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SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

Community Gaffer
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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

I like the idea of focusing on returning newer posts with the 'search before posting' but unfortunately this cannot be done from my point of view with the software (it would require Lithium developers to do this). The only options I have is to change the area which the search happens (such as the current board, category or community) so that isn't very useful.

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Community Veteran
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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads


jelv wrote:

You've answered that yourself in the following paragraph - that's what search is for!


@jelv Sorry your point is not clear. Jim's suggestion (a 6 month limit) would stop finding threads older than 6 months and as such, I couldn't go along with that. (There have been odd occasions when I've wanted to specifically find an older thread/post to remind me of the solution/what was said - even by myself).

I like your idea of making the default search period 6 months providing there is the ability to search back 12 months & "All time" should a user so wish - it's highly probable that only more experienced users may select that.

The "problem" as I understand it is that "newbies" tend to choose a thread that seems to have a relevant title even when it's very old because the default search is set to "Best Match" and not Date (newest first). Inexperienced posters may not see/choose changing the search to Date.

@jaread83 Jack, are you saying that there is no provision in the settings for you to change the Global Default Search from "Best Match" to "Date (newest first)", that seems to me to be the first step to take. If not, then indeed that is an issue for the Lithium Developers.

Adding in an initial most recent 6 months as a default return with options for 12 months and "All Time" should be looked at as well.

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

@Anotherone

You really are missing the point - I said nothing about changing the default search period as using the search function would be unaffected by my suggestion which related purely to the drop down list when starting a new topic

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

@Anotherone

As Jim pointed out it's the suggestions that Lithium displays when keying the subject for a new topic (see attached) that is a major issue. It actively encourages inexperienced users to post to old topics!

The point of my post is that search is not affected and would still be available. I was also suggesting a way of steering people towards more recent subjects when searching.

Edit: Perhaps you have automatic suggestions turned off (wouldn't blame you if you had - they are damned annoying!)

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

@Oldjim I'm not missing the point at all. There are two aspects to this issue and they are connected - at least on the test I did they were. I got the same suggestions from doing a Search with the Search box as I did when typing the first word in the subject box of a new topic, albeit with the latter it was limited to 3 suggestions but the 3rd (identical) suggestion with both was 8 years old! Your idea means that 3rd suggestion wouldn't be there when starting a new topic - and even at that age, the information in it could be be highly relevant.

In Bob's OP, his solution two did appear to allude to the suggestions appearing from starting the title in the New topic subject box, but could have been taken to mean/include doing Searches, as appeared to be the case with Maurice's post in message 3 when mentioning historical information. billnotben was referring to Searches in his message 13, and jelv referred to advanced search in message 30.

Whilst I was directing my comments at doing a Search with the Search box, as both yield the same suggestions it seems clear that those that appear when typing a new topic subject are also "Best Match". It could be assumed that the "setting" of "Best Match" is common to both - although we've seen plenty of examples of how disjointed many of the modules within this Lithium software are, it may be that it's not the same setting for both, but they have their individual settings which happen to be the same Roll eyes Either or neither may be currently accessible to Admin staff.

It seems to me that changing this default from "Best Match" to "Date (newest first)" would significantly help with this issue. @jaread83 hasn't yet responded to my earlier query as to whether there is access to such a setting (for either). Also jelv's point about  the options for date are an excellent idea.

If people select on old topic then a Warning message appears in a yellow box. Suggestions have already been made about the focus going straight to this box rather than directly to the Reply box. Suggestions have also been made about changing the wording in the box so it also contains a link to "Start a new topic (which would automatically contain a link to the old thread if it was relevant)". Only Jack can say if he can produce scripts that will do these latter suggestions, so I look forward to his reply.

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

but the 3rd (identical) suggestion with both was 8 years old! Your idea means that 3rd suggestion wouldn't be there when starting a new topic - and even at that age, the information in it could be be highly relevant.

no it wouldn't

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

If older threads become locked, and someone wants to reply to an old thread:

Can't they just PM a mod and say why - can you unlock this old thread mod, and justify why they wish to do so.

Mod will unlock it if they agree with the request, the person requesting the unlock should tell the mod of the message they wish to add. Mod can decide whether it is best to be added to an old thread or say "No I'd rather you start a new one, and link it".

If they agree to adding to the old thread put a mod note in saying "Moderators Note: Dormant thread unlocked at the request of Alex" (say if were me). Then I'll add my reply.

The forum rules should be updated to say, any threads of x days old will be automatically locked. These can be unlocked if needed - please contact a mod to which thread you wish to be unlocked and why.

Okay not ideal as it creates more work for the mods (sorry about that).

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads


Alex wrote:.

Okay not ideal as it creates more work for the mods (sorry about that).


Now where's a dislike button when you need itGrin

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Community Veteran
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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

Well PlusNet need to address moderator staff shortages, and increase the salary from more than £0. Tongue

Superuser
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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

I suggest that the argument for not locking aged threads is predicated on minority cases; though one could equally argue that newbie me toos on old topics is not exactly legion.

Locking aged topics is pretty much de rigueur on many forums; personally I see positive merits in doing so here.

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads


Alex wrote:

Well PlusNet need to address moderator staff shortages


If Plusnet addressed the shortage of staff working on this forum, and actually fixed the long term issues with their service,  then perhaps there wouldn't be so many newbie "ME TOO !" forum posts on old topics !.

Roll eyes

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads


Oldjim wrote:

but the 3rd (identical) suggestion with both was 8 years old! Your idea means that 3rd suggestion wouldn't be there when starting a new topic - and even at that age, the information in it could be be highly relevant.

no it wouldn't


@Oldjim And what makes you so certain of that?

Superuser
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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads


Anotherone wrote:


@Oldjim And what makes you so certain of that?



There is limited certainty in this rapidly changing world of technology @Anotherone Undecided   But just cast an eye over the many significant changes in Broadband delivery since 2009 and I'd hazard a guess that anything older than 3 years (arbitrary figure) has little value?  Unless you're an expert the info is more likely to confuse than assist.  By all means retain the ability to search and re-use appropriate data from the past - but start a new Topic and refer back is my strong preference.

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

As it looks like the only sure way is for a mod to have a look perhaps something could be done like with new users where their post goes into limbo until OKed by a mod.

Maybe it would be possible that when a certain aged thread gets a post it similarly automatically goes into limbo until given mod approval.

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Re: SUGGESTION: Automatically lock dormant threads

@billnotben

Not sure about that especially if there is a delay from when the newbie posted to when a mod sees it.

 

I am still of the opinion that such posts can be reported and then action taken.

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