign.

However, inspite of that, there seems to be some individuals chaffing at the restraint exercised on this site, combined with others who feel that this form of 'censorship' or guided moderation is not only heavy handed, but hit and miss in it's application.

This seems to apply more to Reviews of Top Spots rather than Ask A.N.H. Some object to negative reviews, full stop. Others object to being told, "RTFM," so to speak. As such, it's not so much a case of "Owners threatening posters," but more of one of, 'Lurkers threatening contributors.'

To top this off, it is not an action of the 'silent majority' as some might claim to legitimize their reactions, but the violent acts of a random few. Violent, in so far as they seek confrontation as a mechanism of voicing their dissent, and as a mechanism of exercising influence over some of people who contribute to this site - good, bad or as ineffectual as that contribution may be.

Dab, this is nothing less than, a previously unknown to you, someone encroaching into your personal space and telling you directly to comment online in a manner that they approve of, or you're in for it.

This entire situation, from the recent HWD vs TNH bruhaha to the current pugnacious threats is due to nothing more than ego conflict, and the illegitimate exercise of power and influence.

In essence, (I know, I've been long winded) this is nothing more than a,

"I don't like what you wrote. I haven't like what you've written in the past. Now, I'm gonna f*** you up."


"I don't like the way you pointed out my recent act of stupidity, so I'm gonna stalk you and if the opportunity arises, take a shot at you in the streets."

Owners, Lurkers, Past Online Crazies (there've been a few), misunderstanding between regular contributors, it's all here.

What's online stays online.

How to avoid online conflicts?

Be Firm, Friendly, Fair, and Frank.

de2facon wrote on June 11th, 2011 at 10:31 am
de2facon (elite user)

Be cool dudes and dudettes.

It's all business.

" What lies before us and what lies ahead of us are trivial matters compared to what lies within us".

---R.W. Emerson.

Methinks it's best we keep these matters within....before the Moderales pull this f888er.

philcox_1984 wrote on June 11th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

@pistachio: whats wrong with that? If the business can afford to turn away customers its their right to do so...it doesn't make the business managers good at their job or nice people though!

@TscTempest "What's online stays online" Why do you believe that should that be the case ?

Further more, I think there seems to be allot of people taking the things that go on in this website a little too seriously (the so-called watchdog's crap for example) but I still think people should have the balls to put their name to the things they write online, and should be prepared to face the consequences of their words in the real world. I'm not saying what happened to you on XD (aggressive/threatening behavior??) is justified! We should all just be prepared that the shit we say doesn't stay online....at least not on this website / tight-knit Hanoi community

Also I think your "firm, friendly, fair, and frank" guidance is good advise whether applied to posting on here or managing people in the workplace, life in general.

suddenpaws wrote on June 11th, 2011 at 3:47 pm
suddenpaws (elite user)

It is the nature of people to be different online. I used to work in management in online customer service, and it was standard practice for people to be insulting pigs via chat or email, but then to be absolute angels (comparatively speaking) face to face or on the telephone. The internet, as a means of communication, is far less personal, and therefore requires far less accountability. In my experience, dealing with online inquiries, it is pointless asking people to 'be nice' in an online setting. For some people, it is the only chance they ever have to assert themselves, as in 'real life' they may fear confrontation and lack the self esteem to air their views. Comment and review sites, at least some people believe, can in fact provide a useful outlet for such people to feel some sense of power in their lives. As such it could even be called a worthwhile community service, allowing all individuals to vent their anger without apparent consequence. Alternately, you can also look at it as 'safe' bullying, as one recent study called it, and as such, harmful.

My personal choice would be to remove the "Meh" and "Fail" buttons as, at least where I come from, an opinion cannot be wrong, and therefore cannot fail, simply because it is an opinion, and subjective. Even by TNH own standards, the idea of 'personal attack' can be construed in some 'fail' responses, and as such, this directly violates TNH terms of usage.

TscTempest wrote on June 11th, 2011 at 3:47 pm
TscTempest (elite user)


fair points.

Vegas wrote on June 11th, 2011 at 6:56 pm
Vegas (elite user)

Maybe it would be better to replace the 'Meh' and 'Fail!' buttons with 'Disagree' and 'Unreasonable' buttons?

amabush wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Thinking about the readership response, I would be more interested to discover how The New Hanoian selects prizewinners each month, given that people with scant favourable responses from the readership seem to win on occasion. A very recent winner had an impressive number of M/Fs to their credit and very few 'Well-written/Funny/Accurate/Useful' I see. This means that reader opinions cannot be a criterion for success.
Perhaps TNH has a very very large hat to chuck the names into.
Perhaps they prefer M/F reviews.
Perhaps I have just screwed my chance of ever winning a prize for my reviews btw.

Newman wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 3:50 pm
Newman (elite user)

According to the User FAQ concerning monthly contribution prizes:

To win, one needs to be one of the top contributors for a given month. The available prizes are typically announced mid-month, and the winners are announced just after the end of the month. We select those TNH members whose reviews best epitomize what it takes to make the site the most useful and current one for the city of Hanoi. It may be writing a bundle of reviews, entering new and exciting businesses not yet listed on the site, or helping out people on the Ask A.N.H. pages. Also, while we love to see a large number of contributions pouring in, quality definitely matters. Look through the archives of past newsletters (and front page articles) to check out some of the previous winners. You'll get a quick idea of what it takes to win one of these.

amabush wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

My comments about reader opinion having little or no bearing on electing prizewinners stand, then, as I repeat that a very recent prizewinner had a general thumbs-down for their small number of reviews.

Newman wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 4:04 pm
Newman (elite user)

Sure. It's not a popularity contest. I imagine there is some science (using the in-built algorithms for weighting etc) and some "gut feel" on what users have been the strongest contributors in a period of time.

Not sure what the problem is.

pippasweetie wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 4:57 pm
pippasweetie (elite user)

Amabush see this excellent thread on the topic

Natinam FTW !!


amabush wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Thanks for that pippasweetie. Some interesting comments and advice there.
I still don't understand what Newman means by 'strongest contributors' and 'quality definitely matters' when one of the recent prizewinners has written fewer than fifteen reviews, has received negative feedback on many of those reviews from TNH readership, and is a piss-poor and possibly faintly demented reviewer to boot in my opinion, but then what do I know.

philcox_1984 wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

maybe they like to give the prize to new users who contribute allot, as some sort of encouragement to continue......

amabush wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

This particular prizewinning contributor has posted fewer than fifteen reviews.

philcox_1984 wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

maybe they did all 15 during the month, maybe more than anyone else= get the prize...

amabush wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Indeed they didn't. Reluctantly I have got my dusty calculator out and can tell you that isn't the case at all.
Others wrote more reviews and also received more favourable public response over the same period.
Of the reviews by this particular person, 15 earned 'M' and 19 earned 'F'.
Prizewinner? What am I missing here?

natinnam wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 6:36 pm
natinnam (elite user)

amabush having put my detective hat on, i now know your plight, and wouldn't blame you for a rampage through Hanoi.

One thing seems strange the last 2 winners have Alpha as a follower, but amabush hasn't got any, not even a grubby, which is a less valued follower than Alpha.

Seeing the travesty, i was going to break my rule of not following anyone, and follow you. but this would actually relegate you to my depths on here.

NickinNam wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

@ amabush: you seem to be obsessed with the idea that "USER CONTRIBUTION PRIZES" should actually be called "WHO WRITES THE MOST REVIEWS PRIZES".

There is a lot more to "Contributing" than just writing reviews.

Putting your profile and the user in questions profile shows some startling differences.

1. You have provide two answers to Ask TNH since you signed up in October (not counting the 4 you posted today, begging for a prize). The Poster in Question has provided 22 answers to Ask TNH since April 2011.

That's a lot of Contribution.

2. That user is an active member of 14 different groups. You are a member of 1.

It is not a contest to see who writes the most reviews. As Newman suggests, read the guidelines again. It is about CONTRIBUTING TO THE COMMUNITY.

It is not simply about writing dozens and dozens and dozens of reviews. I met a guy on a TNH trip one time who told me he opened a puppet account just to "be new" and write a ton of reviews to win a prize. He wrote something like 55 reviews in the course of a few weeks. (themusicbox)

He won a prize. Then he was never heard from again.

The system had been gamed. The rules were obviously changed by the guys whose job it is to give out the prizes, and now, it takes a lot more than just being verbose and opinionated in the reviews section to win a prize.

amabush wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Dear natinnam, if I ever decide to go on that rampage I would be delighted to ask you if you'd like to accompany me. You wouldn't have to follow me then either, we could rampage side-by-side.

NickinNam, if I were 'begging for a prize' I have gone about it in rather a foolish way, wouldn't you agree?
I am more concerned about the standards and criteria applied here. I have a great dislike of unfairness, you see.

NickinNam wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Is that all you took away from my reply?

Rixdix wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 7:20 pm


If it was about contributing to the community you would have gotten s***.
And why you changed your avatar? didnt you swear on not taking it down?

pippasweetie wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 7:27 pm
pippasweetie (elite user)

Rix because Nick, by his own admission on his profile "says what we are thinking but are too polite to say", in terms of prizes, he has received exactly that = diddly squat.

No idea about his avatar - a change is as good as a holiday I say - but as self-appointed guardian of attractive avatars lets have one from you please ! Question marks are so dull.

NickinNam wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 7:31 pm

As Pip points out, I have never received a prize, and I am not an elite user.

As to my avatar, controversial avatar week is over. Also, I was politely asked to change it by the good people who own this PRIVATE BUSINESS who can give prizes to whom they please or not, and permit anything they like to be published here or not.

DabHand wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

What a cure for insomnia this thread is

amabush wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Sorry for the delayed response, NickinNam, I have only just returned from dinner.
You are correct to question me: I'll tell you now that the other thing I 'took away' from your reply is that evidently you lack wit.
However the optimists would tell us that it's never too late.
Hopefully this final post will keep DabHand awake for a little longer.

NickinNam wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I was attempting to be accurate and useful in answering your question, ambush.

Your denigration of the award that young lady won kind of reminded me of that Kanye West guy grabbing the award out of Taylor Swift's hands a few years back saying "my friend Beyonce shoulda won this" at the MTV awards.

As to my lack of wit, I have 1098 "funny" props and 800 some odd "well-written" props.

According to your criteria, who wins the "witty" prize if you and I are the finalists?

de2facon wrote on June 13th, 2011 at 1:56 am
de2facon (elite user)

@ amabush: I've been around the board longer than most of the folks responding to your question about awards. Despite that fact, I don't have a clue as to how it all works.It's just another one of those mysteries of the Orient. I can say, however, that contributions take many forms. Keep offering reviews, answers to questions, ideas on site improvement and maybe a night on the town is in the stars for you!

joochian wrote on June 13th, 2011 at 7:38 am

IMHO, the trollers are the ones keeping this website or this thread interesting / afloat. Poor amabush. But I think alot of us dont give a rat's ass about the prize. haha.
Finally, the OP should be given the option to close/end/delete the discussion... but then that will leave us (trollers/contributors) with no more "MEANing-ful" life in Hanoi... cheers...

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The New Hanoian Ltd is registered with Companies House in the United Kingdom. Started in 2006 it remains the premier source for English-language information about living in Hanoi, and other major cities in Vietnam.