Thread Aging?

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by JNB, May 17, 2008.

  1. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #1
    Maybe I've just noticed it more (or gotten suckered in more than usual!), but I'm noticing more old (>1 year) threads being picked up with answers or commentary that really aren't relevant anymore. In a way, this is a positive sign, because it means somebody is using search, but still...

    Is there a way to tag/flag/highlight threads to indicate they are above a certain age? Something like the example below, or even a warning when replying? Just a thought.
     

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  2. oli2140 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Perhaps they could be greyed out in the search aswell...
     
  3. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816

    Brianstorm91

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    #3
    Hey that's cool, I want one!

    I could cover an entire wall in 3mm clear acrylic and use board pens :D
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #4
    Why not auto-close them after a certain period of inactivity (say 90 days)? That's what Arstechnica does.
     
  5. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #5
    Sometimes it's clear that a thread is resurrected by someone who didn't notice how old the thread was, and probably wouldn't have posted there if they had; this thread might be one such case. Other times, threads go dormant and have good reason to reappear after a while, for example this thread that I participate in.

    Our current system is rather slow; we eventually archive entire forums into the Archives of Old Posts area.
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #6
    ^^ Can you think of an example on a thread that might want to be restarted that isn't in the community forums though?
     
  7. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #7
    If I wasn't so lazy, I'd post to this thread now and then, and I could find more examples. But a few examples don't prove much.

    Closing threads after a certain period of inactivity might reduce the temptation to mistakenly resurrect threads, but it might also stop people with reason to bring up an old topic again, and contribute to the duplicate-thread issue discussed here. I see that as the main tradeoff.
     
  8. JNB thread starter macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #8
    I wouldn't recommend closing a post simply for age, but I just think that if someone comes across one there should be some basic means to identify/inform them of that fact, so they don't try to answer a question or solve a problem that's OBE without being aware that the thread's essentially dead. Obviously, a lot of Community Discussion, the Privates, & others in that vein may certainly still be a viable topic, which is why I say a flag of some kind, rather than a closure.

    It goes without saying, though, that Thread 500 should remain active in perpetuity.
     
  9. eluk macrumors 6502a

    eluk

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    #9
    A possible suggestion is to have the date in red if it was, say over a year old.
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #10
    OK that's a good example, I just couldn't think of anything at all that wasn't community related, especially as the tech world moves so fast.

    So really its swings and roundabouts, fair enough.

    Its not actually active ;).
     
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #11
    Perhaps the thread title should fade, via a color change or a gradual opacity change, or the text should get smaller over time.

    I love the way the Digg Spy does this at the bottom. But the vBulletin software we use doesn't have a comparable feature for thread displays.
     
  12. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #12
    Personally, I don't see it as a big deal. It happens every once in a while, you just laugh a little, and move on. (I don't even notice that it's an old thread until someone points it out, too. :eek:)
     
  13. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #13
    Shouldn't be too hard to add a conditional template colour change or something to the forum_display template (I think that is the correct template, been a while since I did any vBulletin skinning).
     
  14. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #14
    That's a good idea, some sort of indication that you're posting in an old thread but I don't think it's a big deal either.

    I definitely do not like the idea of threads auto-closing though. (for what my two pennies are worth)
     
  15. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #15
    And someone always does, no matter that no harm has been done. :rolleyes:
     
  16. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

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    #16
    Another forum I post to displays threads that are 1 year or older in a different color. If you try to reply to them, it displays text in the reply box saying that this is an old thread, but allows you to post anyway.

    Just a suggestion...
     
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    That sounds like a hack, and I doubt the Board Admins want to worry about hacks with every VB update.

    Sorry.
     
  18. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #18
    Hacks are very easy to manage in vBulletin. You just install a plugin and forget it pretty much even if you upgrade in the mean time. Template edits maybe required but something of this sort shouldn't require more than 2 or 3 edits of a couple of lines each.
     
  19. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #19
    Times the number of hacks installed.

    That's why we have to evaluate every one carefully, weighing the benefits (some are indeed very cool) with the overhead of maintaining them and their potential for conflicts with other code.

    But the first step is always assessing need.
     
  20. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #20
    I'll add some change to the pot, how about a notice that says "this thread is over a year old" if you go to post in it.
     
  21. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

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    #21
    Not looking to create work here, just a suggestion as to what I've seen on other forums.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
     

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