Identifying old posts/topics

(cpradio) #1

Okay, we’ve had about a dozen users now complain that it is too difficult to identify when a topic/post is old and we are seeing dozens of posts added to topics that are well over a year old.

First things first, yes, the Revive topic warning does show (but everyone seems to ignore it – maybe because it is too similar to the Suggested Topics popup?). Secondly, the topic list is still making it hard to identify these. Yes, the activity column is blue, our users aren’t noticing that either.

Is anyone else experiencing these issues with Discourse?

ping @HAWK

Shared Edit: share the permission to edit your post with other users
(cpradio) #2

I just want to give a bit more background here.

Scenario 1:
What we are discovering is our users opening an old topic and then flagging it for one reason or another, only later to discover it is an old topic. As one user put it, it would be nice if there was a banner at the bottom or top of the page as you scrolled stating “This is an old topic” (see mockup from said user – thread was closed after initial complaint, so disregard the closed post in the topic)

Scenario 2:
They are replying to them, and either ignoring or not paying attention to the “Revive old Topic?” popup (which definitely shows).

Our suggestions back to them have been, look for the cold mapping (no one has realized that was happening or what it meant), click on the posts column to get the start/last response dates and times (no one knew that was possible!), and to look for the Revive suggestion, which only applies if you choose to reply (doesn’t apply to flagging).

There is an obvious gap here, as most of our users come from searches and will just enter the topic outside of the topic list (so cold mapping and the posts column modal are useless to them). We really need something on the topic itself.

(Jeff Atwood) #3

You could automatically close very old topics if you do not want people posting to them.

(cpradio) #4

I would, but it is by start date and not last activity date, so that kills that option for us. We want long discussions to run their course and only close when the activity goes stale. I’ve never liked options to close after X months that look at the start date (even in vBulletin, etc).

Also, it seems that only partially solves the problem. Looks like I can flag posts that are in closed topics (may be true for archived topics too). So my first scenario isn’t fully covered by closing a topic (also closing a topic doesn’t indicate it is old, so it doesn’t help with the identification of old topics).

You could argue that they should see the lock and know the topic is closed, but, lets be real. I think I’ve proven users don’t see much other than the content already in this thread…

(Jeff Atwood) #5

Oh I see the problem is flagging older topics, not necessarily replying to them. How old? We could disable flags on very old topics by date perhaps?

There was also discussion of an "close after no activity for N days" option. Which is a bit different than an absolute close date.

(cpradio) #6

Right. How old? Good question, as ideally we’d want to default to something that makes sense for all. I wonder though, if flagging should be disabled once a topic is closed/archived would be a better default instead of date driven. It would encourage everyone to close/archive old topics.

But as a recent example, one of our migrated topics was flagged and the topic was started in 2000.

Yep, I’m pushing that to be a #1 priority for the Sitepoint Dev team (hoping I can get @HAWK to agree and get us time dedicated for that feature). It is by far going to be the best feature for us at this moment (from a moderation/staffing standpoint).

(cpradio) #7

On second thought, it would have to be closed for X days before the flags disappear (or the auto-closed message would need its flag to remain) so users have the ability to flag it to re-open it – should a discussion be ongoing or it was prematurely closed (granted, I guess they could just use Reply as New Topic).


Have you started a topic on our forum?

(cpradio) #9

Yes, I sent you a PM with the link since it is a private category.