Remove old unanswered messages

lunarlander

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
12,285
Can a moderator delete the old unanswered threads that started around COVID-19 shutdown time frame. It looks bad to have 6 pages of unanswered messages.
 

Macboatmaster

Trusted Advisor
Spam Fighter
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Jan 14, 2010
Messages
23,907
I tend to agree that it does not look good for people browsing the site, with the possible intention of joining, to ask for help, to see so many unanswered threads
Although I think I am correct in saying that the oldest now shown is dated May 13, well after lockdown
My opinion is that it would look worse, for a person who has taken the trouble to join the site, to find his post deleted.
I am not sure what the best way forward is, if indeed there is one.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
2,757
I'm old school and of the mind set of not deleting or closing any post no matter if solved or not. Some forums love to lock a thread just because it's been solved and IMO, that's just not a way to go. To me that looks just aa bad as a bunch of unanswered posts.

With that said.....1 solution for the unanswered posts is to use a generic bot reply if no action has been taken to answer a post in 24 hours. The logistics of that I leave to the powers that be. But it's very doable
 

TechGuy

Mike
Administrator
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Feb 12, 1999
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14,586
1 solution for the unanswered posts is to use a generic bot reply if no action has been taken to answer a post in 24 hours.
That certainly doable. I like the idea of doing something to try to draw attention to them. The trouble with putting an automatic reply on it would be that it would no longer show up in the list of threads with no replies... but it doesn't seem like being on that list is helping folks much share l anyway.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Messages
32,527
How about posts that don't require an answer not needing to be listed as unanswered?

  • Tech-Related News
  • Tech Tips and Reviews
  • Personal News & Announcements
  • Photo Album
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
2,757
That certainly doable. I like the idea of doing something to try to draw attention to them. The trouble with putting an automatic reply on it would be that it would no longer show up in the list of threads with no replies... but it doesn't seem like being on that list is helping folks much share l anyway.
I know......it's damned if you do or damned if you don't. Really worth staff input on it and then discuss the in's and out's of doing so.
 

Cookiegal

Karen
Administrator
Malware Specialist Coordinator
Joined
Aug 27, 2003
Messages
117,442
This is interesting. Here are some of my observations.

First, as Malcolm pointed out, the list goes back to May 13th so it appears it's set to display 30 days worth of unanswered threads. There are currently 155 unanswered threads over a period of 30 days for an average of 5.16 per day which doesn't seem too bad. I don't have information on how many threads are started each day on average, perhaps Mike would be able to get that statistic. Also, it's not like it's "in your face" as you have to actually click two links to see the list and I don't think most people who come here for help are looking for unanswered threads. :unsure:

A bot replying after 24 hours could be helpful but then if it still goes unanswered that would be a second slap in the face for the unfortunate poster.

I do agree with Knuck (2twenty2) that those forums could be removed from the list as well as Thread Games & Discussion, Random Discussion, Controversial Topics and perhaps even the Virus & Other Malware Removal forum since they have tags to show the cases that haven't received responses. These are the numbers I counted during this 30-day period for those forums:

Tech-Related News = 5
Tech Tips and Reviews = 0
Photo Album = 0
Personal News and Announcements = 0
Virus & Other Malware Removal = 5
Random Discussion = 2
Controversial Topics = 0
Thread Games and Discussion = 0

As you can see, it wouldn't make a huge difference as there are only 12 and 1 page displays 30 but still probably worth implementing. Although I prefer to leave Personal News and Announcements because very few people reply to those threads as it is and that can be a reminder to wish another user Happy Birthday or give them congratulations for something.

All of the above are just observations as I'm open to changing it. It really doesn't matter to me one way or the other how many display. But perhaps, we could just shorten it from 30 days to 10 days in which case there would only be 1 page and part of a second page using this period as an example. Generally, I think if a thread has remained unanswered for 10 days and the user hasn't bumped it then we can probably assume they've gone elsewhere for help.
 

TechGuy

Mike
Administrator
Joined
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Messages
14,586
It makes me wonder if we should be more focused on making unanswered threads more visible to help gain actual replies... maybe highlighting them in some way in the forum lists, at least to users with more than X replies? Any other ideas?
 

Cookiegal

Karen
Administrator
Malware Specialist Coordinator
Joined
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Messages
117,442
Is it possible to put a NEW tag on similar to the Virus forum but that would go away automatically when someone other than the thread starter replies?

It might help too if there were a direct link to "Unanswered Threads" at the top that would be a bit more obvious than having to go through "Find Threads". A direct link already exists for "New Posts" so it stands to reason there should be one for "New Threads" as well.

I wonder why new threads are not available under the "What's New" drop down menu. I guess they don't want to show them in two places but that would be a place someone might look for them.

Another thought, if those titles that have drop down menus would display those menus when hovering rather than having to click that might be a bit helpful as well when exploring those options.
 

TechGuy

Mike
Administrator
Joined
Feb 12, 1999
Messages
14,586
Good suggestions! New threads do show up in What's New, but easily get lost in the replies. I'm going to look into tagging threads with no replies in some way, hopefully looking similar to the Malware Removal forum.
 

Cookiegal

Karen
Administrator
Malware Specialist Coordinator
Joined
Aug 27, 2003
Messages
117,442
I don't see "New Threads" under "What's New". The only options I see are:

New posts
New profile posts
Your news feed
Latest activity

By New Threads I mean ones newly started with no replies yet. I guess Latest activity has threads that are new to me even though they have received replies. Is that what you are referring to?
 

Cookiegal

Karen
Administrator
Malware Specialist Coordinator
Joined
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Messages
117,442
Sorry for the confusion, what I really should have said in post no. 9 is:

I wonder why unanswered threads are not available under the "What's New" drop down menu.
 

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