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Ever so often old topics are resurrected - most recent example: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/321106-ps3-specs-leaked/, which was inactive for 8 years.

 

I would suggest moving topics to a read-only archive section after, say, three years of inactivity. Thus you can still find the information while avoiding the resurrection of threads from ages ago. If the user has any questions related to the old thread he/she can start a new thread instead.

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There is an archive option in 3.4.5 but we haven't enabled it yet.. it doesn't disable replies but we can add that.. I think the agreement was if a topic hadn't been replied to for x months.

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Hello,

Ever so often old topics are resurrected - most recent example: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/321106-ps3-specs-leaked/, which was inactive for 8 years.

 

I would suggest moving topics to a read-only archive section after, say, three years of inactivity. Thus you can still find the information while avoiding the resurrection of threads from ages ago. If the user has any questions related to the old thread he/she can start a new thread instead.

I dont think resurrecting threads is always a bad thing; News should be moved to a read-only section like you mentioned but other threads? I understand your point of view but it doesnt have any cons or pros closing a inactive thread.

My opinion.

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The problem with rehashing old threads is quite often the information contained in the thread is no longer valid - be it changes in tech, changes in the software, changes in hardware. People in the thread even the OP might have moved on - and no longer frequent neowin, etc. etc..

Now placing an arbitrary age to when this happens can be difficult - could be as little as a few months, to a year or 2.

Placing the thread of X days/months old into a read only mode seems logical, and might save the time of mods having to close threads that are responded too - quite often by spambots looking up keywords and adding garbage to them.

Then we have users that don't read the thread before they post and get it started again, etc. So the read only mode could be a time saver for the mods for sure.

If you have an issue that is related to a older thread - it is better to create a new thread with your current specifics and just reference that old thread.

My 2 cents on the matter.

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I'm going to come back in 10 years and bump this thread. :P

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The problem with rehashing old threads is quite often the information contained in the thread is no longer valid - be it changes in tech, changes in the software, changes in hardware. People in the thread even the OP might have moved on - and no longer frequent neowin, etc. etc..

Now placing an arbitrary age to when this happens can be difficult - could be as little as a few months, to a year or 2.

Placing the thread of X days/months old into a read only mode seems logical, and might save the time of mods having to close threads that are responded too - quite often by spambots looking up keywords and adding garbage to them.

Then we have users that don't read the thread before they post and get it started again, etc. So the read only mode could be a time saver for the mods for sure.

If you have an issue that is related to a older thread - it is better to create a new thread with your current specifics and just reference that old thread.

My 2 cents on the matter.

+1

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I can't tell you how many times I've been searching for an answer to a problem with some tech that isn't current, and I find a result, only to find that the topic has been closed and I end up in a labyrinth of link-clicking to find the ****ing answer.

 

I honestly don't see the problem with bringing up old threads--you might get an answer, there are one or two replies, and then it dies again. Why do people get so angry about it?

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Good idea, Meph!

An archive section would be nice and would take some of the workload off the staff.  :)

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What so wrong about replying to an old thread?

 

Forum Overmoderation logic:

 

-Scold user for replying to an old thread with a relevant reply.

 

-Scold user for creating a new thread instead of posting in an existing one. "OMG lern 2 search!!1"

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^Locking old topics would solve that problem nicely. People can't be accused of thread necromancy since it becomes impossible.

 

The problem with old threads is that the context is completely lost to everyone, who have to re-read everything. It's much better to simply start a new thread. Teamliquid.net works like that and I like it a lot more.

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I honestly don't see the problem with bringing up old threads--you might get an answer, there are one or two replies, and then it dies again. Why do people get so angry about it?

Because it would have been better to start a new thread than to bring up an arbitrarily large number of posts that no one cares about anymore. Sometimes the OP isn't even around anymore and people start trying to answer his question, not realizing the age of the thread. It creates confusion and ridicule.

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"Why do people get so angry about it?"

Not sure anyone is getting angry about it? Quite often its funny to see someone respond to a thread that is years old trying to help the OP that has not posted in years either..

I would think read only would save moderation from having to delete spambots finding them and adding their crapware links..

What might be a good idea if possible?? That when you go to respond to a thread that is ?+ months/years old that you get notified of such.. Maybe even a captcha if the thread is really old warning the user that hey this thread has been dead for X days.. Might be better creating a new thread if your looking for active responses, this might prevent spambots from adding to the really old ones. Here is link to this thread you can use for reference in your new thread if this info related, etc.

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Having the reply box somehow alert the user that they are resurrecting an x year old thread could trim off a few accidental replies but still allow users to continue if they have something to add :)

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Because it would have been better to start a new thread than to bring up an arbitrarily large number of posts that no one cares about anymore. Sometimes the OP isn't even around anymore and people start trying to answer his question, not realizing the age of the thread. It creates confusion and ridicule.

Maybe sometimes this happens, but not always. Why re-invent the wheel by having to re-look-for a fix, because the thread containing the fix and situation exists but is locked and harder to reference?

 

I guess one could backlink to an old thread when creating a new one, but some people won't take that extra step if they're having to create a new/dupe thread anyway.

 

 

Having the reply box somehow alert the user that they are resurrecting an x year old thread could trim off a few accidental replies but still allow users to continue if they have something to add :)

Now that's a good idea.

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One reason I think bringing back old threads is bad because the OP might have followed the topic years ago meaning they will receive notifications for the topic, receiving replies made years later that don't apply to them anymore.

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Now that's a good idea.

I agree since I posted it 6 minutes before louisifer did and you liked his post but not mine ;)

"What might be a good idea if possible?? That when you go to respond to a thread that is ?+ months/years old that you get notified of such."

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^Because I didn't really agree with the rest of the post. People *do* get ridiculously and irrationally angry about it. Any time an old thread is brought up--even legitimately and for a good reason--the reports come flooding in. I've never understood it.

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This and the ability to remove your profile are two good features to add.

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I agree since I posted it 6 minutes before louisifer did and you liked his post but not mine ;)

"What might be a good idea if possible?? That when you go to respond to a thread that is ?+ months/years old that you get notified of such."

 

I hadn't refreshed the page, but either way.. we had a good idea :laugh:

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"-the reports come flooding in. I've never understood it."

Really?? That seems like very odd behavior, but the flavors of personality on forums quite varied - you meet all kinds as they say. Are you sure your not just reading anger into a report.. Maybe the user is just wanting to report that a thread has been brought back from the dead, just like you would report spam or violation of the rules.

I tend to report both of these types - but why would I be angry about them.. Who would I be angry at, the mods for not catching them? The spammer, the person not understanding the rules?

The only sort of post I could see reporting with any sort of anger associated with it would be something of a personal attack nature to it.. And then anger would be directed at the poster, not the mods.. Curious!!

Would it be possible to post some example reports/emails of these people that get so upset over old threads? Clearly nothing that exposes who might have posted -- very curious!!

Many of my posts tend to get people thinking I am angry or upset about stuff - when clearly I don't really give 2 ****s what someone on a public forum might read into my posts.. If I was upset or angry with them - they would clearly and unmistakeably know it. And most likely get me a warning, so spoil my spotless record of late.

I can understand frustration, and passion about a topic - but anger seems misplaced. But it can be hard to distinguish between such things in the limited forum of posts where tone can not be heard, facial expressions are just not there - emoticons are minimal help and can quite easy to be misread as well. I think people read into stuff what they want to hear, if they want to be belittled and or confronted then tend to read that into whatever they are reading.. When its someone just attempting to help and gather information to solve the issue at hand.

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This and the ability to remove your profile are two good features to add.

I didn't realise that members were forced to use anything to personally identify them in the real world? afaik Location and other details are added in optionally, and I've even made a thread or two about being careful with your personal info.

 

Removing profiles and/or deleting accounts and posts does nothing but screw up the very point of having a community in the first place.

 

This isn't Facebook where we rely on knowing everything about you ;)

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I can't tell you how many times I've been searching for an answer to a problem with some tech that isn't current, and I find a result, only to find that the topic has been closed and I end up in a labyrinth of link-clicking to find the ****ing answer.

I'm not sure I understand your point. How does a topic being locked make your search for an answer more difficult?

 

On that issue: Neowin is very much a traditional forum, not a Q&A site like the stackexchange ones. We now have some tacked-on Q&A features like topic tags and the "Answered" feature but those are used very inconsistently and there's not much incentive for users to use them. This board still is mostly designed for informal discussion rather than being to-the-point and informative: there's no requirement that a topic OP be a precise question, answers are displayed in chronological order, there's no vote system, there's no automatic linking of similar questions, we don't close topics for being duplicates, we don't remove answers for not answering the question, etc. 

So Neowin is designed for and fosters informal discussions rather than a Q&A format. But informal discussions, for the most part, are only relevant to those taking part in them right here and now. Posts lose their value as they become old; threads are of little interest once they've been inactive for a while. There can be useful information to be gleaned in them, sure, but resurrecting an old thread means bringing up a lot of lost context. As I and Budman mentioned, often the posters aren't even around to reply.

 

Closing topics would make no sense if we were a Q&A site, but we're not. We're an informal discussion site, and informal discussions lose most of their value once they've gone inactive for a while. It's better if people create new topics, possibly linking to old ones if necessary, than to try and bring back lost context. 

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Hello,

Having the reply box somehow alert the user that they are resurrecting an x year old thread could trim off a few accidental replies but still allow users to continue if they have something to add :)

That is a great idea. I dont know where Ive seen that idea implemented before but I believe it warns people of a old topic.

Now the best method Im not sure: Should it be based age based of the thread, average view per day, etc?

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Just seems like a lot of work for something that doesn't happen often :s

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I think the original idea is the best one. 

 

Maybe put a link to create a new topic instead of replying to the old one?

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