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Nov 25, 2006 12:02 PM

Old Threads With New Posts

I'm getting a major kick out of some verrrrry old threads that are reappearing due to someone not (?) noticing that the back & forth happened years ago and responding to someone that hasnt been around for a long time. On the Outer Boroughs board right now is a thread ("NYC Food Myths") that occured in '02 (Jim started it) and 2 new posters have added short responses to a discussion that was very interesting. Fun reading.

I guess my questions are: a)how do you think that the current new CH's found these threads to begin with (a google on a topic?) and b)should there be a way to more prominently alert posters that the thread is way too old to think that you'll be entering a discussion with those you're responding to?

On the other hand, as I said, I get a kick out of revisiting some fun threads this way. Nice to read some long gone posters again.

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  1. I think people mostly find the old threads using the site's search, which by default searches all results back to day one, and sorts by "score" rather than date.

    If the default search were changed to return only results from the past year, there'd be less bumping of ancient, outdated topics.

    1. Why are the old posts reappearing again after many years?
      I noticed today under New England a post dated in 2002! It seems to me that you scared off a lot of writers since introducing the new format. I happen to like it, but many people are not writing any more. Do they find it difficult? Troublesome? Boring? not sure...How can we get more people to write again?

      1. Something really should be done to lock threads after a certain amount of inactivity so this sort of thing doesn't happen.

        On the other hand, it would be nice to have a sensible way to "bundle" an old thread into a new post more robustly than simply linking it. For instance, a user does a search, finds a good but old thread, and while blocked from replying directly to it, creates a new topic based on it. Above the new post there might be a bubble explaining that the topic is inspired by an old one that begins in such a way and can be read further by clicking a button that expands it onscreen, lightbox-stylee, for all the AJAX people in the house.

        3 Replies
        1. re: hatless

          But it depends to some extent on what kind of thread it is. I mean if it's concerning recipes, that continues to be relevant, and additions to the thread would also be relevant. But I hear what you're saying.

          1. re: prunefeet

            Even on a recipe thread, after a certain point it should be a new thread -- but I think it would be super-valuable to "bundle" the old thread with the new one so that someone reading the old thread would be invited to pop open the old one that inspired it, and vice-versa.

            It would keep the old info in circulation while still maintaining a clear demarcation between old discussions and current ones. This is a message board, not a wiki or a recipe database.

            1. re: hatless

              I personally love old topics judiciously bumped

              I think it depends on the board and the topic
              HomeCooking is much more ripe for seasonal bumping of threads
              The bundling would be great, but we don't have that now
              unless individuals link back in new postings

          1. I really don't find it a hardship to check the date of the first post in a thread. There is plenty of good information on the site, things that are still valid, and it was our collective loss that this wasn't readily accessible under the old software. Now it is and I'm happy aobut it.

            When an old thread surfaces if people have any concerns that the information might not be accurate then it's an easy thing to run the search engine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bob Martinez

              The new search is in most ways great, but its default settings encourage newbies to respond to years-old threads rather than current ones.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                We've just had another rash of old topics bumped up on the Boston board. If the default was set so that newer topics come first, that would probably solve 99.999% of the problem.