Zombie Threads

Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how many old threads are being dug up? It seems to be mostly new posters doing this. I guess on the plus side it means people are searching the archives, but I find it very annoying. Maybe I'm just cranky today! Posters should realize that when someone comments on a post, the original poster (OP) gets an email notifying them. Many of these posts are 2, 3 or 4 years old. I doubt they want their email clogged up with notifications that there are answers to questions about the trips they already took. Okay...end of rant.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
963 posts

I've noticed. Sometimes I get a reply typed up then when I go to "post" I notice it's an old one and I go: "shoot, there's another one" and delete my reply. I've always caught it though. It really is annoying. But, I think you're right that they are searching former posts, just not noticing how old it is. Other posters have been bringing it to their attention, so that's good. Maybe they'll be more careful next time.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
963 posts

I beg your pardon. I don't get your answer Michael, am I missing something?

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10865 posts

I think there is much more of it recently. Someone is so eager to post that they don't bother to check the date. Even worse is when they hijack it with a new question which everyone is answering and the op is getting hit will lots of new messages.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
963 posts

Oops, sorry missed that one. I don't go to the "boot" too often. If I did, I know I'd get the urge to go back to Italy again so I stay away from that one. There was another one today also in the "to the west". Thanks for clearing that up for me. Two in one day, no wonder she's ranting.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4870 posts

Ah...the root beer post. Good one. It's not just the Rick post. There have been others. A recent one under 'To The Boot' talking about a traffic ticket. The post was OLD. When that was pointed out to the person who revived the thread, that person suggested that SOMEONE should bring the subject of traffic fines up in a new post. Hello...why didn't YOU do that in the first place? Someone else revived a thread having to do with their credit card being billed right away when they made a reservation, pointing out the same thing happened to them. Okay, what's your point? There are other examples. But I'm tired. Like I said, maybe I'm just cranky lately, but I wish people would pay attention to the dates when they are searching the archives. If they want to ask a question, they should post a new one. There is no need to revive a zombie thread to say they had a similar experience or comment about an old thread for any other reason.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4758 posts

I would say that it is probably because the Search function now works like a real Search function, when before, it didn't. Now, people are searching for a subject, some old post pops up and they don't read the date. Some websites have a feature where if a thread hasn't had a response on it for a year or more, you can't add to it. This might be something we can bring to the attention of the webmaster. Question, people keep talking about receiving emails about these theads. I am sure you can disable this, as I don't get any emails and don't think I ever did. If I posted a question, I would certainly come back and look at my thread.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4758 posts

Root Beer? That thread is nothing compared to the hula-hoop lady thread?

Posted by Jill
Austin, TX, USA
532 posts

I agree with Nancy. I want to be able to go back and read threads no matter how old. It's saved me from asking many questions that have already been answered. But, I totally agree you shouldn't be able to post a new response to a thread that is more than a year old. Even 6 months would be good. Webmaster - are you listening?

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4870 posts

@Nigel, I don't need Eileen's limoncello. I have my own, thank you very much! Anyway, back to old threads. Here is an experience I had - in 1/10 I asked a question. I got many responses at that time. In 1/11 a one time poster added to the thread, which resulted in many more responses. In 3/12 someone who has 26 posts revived the thread to ask a question of someone who had replied to my original post. That resulted in even more responses. Every time someone posted to my thread I got an email to notify me. Personally I think that if someone has a new question they should start a new post. That way they are notified if there is an answer. Hopefully they have done some research first and determined if their question has been answered in the past. I have noticed that most, if not all of the time, these zombie threads are revived by someone who is has not posted much. Often it is their first one. I like the idea of not allowing anything to be added after a period of time, but the post stays visible for research purposes.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

It's also an issue of differing internet equiette. Many forums will yell at you for starting a new thread on a popular subject and will instruct you to use the search function and if finding old threads doesn't answer you question, to revive the old thread. These of course are usually forums where you do not get emailed with every response - a function here that you can turn off but I think the default is having it on.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11268 posts

If you are through with a thread and don't want any more answers, you can just delete it.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
963 posts

I guess if someone looks at an old thread and wants to ask the OP a question or see how the issue turned out, etc. they should send a PM, not bump up an old dead thread from 2-4 years ago, which is confusing and somewhat annoying. Personally, I think Trip Advisor's method is a good one. You can search on a topic and it will bring up old threads and you can read replies, but if there has been no activity on the thread in over a year you're not allowed to post to it, you have to start a new thread with your question. That seems to be a good way to go. Maybe if there was some way to hilite the date, or put a notice about the date on posts over a year old, that would help too. Oh well, for now it seems we should all just make a note to check the date before responding to posts.

Posted by Tom
Chicago
2876 posts

I agree with Nancy. The Trip Advisor method is good. You can still see the old threads, but you can't post to them after a certain length of time. I think that would work here as well. It's better if new questions generate new threads.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7675 posts

Eli, the biggest problem I see with asking a new question on an old thread is that the new poster isn't notified if anyone answers them. (And, likewise, the old poster IS notified.) If I were posting a question, I would want to be notified that there is an answer. Some new posters here don't know about that - or they don't think about it.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8741 posts

I noticed, nearly ranted myself but astonishingly, didn't. My thoughts at the time have been that the search is now working, perhaps with unexpected and unforeseen consequences. I'd forgotten the Root Beer. We're due for another ZTL one soon.... somebody hand Andrea some of Eileen's Limoncello.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2600 posts

I have never received an email with a notice, so I am either lucky or I somehow turned it off (I would not post if I got an email everytime someone posted to my question... I'll check on it when I have time)

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2380 posts

I've noticed it too lately. Looks like it's due to the new search function. Call it the law of unintended consequences... It's one thing for someone to bump an old thread with new information or a question related to the original post. But some of these are several years old. There is no reason to bring a thread like that back from the dead. More annoying is my pet peeve here, people that post without paying any attention to the previous posts. That alone explains bumping a thread 2-4 years old. But it's common by long-time posters here too. Lots of threads are simple questions, get answered and sometimes even the OP comes back to thank us. And then it gets more posts again and again, with just repetative answers...

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2891 posts

The emails from this site always go to my junk mail folder, so it is almost like it is turned off for me. But there is an option to turn off email in the user profile settings. I honestly think this mainly happens with people who are not experienced in using online forums. I do think it would be nice if posts over a certain age could not be updated (similar to tripadvisor).

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4870 posts

@Douglas - I have noticed that too. Sometimes people are looking for opinions, so repeat answers are fine. But when the OP says they have decided what to do and people continue to offer their opinion, why? Or if they get their question answered, but additional posters come on and repeat the original answer, why? Does it sound better to get the same answer multiple times? I like getting an email notification that someone has responded to my post because I am not on this board 24/7. It alerts me to take a look. I also like it because it notifies me when I have a PM.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
3300 posts

Well, yes, this is perhaps an unintended consequence of the improved search function. But, remember it was probably only a few months (weeks?) ago that we were unhappy because people were not searching properly. Yes, it would be nice if this forum had some of the features of TripAdvisor re older posts, but I'm happy to deal with posts from trips past vs having to answer the same questions over and over again. ; ) Pam PS GREAT name for this thread BTW.