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How to decrease Zombie Threads: collapse everything that's more than 4 years old!!

Does anyone think that MAYBE that would decrease the resuscitation of ancient threads?

As an example-- if I were to open a "you might like" suggested post and then see that it was all already grayed out, I might be more likely to notice that the thread is from, oh, 2008!

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  1. Other than time-sensitive topics like restaurant reviews/recs, I am glad to see Lazarus threads, as they consolidate the discussion of a given topic rather than scattering it to the winds with multiple redundant threads.

    I make a point of checking the original date when I open a thread so this is not an issue for me.

    3 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Hmm, maybe do something with old posts on regional boards?

      1. re: greygarious

        I love when VERY old threads are resurrected.

        There is deep history for a few things, and when they surface I silently shout YAY!

        When they reference closed restaurants? No.

        When they bring new conversation, I say YAY!

        1. re: greygarious

          I get caught mostly when I'm on the small screen, where those details aren't listed
          by the Sidebar/Bottom YouMightLike/ Recc'd Threads

        2. Been down this road before. There is a great deal of support for old topics. There's just no good way to get people to realize they're replying to one where their post is pretty useless. Sometimes it's intentional.

          1. Old threads can still be relevant. If it's the same question why not just resurrect an old thread?

            1. So- I'm the only one who is MORTIFIED when I add a casual "oh my gosh me too" or even something significantly more substantial to a thread that's from 2009? 2003!?
              C'mon people-- I can read.
              I've been tasked, and I see it all the time, by replies like
              "Since this thread is four years old, she probably figured out what to do."
              Or is it some tiny validation of pride(?) to snark at a probable newbie?

              14 Replies
              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                I've seen comments like that before and I think it just reflects that people have different opinions about the resurrection of old threads. For me, if a thread already exists and you have substantial information to contribute or a similar question then it makes sense to just resurrect it. I have searched plenty of old threads and found the information that I needed so they are worthwhile. I'm not sure why people get worked up about old threads. In some instances, the issue is when someone resurrects an old thread and asks a direct question to someone who has posted in that thread who likely is no longer on Chow. In addition to the comments above, there are comments from the other side of the camp which consist of links to old threads suggesting that you search and post on old threads before posting a new thread of the same topic.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  Agreed. I think based on the wealth of information found in old threads and the cross-referencing of other threads, I've been hesitant to start a new topic in fear that I overlooked my search results and am creating a redundant thread.

                  For instance, instead of starting a new thread, I just contributed to someone else's thread who had a similar situation. For people who want to build on knowledge, I feel like posting on an old existing thread makes it easier to find and is a nice compilation.

                  But based on my very limited experience, it seems like if you're asking a specific question, it'll fare better on a new thread than posting on an existing or old thread, even if it's similar. Perhaps people are only encouraged to respond to new topics that don't have as many responses yet.

                2. re: Kris in Beijing

                  You can Flag those snarky replies, and we'll delete them.

                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                    Ya mean like my snarky response where Kris in Bejing types : " I'm on the small screen, where those details aren't listed " and I make fun of someone with a ...umm... "small device."

                    I still laugh at that one. (Nothing personal) :-)

                    I read thread dates. Most others do too I bet . Well- unless you have a small device. Again, it doesn't get old. LOLZ

                    CBS Interactive does not do post counts so there is nothing to gain by dredging up an old thread other than seeking more knowlege or not knowing any better.(Am I right CBS Interactive and mods?)

                    Listen to any talk radio cooking show or link to any food forum ( I do both on the weekend) and you'll still get a lot of the same quesitons asked.
                    New folks wanting to get into cooking. Old recipes that folks are unsure of.

                    Hell, 2008?

                    I cook out of cookbooks from the 1950's and some from the 1920's

                    ZOMG , they had printing presses back then? WTF?
                    Damn you Gutenberg and Bi Sheng.

                    Sounds like you want a "trending" catagory vs. what the rest of us see as topics. Don't like a topic? Don't click and move on.
                    It's amazing how well that works.
                    I do it ALL the time.

                    Or maybe it's my morning coffee.

                    But I still love you all -- <3
                    And you knew that.

                    1. re: jjjrfoodie

                      Hmmmmm... sounds like a personal problem to me!! (and a smallll one, at that)

                    2. re: The Chowhound Team

                      Hey, Team:

                      What's snarky about pointing out pointing out that the poster is directly responding an OP about something truly stale and useless, like what to have for dinner tonight or which frypan he/she should buy for a friend's wedding--in 2008?

                      I perfectly understand how it might be *expressed* in a snarky way, but to just broadly state that you're going to encourage the whole snitching/poofing is just a return to the overmoderation of the past. I thought we'd moved on from that.


                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        But the people who posted back in 2008 aren't probably reading it today but people who are interested will find it.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Hi, c oliver:

                          Um, who could possibly be interested in getting the OP an "answer", when he/she decided 6 years ago?

                          Now, I understand when it occasionally happens that the new poster asks something like: "Well, what'd you decide? I have the same issue." There's arguably some value there, provided the OP is still around.

                          But frankly it's sheer foolishness to tell the OP to get A when it's obvious the Conestoga wagon is already in Oregon.

                          I confess that I have a few times missed the cobwebs, and replied directly to an mouldering thread's OP as if it was current. This happens a lot here whenever someone makes the initial error, thereby bumping the thread and tempting more entries where angels fear to tread. Ultimately, IMO it dilutes the useable content by burying current content and sheer repetition.

                          It's still foolishness, and I appreciated others pointing out mine to me when I've done it.


                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            My point, poorly explained, is that someone TODAY may be considering some piece of cookware and the post is helpful.

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              I have to add, as much as zombie posts sometimes bother me, that the way most posters seem to function here............ the timing of previous posts doesn't seem to have much impact on many people. They post to whatever the bottom post is (sometimes they'll read up-topic a bit), regardless of the original topic question or the timeline of posts. It could be a lack of understanding of the structure of the boards, or simply a desire to get into a conversation (old or new), or sincere interest in contribution something regardless of timing.That's just been my observation here.

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Can you comment onmy answer on the "Stop me from helping" thread?
                                See, this is how I felt too, until about a week ago.
                                However, with this thread and my own Zombie Resuscitation thread, I have had my mind changed.

                                The OP is irrelevant beyond being an introduction to a topic.
                                Want a non-fish dinner for tomorrow's 2014 Fathers' Day at a comfortable chain restaurant for 80yr old Dad?
                                Don't expect any topically relevant answers (although you may get 2 or 3 in the beginning).
                                Instead, expect posts from now until Kingdom Come about what you have introduced: fish/no fish, chains, and who's food desires trump whose.

                                "Hounds gonna hound."

                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                  Hi, Kris; "The OP is irrelevant beyond being an introduction to a topic."

                                  Yes, that is the unfortunate *result*, not the premise.

                                  With regard to the "Helping" thread, it may help to think of the world of posts as comprising two hemispheres. There's the (roughly) half where the OP asks for help because they honestly want help. My sense is that these folks are generally civil in their responses, and unlikely to bite the hand offering to feed them.

                                  The other half seems more interested in what they already know, be it showing off ab initio, or viciously volleying responsive posts.

                                  I think it's akin to conversations at cocktail parties, where you can usually tell more from (and get more out of) the way people *listen* than what they say.

                                  IMO, the older a thread is, the more likely we are to be on the dark side of the Earth.

                                  We have a proverb in Hawai'ian that basically translates on a literal level to: "Not all knowledge is in your house." Everyone has something to learn about nearly everything from everyone else, and for me that's the #1 feature of Chowhound. Unfortunately, the medium of posting on line makes hubris easier than humility.


                        2. re: Kris in Beijing

                          Mortified is too strong a word. There have been a few times I've posted and then went "D'oh, this is from 2008" and then posted anyway.

                          I also tend to think that those who post snarky responses like your example above either

                          a) Lack the foresight to realize that other people besides the OP may read the post and find value in it when searching/scrolling through posts on similar topics (sure, the OP's birthday party has come and gone, but someone way after the fact posted about a really great caterer or restaurant that *I* found to be helpful when doing searches for birthday party recommendations), or

                          b) Are also the same type who like to nitpick spelling and get a boner by being a pedant instead of being truly helpful. (Don't get me wrong, I think spelling matters and I think it's rude to not take care when you're posting to avoid text-speak and rampant misspellings, but if I can tell you're making a good-faith effort or it's a random typo then I can ignore it. See also: the post on the MSP board where people chose to berate the OP for typing "dinning" when they meant "dining" instead of answering the question - though I think the worst of the replies ended up being deleted and a few did answer the question).

                          That said, I fall on the "there's still value in those old posts" fence and I would rather see someone resurrect and add something worthwhile to an old post than have numerous posts on the same subject just because we don't want to resurrect the old ones.

                          1. re: Kris in Beijing

                            I'm not mortified, but i do feel like I just wasted my time.

                          2. Coincidentally, as soon as I finished reading this thread of posts, I accidentally got caught up in a thread just revived from 2009. There was a "Red Velvet Cake" thread on General Topics. I had read about 5 of the posts- all very enlightening- before I noticed they were all from 5 years ago. Someone brought it back, had come 2014 comments to make, insights to offer. I don't need to add to their thread, but it was interesting reading. Works for me.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Florida Hound

                              How does a five year old thread about cooking become obsolete?

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Sometimes the original post involves a fairly esoteric issue -- e.g., the OP lists a handful ingredients that he/ she has on hand and asks for advice on what to make for dinner in 4 hours. If the list consists of common pantry staples, then it is still of interest years later. But that is not always the case.

                                1. re: masha

                                  But couldn't that happen yesterday?

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I think, having now resolved that OP<CH, then it pretty much never matters WHEN.
                                    However, I, personally, will still feel mildly put out if I begin to read a thread bumped to the top and then realize --40 posts in-- that the OP was talking about finding good restaurants to go to after the World Cup tickets they scored, in South Africa.

                                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                      Perhaps having recognized the issue, you'll begin to look on the OP date :)

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        The OP date is not visible
                                        A) on the board page on small media
                                        B) on the Recommended Thread list
                                        C) in the Trending list

                                        Therefore, it's pretty easy to get pulled in to a discussion.

                                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                          But when you click on any of those, doesn't it take you to the OP where the date is?

                            2. Somebody explain again why it's so awful that old threads exist, and that sometimes they get revived. I don't see why this is a problem. Some information gets dated and stale, but a lot doesn't. If I want to know a good place to eat in East Whereverville, I want fresh or current information. If I want to know the best way to vein a prawn or peel asparagus, old information is just as good as new information.

                              Editing out all the threads containing outdated information while keeping the useful old threads is more labor than any web site operator would ever be willing to pay for. We get free use of the site; the price we pay is some old stuff survives that should not. Hardly the end of the world.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: emu48

                                Ask OP, it seems no one else finds them that problematic.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  The only time I find posting to a really old topic to be an issue is when I realize that I wanted to engage specific posters but the topic is old enough that they're no longer around. It's a "Duh!"omens.

                                  Of course, if the topic is of interest, new posters will take it on...... and that's fine, just not what I'd wanted. Mechanically, it might be useful (as someone else alluded to) is an indicator showing 'last post 5 years ago'. I DO think that might help with the orientation of new posts to an inactive topic. OTOH, it ain't no big thang either way. ;o)))))

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    It's problematic when it happens on occasion on the Manhattan board, because the vast majority of threads are restaurant reviews or requests for recommendations and the dining scene is so volatile. Restaurants are constantly opening, closing, moving, changing chefs, revamping menus, not to mention the influx of food trucks, seasonal markets, food halls, events, pop-ups, etc.

                                    1. re: kathryn

                                      As I said above, I can it being beneficial for the regional boards.

                                2. Okay, no one else who cares, cares to comment : )

                                  I HAVE thought about it a bit more,though, and I think there are 3 reasons why I personally dislike zombie/ Lazarus threads:

                                  1) reading a 100+ line where people commented in-and-out over a few weeks and now it's a zillion posts long--> absorbing all of that in one reading is onerous.

                                  2) information gets old. Really. Products are gone; White Lilly isn't the same formulation; a can of tuna is a 2.5oz pouch; most people on CH know about more chefs, personalities, and ethnic foods

                                  3) People leave-- the OP may be gone,--or at least no longer worried about the query-- and primary posters have burned out on CH, and the heart of the discussion is over [sort of a repeat of #1, I know].

                                  Kris now in DC/NoVA

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                    Kris, you do know about the pretty new "unfollow" feature? When they get beyond my patience,I click on that lovely yellow star and turn it gray and I never see that post again :)

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      OH YES -- so happy when that became an option!

                                      1. re: Kris in Beijing


                                        I HAVE thought about it a bit more,though, and I think there are 3 reasons why I personally dislike zombie/ Lazarus threads:

                                        1) reading a 100+ line where people commented in-and-out over a few weeks and now it's a zillion posts long--> absorbing all of that in one reading is onerous.

                                        2) information gets old. Really. Products are gone; White Lilly isn't the same formulation; a can of tuna is a 2.5oz pouch; most people on CH know about more chefs, personalities, and ethnic foods

                                        3) People leave-- the OP may be gone,--or at least no longer worried about the query-- and primary posters have burned out on CH, and the heart of the discussion is over [sort of a repeat of #1, I know].

                                        Kris now in DC/NoVA



                                        For your point#1: You can blame CBS Interactive for that.
                                        They wanted to "go it alone" for a forum and create thier "own." I mod 3 fourms and Admin a fourth. All vBulletin software. CBS has no PM, limited email among users and shoves replys mid thread vs. at the end with a quote. It's a peeve or mine as well. But hey-they wanted to do it on their own. And we all deal with the glitches and "isms" that brings.

                                        Point #2: No.
                                        Restaurant info can get old due to the chef turnover rate and closings. Cooking info, not at all. Cooking utensils and machines do change but at a slow rate.

                                        I still cook the same way I did 20 years ago. Sure I learn more tricks, but the old information and techniques never get old. And wow, chicken is still chicken where I live. Corn is still corn. A steak is still a steak. No change of information there. Ingredients change forms, sure, but it's still relevant information. So if I am trying to make a recipe from a 1960's cookbook that calls for measurments in cans or bottles that are NLA, then I should just scrap the recipe since that "old" information is no longer relevant?
                                        I guess.
                                        For me, I convert measuremetns of what IS available and make it work.

                                        That's like saying hammers are obsolete because nail guns are available. Sure, but if you don't have electricty or an air compressor, then you're back to a trusty hammer. LOL.

                                        Point #3:
                                        Out of your control.

                                        So a poster leaves and the posts they have made in the past are no longer valid suddenly?

                                        A new poster may want to add on an additonal question that is directly in line with the OP. Why clutter up the forum with baby fragment threads when one will suffice?

                                        If your true bitch is #1, than that's a site design issue.
                                        Again, I mainly see old threads bumped on other sites to up post count for whatever the reason.

                                        On Chowhound, I mainly skip them.

                                        Easy Peasy. :-)

                                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                          Discussions about the best flour for biscuits remain viable, even if the start date is old. White Lily is still a Southern biscuit favorite, despite the old and discredited test by a Yankee newspaper.

                                          Most often I encounter so called zombie threads when one appears in my 'following' list. One new post by someone who hasn't posted elsewhere is a pretty good clue that this isn't worth following further.

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            Did you mean this thread:

                                            which is what I meant by the demise of W.L.

                                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                              I didn't see that thread, or at least didn't post on it. I posted on this one from that era:

                                              is a more recent one on biscuit flour

                                              I discuss the NYT test in

                                              This biscuit thread is only 2 yrs old

                                              I can't off hand find something from 2008 that has been continued or revived.

                                        2. I'll start by noting that I have no problem with older threads popping up. Even if I open a thread without looking first, the original post date is in the OP so I can then see if it's a topic that might be time sensitive. As others have noted, there's very good information from very knowledgable folks inside of many of the boxes. There are some old threads that I have sought out on more than one occasion to reflect upon (some of fourunder's slow roasted meat experiments, for example, are timeless gems). Besides, until the internet connection is fixed in 'hound heaven, it's the only way anyone can hear the voices of, and learn lessons from, some wise souls.

                                          To me, greying out old material is just a grant to laziness. It's basically implying that what's already been posted is not worth reading. I think we have enough waste with posts coming from people who can't be bothered to become familiar with what's even recently discussed. I realize my general "don't read, don't post" position may not be shared by many, but, that's OK, it's not like it's the first time I've held a minority belief.

                                          Along those lines, you have to admit, when someone chimes in at the end of an 80-plus entry thread with, "I didn't have time to read any of the other posts, but . . . " and then proceeds to repeat the gist of many of the answers, it's pretty useless. Not to mention, you gotta wonder, what were they thinking? "I've only got a minute or two, let me pop into Chowhound and identify a thread that only I will know the answer to and help save the world"? Or, maybe, "Oh, look, 'Generichound' posted a question for me this morning and I'm only seeing it now. I better hash out a quick response. Poor thing had to suffer through all these other posts while she was waiting for me to get home." Hell, even I'M not that arrogant!

                                          Maybe, the solution is much simpler. Perhaps the "Date Started" text on the Forums page could be "ungreyed" and made a bolder color?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: MGZ

                                            MGZ --
                                            >>Maybe, the solution is much simpler. Perhaps the "Date Started" text on the Forums page could be "ungreyed" and made a bolder color?<<

                                            ^ that would make me [the OP] happy : )

                                            Being on a small screen most of the time, the dates aren't available until I open a thread... blah blah blah...

                                            My core problem is probably that I read too many NAF threads and they are more "time sensitive." Something the FDA decided about chocolate in 2007 that has 300+ replies already ... I hate myself for reading about 60 before I realize it's "ancient" in terms of the food-trend-news world.

                                          2. My pet peeve with old threads is more local board orientated. I hate seeing a thread at the top of my local board that reads;

                                            "Need suggestions for birthday dinner Sat. Night no Italian"

                                            I open the thread to see someone responded with;

                                            "Try Bob&Matt's Steak House"

                                            Only then to realize that the OP was from 2008 and now 6 years later someone is making a suggestion.

                                            Sooooooo my happy medium compromise on this topic is I think topic's on local boards, where most topics are location specific, be locked after 5 years. All general boards remain status quo, but lock the local threads. Even if restaurants are still open, still doing business, what value is information that is 5+ years old. Start a new thread about the place, update the information comments etc.

                                            Of course once the Jr. board is created threads will NEVER be locked. Never ever!!

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                              So, kiddo, cause you don't look at the start date, CH should change things?!?!? J/K. But really in the grand scheme of things that need work, this seems to be not even on the cooktop much less a back burner. I do, however, agree that old regional board info rarely gives much value. But the Reno/Tahoe areas have few posts. So in your perfect world, if someone were searching, would even the 'locked' threads show up?

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Yes of course the locked threads would still show up, but I don't see a point on placing a new review for a place on a thread that is 5+ years old. Chef's change, managers change etc. If you do a current review of a restaurant in a 5 year old thread people could have trashed it, while you enjoyed it, but so many things could have changed over the years. I don't see how leaving old local threads open for new posts helps anyone.

                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                  Can't remember if this has been mentioned. Would you be talking about the last or first post being five years old? I'm sure there are ongoing threads that started a long time ago but get updated on a periodic basis.

                                                  I honestly don't really care as long as the topical threads don't receive this treatment.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    I was thinking if we took a weighted average of the first post vs. the last post, divided by pi (preferably apple) that would be the date we count.

                                                    I honestly haven't given it that much thought and now my head hurts.

                                                    Join my petition for the Jr. board and I will put you on the board for the board, I can promise you will never get bored, ok? You on board?

                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                      Now MY head hurts! But, yeah, I'm on board unless I get bored.

                                              2. re: jrvedivici

                                                We do ask everyone to bear in mind that Chowhound was never intended to be "Ask Jeeves" (speaking of zombie references!) where a poster asks a question, gets an answer, and that's the end of it. We view Chowhound discussions as a trove of chow tips, useful to the many people who read along with similar questions.

                                                If you find yourself responding to an ancient thread and feel silly about it, you can console yourself with the thought that chances are good that someone else will see that thread today or sometime in the near future who is celebrating a special event and doesn't want Italian, and will be grateful for your information.

                                                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                  By the same token the people looking for information on a specific location would be more likely to skip over a thread rather than rely on one 5+ years old.

                                                  A fine example on my local board (NJ) someone started a new thread looking for updated information on a restaurant. They said they read the other reviews but wanted updated info, the other reviews were within the past 12 months, but to this poster that was too outdated.
                                                  Just saying, I don't see any harm in locking local threads after 5 years, they are there for anyone to read and enjoy, but keep things current and relevant with more recent threads.

                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                    jr, I'm curious. Does this negatively effect your CH time? It doesn't mine but we're all different.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      To quote;

                                                      "Just saying, I don't see any harm"

                                                      I'm not very passionate on the subject. Lol

                                                    2. re: jrvedivici

                                                      While you are correct that some people are more likely to skip over a thread with older information, we've found that just as many people are more likely to respond to an established thread, with previous reviews to act as launching points for current information, than to respond to a new thread on a restaurant that has previously been discussed. We don't want to dictate which is better, since both types of threads draw current information.

                                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                        A few months ago I replied to an old thread about a place in Prague. The OP had trashed the place and that was definitely not OUR experience at all. I deliberately replied there rather than starting my own thread because I wanted others to see our experience. After that others replied to the same thread in a positive way.

                                                2. Hi, Kris:

                                                  Personally, I get a laugh whenever a poster tries to directly answer an OP's question from 8 years ago. I haven't been a Hound for that long, so I sometimes learn something, to boot.

                                                  They *could* do something like superimpose sags or wrinkles (or green mold) to clue people in that these aren't the freshest threads. You think?


                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    An analog to Rotten tomatoes?
                                                    Posts start brite green and fade to grey

                                                  2. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/630287
                                                    is an example of a 5 yr old Home Cooking thread that revived just fine - and I don't even recall responding the first time around.
                                                    (It's about a recipe of pasta with tomatoes, breadcrumbs and dried chile peppers).

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      That topic has a total of 13 posts and is not time-sensitive in any way. I think the problematic ones are the long ones (50+) that have elements that become moot over time. It's really a matter if how one prefers to spend their time, but I find posting to some old topics sortof like messages in a bottle. That's perfectly fine if you have appropriate expectations.

                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                        But, as has been said, except for regional boards, why would the age matter? Don't we all have recipes, techniques, etc. that are decades old in some cases?

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          It's certainly up to the poster whether or not they want to add to a News & Media board discussion about a TV show that has been off the air for 5 years and the conversation is really irrelevant at this point. ;o)

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Ooh, yeah, I CAN see it happening with FMN. Do those threads really last that long. I don't usually visit that board.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              As with any board, there are people who find the topic somehow and just add to it from the last post without looking back up-topic at all. That's just the nature of what happens here. Thread drift also adds to this.

                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                Just did a quick look at FMN and found this thread from 2007:


                                                                It appears still relevant. So if even one is then I don't think they should be locked at a particular point.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I don't disagree really, but it could be I'm a bit more OCD than I think re long topics and posters who don't think to look, if their post seems to expect that the topic is current. ;o)

                                                                  1. re: Midlife

                                                                    :) It's an ongoing battle for me :)

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      What battle? We figured it out already! Lock local board discussions after 5 years leave general boards open indefinite, where's the battle?

                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                        junior, I think there's the rare exception on local boards and, if there's only one, then I wouldn't want to see them locked.

                                                                        I rarely go to the CH 'home page' but when I do, if I see a thread that's old I rarely open it. If it's something I've replied to in the past I'll un-star it. Super easy.

                                                                    2. re: Midlife

                                                                      Like maybe the 250th thread on Le Creuset colors?

                                                        2. Chowhound seems to want threads to last forever and just tack on new posts to it over time. Otherwise they could just set up a system where threads close to new posts after a certain length of time.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                            We don't actually have an official opinion either way on this issue. People are welcome to continue old threads if the old threads still seem relevant and useful to them. People are welcome to start new threads if they want a fresh take on a given topic.

                                                          2. Does anyone remember the initial premise with the original site, that threads did NOT get bumped to the top? That would clearly be the simplest solution, to revert back to Jim Leff's plan.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Fida

                                                              Doesn't that lovely gold star turning grey solve any problem people have? I SURE works for me.

                                                            2. June 14, 2014. I just got a wonderful tip from a thread that has popped back up from 2008! Maybe some activity in 2010, too. But there was a very useful discussion on Horlick's malt powder, with a lot of related suggestions. I'm going to try to make a not-so-Brooklyn Egg Cream with "Malta" soda as a substitute for the seltzer. I even "replied" to the 2008 OP, whether they will see it or not. A zombie thread, maybe, but I'm please to get a new idea. (Looks like that thread is once again going strong in 2014...)

                                                              1. Hmm, a thread from 2005 bumped to comment on Trader Joe's products.

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    Not to me. It seems someone started commenting in late April 2014 and there have been 3 replies since then. It's still relevant but now that threads are monthly it'd make more sense to post there. I provided the link, but how are threads from 2005 even coming up at the top of searches?

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                        The Recommended Thread algorithm?
                                                                        It seems to hit on keywords only.

                                                                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                          Crazy. The first post was actually a response to someone at the beginning of the thread. All of the users are "grayed out" so I doubt anyone will be responding to that response.

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            Those folks may still be around! When did Chow eat CH and the user profiles were lost? I though that was a bit before 2005.
                                                                            I have no clue what my old ChowHandle was.
                                                                            Back in the "looks like a BBS" days, I seem to recall that you put in whatever name each time you posted.

                                                                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                              Kris, I'm thinking c oliver's question below (what does "collapse" mean) may help us here when you respond. Beyond that, though, I'm curious as to what you're referring to re old handles and losing profiles. I've been here since the Jim Leff days and still have the same handle, though I wouldn't know how to find my profile on my iPhone if you paid me.

                                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                                Click on the name of the poster to get to the Profile. On mobile/ small screens it is not formatted similarly to the "computer" version.
                                                                                On old posts (pre Chow), names are not linked and aren't clickable.

                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          Weird thing about that revived 2005 TJ thread - the revivers are experienced CHers, not new, fly-by-night posters.

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            Exactly, that's why it was even more confusing.

                                                                    1. This topic was brought up before. The one argument against it that strikes home was the purging of great posters like Sam Fujisaka, and now Veggo. Please let them live as long as Chowhound lives, plus dear Danhole, aka Dani, from my Houston board, and many others we don't know about. God bless them all.

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                        Unless I'm terribly wrong, Sam and Veggo's posts are still here. And our other late-CH friends. What am I missing?

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          Maybe I read it wrong, but the OP suggested collapsing everything more than four years old. Sooner or later all the posts will be "collapsed", which I took to be eventually eliminated. Is my reading comprehension off on this, if so I humbly apologize.

                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                            Ya know, James, I guess I have the same question. What does "collapsed" mean? I have no idea. I just feel the current system ain't broke so....

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              Collapsed is the opposite of expanded. If you open a thread, and you can see all the posts in their entirety, the posts are expanded. If you can only see the first line of each, they're collapsed. But not gone, because you can expand them if you want.

                                                                              1. re: small h

                                                                                Sorry, I should have connected those dots. So if it's expanded for you then it means you've never replied to it. But you're still at the top/beginning of the post, right? And can just 'hop' right out?

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  If you open a thread, the expanded posts will be those you haven't seen before. If it's your first time opening that thread, then yes, you'll be at the top of the post. But! with the (wonderful) "first unread" feature, if you've previously viewed the thread, you'll be taken to the "first unread" post, which might be far away from the top, and the original post date.

                                                                                  Then, in order to see when the thread began, you have to take the exhausting and time-consuming step of clicking "home" in order to view the OP. Or, if you're unlucky enough to be looking at a teeny screeny, you have to actually. scroll. up. The horror. Think of the children.

                                                                            2. re: James Cristinian

                                                                              Collapsed = short, small
                                                                              On CH, when you've read a thread, all the posts except new-to-you are both Collapsed and grayed.

                                                                            3. re: c oliver

                                                                              I still hunt down my own discussions with Sam, and that is a perfect example of why ~I~ would like a stronger reminder that threads are old.
                                                                              Very recently I was reading a long RECOMMENDED thread, planning to comment if someone hadn't already mentioned my idea-- and there it was, a post from Sam.
                                                                              So of course at that point, I checked the thread date and had a moment of silence.
                                                                              Had I known upon opening the thread that it was old, I probably would still have READ it because I was interested in the topic. And I wouldn't have been … lightly stunned… to see a comment from Sam.

                                                                          2. There is nothing to prevent OPs' including start date as part of the thread title. I try to remember do this when something is time-sensitive, e.g. "Blah blah blah (thread started 6/15/14)". Maybe if more people did it it would catch on and over time, fewer resurrected threads would be mistaken for new ones.

                                                                            1. Here's a new post (this AM) to a seven year old topic. Nobody's replied since '07 and, presumably, the OP has long since gone beyond needing the input requested. But the OP's question has no time sensitivity and someone searching for help about locating a pot rack could use this now or in ten more years.


                                                                              This one doesn't bother me in any way.

                                                                              1. I think it could only work on certain regional boards, i.e., NYC, SF, LA, etc. Boards that cover large geographic areas have fewer comments on specific cities IME. If something, say, in Rocklin, CA has only ten posts in five years, I'm going to add to that rather than start a new one. I'd think from a mod standpoint, special handling of each board would be way too time consuming.

                                                                                1. I posted enough in this topic to know that old topics will remain a reality, and am comfortable enough that most of what happens with them ranges from benign to helpful.

                                                                                  Here's one that just came up that was a new post to a 12 year-old topic. It's not really a big deal but posters had to get into the discussion to clarify that Costco no longer has the same open-ended return policy on electronics that it used to have.

                                                                                  I guess the new CH is now straightened out, and I certainly can't think of a way for the site software to filter such things. It just points out one of the negatives of the situation, hopefully outweighed by the positives.


                                                                                  There! I feel much better now! :o)

                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Midlife

                                                                                    I think that post (actually that whole subthread) should be flagged and deleted. Let the moderators moderate. Then they could gently point out the rules and perhaps bring to the person's attention that the thread was 12 years old. While you may feel better, the newbie probably does not.

                                                                                    1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                      I'd agree but the site has been pretty adamant that they don't. Probably no realistic way to do it automatically, but locking once it is flagged would seem a good idea to avoid confusion. I'm guessing it's just not worth the 'cost' to the PTB.

                                                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                                                        I've just learned and now I automatically check to see the date of the OP. It would be the rare one that I'd click on that's more than a few years old. It's funny though. There's a five year one where I was the OP and a couple of times a year someone will post on it. I feel duty bound to look at that one.

                                                                                    2. re: Midlife

                                                                                      OF COURSE there are tech-based ways to prevent this!!!
                                                                                      1) Colouring threads text a different colour once they are 4, 8, 12 years old
                                                                                      2) Changing the shading [like the "you've read this"] as a notice.
                                                                                      3) Creating a pop-up that says "This post hasn't has a response since 20xx, do you want to continue? Would you like to copy your post and start a new thread?"
                                                                                      4) Making the creation date larger on computers
                                                                                      5) Making the creation date VISIBLE on mobile

                                                                                      and 1000's more.
                                                                                      Some of those would be TREMENDOUS TROUBLE to code and create. Others would not be as complicated, in the scheme of things.
                                                                                      And a few would be REALLLLLLY easy.

                                                                                      HOWEVER, the bottom line is
                                                                                      is a subset of CHOW
                                                                                      which is "A TV Guide Site"
                                                                                      which is a subset of CBS Interactive Sites

                                                                                      There just aren't that many PTB who would care.

                                                                                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                        Kris, isn't there also an element of 'all use is good use' at play here? I mean any user activity that isn't really degrading adds to the 'value' of a site. These zombies are annoying to us but not deadly to the site.

                                                                                          1. re: Midlife

                                                                                            Yes... on many threads.
                                                                                            I have two objections
                                                                                            1) "Asked and answered" -- the answer has been given. It's a situation where there is ONE answer/ definition/ location/ name and it was solved.
                                                                                            But the new poster Doesn't Even Read all the other posts.
                                                                                            2) Time sensitive questions. Good location for Friday night after the Elvis concert?
                                                                                            But the new poster Doesn't Even Read the OP!!

                                                                                            I guess, really and truly, I have one singular objection:
                                                                                            The new poster Doesn't Read.

                                                                                            Everrrry once in a while, someone hops up and says "I know this is 4 years old but I wanted to say that __ has moved/ anyone else who wants __ can now get it ___" that kind of stuff.
                                                                                            Those, I like.

                                                                                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                              Actually I was referring to the monetary value of this s site and why it may not be in the best interest of the site to do anything to curtail users' activity unless it had a detrimental impact on that monetary value. So many sites and apps are bought for the size of their user base and total user activity.

                                                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                I was limiting my thinking to the 'Hound World there with my answer.
                                                                                                Bring on the weird blog linking spammers! <-sarcasm alert

                                                                                          2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                            Think of posts as being part of a never-ending, always changing, multi-generational family reunion. New posts are born and some posts have been around forever. New posts are welcomed and old posts are usually ignored. But then, just when you thought Grandma was dozing in a corner one of the kids asks her if she can twerk. And guess what? That’s right, Grandma gets up and shakes her ass for all to see. Most folks laugh or ignore it. Some join in. Some are horrified and think it’s a sign Grandma has overstayed her welcome. It’s time she was sent away. And there should be a standardized way to determine fitness for all seniors to remain at the party, lest we are witness to another twerking oldster. Some think she can still contribute. She may still have something relevant to say.

                                                                                            Ok, I’ve obviously stretched that way beyond its breaking point. Thing is, only a few are bothered by this. Setting up rules to figure a way to archive threads YOU think should die is a waste of time when more basic things need tending.

                                                                                            1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                              I'm not sure there's anything that posters here really get to tend. What did you have in mind?

                                                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                I meant Chow Engineering and QA have things to tend to.

                                                                                        1. Interestingly, the zombie threads seem to be back in full force! I can't seem to correlate it with anything other than site update, but interesting nonetheless.