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When Should a Forum Thread Be Abandoned?
Old 01-28-2019, 10:28 AM   #1
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When Should a Forum Thread Be Abandoned?

I’ve searched and couldn’t find any guidance.

It’s bad forum etiquette to start a thread on a topic that’s already under discussion, we all know that.

And some threads seem to run their course in days or weeks with couple pages of good exchanges and naturally die off. People can search and read them later, a handy resource.

But some threads go on and on with posters asking the same questions, and others posting the same answers over and over and over. Once a thread reaches some length, it’s understandable that a member will not read through all the background, and proceed to ask a question - that’s already been answered, maybe several times. I have most definitely been guilty of repeating myself, thinking I’m helping out a legitimate question. I am conscious of it, don’t enjoy repeating myself, and I don’t always reply - but I still repeat/restate myself way more often than I’d like (yes, I know, just stop). I can’t keep track, or I might refer back to a specific post.

It’s not a Mod or Admin responsibility to discourage posts.

So are there guidelines to appropriately avoid run on threads? Or threads that have just become too unwieldy to read through?

I have seen other forums that employ popups noting something like ‘this thread is X months old, it’s not recommended you post and revive this old thread.’ Another mechanism is to not publish post count of users as it encourages some to post just to add count. They just post date joined. Not sure if either is helpful, just what I’ve seen.

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Forums prefer a premise of open and free discussion and often adopt de facto standards. Most common topics on forums include questions, comparisons, polls of opinion, as well as debates. It is not uncommon for nonsense or unsocial behavior to sprout as people lose temper, especially if the topic is controversial. Poor understanding of differences in values of the participants is a common problem on forums. Because replies to a topic are often worded aimed at someone's point of view, discussion will usually go slightly off into several directions as people question each other's validity, sources and so on. Circular discussion and ambiguity in replies can extend for several tens of posts of a thread eventually ending when everyone gives up or attention spans waver and a more interesting subject takes over. It is not uncommon for debate to end in ad hominem attacks.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:37 AM   #2
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A few comments.

A thread dormant for one year or more has a pop-up advisory, which needs to be checked to post. Typically, if there is an ongoing, current discussion and a new thread on the same topic is introduced, they will be merged or the new one will be closed with a link. This is to minimize confusion.


Long threads are more difficult to search. Some threads topics really do need to be refreshed with new threads. One example is CDs and interest rates.


The sticky thread "what did you do today" is now yearly.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:50 AM   #3
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I don't think there's an internet consensus on how old it too old, when something is considered necrobumping. Some people would rather necro than start new, especially if the original topic and contents are relevant to the new post/question/insight. What invariably happens with that though, is that others come along and start responding to the OP of the thread, as if it's brand new, vs. the "reviver" and their post.

We also have threads that organically go on for months and years, and it would feel odd to say, break off and start a new one if they are still active - again another subjective measure. The annual casual ones do make sense to split. Some of the better reads here are quite long and span a good time period. And a lot of these are posters who mark their progress with annual updates.

Conversely, we seem to revisit the same topics with new threads every few months (when to take SS, paying a mortgage or not, should i give a long or short notice) which attract the same folks each time, rarely with much variation in their positions. Perhaps we don't always need a new one with these...

As Michael mentions, when same-topic threads are both current/new, mods can merge them if needed.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
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Unless Porky Pig closes it, it will die of natural causes eventually. Until then , the members can continue to post ad nosium. Do we have data a data storage situation on the forum ?
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
But some threads go on and on with posters asking the same questions, and others posting the same answers over and over and over...So are there guidelines to appropriately avoid run on threads? Or threads that have just become too unwieldy to read through?
What an interesting topic. I mean that sincerely.

I don't post nearly as often as I could, mainly because I take the time to actually read all of the comments first, before determining if it's even necessary to chime in. Most of the time, I determine that I have nothing of value to add, so I don't add to the noise. It's painfully obvious, sometimes, that others don't do the same.

Depending on the topic, when a variety of opinions are desired, I believe it's more helpful for many to post. Often though, when it's a matter of asking about something that has a more factual basis, I don't find it helpful to wade through multiple comments all regurgitating what has been said in multiple posts already.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:07 AM   #6
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Members that are new may post a question that could have been asked from a member who has been posting for a while before the new member became a new member. I get it. Walk a while in their shoes. To make a new member feel welcomed and valued why don't we just help them out and answer their questions??
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:22 AM   #7
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If you've had enough of a thread, select "Ignore this Thread" from the Thread Tools bar option. If you're going to try to get the last word in on every topic on this board, and correct what you think are wrongs, you're just going to be frustrated, and have sore typing fingers.

There's also no guarantee that some of those other views are wrong just because you don't agree with them.
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When Should a Forum Thread Be Abandoned?
Old 01-28-2019, 11:26 AM   #8
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When Should a Forum Thread Be Abandoned?

The various ignore options are useful in tailoring what you see or not. They have a drawback of differing behavior depending on method of access (Web, mobile). Iím slowly getting to a combination of ignore {thread,user} settings that seem to work for me.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nick12 View Post
Members that are new may post a question that could have been asked from a member who has been posting for a while before the new member became a new member. I get it. Walk a while in their shoes. To make a new member feel welcomed and valued why don't we just help them out and answer their questions??
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:38 AM   #10
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Some threads topics really do need to be refreshed with new threads. One example is CDs and interest rates.
This got me thinking should we refresh the 2018-2019 CD Interest rates thread with a new one dedicated to 2019?

I started this thread and would personally like to see a new one just for 2019. No one really wants to know what interest rates for CDs were a year ago, only what is current. What do you think?
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:48 AM   #11
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There are two things that baffle me that are an offshoot of this subject. One is a thread that starts on a subject, gets a number (you pick the number of replies) and then goes sideways with some goofy side responses back and forth in an attempt to be humorous. They get piled on and I lose interest. Then more closely related to this will be a thread that is active where itís a year old and one person decides to respond to it. I assume thatís what is meant when maybe a new member likes the subject and wanted to post not realizing there has been no activity in ages. I just ignore the thread in both cases so I guess that I am just doing my own filtering.

I like the idea in anything of continuous improvement however that may look in relation to the OPís original post.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:50 AM   #12
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There seems to be some interest in this. It could become a very long thread, and go on for a very long time!

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Old 01-28-2019, 11:55 AM   #13
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Honestly, it does not bother me in the slightest when a thread goes on forever. I either forget about it, or speed-read through the responses now and then, to see if it could be worth adding something or asking a related question.

I'm also in favor of not penalizing newbies for asking an oft-asked question. It's polite to direct them to threads, which already answer that question to the point of pulverizing horseflesh.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:36 PM   #14
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People may also have different goals in mind when participating in forums. For some, it's to get information and be exposed to different ideas. (I think I fit more into this group.) Others view it as more of a socializing platform, so they may post much more frequently than the former group, whether it's necessary/redundant/whatever, just to feel that social connection and feel a part of a group. Some people love to debate anything to death, just for the sake of it, and use a forum as a debate platform. These 3 groups might never choose to get together in person, but in a forum, they can all pile into the same building with no restrictions.

Since the CD MM thread was mentioned, I took a brief look at the last page and saw that someone tried asking a question about an annuity and was asked to start another thread, which seemed like an appropriate response.

If I was strictly interested in CD MM information, there are some posts I'd grow weary of. Give me the bank name, the rate, the maturity, minimum required, specific requirement to participate, if any. Just the facts. I don't care whether you called, faxed, visited in person and helped yourself to the free coffee and candies, applied online, or sent in your application via courier pigeon on a cuneiform clay tablet. Just like in spoken conversation, too much information, and the listener's eyes glaze over.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:38 PM   #15
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If you've had enough of a thread, select "Ignore this Thread" from the Thread Tools bar option. If you're going to try to get the last word in on every topic on this board, and correct what you think are wrongs, you're just going to be frustrated, and have sore typing fingers.

There's also no guarantee that some of those other views are wrong just because you don't agree with them.
+1 about the "Ignore this Thread" option.

A couple of mouse clicks or taps and done. Easy as 1, 2, 3 .
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:44 PM   #16
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Some threads are eternal, like the thread "What is the last thing you ordered from Amazon?"
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:45 PM   #17
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+1 about the "Ignore this Thread" option.

A couple of mouse clicks or taps and done. Easy as 1, 2, 3 .
+1. To each his own. If you want to ignore the thread go ahead and move on. If you want to help out the member asking a question on the forum then feel free to help them out.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:48 PM   #18
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I'm going to post to this thread in a few months to revive it for further discussion.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:55 PM   #19
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I'm going to post to this thread in a few months to revive it for further discussion.
And I will reply!

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Old 01-28-2019, 01:06 PM   #20
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Exhibit 'A':
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Originally Posted by Bir48die View Post
There are two things that baffle me that are an offshoot of this subject. One is a thread that starts on a subject, gets a number (you pick the number of replies) and then goes sideways with some goofy side responses back and forth in an attempt to be humorous.
Closing Arguments:
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Originally Posted by copyright1997reloaded View Post
I'm going to post to this thread in a few months to revive it for further discussion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
And I will reply!

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