Clearer instructions for frozen topics

(Sam Saffron) #1

We are “freezing” topics that are “resolved” bugs here on meta. It allows us to quickly work through the bugs.

At the moment the message says:

This topic is now archived. It is frozen and cannot be changed in any way.

I think we should “invite” users to re-open if needed.

This topic is now archived. It is frozen and cannot be changed in any way. If you think this topic should be re-opened, flag it

The flag it link should take you to an FAQ about flagging. (we don’t have one yet)

The flagging FAQ should explain what flagging is, why as a visitor you can not flag, and what recourse you have as a visitor. (reply to welcome email)

At the moment I am simply adding this as a note when archiving bugs, but it is getting tedious.

(Jeff Atwood) #2

I was going to make this change, and then realized as I was making the copy change I don’t agree with it at all…

OK, so we’re teaching users how to flag on every single archived and closed topic, ever? That rapidly becomes noise for all but the newest of new users.

It’s also kind of an invitation to complain, along the lines of:

This has been archived, BUT MAYBE IT WAS ARCHIVED INCORRECTLY. Would you like to complain? (yes/no)

Basically this is a noisy, rarely needed change to the copy that will live in the topic forever. I just can’t get behind that… now if we could

  • show this message for new users only

  • detect that users have never flagged and pop up a little informational Just In Time thing on the flag button that explains what it is for

  • educate users that they can FLAG ANYTHING AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASONABLE REASON not just these particular archived or closed topics

that would be much much better…

I also kind of feel these archived topics are part of the historical record, if the issue comes up again, create a new topic that reflects current realities, and link to the old archived topic, rather than making people parse through (n) existing old posts on the old topic that may or may not be relevant today. It’s not like this is Stack Exchange where there is an expectation that people will go in and edit all the posts to make them relevant over time… quite the opposite!

(Jeff Atwood) #3

The other possibility is a templating tool for mod close / archive messages where it’s one-click to specify a custom archive message rather than the default.

You can of course close / archive, then edit the message to taste, but that’s a number of steps.

There are definitely plans to build a robust “value menu” templating system for PM replies and things of that nature, close and archive messages could be included as well.

(Bill Ayakatubby) #4

Here’s a question: How does one flag a frozen topic? Yes, really. Either I’m blind to it, or there’s no option for me to flag this frozen topic:

(Jeff Atwood) #5

LOL, you bring up a good point – before debating this at all, we should realize that archived topics don’t allow flags or any actions of any kind!

So this advice would only apply to closed topics.

Probably @sam we should allow flagging on archived topics.

(Sam Saffron) #6

Just went ahead and allowed flagging on archived topics.

(Sam Saffron) #7

Im closing this, no point keeping this open forever, allowing flagging on frozen topics was a welcome change, besides we almost never archive topics anymore so the original big issue is not there.

Agree that inviting people to bitch about closed topics is probably not a good strategy.

(Sam Saffron) #8