Let's auto-close support threads after a year of no comment


#1

Continuing the discussion from Discouraging reviving old topics:

Hey folks, we’ve been getting a lot of threads older than three years being reopened. They often reference discussions that have no current relevance, due to Hugo’s rapid development.

A year ago Hugo 0.25 was released. That is 20 releases in a year. I’d say that is a decent amount of time to go by without comment for a thread to be closed.

And because I am selfish, I only really want #support topics to auto-close. Whatcha’ll think? :slight_smile:


#2

I’m not against auto-closing old support topics. Quite often information contained there is outdated.

If it is possible to close these automatically with Discourse I think it would also be good idea to setup an automated comment with something like:

This topic has been closed because it is old. Parts of the information contained here may be outdated, because Hugo is in active development.

Of course the opinion of some of the other moderators and admins is needed for this action, so I am tagging them, because they might miss this topic.

CC/ @spf13 @bep @michael_henderson @anthonyfok @moorereason @digitalcraftsman @RickCogley @rdwatters


#3

I can see why you’d recommend this because uncommented threads often cause unwanted bloat and, consequently, negatively affect search. But do you think that sometimes the older threads (especially with the “[SOLVED]” prefix in the subject line) often represent a sorta inadvertent FAQs? I’d rather figure out a way to close based on more a more multidimensional criteria; e.g. lack of recent comments, traffic, redundancy (hard to do), etc. What are your thoughts, @onedrawingperday and @maiki ?


#4

Another thought would be to create more categories for greater taxonomic value. Forums are like websites in this way: better categorization == easier management.


#5

This sounds like manual work.

This also sounds like manual work.

Personally, I simply don’t have the time to assign tags to old threads.


#6

None of us have time to manually clean up the forums.

I meant from this point on. A “two-tiered” approach. Think of it like moving houses: you clean up and throw away old items while setting up for reorganizing in the new place.

(And note my comment of “hard to do” :wink:)


#7

I don’t know what problem you are trying to solve.

My problem is:

  1. Someone replies to an old thread that has dozens of people subscribed to it.
  2. If the thread is no longer relevant, or the person is new to the site, we run triage on their post, but replying sends more email to the subscribers

I am not commenting on any of those criteria; my problem has to do with bothering unrelated parties while teaching folks how to find help.

I think auto-closing threads after one year from the last post solves my issue without adding any complications. Do folks have feelings about a closed thread? It doesn’t disappear or not show up in search, it just can’t be replied to by new users.


#8

As I said above I’m fine with it. If it’s possible to do close old threads automatically even better.

P.S. Also skip my suggestion about outdated content.


#9

I see. I was responding directly to the comment in which I was tagged. I thought this had to do with the accuracy (“outdated”) of the content inside these threads and not just closing them off from further commenting. Auto-closing based on time works for me :smile: I’ll table my other recommendations for improvements. Thanks for the @ mention, @onedrawingperday. Sounds like you guys are on the right path :+1:


#10

I think it’s a good idea. And it seems to be possible to do this automatically too. This Discourse discussion says where that option is (it seems baked in, so without having to hassle with plugins).

I wouldn’t say this, in case people start topics like “I wanted to try this but the forum says its outdated. what to do now?”.

It’s easier for the community if people simply try the information in the 1+ year old thread. If it works, great. If it doesn’t work anymore, they can always post about it after trying it. :slight_smile:


#11

I cannot seem to find what is described in that Discourse discussion.

So I guess that this option is accessible to Forum admins only.

But I’m not one of them :wink:

@maiki if you really want to auto-close threads after a year, I think that you should PM a forum admin.

P.S. @jura no need for that notice indeed.