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Jun 7, 2014 08:36 PM

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?