Closed topics - how to improve
Thread poster: Oliver Walter

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:59
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 3, 2012

Following the closing a few hours ago of an extremely long topic (over 2700 postings), I think two aspects of closed topics are badly handled and should be improved.
  1. They should remain visible in the "most recent posts" list (which is still only 2 days long) . This one simply disappeared from that list. People knowing that it was active until at least the 2nd day of October and wanting to see its latest posts will have been frustrated and annoyed when it suddenly went into "un-existence". I eventually found it but that was a slow process because I had forgotton which specific forum contains it (this one, in fact), so I used the forum search page to find my own forum posts. I suspect that many interesed members will also have forgotten which forum it is and will simply be unable to find it, unless they remember some specific words in it and find it via a forum search.
  2. When a closed topic is viewed, it should be made clear and explicit, at the top and bottom of each page, that the topic is closed and existing posts can be read but no more posts can be made in this topic. I found the absence of the "reply/comment" button a very unsatisfactory way of indicating this - it seemed that it could have been a programming error or something I did incorrectly.

Oliver


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Agree Oct 3, 2012

Forums that engender so much interest should remain visible or at least easily findable for some time afterwards. It was a pity that the one in question was closed so suddenly. Up until last evening, no one even suggested locking it and there was no hint that it was about to be locked, so I assume a number of people will be wondering what happened. I agree with the suggestion to keep such forums visible even if active participation is no longer possible.
As to the missing 'reply' button, that's often the way I discover a thread is locked. There are no words to that effect posted anywhere on the page. It may be a good idea to introduce some sort of 'locked thread' heading.

[Edited at 2012-10-03 12:57 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Improvements Oct 3, 2012

They both sound to me to be definite improvements, Oliver. Certainly, the thread should not be hidden in any way.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
My view Oct 3, 2012

Oliver Walter wrote:
[Closed topics] should remain visible in the "most recent posts" list (which is still only 2 days long). This one simply disappeared from that list.


I agree, although I also have to state that I didn't miss it until I specifically looked for it. In other words, I didn't see it and therefore had no urge to read it and to try to reply to it.

People who want to keep track of a very active thread can always subscribe to the thread.

When a closed topic is viewed, it should be made clear and explicit, at the top and bottom of each page, that the topic is closed and existing posts can be read but no more posts can be made in this topic.


I agree, the little lock icon is not sufficient. One option would be to give the final post (which invariably is from Staff) a greyish background colour. This colour is often used for hidden or deleted posts, so it ties in nicely with the colour association of "Staff intervention".


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 19:59
German to English
Closed topics Oct 3, 2012

I too believe it should be easy to locate this important discussion that has generated valuable insights into misrepresentation.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
French to English
I think we can guess... Oct 3, 2012

writeaway wrote:

Up until last evening, no one even suggested locking it and there was no hint that it was about to be locked, so I assume a number of people will be wondering what happened.


It's a pity that those taking umbrage did not simply take, albeit in a smaller measure, the advice offered to Ty by an umbrage-taker. To wit: "You know that you can leave the thread, right?"


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:59
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Agree, with two further suggestions Oct 3, 2012

1. I’d also like to see a review of the policy on intentionally disruptive elements who declare a discussion to be pointless and yet bizarrely persist in returning with some regularity to say so – the start of the slippery slope that leads a thread to get locked down.
2. I might also add that it is far preferable to me to see threads "put on ice" for a stipulated period rather than locked down indefinitely/permanently.


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Great suggestions. Definitely worth considering imo. Oct 3, 2012

Lisa Simpson, MCIL wrote:

1. I’d also like to see a review of the policy on intentionally disruptive elements who declare a discussion to be pointless and yet bizarrely persist in returning with some regularity to say so – the start of the slippery slope that leads a thread to get locked down.
2. I might also add that it is far preferable to me to see threads "put on ice" for a stipulated period rather than locked down indefinitely/permanently.


One can only hope that the powers that be seriously consider both these suggestions and don't just dismiss them out of hand.


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