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Sep 6, 2006 09:07 PM

I just love it when someone posts a comment in a two-year old thread ...

From what I gather, one of the reasons that the site and the moderators allow people to start new threads on frequent and recent topics is that (1) things are always changing and new information is good information and (2) there are new posters on the board who don't always search for threads on frequent/common topics and start there own.

So, we end up with six new threads in two days announcing that SusieCakes is open in Brentwood. O

Ok, I get it ... I'm used to it ... no problemo ...

But, if frequent new threads on common frequent topics are cool, there is no reason to drop in a comment on a thread 464 days old. If we're accepting the premise that things change fast and new threads are valuable, then a short comment in a 16 month old thread is almost definitionally not that valuable -- too much may have changed ... the original poster may not even hold the opinions they originally wrote.

Shoot, it's probably my fault for not checking the time stamp before opening a thread that appears new to me ...

No need to respond, just venting a pet peeve ...

All is well ...

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  1. One of the reasons for the zillion repetitive threads in the past is that the serarch engine was awful and new posts on old threads were difficult to find unless you used Hot Posts. As a result the same information was repeated endlessly because people never read old threads. It was if the whole site had a permanent case of amnesia and had to repeat 8th grade endlessly. Ever seen "Groundhog Day?"

    Things are different now. A new post to an old thread now is immediately visible to everyone. Often there is lots of useful information on old threads and bringing them up to the top is a useful way to share it.

    Of course if things have changed radically by all meant bring that to people's attention.

    17 Replies
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      > Often there is lots of useful information on old threads and bringing them up to the top is a useful way to share it.

      Agreed. I prefer to read fresh reports in the context of what others have said in the past.

      Not the prehistoric past, though, and not page upon page of context. When people bump five-year-old threads that ran 50 posts deep, I wish they'd just started anew.

      1. re: squid kun

        When substantive new discussion gets attached to long and ancient threads or an off-topic digression, you can notify the moderators using the "report this post" feature. They often will split off the new branch with a pointer to the original, which let's the discussion take off anew with an appropriate subject heading. Here's a recent example -

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Good suggestion – I'll try to get in the habit of pointing out that kind of thing.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Your link is a good example of splitting off to a new thread when the discussion starts veering far afield from the original topic; it's the right thing to do and has been utilized in the past.
            I don't believe I've ever seen them redirect to a new topic just because someone made a response to a post that was 1 or more years in the past. That might be a good idea or it might not, but I don't think the moderators have ever made a practice of splitting off a topic based soley on the "age" differences of the replies.

            1. re: gnocchi

              This new topic was split off from an older thread.

              Here's the original thread, which bumped up,

              as noted here.

              You can always report and make the suggestion. It's ultimately the Mods decision.

        2. re: Bob Martinez

          I respectfully disagree.

          You have to take note of the number of days old some of the posts in a thread are before you realize you are even reading an old thread.

          I've read entire threads believing they were new because it wasn't obvious that they were old -- only to realize the posts are 18 months old and only the most recent post, which does nothing more than agree with the last old post, is new.

          And, IIRC, the search engines were not the stated reason by the moderators then or now as to why multiple threads were tolerated. The stated reason was that new users might not have seen the prior posts and because things change fast.

          To each his own, I guess, but if I searched for a topic and only found an 18 month old thread on it, I'd start something new before responding to something old.

          But, it's on me to figure out that threads are old before I sit and read them. Too bad it isn't obvious before you click on them that they are old. Or is it?

          1. re: PaulF

            On the message index, threads that started under the old software show the name of the poster after "posted by" in gray. The newer threads show the poster's name in red.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              That's an excellent tip, btw.

              I never noticed that before and it's really helpful.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I'm not sure that's always true. I think it only shows in gray if the OP has not registered under that name on the new, improved board. Although that's a strong hint in most cases!

                1. re: yayadave

                  Again, I was referring to the way it appears on the message index. If you look at the San Francisco board now, there's a bumped up thread on Free Corkage originated by me that shows my name in gray print.

                  1. re: yayadave

                    No- even if you register the exact same nametag, your posts prior to the software changeover won't have your name underlined.

                    1. re: yayadave

                      As someone said below, the old posts are not indexed by name, even if one of the new registered names was the same as an old one.
                      It would have been impossible to index since there were duplicate names being used on the old site due to the lack of registration requirements. Also some of the old names may have had special characters in them, some posters registered with different names on the new site or used a name that previously had been used by someone else. I can see why they had to start from scratch to guarantee the uniqueness of usernames..

                2. re: Bob Martinez

                  "It was if the whole site had a permanent case of amnesia and had to repeat 8th grade endlessly. Ever seen "Groundhog Day?""

                  Exactly. I wish there were a single thread on Skyway Malaysian Restaurant in New York, for example, so that there was no need to post repeatedly about which dishes are recommended there.

                  1. re: Pan

                    you can reply or not on any thread - anyone who uses this board more than a few times knows that there is rarely a definitive thread and use of the search function is essential. The corollary is that I dont feel as though I have to restate my opinion on every thread on a restaurant unless I have new info to add to the last thing I posted.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      But doesn't it concern you when others repeatedly post opinions you don't agree with? Don't their get more weight? Would that be the case if there WERE "definitive threads"?

                      1. re: Pan

                        It doesn't concern me at all. I'm just here to share whatever chowtips I have. I consider my contribution over after I do that -- I'd rather not be responsible for what other people eat or think.

                  2. re: Bob Martinez

                    Perhaps, but I see just as many or more (feels like more because of the topic-centric format of the board)repetitive posts askin the same questions over and over again. I don't think being able to reply posted 1742 days ago has helped.

                  3. I think the reason for this phenomenon is that the new and improved search feature brings up really old threads with the same frequency as new ones. So, lets say someone just discovered this website and they want to voice their 2 cents about Bistro X. Reluctant to start a new thread, they do a search for Bistro X. The first post that pops up in the search is 500 days old, but being a newbie they are either don't see the time stamp or don't think it's important. So they add their post to the bottom of that thread, completely unaware that they have violated a rule of netiquette.

                    The easiest way to fix this (if the mods feel that it needs to be fixed) would be to configure the search engine default to show posts within the past year.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Morton the Mousse

                      I think that's a really good suggestion. If the default search included a date range, newbies would be aware when they were reading old posts.

                      Probably for every newbie who replies, there are dozens of lurkers who just read the old posts and maybe miss that they're getting possibly outdated recomendations.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        You can sort your search results by date... it sorts them by "hits", but there is an option for sort by date.

                        1. re: Notorious EMDB

                          You're aware of the search options and probably so are Robert and Morton and most of the posters contributing to this thread.
                          But Morton Mousse's point is valid; a site necomer is just going to go with the defaults and view the results ordered by weighted score.

                          1. re: gnocchi

                            I have posted a request in the past for the default view for search results to be "date" instead of "score", but don't know where this stands.

                      2. re: Morton the Mousse

                        Do you think the reason we are seeing this phenomenon is not so much the improved search engine but the fact that any reply "bumps" the old topic to the top? Occasionally I would see replies to long-ago posts on the old Chowhound but they were never that apparent unless you were using HotPosts.

                      3. Paul, hope you read through the dozens of earlier threads on this Site Talk board that have hashed and rehashed this same issue before posting this. (vbg)

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I have -- this was venting, not discussing

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Melanie... off topic, but what does vbg mean?

                              1. re: silence9

                                so... would that be a very big grin, like gritting your teeth and grinning, or a very big grin, like a knowingly teasing grin... again, just curious!

                                1. re: Katie Nell

                                  Hi... Well, I've always employed it to mean "take note that I'm smiling and that though I'm teasing, it is with good intention..".

                          2. I had the same gripe until I had lunch at a place mentioned previously on my region's board. I almost started a new post but what I had to say in my post was rather short (by my standards), the place is so small and kind of out of the way that I was afraid I wouldn't get very much interest in the topic. It seems posts get more attention if there are several replies so I decided to restart the topic to get the ball moving.

                            1. I think if somebody feels they have something to add, let them post it. I posted on a really old post the other day because the restaurant had CLOSED down, and the original post was going on about the food (which didn't matter anymore).

                              Also, suppose it's a cooking thread? Then what? I might have found the perfect way to rescue a recipe and an old post is a better place to put that than starting a new thread, which will not have any history.