Old Threads: Useful or Not? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-19-2009 Thread Starter
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Old Threads: Useful or Not?

Every now then I see fellow Sailnet member chided by their shipmates for either contibuting to old threads or (conversly) not starting a new thread for which an old one already exists.

This appears a little hypoctical, but this contradiction can not be atttibuted to any one member. There just seems to be two strong opinions on the vaule of old posts and the contribution of content by others.

Personnally, I find the old posts valuable, and think those who elect to contribute to these older threads do a good service. First, they add depth of information. Secondly, it creates a longer scope of time on the topic that can reflect changes in trends, opinions, or technology.

Posting new (separate) threads on similar or identical topics also serves the forum well. It increases the thread population for a given topic (a good thing) and increases the likelihood that it will come into view of a person who could answer the post. Often, those with valuable answers for others come across these threads while they are serching for something else. A new thread or post will pop up as a new post and have a better chance of being viewed by the eyes of a sailor with an answer or comment.

Contibute to old posts, AND start new ones.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-19-2009
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My main problem with people digging up dead threads, is that many are time-sensitive... looking for crew threads are a good example... if they're leaving in May 2001, any response after May 2001 is pretty much useless. Others are looking for parts type threads, and while not as time critical... if he hasn't gotten the parts to fix his autopilot/refrigerator/engine in two years, chances are likely that he replaced it.

Some threads, like what makes a good bluewater boat, or how to cross the gulf stream, are pretty much timeless and the date of the information doesn't really matter....as it is all applicable...

There's a difference.

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post #3 of 12 Old 04-19-2009
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I think it depends on the context of the reviving post... if it's in answer to a 6 year old question and it's pretty obvious that the poster didn't realize the the OP wasn't current, then I don't think there's anything wrong with a gentle reminder to check the dates of posts before responding. Another good indicator is the ratio of views to responses. A post with 600 views and 2 responses is likely long out of date.

But there's nothing wrong with "bumping" an old post to revive the discussion or to add something relevant. As Shack indicated, sometimes not doing so will produce a suggestion to search old topics before starting a new thread Can't win sometimes.

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-19-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shack View Post
Every now then I see fellow Sailnet member chided by their shipmates for either contibuting to old threads or (conversly) not starting a new thread for which an old one already exists.

[redacted]

Personnally, I find the old posts valuable,
Contibute to old posts, AND start new ones.
Member Opinions?
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I agree that the old posts (information contained within) are extremely valuable. I was thinking that most threads should be automatically locked after say 6 months (excluding threads like THE PUB LIGHT IS ON, THE SONG THREAD, ETC.) with a moderator adding a post at the very end of the tread indicating that THIS THREAD IS CLOSED. AND perhaps... suggesting that the user could/should start a new thread if they didn't get the information they were seeking. The old thread could be referenced in the new thread???.

Just a thought.

Michele

The secret of a good life is to have the right loyalties and hold them in the right scale of values.
Norman Thomas (1884 - 1968)
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-19-2009
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Reviving old threads violates accepted forum etiqutte, much like TYPING IN ALL CAPS or por speling an gramer. It just ain't done.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-20-2009
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Some of the old threads are irreplaceable. Robert Gainer's posts come immediately to mind.

What are you pretending not to know ?

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-20-2009
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Very true...but no one is talking about deleting anything...
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Some of the old threads are irreplaceable. Robert Gainer's posts come immediately to mind.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quidam1947 View Post
I agree that the old posts (information contained within) are extremely valuable. I was thinking that most threads should be automatically locked after say 6 months (excluding threads like THE PUB LIGHT IS ON, THE SONG THREAD, ETC.) with a moderator adding a post at the very end of the tread indicating that THIS THREAD IS CLOSED. AND perhaps... suggesting that the user could/should start a new thread if they didn't get the information they were seeking. The old thread could be referenced in the new thread???.

Just a thought.

Michele
I would respectfully disagee in that the threads are useful not only to the first person who posed the question but also to the others who find it later. I don't see the problem with leaving them open.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-20-2009
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Man, I get most of my info from other's threads. So seeing an old thread brought back because it is relevant to the person who resurrected it frequently does me a favor.

Time sensitive threads, as mentioned by others, are a different matter, and do make the resuscitater look clueless.

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post #10 of 12 Old 04-20-2009
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Old threads rock. At least once every year the Cruising with bulldogs thread gets a revisit.

And I laugh my back side off.
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