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Author Topic: ADMIN: Reviving Old Threads: Best Practices  (Read 16830 times)


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ADMIN: Reviving Old Threads: Best Practices
« on: October 01, 2016, 08:27:58 pm »
Unlike many message boards, TC doesn't have rules that forbid reviving threads after they reach some particular age. As Randall once said:

Quote from: RandallS;187285
Quote from: CoyoteFeathers;187284
Are there any policies about this on The Cauldron? I don't recall finding any in the rules.

That's because we don't care. That's the same reason you will not find any rules on double posting. We don't care.

If restarting a years-old thread makes more sense than starting a new one, do it. If starting a new thread makes more sense than restarting one, do that. So long as two (or more) threads on the same thing aren't trying to go at the same time, we don't care.

Here are some pointers on how to do it well (that is, in ways that accord with TC's core mandate as a discussion and debate forum):

  • The older the thread, the more likely that any given person who participated in the conversation is no longer around. It's very likely that some of the participants will still be here and active, since TC is a place that people who mesh well tend to stay for years, but other folks come and go.

So it's good to get in the habit of noticing when a thread was started, and the datestamps on individual posts in it (even one you're not resurrecting, because it might be showing new posts because someone else revived it), and if you're not using Tapatalk, you can also see when someone's last login was by looking at the postbit (the mini-profile that appears to the left of the post itself). (Here is a differently-phrased explanation of how to tell the age of threads and posts, which some people might find easier to follow.)

There's nothing wrong with responding to a post made by someone three years ago who hasn't been back since, but there's not a lot of point in expressly and directly addressing that person, especially with questions they're unlikely to ever see.

  • Resurrecting a thread with a substantial post is better than doing so just to say, 'I agree' (saying something of substance, rather than just saying, 'I agree,' or, 'Like!' is preferable when posting to current threads, too). Reviving an interesting conversation, in a way that stimulates further conversation, is better than resurrecting a thread just to get your two cents' worth in. Because we're a discussion and debate forum, we're interested in the conversations, not just in responses to the OP.
  • That in turn means that it's far better to read the whole thread, rather than just replying to an interesting OP. You might still, after you've done that, reply to the interesting OP - but you'll know if someone else has already discussed the thing you wanted to mention, and a lot of other useful info.

  • As Randall implied, sometimes it's more effective to start a new thread inspired by an older one, than to revive the older one (you can link back to the older one, if you like). Other times, threadomancy is better. That's largely a personal judgement call; as Randall said, we don't have rules about it either way.
  • If a thread seems like it got quite heated, there's a good chance that people don't remember it fondly. That doesn't mean the topic is out-of-bounds, but that's often a time when a fresh start is a good idea. (Conversely, I've - rarely, but it does happen - seen painfully fractious threads revived in a way that turns the thread-as-a-whole into something much more valuable and less uncomfortable. That sort of thing is why all my remarks are tips on best practices, not rules; there are no absolutes.)

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