Old threads - why are people so nasty about them?

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by jpgr15, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. jpgr15 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    #1
    I am new to these forums and contributing to forums in general although I have been viewing these and others for years.

    My question is, why is it so horrible for people to reply to an old thread? I have seen a couple recently where someone did it (likely by mistake) and the poster always gets completely mocked for it. Why is this such a horrible thing - especially if we are encouraged to find existing threads before starting a new one?

    Honest question here. Hoping someone in the community can shed some light on the subject for me.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Normally because the threads in question are from 2002, referring to issues with a 700MHz G4 iMac. Then the commenter will suggest updating to Yosemite.
     
  3. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #3
    We had one the other day that had been dormant for 12 years! The new post added precisely nothing as the poster had seemingly got iOS9 and Mac OS 9 mixed up.

    Are basic reading comprehension, an attention span longer than a fly and reading the date displayed above the post too much to ask?
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #4
    It's often very situational as to whether reviving an old thread is appropriate or not.

    As an example, I collect antique watches(my main hobby) and on several of the sites to which I belong we have long-running research threads on a particular type of watch. For particularly rare variants, a thread might lie dormant for 3 or 4 years and then someone revives it with a new observation or question. This is encouraged as it keeps all of the discussion about a very specific area in collecting confined to one convenient location.

    There are other situations we see occasionally on this forum where a person adds additional information to a discussion which contributes to the overall value of the thread.

    As mentioned above, though, many times such posts are drug up out of nowhere and add irrelevant information. In the PowerPC subforum, occasionally someone will drag up a 10 year old post asking about a problem with a Powermac G5 and the response will be "buy a new computer" or something equally irrelevant(the person who asked the question 10 years ago has likely done so since then). We tend to take this sort of stuff personally in the PPC forum since we KNOW we are using old hardware and either have valid reasons for keeping it going or do so out of sheer enjoyment.
     
  5. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #5
    It's mostly because they are not adding anything relevant or they are pointing out something that they think the OP or another poster got wrong that actually was completely correct back then.
     
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    By and large, I agree with @bunnspecial on this, and, as it happens, I agree with the OP re the snippy tone taken towards those who blunder by inadvertently resurrecting an antique thread.

    However, two other points are relevant re the resurrection of old threads. Sometimes, the resurrection comes about via a spammer, and that can mean that the thread can hum along for a couple of posts, before its venerable age is spotted and it is waste landed, or merged, or dies a fresh natural death.

    The second form of inadvertent resurrection has come about since the forums switched over to Xenforo; this is because underneath each thread, the system lists a few threads which have dealt with similar topics in the past. It is very easy to click on one of these by accident, while not realising that the date of the previous post may have taken place several years earlier.
     
  7. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #7
    On the last one, maybe. Often an old thread is revived, and someone responds to that post. It's a current post, but the one before it might be ancient. I pay more attention to the threads that are bold (new posts since my last visit) than to the dates. But the initial "wake up" post had to arise from a search, did it not?
     
  8. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #8
    I don't know why everyone seems to think this is new with Xenforo. I swear the old board did the same thing...
     
  9. Scepticalscribe, Sep 6, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Well, maybe it is just my eyesight.

    To be honest, I never ever noticed them under the old system. Now, I have no doubt that they were tucked in underneath the threads, but I just never noticed them.

    However, on this newer system, I can see them clearly, and, once or twice, in the early days, accidentally almost clicked on one or two (somewhat surprised that they hadn't featured in the 'main page' of the relevant section, as the title may have struck me as something interesting) until I realised what date they bore.
     
  10. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #10
    Hmm, perhaps they are more prominent. I definitely recall seeing them before too!
     
  11. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #11
    Looking at this thread, all the similar threads are 4 years old or more with the primary match being "Why are people" in the thread title.
     
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #12
    Yes, you are quite right.

    Some of the thread titles do suggest a trip down memory lane ('Why are so many people excited by Lion?'), while others remind us that some concerns are eternal ('Why are people so passionate about their iPhone choice?') and look as though they will be with us for ever.
     
  13. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #13
    Because they are usually revived by spammers.
     
  14. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #14
    I agree with most of the comments. Although I admit to being somewhat critical of old thread revivals, there are some topics from, say, 10 years ago that are no less relevant today and will remain so in another decade. Many of those are related to social or philosophical issues; specific technical questions tend to have a much shorter useful lifespan.

    As for the similar threads list, I'd say that the date and time of the first post could be more conspicuous. On my Mac they show up in a smaller, light gray typeface that's less noticeable than the thread title. Perhaps making them appear more prominent, would be a good thing.
     
  15. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #15
    Agreed. The find similar threads is much more prominent now, and I've seen a lot more really old threads resurrected than I ever did under the old software.
     
  16. jpgr15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    #16
    All great responses - thank you! It all makes sense what is being said - sometimes I'm just so hesitant to do anything as I don't want to break the rules and be shunned from the MR community :eek:.

    I can get behind the similar threads comments. When I started this thread, all the similar threads were old. This morning, there has been a post on a thread from 2011. I can only assume that the thread was trudged up in relation to this one.
     

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  17. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #17
    Damn it. I couldn't resist the urge to admonish! :D
     
  18. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #18
    Pish, don't let the crotchety folks (this includes me) frighten you off. ;)
     
  19. jpgr15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    #19
    Haha I won't. No one at work or home wants to talk to me about this stuff so you guys are my only option :D.

    Jeez, the irony of a thread about old threads and new comments trudging up an old thread and causing new comments :confused:.
     
  20. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #20
    Can I get back to you in 12 years?
     
  21. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    Sunny, Southern California
    #21
    Because people who are anonymous on an internet form can be butt head!

    :D
     
  22. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #22
    I'd rather see the odd old thread revised (and actually find some of them interesting and amusing) than have a newbie start as many threads as I have in his first week here.
    I generally avoid the sub forums like the iPhone during the announcement and launch weeks for that very reason. So many repetitive threads.
    If more people searched before posting there would be a lot less of similar questions.
    As for revising an old thread, if it's relevant then sure why not. If the OP was asking for purchase advice 10 years ago, it's probably a good bet they have made up their mind by now!
     
  23. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    The Misty Mountains
    #23
    I agree. In many cases you can add to an existing thread, revive it, without starting a new one, if the subject is still relevant to today. I think in some cases a thread is revived for whatever reason, but then the next person replies to a 5 year old post not relizing the post and situation they are replying to is no longer relevant
     
  24. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #24
    Agreed. But newbies very often don't know their way around, and still less, don't know about stuff such as the 'search' function. They are new.

    And, besides, a great many newbies join the forum simply to get answers to questions that they have about an Apple device or computer, that they may have just bought. I know that I did.

    Sneering at them to 'just use the search function' sort of misses the point. Give them an answer, or direct them to where they might find an answer instead. Apple computers are different to Windows machines and it does take a while to get used to them.
     
  25. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #25
    Now I haven't gone back to the forum rules to see if there is anything specific about bringing back old threads. That being said, this is a really large forum with a lot of members. And the members are active in other forums. So we have our experiences and opinions about how things should run on the internet. And we bring those opinions along when we visit MacRumors Land. And for some strange reason, we don't all agree.

    So we can either lock every forum after 90 days of inactivity (like a law enforcement forum I used to participate in) or we can encourage reopening old threads and actively merge them together. Or we can find some happy middle ground that equally annoys everyone.

    To me the place on MacRumors that is most annoying for these sorts of issues is the Community threads. How about when a ten year old "What should I do about my girlfriend" thread is bumped by a poster reiterating the same advice that everyone else gave in 2005. And the OP hasn't been active on the forum since 2006.

    When someone starts a thread like "Top 5 moves", I (and a number of other members) will sometimes post links to old threads of a similar nature. It's not to be mean but to offer a reference point to people who may not have been around as long.
     

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