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Why don't people pay attention to thread dates.....?????

On my local board I just saw someone respond to a thread that someone posted about moving to my state and what are some of the better dining towns in this state as that would play into thier consideration on where to move. Someone responded today to this inquiry which was originally made in 2009!! Does the poster today really think the people have been waiting to move for 3 years till they get the perfect response??

Why don't people pay attention to details??

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  1. For the same reason they don't use the search function or even scroll down to see what's already been posted, and ask the same questions over and over and over..... or use a spell checker....

    This should probably be on Site Talk.

    2 Replies
    1. re: acgold7

      LOL I didn't know there was a site talk board!! Did I just violate my own rant?

    2. Updated info is sometimes useful for future readers...

      2 Replies
        1. re: CallAnyVegetable

          Yes, and prevents a proliferation of threads all about the exact same place.

        2. Chowhound isn't a question and answer service, here to help only the person who asks a question. Our goal for Chowhound is to create a resource of use to everybody, including posters who may just read along. While an answer may not help the original poster on the thread, it will likely help the many people who use Chowhound today, or find Chowhound via a search engine in the future.

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            That explains why the Chowhound Team allows people to comment on old threads and answer old questions and the explanation makes sense. It's a reasonable policy.

            But it doesn't explain why someone feels compelled to answer an old question posed in an old thread.

            The OP isn't wondering about a post that says "I know this thread is old, but others interested in new information might like to know about Cafe ABC." The OP is wondering why someone reads "I'll be in Los Angeles this coming weekend, where should I eat?" and decides to respond, as if the poster is coming back.

            In other words, it makes sense that it's allowable to respond to an old thread. It doesn't make as much sense as to why people do it.

          2. Well, I've been a part of Chowhound since 2003, so I personally love seeing my old posts reactivated with current or new information.

            Mr Taster

            3 Replies
            1. re: Mr Taster

              I agree, to a point. It's troublesome when the reviving is done by someone who clearly hasn't bothered to read the previous posts and merely submits something that has been asserted several times before.

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  I agree.

                  But there is a difference between having an old review brought back to the top of the board with new information and someone responding to a specific, time-pegged question from years gone by. I like to stuff I've written become relevant again, too. (Rice in a burrito anyone?)

                  At least that's how I see the question posed in the original post of this thread.

                2. I enjoy seeing posts revived about relevant sitations or places. Seeing how certain restaurants etc. have progressed over the years. However when someone posts " Looking for an Itailan Restaurant for Dinner Tonight in the Edison NJ area...April 7th 2010".....and someone responds today "I know a good place Tony's on Park Ave"....July 13, 2012......what good is that doing anyone? If Tony's is such a good place start a thread about your experience(s) there....but just tagging onto a thread that's two years old just annoys me.

                  Like I said on the NJ board today a person was looking to relocate to NJ and wanted to know area's for hot spots for dining...this was going to factor in their decision making process....good for them. Someone responds today giving them suggestions.....but the thread is 3 years old. If you love where you live because the dining is so great start a new thread and write to your hearts content.......but why respond to a question that is clearly past it's point of usefulness. Just my $.02 (Oh I also agree with MGZ). Happy chowin peeps !!!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    Threads are read by many, many people in addition to the original poster. So information about Italian Restaurants in Edison NJ is still useful, even if that one poster has already made their reservations.

                    Sometimes it might make more sense to start another thread, but especially for new people, it can seem more welcoming to answer a question with a recommendation than to dive right in with a new thread. We want people to feel welcome to post here in a variety of ways.

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      and if someone wanted to know that today, they'd be lambasted by folks for not doing a search, reading and contributing to the old thread. I've seen it happen.

                      1. re: wyogal

                        "and if someone wanted to know that today, they'd be lambasted by folks for not doing a search, reading and contributing to the old thread."

                        Exactly! Many times it is a no-win situation.

                        1. re: Fowler

                          I agree. Questions are often 'answered' by someone reprimanding and suggesting that the poster should perform a search to get their answer.

                    2. Most people who search a topic in a site like this and find relevant results including the restaurant, area, wine, etc that they were researching will assume that the top results are the most recent ones. That's why they aren't looking at dates.

                      1. If threads were only about timely responses to the people who start them, then there'd be no point in keeping any thread more than a week or two. And if a topic interests a Hound long after the original poster has moved on, so what? I don't understand why this is a problem.

                        1. I am agreeing with the majority of the replies here. And yes NJ board is my home.

                          First, we have all seen this and probably done it ourselves, people don't read the fine print, nor do they read the other comment. They just jump in and answer the OP. They don't look to the date, nor if the other comments, said what they just replied.

                          Second, people for some reason find creating a new post easier than searching. Weird, yes, but people is people.

                          Lastly, information is information, so even a month, a year, several years, information in a Thread here can inform others.

                          And remember, only YOU are in control of your keyboard and mouse, so if it bothers you, don't click on the topic.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Quine

                            Just so YOU know I am unaware of how to tell when a threads original post date is without opening the thread first. If you see a thread / topic show up under today’s date it shows the last posters handle and how long ago they commented on the subject but not when the thread was originally posted…..for that you must open the topic and read it to see the date. That makes it rather difficult to just ignore them.

                            Again I think most miss my point…..my point is just on time sensitive threads. If someone is asking for information for a specific date/time….once that date and time has passed any contributions aren’t really a benefit to the OP’s request/question. So why burry your opinions or information on that thread…..if you have something you felt was worth contributing about a restaurant (for example) do a search see if there is a thread specific to that restaurant (that wasn’t a time specific request) and make your comment there. If you can’t find another thread about it start a new one!! In my opinion that would be a better use of your information.

                            I have no problem with people commenting on old non time sensitive threads at all. Keep updating that is what this site is about.

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              It has been well said and explained that, there is GOOD information in such posts, even if the date has past on for the OP. I read a post, almost a year later, the OP came back and reported on the suggestions that were made to the OP. That is VALUABLE information, that would be lost by your directive. I myself have a post or two, that was time sensitive, but when a new comment pops up, I get new information, since it still matters for me. (i.e. Asked for BBQ suggestions for Mother's day.) I am still interested in hearing of good BBQ suggestions.

                              So big deal if you open a thread, read a post (and since the time specific wasn't in the topic title, oh too bad, people are like that, hey sometimes they even post on the wrong board) then, see the date has past. Lost a minute of life? Maybe learned something? You are still the only one in charge of your keyboard and mouse, if it's an old time specific thread, click away, click away.

                              But you still aren't getting the point that everyone here is telling you, just because you think your way is the best, most correct way to use CH boards for information, doesn't make it that way for others, nor does it change people's behavior. People will *always* open an old post, not read the date made nor read any other comments and just answer. That will never change.

                              1. re: Quine

                                “But you still aren't getting the point that everyone here is telling you, just because you think your way is the best, most correct way to use CH boards for information, doesn't make it that way for others, nor does it change people's behavior”

                                What point am I not getting? I haven’t chastised or argued with anyone for their opinion I have just tried to clarify the “time sensitive” aspect of my post since it seemed several people thought I was trying to suggest doing away with all older posts which was NOT my point or intention at all. Several people have disagreed most recently Chris VR…..am I trying to convince him or anyone my way is better?

                                I was simply stating what I thought in my opinion would help people get their post(s) or opinions noticed more by not posting on stale dated time specific threads, that’s all.

                                I thought one of the reasons for this forum was for the open discussion of idea’s and opinions. Not to be lectured on who is responsible for clicking their threads or whose opinions are right or wrong. It’s a discussion…..I’m not claiming to be right I’m not claiming to be wrong…..just stating my opinion.

                              2. re: jrvedivici

                                Honestly, I think you're making far too much of the date stamp, even on time sensitive threads. I've read dozens and dozens of threads that helped me in one way or another, even if the original thread is several years old, and a lot of them have been.I've posted questions at the last minute hoping for help that didn't come in time for what I was hoping to get helped with, but the subsequent answers have been valuable anyway. If it bothers you to read old threads that appear time-sensitive, you should try to avoid them.

                                1. re: EWSflash

                                  Same here. Someone may have the exact same question weeks months or even years later. Very many times here they are already answered before I asked them by people whose responses fell outside the original timeframe

                                  I absolutely loathe the auto locking policy of places like Trip Advisor. Leads to multiple threads asking exactly the same questions, over and over and over, and no way to update old information in the old threads.

                            2. I am agreed with those noting the benefits of updates. However, if someone feels compelled to resurrect a long gone post with 500 responses simply to write 'lol', I would ask for maybe a moment to reflect on this decision.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Lizard

                                Feel the same!

                                Not that we should have strict rules and regulations about the threshold for posting, but thoughtful and informative responses would make the boards more useful than simply adding chat and noise, and we'd all benefit.

                                1. re: Lizard

                                  If it's a post that truly contains no information at all, please flag it, and we'll usually remove them. Repeating previous answers is fine (may not add things, but reinforces them), but we will consider taking down totally content free posts that are bumping age-old threads.

                                  1. re: Lizard

                                    Well, that's true, although I may have done that before I realized how old the post was, but if it was interesting to me I'm glad to bump it up to the top.

                                  2. acgold just described me.
                                    sometimes I'm in a hurry and don't have time to read responses.
                                    searching often times doesn't work no matter how many ways info is input.
                                    spell check-I have sausage fingers on my iPhone, I've admitted that.
                                    the screen is small and by the time it's posted and I read it later it's all messed up.
                                    I do think old threads can bring new light to some and an interest to others.

                                    1. Wait, what about the benefits? Without a thread history individual CH's would not have a track record for which many fellow CH's read and rely upon as someone to follow. Without a history, our posts would be cut way back as well. For some that would mean a significant loss of review history on their home board contributions.

                                      History, developing a following, checking back, etc. these are all navigational ways inwhich we enjoy this community. A few LOL's, plus 1's and thank you's isn't going to shorten my lifespan but losing the collective history of a thread would change the enjoyment.

                                      1. Really you can't win. One example: when a poster asks a question, but doesn't comment on any of the replies, I view that with suspicion. But when a poster asks a question and then comments on EVERY reply, it annoys me. LOL.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. Frankly, I LOVE it when folks respond to old threads. We're all here for information, aren't we? And sometimes an old thread that I've never seen before will have nuggets of great info.

                                          And there's an easy fix to not being annoyed by folks dredging up old posts - don't read them.

                                          1. I just did it, not five minutes ago. I made my brilliant post, hit save, and saw it was a 2008 thread. Got it off the latest Chowhound posts. Here it is:


                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: James Cristinian

                                              See, but you didn't bump the discussion. Someone else bumped it up to the top first with their question about yogurt. Do you think they should have started a new thread?

                                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                Another confusing thing that happens is that someone will start a new thread, but reference an old one. Someone then adds onto the old one which bumps it so it becomes current. Then you have two threads, similar topics going at the same time, one from long ago and one current.

                                            2. I won't get annoyed by little things like this. It isn't harming anyone.

                                              1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/769016

                                                Ok here is an excellent example. As you can see the original post is from Feb. 2011 and they are asking for help for their wedding in March of the following year. (Or March that passed 4 months ago).

                                                Today someone posts this as a recommendation “Try the Colonial Inn of Norwood NJ,”
                                                I just think if the responder read the topic and realized he is 4 months past the reason for the post started a new thread like this

                                                Start New Thread
                                                Topic: Looking for small affordable Banquet/Wedding Hall try Colonial Inn!

                                                Body: I read a post today of someone looking for a small affordable location for their wedding. While I’m a few months late in helping them if anyone else is in a similar situation try the Colonial Inn….etc. etc. etc. etc.

                                                I think that does both the location owners you are looking to recommend and us the searchers more of a benefit than just responding to a long gone time specific thread.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                  I disagree. If I were searching for an affordable wedding location and came across a comprehensive thread with a bunch of recommendations, both older and newer, I woud feel that's much more useful than a thread with one post. Especially when a new post made to an old thread makes that thread rise to the top of people's My CHOW lists and perhaps prompts them to make a post-event followup.

                                                  Now, if that Colonial Inn-specific thread then grew into a thread with input from a variety of posters who had weddings at Colonial Inn, it would be much more useful. I suppose the best way to do that would be to put a post on the older thread linking to the newer thread, but that assumes people will follow it and give their input on the new thread and not the old thread (which is now bumped). There's really no clear answer to this issue.

                                                  1. re: Chris VR

                                                    I agree with Chris VR. There have been quite a few threads that I have read, old ones, time specific, where commenters came back into the thread to update the information that they made in the first place. These usually say "went back this weekend and had found the place, changed hands, chef/closed/went downhill/moved/is now called etc." Good info. Most people do not do the academic, research, source and cite, search, create new thread, and link posts, and create new topics. What they almost always do is just add a comment on the original post.
                                                    And what of the reader? They see this new one, then have to refer back to the old one, and well, then it becomes a hassle then what? They stop reading? Looking? CHing?

                                                  2. re: jrvedivici

                                                    Well, apparently a lot of us respectfully disagree.

                                                  3. For me, I just joined last week. Spent the weekend (holed up in the house due to severe thunderstorms) going back to the last page (636, back in 1997) and reading backwards. I think I'm at page 607 now. Interesting to see how the board has evolved from the beginning. Really enjoying my Chowhound time travel and getting a hint of personalities on the boards. I may have responded to some old threads because something relevant to it popped into my head and I didn't stop and think, "Hey, I'm still in 1999 threads ..." If I committed a faux pas, please forgive.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: AngelaID

                                                      Wow, I've not thought to do that...time travel this community. I bet that would be interesting.

                                                      Welcome to CH, AngelaID!

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        Well, almost three weeks now and I'm at page 390! (On General Topics) Thanks for keeping this insufferable insomniac company at night.

                                                      2. re: AngelaID

                                                        Hahahaha…..yes that is an interesting way to get yourself acclimated to the boards. Please do not take anything I said as a discouragement from you exploring and commenting on any threads you find interesting. Unless of course you are commenting on a post from 1999 on a restaurant that closed in 2001…..then I’m not sure we need the review. (Hey there is concept for a new board…..our favorite long lost locations.)

                                                        Anyway please enjoy your experience and continue to contribute!!

                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                          "Unless of course you are commenting on a post from 1999 on a restaurant that closed in 2001…..then I’m not sure we need the review. "

                                                          Over the years I've seen folks comment on old threads about (now) closed places with the comment "If you liked that place then you really need to try _________" and the result has been a new place for me to dine at. Sometimes folks will chime in to say "Does anyone know of a place like this old favorite that is closed now" and that will get some board regulars to chime in with new suggestions. It all depends on serendipity. And that's never a bad "dip" to bring to the party.

                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                            If you're really interested in the history of the board, take a trip backwards in the wayback machine to the time when it was run by two people (Jim Leff and Bob Okamura) and a handful of volunteers.


                                                            I loved that stark black and white splash "manifesto" screen. Once I read it, I knew I belonged here. However, I'm sure it alienated too many people to satisfy the corporate tastes of the new owners.

                                                            In 2006 the site was sold to CNET, and once Jim's legal muzzle expired, he began recording his outrageously fascinating account of the near demise and eventually sale of this lovely beast he created.


                                                            For a long time a corporate "neutered" version of the manifesto existed with a small link at the bottom of the screen, but it seems to be gone now. A while back I did a ridiculously detailed analysis of the old vs. new manifesto:


                                                            Mr Taster

                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                              Wow- thanks for this treasure trove. I've not seen any of it, but soon will.

                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                Whew! What a fabulous trip down memory lane that was. I had forgotten, “Joisey and Lawn Guyland” on the Tri-State board, and “where the good stuff is… for those willing to trek.” on the Outer Boroughs board. Not to mention, “cut to the chow!!!”
                                                                Thanks for sharing those links Mr Taster. Oh, and Lynx, ugh!

                                                          2. One of the best things CH provides is INFORMATION.
                                                            Would it be a terrible site adjustment if threads from previous years had (YYYY) after the title? Then we would know, and we could decide independently.

                                                            I know that I would "probably" still post on
                                                            Best KitchenAid Attachments (2006)

                                                            but would only ~read~
                                                            BBQ Mother's day? (2010)

                                                            Knowing the date of the last post, actually, doesn't tell me much.
                                                            As an aside, I try Really Hard not to comment on any thread that exceeds 500 posts, especially if it was generated more than 2 years ago.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                              Kris, I think that such and addition would have to be manually edited in by TPTB, and even if it could be done via a software patch, I think the chances of it happening are zilch to nada.

                                                              I know that some mindful folks, do place a date in the topic header, so that it will be there without doubt. Perhaps, everyone here who finds this of value can start doing that and maybe it will propagate.

                                                            2. On boards that I follow most, Home Cooking and General, the revival of old threads is mostly done by new posters. Out of curiosity I've sometimes asked how they came to be posting on that thread - though I've learned to do that with caution, lest it be misunderstood as questioning their right to post here.

                                                              My guess is that people do a general web search on a topic, which gives them an old post. They then register and add their comments, without noticing the date. Then a regular poster sees the new post, and responds, again without noticing the date. I've done that some times, especially if it appears on my profile page. Sometimes I've written a reply, only to realize later that I'd written essentially the same thing 3 years earlier.

                                                              Apart from locking old threads I don't think CH can do much about this. The CH search function already defaults to searching only 1 year back.

                                                              12 Replies
                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                Or, like moi, they notice someone has revived a very old thread with an on topic response, notice how old it is, and reply to the new addition anyway.

                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                  But if you look down at the bottom and see the related posts, you'll dredge up some similar threads that may be pretty old if you click on them.

                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                    On Home Cooking, I do just what you describe. If it is rutabaga season and I'm interested in new ways to prepare them, I'll do a search, come up with a pertinent thread, read it, and possibly respond if I have useful information. I think the age of the post is not terribly important, not like a restaurant review that may be meaningless years from now. And better to revive an old thread then start another on rutabagas, as an example.

                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                      As you say, Home Cooking topics can be timeless.

                                                                      I'm more concerned that the new poster will expect the dialog to pickup where it left off 3 years ago, and the OP is no longer around.

                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                      is a new example of a new poster pulling up an old thread (with original date of 2003).

                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                        Another reason old posts might be coming back is the "suggested threads you might like" on the right. They are often old threads. As revival of old threads, especially on HC, it doesn't really matter to me. A good tip is a good tip. And, even if the OP had been looking for a dinner party that is long over, does it matter if someone posts another idea? As has been said many times, the thread is providing information to everyone, not just the OP.

                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                          An clues as to how far back the system does the search? Given that the default search is 1 yr, I would expect this 'suggested' feature does the same. But I haven't looked at them enough.

                                                                          Another revival that I just got on my profile page is about scrambled eggs from 2006. Again it was a new poster. I haven't noticed any other current scrambled eggs threads.

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            No, just as a quick check, I pulled up the new lobster salad thread.


                                                                            One of the links on the suggested thread is from 2009, on best potato salad. It would be easy to get pulled into an old discussion, given that the suggestions are on current threads.


                                                                            The other thing is google gives you threads, and they can go way back. I think there was a new poster who was called on it once and the person said she found it through google. Whatever way, good scrambled eggs tips are good scrambled scrambled eggs tips, regardless of year.

                                                                            There was an old thread on unusual things dipped in chocolate, eg potato chips. It was a fun read because many of the items on the list are now commonly available.

                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                              Here's an old one that was suggested on a recent thread. It's the cabbage question:


                                                                              Suggested thread (from 2006) on the right:


                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                While the OP of the suggested one is 2006, there are posts as recent as May 2012. So it could turn up in a 1 yr search. Still it is a good example of the long life of some Home Cooking threads.

                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                  I wonder if the recent posts to the old threads are as a result of the thread being under "suggested" topics. Either way, I don't think there is a lifespan to cooking for the most part, even if it's about a party or dinner that's come and gone.

                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                    Two single thread posters (this thread obviously) resurrected this thread in 2010. nitegracee first and then Size38pants. After that it took on a life of it's own as regular CH poster/contributors chimed in and kept it going (either not realizing or not caring that the OP was from 2006).

                                                                                    This phenomena of someone turning up an old thread off of a search and not realizing how old it is and then registering for CH and posting to the thread they "discovered" is called "Googling In" from the concept of someone flying in or parachuting into the middle of a locale, they know not where, while lost in space and time.

                                                                        2. Folks, it's fine for people to discuss this, but please try to avoid nitpicking each other's opinions. There are plenty of forums out there that come down on either side of the issue of bumping old threads vs. starting new ones and there are plenty of good arguments in favor of both sides, so no one is being unreasonable in arguing in either direction. Our official policy remains 'post and let post' -- people can choose to bump threads, or they can choose to start new threads, as they prefer, and the next person can make a different decision.

                                                                          1. A big part of it is the site structure. I've been given "similar post" suggestions that quite often predate when I joined the board, so if I click on them, it looks like a brand-new posting (unlike posts I've read before, which will be compressed). If you're not paying close attention to the dates, you can accidentally end up commenting on a three or four year old thread.

                                                                            I think this is the only forum I've participated on that does this - others either lock threads after a certain inactive period, or don't bring up ancient suggestions.

                                                                            1. For years, Hounds have been asking to have the original date of a thread included whenever it is revived by a new comment, but TPTB have not seen fit to do that. So someone, a while back, suggested including the date of the thread in its title. I have tried to remember to do that ever since, if my OP is time-sensitive. IF frequent posters could get into the habit of putting the initiation date into their titles, it might eventually become de rigeuer and even if not, it would stop those who do not want to participate in Lazarus threads from doing so.

                                                                              I recall a couple of years ago reading a longish restaurant thread, getting more and more excited about the reviews of a nearby restaurant with which I was unfamiliar. I was all set to go that very day until I got to the last posts, announcing that the place had closed. Only then did I realize the thread was several years old. My own fault, but even though I am aware of the date issue I do not always pay attention. In this case, reading that thread was a complete waste of a half hour.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                >>For years, Hounds have been asking to have the original date of a thread included whenever it is revived by a new comment, but TPTB have not seen fit to do that.<<

                                                                                Site Admin?? Any comments?
                                                                                I realize that "why can't they just" questions really can require some pretty involved programming... but still.

                                                                                Somehow, dates-on-post-titles seems like a site function, not a request a site's users would have to make of other users.

                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                  Adding to the title would probably affect the layout.

                                                                                  But I think with a touch of basic CSS, it could be included as "hover" information when you hover over a thread title, which would save having to actually open the thread to find the info.

                                                                                  1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                    Can you elaborate on "affect the layout"?
                                                                                    I was thinking-- probably naively -- that since a Short title Length does not seem to be required, adding 4 digits, or the 4 digits plus the 2 parenthesis (YYYY) wouldn't exceed any space limits.

                                                                                    As I am usually online on a handheld screen, I dislike "hover over." Of course, that could be another reason to clamor for an app!!

                                                                                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                      I think adding a date to the title would result in visual clutter. IMHO.

                                                                                2. Another option instead of a hover - we have a little "New" icon, why not an "old" icon for anything over 6 months old ? Or something like that?