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Forum topic by Dave Pearce posted 06-17-2011 09:27 PM 961 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3091 days

06-17-2011 09:27 PM

Afternoon Martin, MsDebbie, et al.

Has there ever been any thought given about expiring forum threads? Some of the sites I’ve seen/been involved with over the years typically lock the threads that don’t have new comments posted after a certain amount of time, say about 60 days, give or take. Instead they force the user to start a new thread if they want to continue on the topic. If I recall in my muddy memory, the logic behind this was three-fold: 1). Prevents the “Me-too’s” from restarting a long-dead thread, (adding zero insight or close to it), and 2). Prevents spammers from ressurecting dead threads in the system as a joke, annoying everyone, and finally 3). Instead of re-starting an old thread everyone’s already read with the same old replies, (where no one wants to reply, since “it’’s already been said. Twice!”) a new one gets created that might invite fresh insight.

I remember, if background on the new thread was needed, even if the new thread maker doesn’t want to restate everything in the first conversation, the idea was to reference the old thread in their new thread via hyperlink (although I don’t believe this was enforced) and continue on.

Keep in mind, I’m talking about Forum posts, not blog or project comments.

What say you?


6 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3637 days

#1 posted 06-17-2011 10:02 PM

I’m not sure I see a problem that needs fixing.

Looking at the three reasons you state, I don’t really see the difference between #1 and #3. People start new threads all the time on subjects that have already been beaten to death. If someone wants to put their two cents out there it will either be a fresh insight or something that’s already been said. Whether it’s posted as a new topic or tacked on to an old one doesn’t make much difference that I can see.

For example, if someone wants to vent for the umpteenth time about whether we need more constructive criticism on projects, or whether short “attaboy” comments are a good thing or a bad thing, I’d rather see them post to a topic that is already out there rather than starting a new thread on the same topic (just my opinion).

As for people resurrecting old threads to annoy folks…. well, there are a million ways to be an irritating poster. Constantly starting new topics that have little or no substance is the first one that comes to mind. Locking old topics would do nothing to stop that.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m being critical of your ideas. It’s always a good thing to kick around thoughts about making the site better.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View HorizontalMike's profile


7063 posts in 2332 days

#2 posted 06-17-2011 10:44 PM

IMO, I don’t see any need to burying or “freeze” old threads. I would, however, like to see the ability to choose the way forum threads can be “listed.” It sure would be nice to have the option to choose to have the latest entry posted first so that I wouldn’t have to fast forward through pages and pages of ramble… if you know what I mean.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Dave Pearce's profile

Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3091 days

#3 posted 06-17-2011 10:55 PM

Hi Charlie,

Resurrecting an old, dead thread although not really adding anything, mostly by just posting a short response (“woohoo!”, “me too!”, “agreed!”, “sweet”, to name a few examples), is what I mean in number 1.

Number 3, not so much a “me too” reply, but simply restarting the thread with more and more additional discussion after it was abandoned or left to die by everyone. Beating a dead horse, you might say. I’ve sometimes seen people that post to option #3 threads don’t always read the original thread enough to know the answers or questions already been posted and accounted for. I’ve read through more than one old post experiencing deja vu…

As far as option 2, that was sort of a safeguard idea that I’ve seen in place for people who somehow gained posting access with malicious intent in mind not really something to stop the irritating poster problem. One site I remember got hit by a little script kiddie and close to 13,000 old threads were “reactivated”. Not real helpful for folks trying to catch up on the latest news, so to speak. Pretty much hosed the site up for a solid week. I’m sure Martin’s already got something in place to stop that kind of abuse, so it’s probably not even an issue, it’s just something that popped into my head at the time.

And no worries about being critical. I didn’t take it that way.

Keep in mind also, that this isn’t something I think is ruining my Lumberjocks experience. I’m neither upset or angry about it, and oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to happen here as much as other places I’ve been involved with.

So for what it’s worth, it’s just an idea from many days past I’ve seen used elsewhere and thought people might have some interest in it here.



View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3579 days

#4 posted 06-18-2011 02:49 PM

I don’t think that idea has ever been mulled around.
Thanks for the idea and feedback everyone

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Manitario's profile


2393 posts in 2301 days

#5 posted 06-18-2011 03:32 PM

After ?six years, this site has a lot of threads; personally, I’m glad when an old thread comes back to life from someone commenting on it, it gives me a chance to see it for the first time. In fact, one of my frustrations about this site is that you constantly see members posting questions that have been answered many times before in “old” topics, eg. how many times have we seen the question 110 vs 220 come up or what tools should a new woodworker buy; do we really need to cap the old threads and force members to ask and re ask these questions?

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Dave Pearce's profile

Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3091 days

#6 posted 06-20-2011 05:17 AM

Sounds like most folks would prefer more sorting options in the threads instead of an expiration date policy.

Perhaps that, combined with search options might be more of a help.


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