Why old threads shouldn't be closed

Discussion in 'vBulletin' started by djbaxter, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. djbaxter

    djbaxter Tazmanian Veteran

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    New style on a vB4 forum.

    Trying to find the correct style variable to edit or the correct CSS file and class. A search on vB.com turned up this thread:

    How can i change text editor default font size and family ? How can i change CMS set?

    Not the correct solution for me but I was able to find the solution and, for anyone else searching in the future, I added this to the thread:

    Mark B. closed the thread with this comment:

    I could not reply in the thread so sent a message:

    I don't expect a reply, but that is exaclty the sort of dumbass response that puts people off a product,

    The value of a true support forum is and always will be users helping users, as well as support personnel when needed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  2. BirdOPrey5

    BirdOPrey5 #Awesome

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    I can see both sides in this. As a mod I have the advantage of being to edit posts of old threads to add current info without bumping them. I personally appreciate when people return to update old threads since many times I've found answers in such threads.

    Mark is very helpful to many customers, he just has different opinions on the value of old threads. Frankly it seems to be a common opinion among forum Admins, many hate "bumping" old threads- I know my liking of it puts me in the minority.
     
  3. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

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    I have no issue with someone replying to an old thread, as long as the new post is useful/relevant. I think if an admin has an issue with replies to old threads, then he/she needs to install/code an add-on that auto-closes or archives threads that haven't gotten a new reply after a certain period of time. You shouldn't leave threads open for replies, and then have an issue when someone posts in them (unless the post is useless to begin with). That's my two cents anyway. :)
     
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  4. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    I'm having a hard time finding any example of where answering an unanswered question could ever be bad. Whether 10 minutes or 10 years old.

    ESPECIALLY when you know plenty of people still use that particular version of software.
     
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  5. Kevin

    Kevin Oooh, something shiny!

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    For a corporate support site shouldn't there be a set of guidelines in place for staff to go by?
    :russ:
     
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  6. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

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    I've always big a major proponent of guidelines and procedures, so that staff moderates in a consistent fashion. I think it's counter-productive to have people moderating in opposing fashions.
     
  7. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    Closing the thread under those circumstances indicates to me the moderator concerned doesn't really understand the value of information and the power of an Internet search. The age of the thread is completely irrelevant if the information posted adds value to the thread.
     
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  8. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    And the more I think about it, why not just set every thread to auto-close at X time with no reply?

    Win/win. Save staff the trouble of closing them, and save the time of users who make effort to contribute.

    The more you think about it the more rediculous closing the thread seems.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Administrator

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    That’s not the way to treat a customer willing to take the time to write a reply to help other customers. If you think about it your post likely will save the staff from having to answer possible new threads created with the same issue.

    That’s another thing, searching and finding 1k threads on the same subject with gobs of different answers to sift through is annoying.

    You’re welcome to bump old threads on any of my sites with relevant info if you want. ;)
     
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  10. BirdOPrey5

    BirdOPrey5 #Awesome

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    Well I've seen it first hand. People bump vb 3.x and vb 4.x threads but they have VB 5.x and claim to be having "the same exact issue" when regardless the answer on VB5 is going to be very different than it would have been for an older version. And heck even enough changes from 5.0.2 that probably makes any instructions or assumptions made at the time void for 5.3.2.

    VB4 had that major change in editor (when CKEditor became standard) somewhere around 4.1.12 if I recall correctly. I'm not sure what year that was but certainly any issue concerning the editor pre CKEditor is mostly useless after CKeditor, and for new users who don't even know what I mean, they would just get confused at best, or worse make changes that could break their site.

    On the other hand it becomes a fact of life sometimes that an outdated thread becomes a top search result, and that is why in my opinion, there is reason to keep at least some threads updated. Whenever possible make sure the exact version number is mentioned so it is apparent to viewers in the future how useful it may be.

    Not a default feature of VB5 and vb.com for the most part doesn't use any mods.
     
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  11. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    agree with all of this. good points.

    i still think its a bad reason to close a thread. there are hundreds of thousands of questions asked/answered in forums out there in the Google archive, so these concerns aren't "new".

    i think it'd be different if the moderator were to make a final public reply to the effect of "thx, closing now due to age of thread".
     
  12. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

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    I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    Regardless of whether you agree with the closing of it, the information you posted is there for anyone. If he had deleted the post, you would have had good reason to complain, but making an issue out of an ancient thread being closed just seems like making an issue out of it for the sake of it. In fact it almost reads more like you have a problem with Mark, rather than the action.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  13. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

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    If it had been me, the issue wouldn't be the closing of the thread, but rather with the statement that there was no need to answer the thread, given that it is 7 years old. I think any information added to a thread that helps resolve the question being asked should be welcomed.

    I do agree this isn't a huge deal, but I would have been put off by the sequence of events described by the OP. I don't think I would have messaged anyone over it, but I would have been annoyed by the fact that my taking the time to provide some information was treated as an annoyance. :)
     
  14. djbaxter

    djbaxter Tazmanian Veteran

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    Exactly. That is exactly my point.

    I don't think it's making a mountain out of a molehill. Rather, I think it exemplifies one of the problems with where vBulletin has gone in recent years.

    And no, I don't have a personal problem with Mark B., other than that I rarely find anything he posts to be helpful.
     
  15. BGObsession

    BGObsession Aspirant

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    I think there's a general trend in forums where staff get fatigued dealing with the same issues over and over and resort to terse replies. There are even some mods/admins who seem to enjoy 'lording over the idiots' and resort to mocking or nasty replies. I'm not suggesting this is anything like that. My point is, you can redirect or advise as a staff member without being dismissive or rude to someone - those aren't mutually exclusive things.

    I don't think the staff/member dynamic is unique to vBulletin :) It's a constant balance on any internet forum. The worst part of overly aggressive moderating (and again, I'm not familiar with this staff member and am not suggesting that's an issue) is that other members soon begin picking up what tone and tactics are in use and will begin modelling staff behaviors. That's why you see the herd jumping all over newcomers with 'Use the search button stupid!' or 'Use descriptive titles in your thread title!' and such.

    Last comment that (if I'm being honest) is a general critique of technical/support/IT types - many of these folks struggle mightily to remember that what is crystal clear to them may not be so obvious to other members. There are huge and varying degrees of technical understanding in communities (and even amongst site managers), not to mention in some cases language barriers, that make what might seem to be obvious answers less clear to those not as experienced. In fact, I think one could make the argument that technical jargon is no less daunting a communication challenge than other languages are in some case.
     
  16. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

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    I will admit to being somewhat annoyed at times when a new user posts something like "How do I use LaTeX?" when we have a forum dedicated to its use and several guides on getting started stickied there. However, as a staff member, and in particular an admin, I feel it would be very bad for the site to treat a new user with anything but courtesy and it is vital to diplomatically direct them to the appropriate area so they can get the information they need.

    We have to put ourselves in the shoes of the new user, and realize they don't know our sites like the backs of our hands like we do.

    If you can't treat others diplomatically, then as a staff member, you have no reason to post. I would let any staff member I work with know how I feel if I see that going on.

    I couldn't agree more here...staff members set the tone and should be very careful to lead by good example.

    Very well said...when I am complaining to friends/family about the latest "idiot" I encountered online, they remind me of this all the time. It is very important to try to empathize with others and realize they are simply trying to figure something out, and we need to be careful not to make them feel stupid for having a question, even if the answer seems obvious to us. :)
     
  17. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Tazmanian

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    IB doesn't care about vBulletin, why would Mark B ?
     
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  18. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

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    Please, let's not take this thread down that already well-beaten path...this thread's really not about IB per se. :)
     
  19. Solidus

    Solidus Stupid machines!

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    I never understood the issue with thread bumping.
     
  20. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

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    Depends on why its bumped.

    If you are adding new, relevant information, all well and good.
    I'm sure I remember a bump of 12+ years on vb.org earlier this year, but as I recall, it was relevant and added to the thread.

    If you are just dragging up an ancient thread for no reason, especially to beat old dead horses, its pointless, and should be avoided.
    Sometimes it better to start a new thread even if the post would have been relevant, otherwise your point/information is just lost in old posts.
     
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