Zombie threads and allowable forum practices

(Shelley Powers) #1

Second time a post I wrote was moved because of some consolidation fixation.

In most tech circles I inhabit, it’s considered bad form to create a Zombie thread. By this I mean, posting to a thread that’s been dormant for weeks (or months or years).

I post a comment based on original topic, and communication in that thread. When you move my posting, it removes the context. And when you move it to what was a dormant thread, you’re creating a Zombie thread.

I’d rather you just delete my posting, which I’ll do from now on.

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

Well… that’s up to the Administrators of the Community. For being an discussion forum sponsored by the vendor, they give us huge leeway to say anything we want about the product (completely open and searchable by the public).

For that, I’m generally grateful and … post my suggestions for organization and administration, but take it as it goes.

(Cody Truscott) #3

I never understood that mentality — I much prefer consolidation vs similar info spread about and difficult to track down.

(Shelley Powers) #4

One can search.

When you’re dealing with multiple generations of software and devices, a discussion that happened four months ago may no longer be relevant.

Internet of Things technology is advancing very quickly. What was true in October (or May or January) may no longer be true because of new technology, new software updates, and new devices.Consolidation of discussion makes no sense–not unless it’s very generic. And I mean very generic.

A discussion that began, flourished briefly, and then stopped a couple of months ago happened because of a specific interest, at a specific time, among a specific group of people. That the discussion stopped means that the topi or circumstances were not of sufficient longevity, or the people lacked the interest, for the discussion to continue.

A seemingly similar discussion pops up a couple of months later…but it’s not necessarily the same. Since then, new people have bought devices, new devices have been released to the market, new versions of software have been released.

For long-time community members, it may seem like the same thing, over and over again. But for newer folks, it’s a chance to participate in a new, active discussion related to a topic of interest. And it may end up going a new and interesting direction the older posting didn’t. Perhaps it will even be the discussion that continues to be lively past a few days worth of posting.

Of course it’s up to the community moderators to do whatever they want to do. But they have to balance the forum interests. And one thing they should hesitate to do, is move someone’s posting to another thread. A better choice would be to note an older posting in the thread, and allow it to either move organically, or if the new thread flourishes…what of it? It’s not like active participation is going to hurt anything.


I understand the frustration. Most of the tech forums I’m in lock and archive topics that are too old and don’t allow further posts to them. But many topics remain valid regardless of age.

It can happen, but I’d be surprised here if the whole string of posts that had jumped to a new topic weren’t moved together, thus retaining context. That seems to be the usual practice.

My posts get moved all the time. Particularly out of the deals topic where there’s a real Temptation to go off on tangents but members do rightfully complain about the thread getting cluttered.

Like you, if I think it doesn’t belong in the new topic I delete it there. I consider it a small price to pay for being able to more easily find information in the future. :sunglasses:

(Amauri Viguera) #6

I think it depends entirely on the circumstances, and this is a terrible forum for that type of thing, mostly because change is the status quo, so things that are valid today are “mostly” valid in weeks, or things might have changed so much that the information is almost useless (see for example all those threads referencing the old mobile app interface, and now things look completely different).

I think xda follows a good method when it comes to information management. There is an entire section of arcived threads where valid info goes to die, and you should search there first. But there are also a ton of stickied threads that make it easy to find the most popular stuff at a glance, and the OP continually updates the first post with relevant info, so you don’t have to go 322 pages in to find out that there’s a new device type or some craziness.

Still, there are plenty of reasons to resurrect some threads… I’ve been waiting patiently for the Napco alarm compatibility and the Tank Utility folks to come back and report they have a working fuel oil sensor, but rather than create a new thread every few weeks or every other month, it makes much more sense to post in the old ones and “bump” them, even though it can be considered bad form.

(Shelley Powers) #7

It’s not that big a deal.

I don’t like my posts being moved, so will just delete them when they are. If it happens frequently, I’ll just respond less actively in the community. Not that big a deal.

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #8

I agree with you, but I see a flaw in your logic…

When they are moved they remain valid and valuable.

When they are deleted you completely invalidate your information, opinion, and knowledge. Plus, you do yourself and the rest of a disservice by no longer allowing us to least from you, nor you learn from us.

Just my opinion, but I try to learn from everything because even the old out of date information can effect today’s information.

(Eric) #10

I personally have trouble looking through the really long threads when I am attempting to find a solution. You start off at post #1 with a questions, then 50 or so wrong or outdated solutions and you finally stumble across the answer on post 267. I think we should start using the wiki more, posting more guides and keeping them updated so we can point people to them.

As I post this 9 months later…

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #11

And this is why there are a few of us trying to find the time to make the wiki more in depth.

(Eric) #12

I just made an edit yesterday to the wiki. Must keep this thread about zombie threads alive!

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #13

What part did you make changes to?

(Eric) #14

I added the “Do” piston to the CoRE documentation.