I’m sure many of you are aware that topics are able to be set up so that they automatically close after either a fixed number of days, or after a number of days past the last reply.
So far, I’ve not implemented those limits for any of the categories here. Is anyone interested in having topics close automatically? Should I set up one or more polls to determine the policy for each category?
I have never understood the tendency for internet topics to be valid only for an arbitrary length of time. Perhaps for a specific event it is a good idea. But with recurring topics and such that develop over time, I do not see the need. It seems to actually make less clutter IMO to “revive” a months-old topic with a few new posts than to start a new similar one every time.
I don’t understand the value of having topics automatically close. Since it happens in some blogs, someone must, but who benefits from that?
I say, let discussions continue. Leave it up to users, not predetermined site policy. If people keep adding to a discussion over long periods, that’s a good thing, reflecting the will of the commentariat. If no one adds to it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s closed or not.
As I see it, keeping track of where things are being discussed is already a ton of work. Closing topics just makes it worse.
The only thing I can imagine is that if you post multiple topics a day, every day, like at the other place for blog topics. Then keeping up with the comments would be an ever more difficult task.
I would lean toward not having a default expiration until someone see’s a problem that needs fixing. Is there an option for expiration when creating a topic? I can see specific topics having an expiration in some circumstances.
I seem to remember Jeff(@codinghorror) having some justification in the early days of discourse. I’ll see if I can find it or an updated explanation.
Even with our relatively small number of topics, there are clearly those which are no longer active. I’m not sure why we wouldn’t just close those. There’s nothing stopping someone from creating a new topic and referencing the old one if they wanted to re-open the discussion.
Yes. The problem with this specific scenario isn’t (just) that it’s spam… it’s that the spam ends up promoting an old, disused topic into the recent list of topics, with nothing new to add but the spam. I’m pretty sure that even once the spam is cleaned up, you’re still left with the old topic cluttering things up until enough topics that are actually being used get updated to push it back down. And (though I’d hope it wouldn’t be a problem here) if people end up responding to the spam before it’s cleaned up then that keeps bumping up the topic without any new substance.
In an active thread, it’s not too much of a hassle. With one that could be years old, you’ve now got a very old topic that people are clicking on because it looks like it has new activity, just to discover that the only real substance is far out of date and the new is just trash.
As an intermediate step, why not take a cue from how scp-wiki.net handles their articles…
Once a topic has passed a defined time-without-an-edit threshold, (a) anyone, or, (if we’re concerned about gaming) (b) a particular category of staff, puts a comment in the file proposing closing it to new edits.
Then everyone has a say. In the file. (For, say a week)
Then admin close it or not depending on the feedback (and cases) from the populace.
This lets old topics get closed, (If such a thing is needed) but also lets people who think the topic has long-term value in remaining open, say so.
Note that this shouldn’t be a strict majority vote (Though there may be a vote module used), as we should be looking favourably on the argument that a topic has long term value being open, and so err reasonably on the side of remaining open, if the case is made. (Unless there’s good reason not to.
(On a not-deleted topic, the deletion discussion itself may need forking elsewhere, of course, maybe just leaving a note what the result was.)
It’s transparent, errs on the side of caution, and is flexible enough to handle odd circumstances. And even if the wrong decision is reached, the topic can always be reawakened from its slumber by mods/admin should circumstances warrant.
I do have a question, though: Should a topic starter have the right to have a topic closed at their request?