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Aug 23, 2006 04:43 PM

Time Limit for Responding to Old Threads

On the LA board today, someone has posted several responses to comments made to year-old (or longer) posts. Mostly, the new comments are very brief and add little to the discussion. But until you open the post, there is no way to realize that the first 10 posts in the thread are extemely old.

Isn't there some way to set a limit on responding to old threads? If someone has something significant to say about a place, there's nothing wrong with starting a new thread. But bumping up an ancient thread to tack on an "I agree" or "I disagree" doesn't help readers that much.

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  1. As if this is really causing you that much pain or problem. are not the only person on here...others may find old posts helpful. We're talking a matter of seconds for you to open a post and realize it is old...get over it!

    3 Replies
    1. re: AlliantK

      Actually, on the LA board today, there is someone going through a bunch of old posts and doing this. In most cases, there are dozens of more recent threads about the restaurants. By the sixth or seventh thread responding to comments that are 600 days old, it gets rather annoying.

      And, apparently, I'm not the only person who finds it annoying.

      1. re: AlliantK

        The resurgence of old threads to the top of the page most definitely distracts from my enjoyment of the site. I am a regular poster on the Los Angeles board, and I can't tell you the number of times I've seen a thread on this or that restaurant, only to click on it and realize the information is two or three years old, with a singular new post that bumped the old (and often outdated) thread to the top of the board.

        If a person wants to reference an old post (I do it all the time, as there are many GREAT older threads with timeless writing), then do it by a link -- people can still have the benefit of the older info in the context of a current post or inquiry.

        I am ALL FOR locking and/or archiving older threads. Most of the other websites I post on do this. If you want to read them, they are still there for reference, but they can't be dredged up to the top of the board again.

        1. re: DanaB

          Doesn't annoy me in the least. Sometimes I'm shocked when I see a three-year-old post that I contributed to staring me in the face, but as others in this thread have mentioned, it contributes more than it takes away, usually. Linking to the thread, as you say, is another good way to handle it. As Bob Martinez mentioned, those of us who used to use Hot Posts were used to this behavior.

      2. We were thinking the same thing.

        AlliantK. Take a look at these posts. You can always look at the old posts but to have them at the top of the board is ridiculous.

        My suggestion is instead of replying to these old posts, create a new thread maybe with a link to the old one. Wow 610 days old, I remember reading that thread almost 2 years ago!

        1. Besides the tip for changing your settings to "date started" instead of "latest reply", the threads that started before the new software was implemented show the originator's name in grey instead of red. If you really want to avoid older posts, it's easy to not open those, but you might miss something worthwhile.

          1. I hate to say this, because I'm sure people like me annoy you, but if I remember an old thread where we discussed something that hasn't had much discussion elsewhere, I will search for it and post to it when I find an update. Like this post from 2005 asking for chowish options in a particular suburb:


            A couple of weeks ago I learned that there was going to be a change at Mac's, so I posted about it in the old thread so that the next person to search on the Midwest board for chowish options in this suburb would have the most current data. And, since the thread was floating about at the top of the forum, you can see Paz took the opportunity to post in it about a restaurant that had opened since 2005. And so on.

            Here's the thing: I've seen multiple complaints on "site talk" about people (newcomers, usually) who post questions without searching first. But, if we don't add new information to the old threads, then all newcomers will get in their searches is out of date information and we'll all be less inclined to use the search function. So, why not resurrect old threads on occasion?


            6 Replies
            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Well said. Assuming that the information in an old thread is valid then it makes tremendous sense to have new information in one spot rather than scattered around in dozens of threads.

              Those of us who used Hot Posts on the old board always noticed those additions. Now with the new software everyone else is seeing them too.

              1. re: Bob Martinez

                there are plenty of old threads that are useful info troves and are worth updating. Personally I appreciate it.

                I do think that people ought to restrain themselves from posting the very same opinions on every conceivable relevant thread. This is really a kind of spam, and very annoying and unneccessary, since the threads come up through a search and the next searcher will see the new post on one thread - it doesnt need to be on all.

              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                I see your point, but let me offer a different possibility. Why couldn't you start a new thread "Some news about Roseville" or "Changes at Mac's in Roseville" where you said what you wanted to add and provided a link to the old thread? Anyone doing a search for Roseville would find your posts.

                I also think that adding to an old thread makes a bit more sense on a board where there might only be a few posts about a particular location. But on the LA board, where there are much more recent threads about some of the topics that have been bumped (such as the ubiquitous debate over the sushi at Nozawa), it makes no sense to have additions to two- to three-year old posts.

                1. re: Jwsel

                  True, under your scenario where I instead create a new thread "Changes at Mac's in Roseville," anyone doing a search for Roseville would find both my "newly-created" thread with the update as well as the old one with the out-of-date information. But, why have two threads when one will do?

                  Furthermore, anyone who stumbled across the "newly-created" thread could follow the link to the old thread that I inserted in my newly-created one. But, if somehow, you just stumbled across the old thread, you wouldn't have a link to the updated information. So, isn't it better to update the old one? Also, obviously, under your scenario, I would have to find the old thread to grab the link so I could put it in my new thread; it just seems easier to update the old one while I'm there. And if I'm going to do that, why create the new one at all?

                  Furthermore, the fact that I bumped the old "Roseville" thread to the topic of the forum by adding new information to it caused someone else (Paz) to realize that there was a great new restaurant in Roseville (not Mac's) that wasn't mentioned in the old thread, so he went ahead and added the information about that new restaurant to the old thread.

                  The process of reviewing the "old" thread is what teased out this new information out of Paz. Of course, instead of posting in the old thread, he could have started yet another thread, i.e., A THIRD THREAD. But, isn't it nice to have all the most current Roseville info in one thread instead of three?

                  I'm not saying this works for every situation, but if you locked all the old threads, then this is no longer a possibility.

                  While I understand the LA board has a lot more volume than the Midwest board, I can find examples on other active boards where the bumping the old thread is still helpful, like this one on the San Francisco board:



                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Instead of "locking" old threads and shutting down future input, and instead of just relying on a sorting of threads based on the most recent posting, a compromise would be to offer the option of sorting thread topics by some sort of AVERAGE date of the postings.

                    That way, really old threads with one fresh response would still allow future input, but people who prefer to read only fresh topics could choose to see threads with only recent average dates at the top of the list.

                    1. re: Benny Choi

                      I recommend for any of you to look at any of the numerous discussion boards using Invision software. There are ways in which this software is superior (I love the simplicity of using the back arrow on this site, for example), but one thing that Invision does well is to divide threads into pages (30 posts per page) and put every post in each thread in chronological order. In addition, there is an arrow or another icon which can be clicked in order to start look at a thread where the new posts (posted since you last logged in) start. I think that in a future version of the software for this site, some version of the more useful features that Invision has developed should be built in.

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