Getting my mind around the new setup: new/old posts
OK, so here's something I noticed, and I'm not sure how I feel about. I'm finding it awkward to explain, so bear with me if this isn't too concise.
It's about how posts are ordered on the new boards -- it seems to have to do with when someone last posted to a thread, rather than when it was first posted. Is that right? It's hard for me to get my mind around it. Example: on the outer boros board, someone replied this week to a post from several years ago (about Indian buffets in Jackson Heights). I couldn't tell from looking at the board that it's mostly an old post, I had to click through to the actual post to see the whole thread. It's sort of as if Hot Posts is now integrated into the main board - but at this point I'm finding it less informative, or clunkier, or something else that I can't get my finger on.
Maybe I'll get used to it over time, perhaps I'll come to prefer it. But for now - does anybody understand what I'm talking about, agree, disagree, whatever?
Answering my own question:
When I got home from work and took another look, I noticed that posts were ordered differently than they way they were at work. I now see that you can toggle between wiews: "latest reply" or "date posted". So I guess what I want is to have them arranged by date posted.
A six-month-old topic on Old Port Lobster Shack just appeared at the top of the SF board (in its default "Latest Reply" sort) because somebody replied to it, even though there are a bunch of more recent threads on that place.
I think it would be very, very bad for the board to have this sort of thing going on. One way to avoid that would be for topics to automatically become read-only after a certain number of days with no new posts.
re: Robert Lauriston
Robert, I think the new behavior is preferable because it will allow building up a archive of information about a subject in one place instead of having to search for multiple topics. Agreed, it is a big change from how the board used to act, but in the long run it will be better (so long as there is some way to sort internal to a thread by date posted).
The reason we now have the problem of old threads bubbling to the top when there may be newer thread with better information, it that all of the old threads were imported with the old behavior. Over time the problem will fix itself and the newest information about a subject will be in the threads near the top.
re: Robert Lauriston
Robert, I don't see how this is much different than the old hot posts. For me, that is part of the charm and usefullnes of Chowhound.
Suddenly a post from years ago will appear and often the information is something I can use.
The Old Port Lobster Shack post that you referred to was actually on hot posts a few days ago. I just replied to the poster that the information was outdated and replied that there were lots of glowing posts since that rocky opening day.
I would hate to see Chowhound close posts no matter how old or outdated. That was how I found Chowhound. My first post was a reply to a topic that was months old.
However, in all of cyberspace I found someone who was a kindred spirit. If the topic had been closed, I would have just noted that someone agreed with me and moved on, never to return. While some might think that would have been a good thing ... well, for me I wouldn't have got to know this fabulous community or learned as much as I have.
As someone entirely new, I never would have even known how to start my own post and would have been too shy to create a new post, if you can belive that. I would have thought somone else covered the topic already.
Also, for so many little hole-in-the wall restaurants, this is the only mention that they get. When someone responds to a post like that, it gives us fresh insight into what is happening at that place. I know that is true of some of the odd places I've covered in the East Bay like Point Richmond and Pinole. Suddenly someone from the area catches that post and responds months later.
For me it would be a poorer trove of data at the expense of being the latest and greatest info. IMO, for the most part it helps to build additional information.
Besides, I don't see how this is an either or situation. For the most part, the posts at the top are about recent experiences. So all the latest and greatest is already there. It's not like those posts are clogging the board. It happens infrequently.
I strongly disagree. The Chowhound focus is on the latest news. The most recent thread on a restaurant gives only recent reports.
If we accumulate 200 posts on a restaurant over a couple of years, then the first thing anybody sees will be old news, likely out of date.
Other boards attack that problem as you suggest by archiving old posts in a read-only section of the board after they have been inactive for a specified period. I'd hate to lose the bubble-up feature. It cuts down on duplication and makes the new posts much easier to find.
There are various technical solutions for handling outdated posts, but they all influence the style of the community.