Old Threads With New Posts
- Steve R Nov 25, 2006 12:02 PM
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.
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If the default search were changed to return only results from the past year, there'd be less bumping of ancient, outdated topics.
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?
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.
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.
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.