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Reviving Old Threads - Really?

I've particularly noticed this on the Not About Food and General Topics boards where people have been commenting on threads that are 5 or more years old. Do we really need to rehash if it's OK to bring flowers to grandma? Or if you should run the garbage disposal before the guests leave? or...?

Yes, there are valid opinions, but commenting on a comment that someone made a decade ago seems bizarre to me. I'm not saying get rid of them, but some of these really ought to be locked after maybe 2 years. Or maybe I've just been around 'too long' (not that I'm going anywhere.)

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  1. I generally don't mind, especially if the old thread contains useful information that still might benefit somebody. I think it's preferable to creating a new thread when there are already a number of duplicate threads out there. Sometimes it's even a bit nostalgic and interesting to hear voices that you didn't realize you'd been missing, again.

    1. I like it. The information/thoughts are still useful and it's fun to read through a thread that already has a ton of posts rather than waiting for it to build up.

      1. And if you don't care to read them, they're easy enough to avoid.

        1. We've talked about locking older threads in the regional categories, where the information might be out of date as restaurants open and close and go up or downhill, but in the more topical categories, those discussions tend to be pretty evergreen. If someone has something new to add to an old thread, they're welcome to do that rather than restarting a new discussion on that topic. It's not really likely that the etiquette of bringing flowers to grandma has shifted in the last few years, after all.

          -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

          9 Replies
          1. re: Jacquilynne

            Since we're on the subject of locking threads, Jacquilynne, why don't you lock threads once they get unwieldy, i.e., 500 threads, particularly ones that have gone on to a new edition (#7 instead of #6)?

            1. re: Jay F

              We don't have an automated way of doing any of that, so it would have to be manual, and it would require a lot of keeping track to figure out what to close.

              There's not a clearcut line there, either, where we could say 'lock all threads over 500 posts long' and have Engineering code it up for us. In situations like "What's For Dinner", people start a new discussion to report new dinners, but someone may want a recipe mentioned in a previous WFD discussion, and the best way to ask for it is to reply in that previous discussion. Starting new threads helps keep the old ones from being wildly unwieldy, but it doesn't render them obsolete.

              1. re: Jacquilynne

                I figure that for every recipe that might be contained in an old thread, two more will come along in a new thread. Overall, I'm kind of the opposite of a hoarder.

                1. re: Jay F

                  But there are MANY others - like myself - who disagree with you.

                  And all you need do is just avoid reading those old threads. Simple enough.

                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    I next to never realize I'm in an old thread until I've clicked it open or, often, responded to it.

                    1. re: Jay F

                      But with this new format, you can see the original date before you even click on it. One improvement that is useful to me.

                      1. re: coll

                        The typeface is so tiny, and so gray, it fails to register.

                        1. re: Jay F

                          Now we are just nitpicking. Either make the conscious effort to look or don't.

                          1. re: melpy

                            Sorry. I'm not going to look at the date of each thread before I open it. If TPTB want to use a gray, teeny-tiny typeface on a white background, things are going to be missed.

          2. People may not even realize or care that they're old. They may be popping up in the "Discussions you might also like..." section on the right. Maybe they didn't see it the first time around and think they have something interesting to add. I personally don't mind it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: AmyH

              I've also noticed the opposite,however: open a new thread, and someone attaches the link to the old one. Can either be helpful, or seemingly a mild rebuke ("didn't you check...").

              1. re: pine time

                I'll frequently link an old thread to a new post if it is sinking down the page without any replies and yet I have no first hand knowledge to add. Often, the first reply to a post seems to "break the ice" and other replies start to come in behind it. I would never link to an old thread in someone's post as a rebuke for not searching.