New thread vs. replying to old post

awtoner

Member
Jan 6, 2020
18
Orange County, CA
Can someone please explain why it is better to start a new thread than reply to an existing one? A moderator recently moved my reply to a new thread instead of leaving it in the old thread after I stubbornly ignored the thread status warning when writing my reply.

This seems to be a common trend in support forums (e.g. Apple) that has developed over the past few years. It bothers me, and I'd like to better understand the thinking.

Pro's for keeping the same thread
  • Notifies anyone who's subscribed. I still get notifications on threads for a Honda Odyssey I traded in years ago, and I've actually replied since then. It should be my choice if I want to unsubscribe, ignore my e-mail, etc. By forcing a new thread, it devalues subscriptions.
  • Saves readers from having to navigate "Moved from here" links to find the older, referenced thread.

Con's for keeping the same thread
  • Threads can become disorderly if they are allowed to go off of the original topic. Maybe this is where I ran afoul, since I was including replacement alternatives in addition to the repair method.
  • A new thread with zero or a small number of replies may get more attention than one with a lot of replies. I only see this making sense if moderators, guides, and power users are scanning for new threads. I think there's an equally valid argument that, when searching for threads, those with more replies get more attention. Either by reply or new thread, it shows up at the top of the threads list.

There's some impact on reducing the number of hits when searching threads vs. readers having to wade through long threads.

References follow...

Thread status warning
Thread Status: Hello awtoner, There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days. Old threads are rarely followed and many of the members who posted to that thread may no longer be active on the forum. As a result, we make it a practice to clear out responses to old threads in order to keep the forum orderly and avoid confusion among the readers. Please start a new thread whenever you have a question or new topic as opposed to posting your question on an existing thread. Plus, posting your question in a new thread is more likely to get responses and gives your question the attention it deserves. Please Click Here To Start Your Own Thread

Forum Rules
8. Do not create multiple threads on the same topic. Creating multiple threads may cause you to miss important information about your question and is confusing for those who are trying to help you. [I realize this is about a single user posting multiple threads at the same time, but some of the logic applies.]

1. Please keep related topics in one post. That way, the entire storyline and related advice is located in one spot which makes it easy for other members to follow and offer further advice. [I think this outweighs other arguments.]

6. Please do not answer posts that haven't had any activity in more than a year (unless you are updating your own topic). Usually the issue has been resolved even if that is not reflected in the thread. If you have a question for the originator of the thread send it by pm instead. [There's a difference between answering an old post and adding to the discussion for the benefit of future readers. I would still argue for sharing the answer with all in the forum instead of just in a PM to the original author.]
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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the short answer is like it states. Some of the threads go back to 2007. Members or the commonly held thoughts of the time could have long moved onto other places.

but IMHO 60 days is nowhere near 13 years. Even 3 years later a liner style, tile or piece of equipment is still being used and the OP if still around can give a detailed report on wear and tear, or what they may have done differently.
 

mknauss

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When I move a new post from an old thread, I look to see if the OP of the old thread is still active in the forum. If it is a direct question to the OP, many times I will leave it. But if the OP has not been on the forum for some time, I move the post to a new thread and put a link to the old thread.

In reality, it is best to start a new thread instead of hijack an old thread, and if necessary, simply put a link to the old thread if it helps explain your issue.
 

duraleigh

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I think the correct answer is you hi-jacked the thread. A thread is started by an OP (original poster) and it is his thread.......with his subject and the responses to OP are his.

When you glom on and ask your question, the answers become confusing because readers are easily confused by what is being asked and answered. There are some threads where hi-jacking was allowed and they became gibberish with wasted words and wasted time.

Ask you own question in your own thread and the forum runs smoothly.
 
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JJ_Tex

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I understand your frustration. You know what frustrates me, the designated hitter in baseball. If you are a pitcher, why cant you learn to bat? At least get up there and look like you have held a bat before and aren't afraid of anything over 70mph. What do you all think?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
Many (dare I say most) of the threads on this forum are from people looking for help with something. A thread that has gone quiet for a while typically means that an answer was found or the thread had run it's course. I've also noticed that the majority of the time, it is a new member that resurrect an old thread with something to say. They found the thread through the search feature trying to research their own issue, or to gain knowledge. Adding a "Me too" or "help me also" isn't useful. As mentioned, most threads are personalized and a new post gathers interest, only to realize the thread is old and dead. It gets really confusing.

I'd agree that unless it was your own thread with an update, then definitely start a new thread. And I've also noticed that the people who can provide the most help are more likely to respond to a thread with zero responses than a thread with 132 responses. If an Expert or Guide hasn't been called upon or felt a need to reply after the first 10 or so replies, then it may never draw their attention and get the information you need.
 
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.