Replies to very old threads

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by belvdr, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    I noticed in a couple of other forums around the Internet that automatically close/lock threads that haven't been replied to in a period of time (say 3 months).

    Anyone else think this would be a good idea? Today, I have seen several replies to threads that ended in 2008.

    There's no right or wrong answer to this, just preference. While watching the spy, it is annoying to visit a thread only to find out that someone doesn't have a lot of common sense to see the discussion ended 1.5 years ago.
  2. belvdr thread starter macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    True, but I'd define rare in this case as "winning the lottery" rare. ;)
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    But why should the thread be closed?

    What happens if there is new information that suddenly answers the question, or something else suddenly makes the thread relevant again?

    Threads don't get dug up often enough for it to really be an issue. When they are, it is usually by either a spammer or a post whore trying to reach some magical number.
  4. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    I think as long as it is relevant a thread resurrection is perfectly acceptable.
  5. belvdr thread starter macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    If the thread is active (last post made with 3, 6, or 12 months), then it shouldn't be closed. If the problem is relevant than the thread will still be active. Sticky threads could be excluded as they are meant to remain active unless manually closed.

    How often do you see threads that are abandoned where something has made it relevant again? I don't believe I have ever seen that on any forum, but I'm not watching the entire board that closely.

    I have noticed more and more new members posting in 1 and 2 year old threads making statements and corrections that are silly and/or unrelated. Maybe that's because it seems we have had a large increase in registrations, but I do not have the data to correlate it.
  6. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    And don't forget the people who constantly post "Search first please!" or "Use Mroogle next time blah, blah, blah". If old posts closed then people would be forced to start new threads and that would likely upset people.

    I try to remember that even though a lot of us are long time mac users Apple is aggressively marketing toward converts and we are getting people new to macs every day. They have questions and their internet searches lead them to MacRumors. So, often what seems like an old issue to us is often a new issue to a switcher.
  7. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    So there is a thread in the photography forum from a user who just got their new lens.... on August 3rd 2006... and that lens has since been replaced by an upgraded lens... yet someone somehow decided to post a reply to it about 10 days ago... no value added to anyone other than having a really really old thread show up again.

    Even if the really old question is answered, and answered correctly, when you are answering a 3 year old question there is a good chance that:
    1) the user is no longer active
    2) no longer using (product)
    3) no longer needs the answer
    4) doesn't really care anymore

    Expiring/closing threads after a year of inactivity at the least would be good. 6-9 months might be better. 3 months is too soon.

    You can always reference the old thread in the new one or send a pm to the person who posted the question if need be.
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    No reason to lock threads, old threads are helpful.
  9. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    OP, this is an issue that will lead to just despair and a waste of your time. The macrumors aristocrats have historically never given any sign of a pro-close old thread movement over the years. Over time, this has just been an issue that we - daily users of macrumors - negate to the unspoken corner of macrumors unsaid rules and we go on with our days.
  10. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
  11. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Well crap, you could have at least opened this thread to gripe about this. :)

    The main problem is newbies get hassled for not searching, but if they open an old thread they get hassled for that too. Lose-lose for them. It's better that they at least searched and provided some information to a thread than the former. Of course, opening an old thread to type "+1," is just ridiculous.

    There should also be a rule about too many Texans in one thread. :D
  12. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    i agree

    no changes necessary
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You can lock a thread and it will still be helpful and searchable. There is every reason to lock a thread that is super old. I say > 12 months - auto lock.
  14. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Not if I beat you to it in 2016. :p

    MR is big enough for this many Texans.
  15. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    I mostly find them annoying because I get 10 minutes into reading them before I realize it’s an old thread. :D

    If you stopped “newbies” from replying to threads that are more than six months old, it would take care of 99 percent of the problem.
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    We keep complaining about people not using search and creating duplicate threads… now folks are not happy others are reviving old ones. :confused:
  17. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Old threads can be very useful, sometimes very confusing when you don't notice the date...
    maybe a "this is an old thread" notice at the top of the page - or by the reply button/on the reply page!
  18. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    I like old threads. I look for them all the time with Mroogle !!

    And sometimes there is no point to create a new one, if you have something relevant to say about the same subject.
  19. rowsdower macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    I could go for a warning before you post in an old thread. I think they should remain open though because even if the original poster doesn't care anymore, someone else might encounter the same problem and find the thread through Google.
  20. jpyc7 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Denver, CO
    I agree with the above sentiment. I'm within 6 months of the last post in this thread, which I found via searching :)
  21. Howl's Castle macrumors regular

    Howl's Castle

    Sep 13, 2016
    Just thought I would remind you about this :D
  22. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    This seems worse since the platform switch, but clearly bothered folks even before.
  23. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I have no issue with reviving old threads if the topic is still viable.
  24. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Though I sometimes disagree on that “viability.” Oh well, not my circus, not my monkeys.

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