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Autoclose old topics.





Da Rossa
I didn't think this was even necessary, but ultimately people have started to bump topics back from 2007, even 2006. This is not very nice because, when we see a discussion, we assume it is new, and we start posting, sometimes a long response. Specially in the Relationships forum. Some ideas, problems and opinions given there cannot be immediately differentiated with time, something we can easily do in the "Discuss World News" forum. The date is displayed in a too small font and, when we see the subject, we start typing the reply at once.

What about a feature that would automatically close topics with three months from the last post? Smile
Hogwarts
But despite this, people still get reprimanded for making fresh new topics about these. Hence, this is a bad idea.
rickylau
This makes sense I think, I see some popular local forums in my country have such feature to prevent old posts being bumped, it's quite annoying to see the big gap between replies, just feel like the reply is not updated with the topic, but I don't agree that old topic must not be replied, maybe it depends on how the reply related to the topic: for replies focuses the same as topics, it's not proper to start a new topic, but for some replies not really replying on the original topic, it may be better to discuss separately.

I would neither agree / disagree on auto-locking old topics, it may be more practical to remind that the topic is old at the bottom of old topics, and let replier to decide on whether starting a new one or replies on the original one.

Example:
Just like this topic, in my opinion bumping it would be a better idea, rather than starting new one (excluding not to post)
But for some topic like this, it would not be ideal if chatrack asks that after a long time
Da Rossa
Hogwarts wrote:
But despite this, people still get reprimanded for making fresh new topics about these. Hence, this is a bad idea.


But why, since the old topics that are getting bumped have their last replies from three years in the past? I think recreating a new topic with the same subject, in that case, would be very convenient.
Nemesis234
aslong as the bump actually adds something to the discussion there is nothing wrong with it.

its when people struggle for points to keep thier hosting and post crap like "lol yea, i think that too" - you know the posts im talking about - that it becomes a pain in the arse
Da Rossa
Quote:
aslong as the bump actually adds something to the discussion there is nothing wrong with it.


Most of the time the bumpings are made by new users who want to add posts, and they actually add nothing relevant.
deanhills
You are right Da Rossa. In Forums such as Marketing for example, someone has dug up old threads requesting logos, and people who did not pay attention, then started to contribute. The latter would be a real problem. But with relationship issues, I don't see a problem, as all of the topics are really universal and even if the personal experience is history, one can still learn from people's perspectives on that issue. To be truthful, I really like some of the old threads that are dug up from time to time, for various reasons, and especially by newbies. Who of course have been instructed not to start new threads, and check on the old ones first. Smile
Da Rossa
Well, now I'm educated (aware) of this recurring problem. But look: people often start topics for us to discuss about a current concrete situation, such as an ongoing fight, discussion or crisis of life choices in the relationship.
What really inspired me on creating this suggestion is that, one day last month, I saw a very interesting story from a man telling his problems during that relationship, along with some replies. I read the story, quite long, and typed an response, as long as the story-question. Then, happily, I hit the Submit button.

Just after that, I was sent to the top of the page, so I could see the date in which the topic had been opened: 2007! Probably the opener is not even in the forum anymore, or else have found a new girlfriend, or even have got married... or have just acted like many people that don't go beyond 10 posts, or the ones that post a question and never give feedback to the repliers.

This costed me a waste of time. Someone had just bumped a topνc from the graveyard.

I realise some new members don't actually know how a forum works, maybe he searched for a term and returned an old discussion. That's something to be taken into consideration: an objective criterium for autoclosing the topics.

Edit: by the way, look at this: http://www.frihost.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=967836#967836

I've just been e-mailed about a recent reply on that.
Hogwarts
Da Rossa wrote:
What really inspired me on creating this suggestion is that, one day last month, I saw a very interesting story from a man telling his problems during that relationship, along with some replies. I read the story, quite long, and typed an response, as long as the story-question. Then, happily, I hit the Submit button.


"Inspired you?" Rolling Eyes

You act like this is an original idea; when it really, really isn't.

People have been suggested this before, and the idea has been shot down before. If it had been auto-closed, we're just talk about the same things.. over and over again.. in different topics. That'd just be plain annoying Confused
Da Rossa
Man, with all due respect, don't reply like a teenager. If you're annoyed, why do you bother in the first place? What's the problem about "inspired"? This is an original idea since I don't have the obligation to know eeeeverything that is posted in here. How many topics, houndreds of thousands? Even searching we can't guess the exact expression used by the 'original' suggestor.

This means that what I'm proposing is reasonable. Instead of wasting your own time criticizing the words I used, tell me whats wrong about the points I raised.
Hogwarts
Da Rossa wrote:
If you're annoyed, why do you bother in the first place?

Why would I not argue against something that could impact me? Rolling Eyes

If everybody's creating fresh new topics, as opposed to old topics, members that have been active here for some time will only see repetition in arguments. Where does that benefit anybody? Things would just get boring and spammy.

In any regard, I personally believe one of the main problems here is that "Similar topics" box at the bottom of the screen, which doesn't care if topics are new, original, or anything else desirable Rolling Eyes
deanhills
It is a good idea Da Rossa and I'm with you on this one. But I think now that we have noted (I for the first time too) that this has been discussed before and rejected before, it is probably better to make a mental note of checking the date of the discussion before we respond to it. I've been doing that after my experiences. But with difficulty, as the date is not easy to see. I find myself searching for it every time, even after two years of regular posting at Frihost. Just does not feel as though the date is sitting in a logical place either.

I'm not sure whether this is a new idea, but is it possible to make the date of the thread a bit more noticeable and pronounced? Could there be some sense that if we hover our mouse over the thread that it comes up with "Date of thread: **/**/****? Or can the date be written in the left column of the message directly under the name of the author, instead of the top of the message in those very small and light "Posted: ****" letters?
nam_siddharth
It is not really a good idea. It will only help decreasing google rating of frihost, nothing else.
deanhills
nam_siddharth wrote:
It is not really a good idea. It will only help decreasing google rating of frihost, nothing else.
I'm curious. How would that decrease the google rating of Frihost? Don't get me wrong. I'm convinced by the other postings that the suggestion may not be a good idea, I'm just intrigued by the reason you have given and how it would effect Frihost's Google rating.
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
nam_siddharth wrote:
It is not really a good idea. It will only help decreasing google rating of frihost, nothing else.
I'm curious. How would that decrease the google rating of Frihost? Don't get me wrong. I'm convinced by the other postings that the suggestion may not be a good idea, I'm just intrigued by the reason you have given and how it would effect Frihost's Google rating.

More pages with less content; therefore those pages (with less content) will be less likely to come up. Although, that's just a guess -- but it seems reasonable to me.
Bondings
Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
nam_siddharth wrote:
It is not really a good idea. It will only help decreasing google rating of frihost, nothing else.
I'm curious. How would that decrease the google rating of Frihost? Don't get me wrong. I'm convinced by the other postings that the suggestion may not be a good idea, I'm just intrigued by the reason you have given and how it would effect Frihost's Google rating.

More pages with less content; therefore those pages (with less content) will be less likely to come up. Although, that's just a guess -- but it seems reasonable to me.

More content is usually a good thing. When I search for something, usually the more information there is to be found about it, the better. And the query might be related to the newest post. From my experience unless the added post is worthless, this would increase traffic to the page.

About the old topics, what about giving a big warning when you reply to an old topic?
Hogwarts
Bondings wrote:
About the old topics, what about giving a big warning when you reply to an old topic?

Define old topic. Is it one started in 2005, or one that had its most recent post in 2005? There's a sizable gray area there.
Bondings
Hogwarts wrote:
Bondings wrote:
About the old topics, what about giving a big warning when you reply to an old topic?

Define old topic. Is it one started in 2005, or one that had its most recent post in 2005? There's a sizable gray area there.

The easiest solution would be to take the date of the latest post.
Bikerman
Err...it has been reported that this topic is itself a repeat of one from 2007. Under the circumstances I'm not going to merge them Smile
Da Rossa
@ Hog:
Quote:
Why would I not argue against something that could impact me?


I meant: why do you bother posting. About the impact, what is the big deal for you about the eventual effects of the implementation of this suggestion?

Quote:
If everybody's creating fresh new topics, as opposed to old topics, members that have been active here for some time will only see repetition in arguments. Where does that benefit anybody? Things would just get boring and spammy.


But the old topics would not be deleted, they would be closed, but would still be readable and searchable.

@ Dean: Thanks Dean!


@Bondings:
Quote:
About the old topics, what about giving a big warning when you reply to an old topic?


That's exactly what the new users don't do because, as I said, they don't know what they're doing. Since the date is too small, they think it's a 'current' discussion, then they may even start replying excitedly, so, when other people notice that the discussion is three years old, they (the noobs) find themselves with no or little replies, then they might give up posting.

@ Hog again:
Quote:
Define old topic. Is it one started in 2005, or one that had its most recent post in 2005? There's a sizable gray area there.


As I said, the topic in which the last post is older than three months.

Quote:

The easiest solution would be to take the date of the latest post.


Not sure if it's simple in implementation, but a php code change to test whether the last post differs in more than 90 days from the previous, so, if the condition is found true, then highlight the date of the last post so the new 'bumper' poster will know it's old.
Hogwarts
Da Rossa wrote:
Not sure if it's simple in implementation, but a php code change to test whether the last post differs in more than 90 days from the previous, so, if the condition is found true, then highlight the date of the last post so the new 'bumper' poster will know it's old.

That implementation would come in to effect after they had pointed; making it rather pointless.

Da Rossa wrote:
But the old topics would not be deleted, they would be closed, but would still be readable and searchable.

.. and even then, you would have a conversation that repeated itself.

Da Rossa wrote:
As I said, the topic in which the last post is older than three months.

Brilliant suggestion. Following that, you'd end up with 19 'active' topics in the Link Exchanges forum, 18 in the "Basic" Sciences and Filmmaking and Graphics forums, 16 in the "Others" Scripting forum, less than 15 in the Domain Names, History, Personal Art Gallery and Education forums, 10 in the "Life" sciences forum, only eight in the Advertising and Earth Sciences forums and, excluding stickies, only four in the Contests forum. And even then, many of those would have been purged by your auto locking prior to now, were it implemented, with several I can see having gaps of at least three months in them.

You ask why I care about this? Why I'm replying "like a teenager" about this? Why I think it's a big deal that you'd be killing at least half the boards on Frihost?

I honestly don't know. Maybe it's just that I have a semblance of practicality: something which your idea clearly lacks.
Bikerman
For what it is worth, here's an opinion as a mod:
a) I have noticed a couple of topics being bumped, but bear in mind that there are some groups I rarely visit, so this would be in the Lifestyle and News and the Science forums mainly. If these are typical then I don't see a huge problem to fix...
b) Surely the point about more experienced posters is that they have sufficient experience to check? If a newbie suddenly bumps a topic with a 'yeah great' or similar then that doesn't strike me as a problem because I would notice that the previous posting was some time ago. (I'd probably also send a polite little message to the user urging a re-evaluation of posting protocols Smile) So I would respectfully suggest that if 'old hands' are getting caught out by this then perhaps looking to their own posting protocols might be the way to go?
c) There are quite a few threads in my regular haunts that periodically resurface - and I would not want that altered. In science, for example, it may be months since the last posting on a particular issue, then all of a sudden there is a new development. It makes sense to bump the old topic because it adds context/history to the new which a newbie who was genuinely interested would benefit from.
Likewise in philosophy - some of the more thoughtful posters may ponder a particularly tough problem for weeks, even months (I have) before they feel ready to post a response. I would not wish to discourage this - in fact rather the opposite.

It seems to me that there is no consensus that a problem actually exists, and in that case I would oppose the change, citing the ancient principle of 'Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.'
HalfBloodPrince
I think the Similar Topics box at the bottom of each thread should be completely scrapped. Almost every time I've found something interesting down there the latest post is five years old. That gets especially annoying once I've written a few paragraphs in response, see the date, and scrap the whole thing. I think if we took a poll of how many people that box has helped vs. how many it has annoyed, we'd get an obvious answer Razz
Bikerman
Hang about - if people start making different suggestions in the same thread are we not in danger of confusion? I know I am - being a biker of limited brain and bugger-all ability to multi-task...can I suggest a new thread for that one..?
Ghost Rider103
I personally would prefer if it were just left alone.

Automatically closing topics is probably not a very good idea, as Hogwarts pointed out, some of the categories on the forums aren't used nearly as much as others.

If anything were to be altered, I'd say make a new icon (like the "new post" icon) for any topic with the last post being somewhere around a year or two old and beyond, and have the new icon be called something like "Classic Topic" or something of the like.

That way anytime a user is browsing an older topic, that icon would be there to catch the eye to make the user remember that the topic is indeed quite old.
Helios
Ghost Rider103 wrote:
I personally would prefer if it were just left alone.

Automatically closing topics is probably not a very good idea, as Hogwarts pointed out, some of the categories on the forums aren't used nearly as much as others.

If anything were to be altered, I'd say make a new icon (like the "new post" icon) for any topic with the last post being somewhere around a year or two old and beyond, and have the new icon be called something like "Classic Topic" or something of the like.

That way anytime a user is browsing an older topic, that icon would be there to catch the eye to make the user remember that the topic is indeed quite old.


Yeah, automated locking is not a good idea. Also a proper reply to an old topic, in my opinion, is always welcome.

I wouldn't touch the icon, instead a written notice can be placed in a comfortable position (like above the 'post reply' button) to catch the attention of a user. I wouldn't change the icon itself because some users might not understand the meaning behind that icon, although it could be added in addition to a textual note.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
c) There are quite a few threads in my regular haunts that periodically resurface - and I would not want that altered. In science, for example, it may be months since the last posting on a particular issue, then all of a sudden there is a new development. It makes sense to bump the old topic because it adds context/history to the new which a newbie who was genuinely interested would benefit from.
Likewise in philosophy - some of the more thoughtful posters may ponder a particularly tough problem for weeks, even months (I have) before they feel ready to post a response. I would not wish to discourage this - in fact rather the opposite.
Totally agreed, like the Mohammed Cartoons, and the New Medical Insurance in the US thread in the religion and politics forums. Wish we could make stickies out of them so that our regular threads like that are always easy to access. I sometimes find that I have to search for them.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
c) There are quite a few threads in my regular haunts that periodically resurface - and I would not want that altered. In science, for example, it may be months since the last posting on a particular issue, then all of a sudden there is a new development. It makes sense to bump the old topic because it adds context/history to the new which a newbie who was genuinely interested would benefit from.
Likewise in philosophy - some of the more thoughtful posters may ponder a particularly tough problem for weeks, even months (I have) before they feel ready to post a response. I would not wish to discourage this - in fact rather the opposite.
Totally agreed, like the Mohammed Cartoons, and the New Medical Insurance in the US thread in the religion and politics forums. Wish we could make stickies out of them so that our regular threads like that are always easy to access. I sometimes find that I have to search for them.
I can do that if required. I am reluctant to make too many stickies because it clutters the top of the forums, but in the philosophy forum - which is the one in which I am most active as a moderator - then yes, I think that the thread you mention is worth the space at the top.
mOrpheuS
Bondings wrote:
what about giving a big warning when you reply to an old topic?

I believe, that would work.

When you're trying to reply to an old topic (say six months old or more), the "post reply" page could have a conspicuous warning like -
Quote:
You're about to revive a very (X days) old topic. You should do this only if you are absolutely sure you have something worthwhile to add to the discussion.

- very clearly different from the normal "post reply" page
tingkagol
I'm in with the "leave it be" party.

There's just far too few active posters and far too few posts for an auto-close feature to be effective. I could already see a couple subforums that would comprise only of closed topics if this were implemented.
sonam
mOrpheuS wrote:

When you're trying to reply to an old topic (say six months old or more), the "post reply" page could have a conspicuous warning like -
Quote:
You're about to revive a very (X days) old topic. You should do this only if you are absolutely sure you have something worthwhile to add to the discussion.

- very clearly different from the normal "post reply" page


I think this is good idea. But if someone reply it is good to keep warnings for others, too. For example, if new post is useless and don't need discussion then old members can simple ignore it.

Sonam
Ghost Rider103
mOrpheuS wrote:
Bondings wrote:
what about giving a big warning when you reply to an old topic?

I believe, that would work.

When you're trying to reply to an old topic (say six months old or more), the "post reply" page could have a conspicuous warning like -
Quote:
You're about to revive a very (X days) old topic. You should do this only if you are absolutely sure you have something worthwhile to add to the discussion.

- very clearly different from the normal "post reply" page


I think this would probably be the best option as well.

Leaving everything how it is now certainly won't hurt anything. However, leaving a warning message to users replying to a very old topic definitely won't hurt anything either, yet should help at least some.

I say go for it.
Bikerman
I say use the time doing something more useful (like implementing TeX) Smile
Ghost Rider103
There are definitely more important things that can be done first. However this is probably a quick thing to do.

What is TeX? Embarassed

Edit: Nevermind Smile
Bikerman
Did you check it out? It is a typesetting facility to express formulas and equations in proper format - part of the academic typesetting system called LaTeX which pretty much all scientists, mathematicians and other academics use to write their papers - it's lovely Smile

It would allow me to write things like x=-b+/-SQRT(b^2-4.a.c)/2.a
and have it look like :
Ghost Rider103
Yeah I Googled it and checked it out. It is quite interesting.

Has this been brought to Bondings attention anywhere? If not, perhaps it would be a good idea to create a new thread and hear some of the other users thoughts.
Bikerman
No, he knows, but it isn't trivial and he is a busy man. It is on the list - I just feel the need to bump it every now and again Smile

I don't particularly want to scare other posters by demonstrating what it can do - it is optional once installed so you don't have to use it, and I want it mainly for the science forums - but some might think the boards are going mathematical and take fright Smile
Hogwarts
Bikerman wrote:
Hang about - if people start making different suggestions in the same thread are we not in danger of confusion? I know I am - being a biker of limited brain and bugger-all ability to multi-task...can I suggest a new thread for that one..?

I'll just leave this here Wink
Bikerman
I know, but you can see how we got here and I'm only partly culpable...I did try not to take it too far off course Smile Anyway no more mention of TeX in this thread.
LostOverThere
mOrpheuS wrote:

When you're trying to reply to an old topic (say six months old or more), the "post reply" page could have a conspicuous warning like -
Quote:
You're about to revive a very (X days) old topic. You should do this only if you are absolutely sure you have something worthwhile to add to the discussion.

- very clearly different from the normal "post reply" page

This is probably the best idea possible. I disagree with auto-closing topics; many a time people have added a worthwhile comment to an old topic and breathed new life into it.
Nemesis234
personally i see the problem only coming from the "related topics" bit at the bottom, if that was removed i bet most of the useless bumps will stop.

but this message idea might also work, prolly only for people posting real content, the users just looking for points wont care and will post their rubbish anyway.
ocalhoun
Is seeing the title of an old zombie thread really that painful, that it needs such great lengths to avoid it?
Ghost Rider103
Nemesis234 wrote:
personally i see the problem only coming from the "related topics" bit at the bottom, if that was removed i bet most of the useless bumps will stop.


I'd have to disagree with that.

Before the "Similar Topics" feature was enabled, there were still many old threads being bumped for no reason.

I think a lot of people find old topics through the search function as well. Plus I'm sure some new members don't realize all the latest topics/posts are at the top of the list, and probably start going through pages of topics until they find one real interesting to them.
ocalhoun
Ghost Rider103 wrote:

I'm sure some new members don't realize all the latest topics/posts are at the top of the list, and probably start going through pages of topics until they find one real interesting to them.

A perfectly acceptable practice, as long as they actually contribute something useful to the topic when they find it.
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