Should we close old topics?

Jeff's avatar

One of the features I added to the forum, by request, was functionality to close old topics. Basically, it will automatically close topics, twice a day, when they're more than "x" days old. So far, I haven't turned it on, but I'm curious as to what the general population thinks about the idea. Would it be useful, and if so, what's the age cut-off?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

I like the idea. It stops the one or two word unnecessary replies to a topic from almost 20 years ago. As for how long, I would think a year would be good. If the subjects comes back up anyone can always start a new topic

I am very ready for this. My preferred logarithms are:

1) Lock thread at the the end of a year of inactivity. This lets long running threads like "Stupid things you hear in line" breathe, but closes the door on the worst of the zombie threads.

2) If a strict lock-after-creation time frame is chosen, I would go a bit longer than a year, say 15 months. Questions like "Tell me how to best do Holloweekends" could be legitimately recreated just as they are locked if a year is chosen.

Thanks for this improvement Jeff!

Vater's avatar

My opinion? Not really necessary. This site doesn't get a crazy amount of new posts, and honestly I find it kind of amusing when a dead thread is resurrected. Maybe it doesn't foster useful discussion, but it provides a few days of entertainment.

Raven-Phile's avatar

I’m with Vater, even if he messed up and stole a Go-Gator instead of a Dragon Wagon.


bjames's avatar

I agree with Vater. It is amusing to have noobs come in and comment on something from a decade ago and it tends to generate a whole new conversation from the oldbies. Its not a huge problem so I don’t see a need to fix it.

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

I don't see old threads popping up as a problem. In fact I kind of like when thy show up every once in a while. I don't visit Coasterbuzz nearly as much as I used to years ago. There are some threads that I completely miss and others that I miss out on good portions of the discussion.

Rick_UK's avatar

In a lot of cases it's pretty interesting to see old comments alongside contemporary news.

... but not always.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

birdhombre's avatar

Do you think there are cases where a new poster legitimately doesn't realize the thread they found is X years old? Maybe a simple prompt when they click the reply button, saying "The last post in this thread is from [date]. Are you sure you want to reply?" will be enough to make them think twice. But like others have said, zombie threads don't seem to be that big of a problem here anyway.

Bakeman31092's avatar

PDXPointer said:

I am very ready for this. My preferred logarithms are:

My preferred logarithms are the base 10 ones. They’re the easiest. Natural log is good also.

I think there should be a long time of inactivity before a conversation is closed. At least 2 years, maybe longer. Sometimes a topic becomes valid again long after the original conversation stopped. I think birdhombre's idea is good if that's something that is possible.

It would definitely need to be after a period of inactivity. Any forum can have its Millennium is spelled with two n's :) thread (that one started in 1999 and Google shows activity into 2006...). When the discussion is lively, or even occasional, it's great to keep a good thing going. But sometimes a zombie thread comes back to life and it just gets confusing. Especially since the forum seems to have a strange form of amnesia where zombie threads are concerned: it forgets the last read message in the thread, and suddenly you're reading something you didn't notice was several years old until you realized whose comments you were reading.....

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

slithernoggin's avatar

Hm. Good question. I've come down on the side of closing topics after an extended period of inactivity.

Last edited by slithernoggin,

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Preference of a "veteran":

If the phrases "Lemon Chill Guy" or "Running out of Space" come up then the topic should automatically be closed.

But I just heard from the Lemon Chill Guy that the park IS running out of space AND they are finally going to salvage MF's green train from the bay.

/thread locked

Tommytheduck's avatar

Phwew! I was able to go back and re-read the Intamin Belt / Pony thread from 2013 before it got deleted. It's the only thread I actually have marked as a "favorite." Was able to get the links and bookmark them before they were gone, and have a few laughs at the same time.

(I'm serious. I get my '65 Impala back from restoration / LS3 swap this week and am going to put those belts in it.)

Jeff's avatar

Who said anything about deleting topics? We're just talking about closing them.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Old threads cropping up doesn’t seem to be a rampant problem on this forum. If anything, the occasional old thread makes the conversation a lot more interesting. Kind of like opening up a time capsule unexpectedly. That’s coming from someone who has been a member nearly 20 years. Maybe it’s different for those who haven’t been around as long.

What problem is being solved by introducing an auto close feature? Is it really a problem?

OhioStater's avatar

I'm not sure if this is a coincidence, or just an recency-effect observation, but the other "buzz" has had a spike in old threads, the resurrection of which serves no meaningful purpose.

To add onto what HeyIsntThatRob? mentioned, this does not seem to be an issue here. In fact, it would seem that when an old thread is linked back to, it is for a good reason, making the years (and sometimes decades) old responses interesting to read through.

I would ask the same question; what problem is solved by activating this feature? If it's something I'm missing, then OK...just curious what it might be.

Is a "closed" (versus deleted) still able to be linked back to? I also might not be understanding what accessibility a closed topic has.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

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