Suggestion: Double-check when posting to an old thread-VBForums
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Thread: Suggestion: Double-check when posting to an old thread

  1. #1

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    PowerPoster Elroy's Avatar
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    Suggestion: Double-check when posting to an old thread

    I'm a frequent participant in the VB6 forum. One of the things I notice is that, maybe, once every couple of weeks, someone makes a post to a very old thread. Just today, someone answered a thread that had been inactive for over 10 years. It was a good response, but to someone who has, in all likelihood, long since moved on.

    But here's the problem. These are often newcomers to VBForums who are just trying to be helpful, and don't notice the age of the thread. Some of the old-timers might reply with what could be taken as berating, dinging the newcomer for waking an old thread.

    IMHO, when something like this happens relatively frequently, it's time to examine the tool (in this case, the software), rather than just keep berating people who are trying to help.

    With this in mind, I'm wondering if there's a way to possibly put a double-check pop-up warning when replying to a thread that hasn't had any activity in over some pre-set amount of time (possibly something like six months). Such a pop-up would seem to solve this problem, and also save newcomers the embarrassment of being dinged by the old-timers when making such an easy mistake.

    I'm not sure this is possible (in practical terms), but it does seem that it would be a good improvement. Also, if you pursue this, be sure it's "since last activity" and not "since start of thread", as some threads stay very active for quite some time. Many threads in the VB6 codebank are excellent example of this.

    Best Regards,
    Elroy

    EDIT1: Also, I'd hate to see a prohibition put in place for replying to old threads. I've seen some wonderful discussions occasionally emerge from awakened old threads.
    Last edited by Elroy; Feb 1st, 2017 at 11:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Suggestion: Double-check when posting to an old thread

    Gravedigs seem to take 3 forms:

    • Adding useful information, even correcting an error. Useful to anyone stumbling on the thread in the future.
    • Trying to tell the original poster something helpful relating to his specific question, sometimes very specific to the OP's specific case. The OP may not even be a member anymore, or if he is so much time has passed either the flaw was discovered and corrected, or the problem is far in the past. Pointless.
    • Somebody throwing in a "thanks" or "me too" or shilling their own product or code snippet that may (or may not) address the original problem. Very pointless, often just a newb or a bot account trying to raise their post count above the minimum to get fuller access to the forum. Or just a miscreant.


    There might be others, maybe even a few more in the "useful" category.

    The "pointless" gravedigs could in theory be stopped by having threads expire or be manually locked by moderators after a reasonable period of time. The downside is that "useful" gravedigs could never occur, and it might add an unnecessary burden on moderation.


    So instead of locking old threads we rely on "netiquette." At this late date the Internet has long been public infrastructure, and few people have any excuse for not being aware of common netiquette. We can all slip and participate in a gravedig, especially once an old thread has been dragged to the surface by somebody else.

    This is pretty much how most forum sites handle the issue. Having some "Are you sure?" prompt might help with the occasional slipup, but I doubt it will do a thing for other cases.

    But that's just my 2.

  3. #3
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestion: Double-check when posting to an old thread

    This is an age old issue on most forums.... I'm not a big fan on locking threads that are X number of months old.. Around here, locked threads are an indication of things gone wrong... It's almost funny to see the page views go way up on locked threads cause everyone wants to see who goofed up.

    Some of the old-timers might reply with what could be taken as berating, dinging the newcomer for waking an old thread.
    Berating is worse than the Gravedig and should never happen.... Clicking the REPORT POST button would be the way to go.

    I think it's pretty safe to say that the gravedig post happen as a result of a Google search... The person is or has been working on something and they find an old post and attempt to help.... The replies that add something related to value are generally left there...and then maybe the thread is locked. The replies that add NO value should be removed...And using the REPORT Post button will help the site staff...
    "If you are drinking to forget.... Please pay in advance."

  4. #4
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestion: Double-check when posting to an old thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R Jones View Post
    This is an age old issue on most forums.... I'm not a big fan on locking threads that are X number of months old.. Around here, locked threads are an indication of things gone wrong... It's almost funny to see the page views go way up on locked threads cause everyone wants to see who goofed up.
    A locked thread is like a "Kick Me" sign... It's because we all suffer from Rubber Neck Syndrome... I did a piece on that one time for speech class.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R Jones View Post
    Berating is worse than the Gravedig and should never happen.... Clicking the REPORT POST button would be the way to go.

    I think it's pretty safe to say that the gravedig post happen as a result of a Google search... The person is or has been working on something and they find an old post and attempt to help.... The replies that add something related to value are generally left there...and then maybe the thread is locked. The replies that add NO value should be removed...And using the REPORT Post button will help the site staff...
    It depends on who dug up the grave... if Shaggy somehow digs one up, you bet I'm going to give him a hard time about it... I've seen it done by regulars... sometimes they inadvertently dig a ripe one up while spelunking through a forum or doing a search.

    Sometimes all the digger needs is just a simple nudge along the lines "Well, this thread is over x years old... and there hasn't been any new posts from the OP since then, so either the OP didn't solve it and gave up, or they did solve it, they didn't bother to come back. If you're having a similar problem, try creating a new thread and link to this one." ... That's probably the best thing to do. Redirect them to a fresh thread of their own, but at the same time links the two threads, so if someone wants to read the gravedig, they can.

    -tg
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    * I also don't respond to friend requests. Save a few bits and don't bother. I'll just end up rejecting anyways.*
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  5. #5

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    Re: Suggestion: Double-check when posting to an old thread

    Hmmm, well, it does seem that I see replies to old threads by newbies (say, less than 50 posts) fairly often.

    I sometimes think that there are quite a few who just "observe from the wings", not sure they want to jump in and possibly incur the wrath of not being absolutely correct in their reply. Then (yes, probably through using Google) they find some thread they feel comfortable replying to and then "bam", they get dinged for replying to an old thread.

    I guess I'm just looking for a way for these forums to be a bit more welcoming to those who may be fluttering around the fringes. I work hard to use "I statements" and to give the benefit of the doubt, but I know that us old-hacks can be quite ruthless at times. On multiple occasions, I've gotten PMs about how we tend to just rip the flesh off the bones at times.

    Best Regards,
    Elroy

    EDIT1: And I apologize if anyone takes exception to me including myself in the "old-hacks" category. I do that only to take part of the blame. There's no intent to take any undue credit for expertise or knowledge.
    Last edited by Elroy; Feb 2nd, 2017 at 12:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestion: Double-check when posting to an old thread

    Code:
    Try
     Elroy.Posts
    Catch take As Exception
      MsgBox("HA!!!, Old-hack my left sock! If your beard ain't littered visually with basic bits, you ain't old.")
    End Try
    There've been so many gravedigs of all sorts in VB6 over the last few months that my name should probably be changed to Igor. What really has me puzzled is why it appears to be ONLY the VB6 forum that is getting all the gravedigs. There just doesn't seem to be a pattern as to who and why, which makes my responses end up all over the board like a spastic buffalo. Very odd.
    My usual boring signature: Nothing

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