Threadromancy: time limit for reviving old threads?

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by Blue Velvet, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #1
    Should there be a time limit on reviving threads? Don't know whether it's possible automatically.

    Today I've seen threads posted in that were initially started almost three years ago, bumping discussions that are now outdated due to software developments...

    On another forum I used to inhabit, you'd get a warning and dialogue box asking you if you wanted to continue if you posted in a thread that hadn't been posted in for 30 days; a limit I found a little short. Maybe somewhere between 3 and 12 months might be a better compromise.

    I dunno... just raising the subject in an idle moment. Maybe it's not that important.
     
  2. eluk macrumors 6502a

    eluk

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    #2
    Does really happen that often? Newbies tend to post without considering the date, I know I did this some time ago.
     
  3. mattscott306 macrumors 68040

    mattscott306

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    #3
    I thought things went to the archives before that.
     
  4. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    May 1, 2005
    #4
    Yes, and I can think of at least one member off the top of my head who do this more often than others, and they are not a newbie and know they are resurrecting old threads.

    Nah. I think that might be dependent on the forum. But I've definitely seen threads from '06 resurface. *thinks about hunting down resurrected threads as proof*

    Ahhh, mkrishnan's likely right. Archived threads (some) can still be edited, which likely means that that is how those threads resurface.

    I'd like to know for sure, in writing, if the "policy" is that it is totally acceptable to resurrect old threads or if new ones should be made if it's after a set amount of time (six months? one year?). Stick around here long enough and you start seeing repeats (meaning of MR name, shower v bath, etc.).
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
    It seems that, on MR, even when a thread is in the archives, it doesn't necessarily become un-editable? I'm not certain about that, though. It seems like, when I use Google to search MR, I find relatively new threads in archive-view mode, and then I click on the view original button, and I'm able to reply. Maybe I'm crazy, though. :eek:
     
  6. mattscott306 macrumors 68040

    mattscott306

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    #6
    The real question is- is there any problem with resurfacing old threads? We complain about people creating new threads of the same thing, but then we're going to complain when someone uses an old thread rather than creating a new one.
     
  7. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #7

    Crazy like a fox... maybe I should revive Thread 500 just to tell everyone how utterly wrong they were and how they're, like, totally, pwnt.
     
  8. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #8
    asked at the end of my post. :p Just not necessarily as directly as you asked.

    Just checked the Community Discussion forum. This is the oldest thread that can be edited/ replied to and it's dated September 2005.
     
  9. mattscott306 macrumors 68040

    mattscott306

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    Jan 16, 2007
    #9
    How do you plan on reviving it?
     

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  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #10
    :D

    This is an example of what I mean... this came up on a random Googling adventure:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-257361.html

    It's "in the archive," even though it's from December, and one can reply to it if one clicks on the option to view the original. However, as you say, this only applies to some posts that come up as archival versions. Presumably, this is limited to newer ones.

    P.S. Pwnt...are you kidding? This iPod thing will never work out. :D
     
  11. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #11

    I wasn't at all serious; thought most people would grasp that.

    People sometimes do reply in old threads to posts that are many months, sometimes a year or two, old. I'm honestly not sure if they expect a reply or not.

    Anyway, no-one expects mods to do all this manually, but if there's a switch that can be flipped then it might be worth considering. Might.
     
  12. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #12
    Well. Maybe not manually, but if there was a stated policy, I don't doubt that some members who notice and care enough could and would report the resurrected threads, no? I mean, that would work, right? :eek:
     
  13. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    Feb 24, 2006
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    UK
    #13

    I agree.

    Is it really a problem if someone 'revives' a thread instead of starting a new discussion on the same topic?
     
  14. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #14

    When it's six months or more old, it then gets bumped to the top of the forum and possibly linked to on the front page. People, some of them new, then come to it thinking they're going to read something relevant, especially if it's about software or hardware.

    I'm not saying it's a big problem, just a detail that if it can be altered automatically for certain forums or even globally, might be worth considering.

    Let's turn the issue around. Can anyone give me a really good reason for posting in a thread that might be a year old, rather than starting a new one?

    The solution on this other forum was not to prevent you posting in an old thread, but it did give you a warning dialogue and suggest starting a new thread, giving you a space to reconsider.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #15
    I think that, in principle, there should not be an arbitrary limit on how old a thread can be and still be posted to. Sometimes old issues/discussions are still relevant, or become relevant in light of new developments.

    Still, I like BVs idea of a dialog box warning you that you are posting to a thread that is of a certain age.
     
  16. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #16
    i think that is the key right there. just a warning/reminder.

    after 9 months i don't think many threads need to be posted in again, but there are a few occasions where i'd find it alright. depends on the situation of course. but a warning would be best imo. or even six months give a warning. (from last post obviously and not creation time)
     
  17. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #17
    There are some legitimate ancient threads with long gaps, like Oldest Person in the World dies, that for obvious reasons only become active every few months. Another that immediately comes to mind is this one that took three years to play out.
     
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #18
    I wouldn't worry about it.

    Sometimes old threads are fun to read.
     
  19. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #19

    Point taken. Good reasons to not block posting in them entirely. :)
     
  20. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #20
    I think a warning would be a sensible guideline.

    Community threads that reappear don't cause too much bother. It's the old help or buying advice ones that pop up and since many people seem to just read the first post and hit reply rather than reading other responses and realising that there's a new query at the bottom.

    Perversely, I'd guess that this is most common in community threads since how many times have we seen someone post a 'Where did your username?' or 'What's your favourite icecream?' thread only to be beaten back with 'We had threads about this 2 (3,4,5) years ago why didn't you search?' :rolleyes:
     
  21. calculus Guest

    calculus

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    #21
    This is deeply ironic given the number of people on here who point out that an issue has already been discussed in a previous thread from 1857. I guess what it shows is that you can't please everyone. As a general principle I am in favour of as little 'regulation' as possible.
     
  22. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #22
    It's an odd quirk of the forum software. All threads can be seen in an archive view, even if they aren't really archived. For example, this here thread. No idea why Google likes 'em though.
     
  23. Salasm macrumors regular

    Salasm

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    Feb 1, 2006
    Location:
    surrounded by mods
    #23
    hrm. i don't notice thread resurrection, partly because im not on here 24/7 like the lot of you complaining. people who tend to complain about resurrections also tend to complain about those who dont search first.

    solution: lay off the forums or wear looser underpanties. :D
     
  24. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #24
    I would rather have one big "should I buy an iPhone thread" then 50 small ones.
     
  25. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #25
    It shows up the same on the Forum Spy which many people use, so old threads can be revived that way...
     

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