Why dig up old threads?

debrak2008June 5, 2013

Maybe I'm just being cranky. If so, please ignore.

Why, why are people digging up old threads and then posting to them as if they are current?

I understand searching for and reading old thread. I do it and its very useful. If I have a question regarding something someone posted in the old thread I contact them directly. If I still have a question I start a new thread.

I just don't see how it is helpful to find a thread from 2009 and post an answer to the OP. I think by now they have made their decision. Or to post something like "me too" or "I agree".

Perhaps since the search feature here is so bad that someone may not realize how old the thread is. I have found myself reading an old thread (that had been bumped to the first page) and being confused until I realized the post date.

Right now there are at least 3 old threads on the first page. One is from 2008.

Is it just me? Life has been very stressful lately and maybe I am overthinking this.

I just think it would be more useful to everyone to read the old threads. Attempt to contact the poster if you still have questions or just start a new thread.

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On occasion I've found myself posting to an old thread because I arrived through a search but forgot and then realized it was an old thread. New people might fall into t that trap too. Actually, I don't think there's anything wrong with pulling up an old thread to continue a conversation, rather than starting a new one. What difference does it make? Old thread, new thread?

What I've noticed is more spammers pulling up old threads recently.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:17AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Take a deep breath :) ... we all have our days.

I'm so nosy, I had to check those threads. At least one was brought back by a spammer, then some unsuspecting poster (such as I), who hasn't had her morning coffee, doesn't realize that the OP is long ago.

Since there is a rash of them this morning, that's probably what happened--the other threads were reported for spam, which has been removed, leaving the old threads to sink or swim.

Or, it could be a newbie who found a GW thread by googling a subject, but who doesn't know how to navigate the forum. Been there, done that, too.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:17AM
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Elraes Miller

Nope, you are not cranky. I have done the same and became irritated when realizing the thread was from old history. And your guess is most likely correct. Now I check the original thread date.

One thing though, I ran a search to go back to GW 10 years ago. Curious what difference in decorating and products were being suggested or used. It only goes back about 4, too bad we lost some decorating history. The libraries have done this too for years with book sales.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:24AM
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At least it shows that people are doing searches for their topic. I read daily but rarely post here. If someone posts a question without doing a search first, sometimes the response is downright catty.

It is really easy to search and not realize how old the thread is.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:51AM
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robo (z6a)

On some messageboards it's considered polite to revive an old thread instead of starting a new one if your topic is exactly the same. That way people don't have to bother posting all the same info they did before.

On one of my old music messageboards they had a thread that was at least ten years old and thousands of posts long. It was fun!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:53AM
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The search tool is pretty bad here. It's hard to zero in on stuff and know what's in the threads that come up. A terrible waste of time.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:54AM
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In other forums on GW (real estate, for example) it is more obvious than this one because this one moves so fast, but I think there is a glitch in GWs date posting. The "new stuff" is supposed to be at the top. But, sometimes, on slow moving forums where you can see it, you'll find that something from 5 or 2 or 1 yr ago (similar date) has been put to the top. There are no comments under it support it being at the top (ie, a spammer did not revive it).

That said, I have also seen the spammer revival.

But, when GW was asking for feedback before this very last change of page format, that was something I commented on. I just don't think they fixed it (or know how?).

Also, not that long ago on the Kitchens forum, people were belly-aching to NOT start new threads because there were a limited number of threads in any one GW forum category that GW would store (like there is a limit of 150 comments on 1 thread). And, people didn't want people pushing useful old topics out of the searchable pages. So, it would have been preferred for someone to revive an old thread with a similar issue.

Anyone know if it is still the case that GW limits the number of threads? (I'm thinking not, since I haven't seen that complaint in a while and memory is getting quite inexpensive).

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:28AM
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I notice that these old threads seem to be popping up more frequently but I don't know why. I check the dates on all of them now because I don't want to get sucked into something.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:48AM
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I think it depends.
"Good" reviving:
Posting a follow-up that shows the finished project or resolution to problem
Update on how something performed over time (problems, durability, repairs, success story)
Update on new product (that's iffy --- could start a new thread)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Now you're making me feel all guilty for reviving a thread :(

But I was reporting a resolution ... whew!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:20AM
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Thanks for all the responses. I was actually afraid to check back as I thought maybe I over did it. : )

I wish people would revive old threads in order to post a resolutions. Resolution posts should be mandatory, LOL. Sorry lazygardens!

Yes, too many spammers here and they are getting sneaky, posing more successfully as real interested posters.

Sorry, if I annoyed anyone with my venting.

For the newbies I just think they will not get the answers they want or need. Bringing back a thread and saying "I need help too" is not going to give them the attention their situation needs.

I really do need to check the date first. Unless the topic is very compelling, I don't really have time to read a layout question from 2010.

Robotropolis, thanks for the reminder that there are many different types of formats on different forums.

I do recall that suggestions have been made to some how mark older threads and to make other very needed changes.

I've been having a lot of issues with GW lately. Not getting emails on new posts of threads I'm following. Being locked out of my account and not being able to log in. I actually started a new account as debrak2008 because I was going through withdrawal. Then my usual, old account suddenly started working.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:18PM
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I admit to pre-espresso cattiness when someone posts the same darned question that's been answered 10 budzillion times. Frankly, it's one of the reasons I'm not as active. I admire people's patience, who take the time to answer these repeated questions -- but sadly, it's with the same info that's in the previously posted threads.

I do, however, go back to my own threads with resolutions or updates. I find it more interesting to read the entire story in one place when people do this, so I try to.

In pre-iVillage days, when Women.com was independant, forum etiquette used tags in the subject line to prevent albeit polite but useless posts. NT means "no text". TA was "Thanks again", NRN "no reply necessary." It was really nice. But then, those were also the days when people were paying by the minute for their Internet services. Don't get me started about the pre-Windows days of paying by the byte.

Of course, there are also the people that answer 10 responses with 10 individual posts. Or whole new threads. Huh? I guess they don't need a hobby, because they've found one with that process.

Anyway. I don't mind the old posts and lurk a lot more than I post these days. I do try to contain my inner cat. Sorry I'm not more successful.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:29PM
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I don't mind a new person posting the same question. Even if the same question was a few months ago or a year ago, there are often different readers who might have a different spin to things.
Also, looking back on old questions seems almost like research to me. Not personal. There is something about a real person who is NOW answering the question that YOU just posted.
When I realize the post is old, I skip to the bottom. Sometimes it's someone wondering about the resolution because they are now in the same boat. Other times its obvious that it's spam.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 2:19PM
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I try not to post to old threads but will if I know the person I'm positing to is still active on the forum.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 2:34PM
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I'm going to mark this thread. 3 years from now, I'm going to dig it up.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 3:05PM
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With the definitive (re)solution!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 3:27PM
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Holly- Kay

DebraK, I was locked out for a day in the last week or so. I contacted GW and it was an internal problem. What was so frustrating is others were posting and not locked out. I couldn't even post asking if anyone else was experiencing the glitch!

I had to laugh at your overthinking comment. Since starting my kitchen reno I have gone from decision maker extrordinaire to over thinking every darn change or item so I kinda think that overthinking deal is a symptom of the disease known as TKO.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Too funny. Some complain if you don't do you homework and check old threads, so complain if you do. Why does it really matter so much. Sometimes an old thread can be relevant. Sometimes the search doesn't help, so you start a new one. Is it really that big of a deal? Really? That's what's bothering you these days?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:12PM
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On the decorating side, when a bunch of old threads pop up to the top, 99.9% of the time it is caused by spammers.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:40PM
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just yesterday i came across a thread on the furniture board revived from 2006 or 07 in regard to crypton fabric. hopefully this didn't annoy you since it wasn't here in kitchens, but it was very helpful to catch up and see where the fabric can be purchased and what lines carry it for their custom upholstery. i remembered the original thread as i was investigating this particular product.

many times it's helpful to revive a thread rather than start a new one. quite frankly, there's so much out there to be annoyed about. just saying.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:54PM
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Just a few of the reasons why I would 1,000 times prefer someone to revive a relevant thread rather than start a new one . . .
Part of the reason search sucks so much is there are a bazillion threads on "spice storage" (or whatever the topic is). So type in spice and wade through 85 search results. I would much rather similar issues be confined to a single thread. Some of the best threads that buehl has saved and lists are the ones with many many responses over a long period of time.

Why do people start a new thread every time they make any little change to their layout to ask for opinions. "I moved the door to the other side, here's a new thread, what do people think". Yeh, what about all of the people who had already spent time helping you and may have been following your thread ? You just disappear off of the original thread with no thought to the people helping you. And what about the people who start helping on the new thread, they have no idea what the background story is and changes that have already been made or rejected and the reasons. I think it is so much better to keep everything confined in one location. CEFreeman, I also find it more interesting to read the entire story in one place.

How about the person who starts a new thread for every single possible little decision they have to make. Help me pick my sink. Help me choose my hardwood. Help me pick my backsplash. What color cabinets should I use. Seriously ??? How about keep those things all in one thread.

So true robotropolis !!
it's polite to revive an old thread instead of starting a new one if your topic is exactly the same. That way people don't have to bother posting all the same info they did before. Then new people can just add on their responses. Not to mention the fact that being able to read all of the old responses might give a new poster an idea for something else and give a new spin on things.

And Nosoccermom !!
"Good" reviving:
Posting a follow-up that shows the finished project
Follow up with resolution to problem
Update on how something performed over time (problems, durability, repairs, success)
Update on new product

LOL @ attofarad

I am an "oldie" around here (since 2003) when there was an extremely limited number of threads available on the forum. If I remember correctly, only 10 pages of 30, so 300 threads total. And once a thread dropped off the last page, it was gone forever. There was no way to resurrect all of that helpful info. Even if you knew the URL, GW would just show something like "sorry that thread cannot be located". And old threads were no longer searchable either. After a very short time period, you could not even find a cached copy on google.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:11PM
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I purposefully went and found the 'show me your knobs and pulls' thread so I could post mine. I thought that thread was very helpful and it was nice to see everyone's hardware all in one spot. I wanted it to go to the top in case it could help new people on the site. I was going to do the same thing for the 'show me your faucets' thread that was going a few months ago. I like the threads where everyone posts their choice for the same item. It really helps think about options and why people chose what they did.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Angela12345,although it seems like a logical progression, sometimes (often) when one introduces a new question about planning to an already existing thread, no responses are forthcoming. Perhaps folks who are more interested in color selection won't look at a thread that started as a question about lighting. Perhaps others who feel that they have said all they have to say about the lighting also don't return to the thread. And, I have seen more than once OP's advised to start a new thread for a turn in discussion in order to get more responses. Ergo, new thread.

I feel very fortunate to have this resource, and the patience and creativity of many of the core posters, and I hope that I am not ruining anyone's day with my questions and requests for hand-holding! (I don't think that I have revived any old threads other than my own)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 6:06PM
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I was surprised that my old thread from a year ago was revived...I did reply back personally to the person who asked a question but then more people began commenting and asking questions so...boom...I'm back on the front page.

I don't think it's that big of a deal...it got me back to the boards after a hiatus! lol I think new folks have questions and, I'll answer them anytime :-)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 11:48PM
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