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Threads should be locked out to new users once a thread is marked as an answer RRS feed

  • Question

  • One of the annoyances I have with the forums is that a thread could have been answered for months or years and then someone new will respond to it saying that have a similar problem. What they should have done is start a new thread, because they have a new problem. So once a thread has been marked as answered, the starter of the thread has the right to unmark it, and there should be a window (perhaps 48 hours) after a thread is marked as an answer that anyone can respond, and anyone who's responded previously should have the right to add to the thread, but once a certain time period has passed (48 hours) no one new should be able to add to the thread.

    They have a new issue, they get to start a new thread.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 3:00 PM

All replies

  • I think it depends. I've seen new very interesting answers posted in the old threads, so locking old threads may not be always desirable. Of course, when someone starts a new problem in the old thread it has less chances to get answers.
    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law

    Naomi Nosonovsky, Sr. Programmer-Analyst

    My blog
    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 3:17 PM
    Moderator
  • when someone starts a new problem in the old thread it has less chances to get answers.

    Perhaps there could be a new category of Abuse to get a moderator to split such Me too! posts into their own threads?   <eg>

    FWIW I think the Me Too button in Answers 2.0 is actually cutting down on the number of such posts.  It's really just a relabeling of the Alert button in these forums to get people to subscribe instead of interjecting with some of their own symptoms.  I think it's brilliant.  ; )

    ---

    Thursday, March 24, 2011 3:42 AM
  • If it does have less of a chance of getting an answer, allowing them to expand on an old thread is doing a disservice to them. Lock them out! Lock them out! Lock them out!

    Thursday, March 24, 2011 2:29 PM
  • >One of the annoyances I have with the forums is that a thread could have been answered for months or years and then someone new will respond to >it saying that have a similar problem. What they should have done is start a new thread, because they have a new problem.

    I have been locking threads as soon as the Original Poster has indicated - typically by marking a post as answer; or by replying with something like "thanks that solved it"; or both - for a couple of months.

    I don't wait for 48 hours though because that would be impossible for me to do without spending even more time in the forums. I do it for fairly current threads typically because a recent thread has been marked as an answer and the final poster's name is the same as the original posters name.  (Current threads can be processed at the same time as doing normal Moderation and replies)

    In the two months I have been doing this I have been asked to temporarily unlock two threads (only) so that additional information can be added. That's maybe 0.1% of the threads if not less.

    -------------------------

    In the other annoying case you mentioned in the quoted text, if I see that a (say) 2008 or 2009 thread has been brought into the recent posts list by a new post, I have a look at it and often end up deleting the new post (if it was a "similar" or new problem) followed by locking the thread (if it had an answer in it). Sometimes these new posts are not only new questions but also questions about products that the particular forum does not even deal with and which the thread therefore wasn't about! (Then the post definitely gets deleted)

    (If Splits worked all the time I would more often Split the new question off - especially if it were in reply to a 2010 thread - but I have got fed up with trying to Split for three or four times without any success)

     


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters
    Thursday, March 24, 2011 4:48 PM
  • As I said, there is a possibility of a new good answer added.

    BTW, here is a sample of old thread re-activation 

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/a4f34b79-b9c2-40fc-93cf-330b6228f5cd


    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law

    Naomi Nosonovsky, Sr. Programmer-Analyst

    My blog
    Thursday, March 24, 2011 7:44 PM
    Moderator
  • > BTW, here is a sample of old thread re-activation 

    > http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/a4f34b79-b9c2-40fc-93cf-330b6228f5cd

    It's an interesting example you chose because for me it is a perfect example of why that thread should have been locked long ago.

    - The new question that was just added  to that thread is just that - a *new* question and so it should have gone in a new thread.

    - the (very experienced - and MVP over many years) Moderator in that forum replied with

    "First of all, it's better to start a new thread than to revive an old thread, even if that thread covers a problem similar to yours."

    which is precisely my view.

    Then we differ on what to do with new question in threads, it's true, but the fact remains that for both of us the fact that the thread was not locked only meant that a new question from a new poster was added to an existing thread when it should have been the topic of a new thread.

    > As I said, there is a possibility of a new good answer added.

    That wasn't a new good answer. It was a new question that was added years later (which then got a good answer). It would have got a good answer if posted as a new thread too only then the new thread would have been dedicated to just that question.

    If a closed thread has a new good answer added years later, I will leave the good answer in place before locking the thread. It's the new questions that I will Split off (if possible) or delete before locking the thread.

    Mike


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters
    Friday, March 25, 2011 7:34 AM
  • This particular thread I showed in support of the topic of the discussion that is was not a good idea to add new content to an old thread. This clearly should have been a new thread, not the old thread re-activation. However, as I said, this is not 100% the case when a new answer is posted, not a new ask for help.
    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law

    Naomi Nosonovsky, Sr. Programmer-Analyst

    My blog
    Friday, March 25, 2011 1:05 PM
    Moderator
  • The problem with this is the nasty habit I've seen of a moderator marking a post as an answer without verification.  On occasion, I've seen the moderator make a post and immediately mark it as an answer.  In this latter case I've seen the marked "answer" be wrong, not answer anything resembling the question, or just a notice of "can't help you" in an attempt at getting the poster to take it up with the paid support options.  I'm not naming names here, just noticing some really self-serving practices with some moderators which I consider to be extremely poor form.

    The fact is, marked threads do not indicate answered questions, not by a sight.  Although it is true that, just due to human nature, a marked thread effectively kills the thread (by discouraging further discussion), to lock one from further action simply makes a policy of the actions of overly aggressive moderators.

    Monday, March 28, 2011 8:02 PM
  • Sounds like a problem with training around moderators. If the person who started the thread doesn't care enough to unmark the answer I don't see the problem with the scenario you just outlined.

    If someone reads a thread, sees that it's been marked with the wrong answer, they can post their version of the problem, with the correct answer in another thread.

    I personally have yet to run into the problem of having so many "answered" threads not address my issue, even if I'm having the same simpotoms, to stop using the forums.

    I do however, about once a week, have an old thread (generally of a year or more) ressurrected by someone posting "I think I have the same problem, except X, Y, and Z are different, but I'm not so sure." and then that gets sent to my inbox. New problems need new threads.

    I admit, it's a nasty habit of moderators, but the one case where I know of someone doing it, they eventually stopped.

    Monday, March 28, 2011 8:12 PM