View Full Version : New Threads on Old Topics
12-14-2011, 10:29 PM
The other day I had an idea for a new thread but a search of these boards revealed that a near-identical thread had been created on the SDMB only five months ago. My immediate reaction was that five months was not nearly enough time to have passed to create a new thread on a near-identical or very similar topic, but what would be a good "rule-of-thumb" of time to wait between such threads on the SDMB?
A Monkey With a Gun
12-15-2011, 12:29 AM
There is no rule of thumb. It's subjective. If the new question is different enough that it is worthy of a new thread, even if it is almost the same topic, then it will get play. The worst case scenario is that some poster will say "we already did that here (link)" and be a touch snippy about it.
A thread five months old is getting close to being a zombie anyway, so my advice is to go ahead and start a new one.
12-15-2011, 07:38 AM
Depends on where the thread is. Café or Game Room? Go ahead and bump it.
C K Dexter Haven
12-15-2011, 08:06 AM
Check out FAQ - Guideliness and Etiquette on the Straight Dope Message Boards (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=384745), noting espesh Rule #4 On resurrecting old threads (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=7697100#post7697100).
The Reasons for not re-opening old threads are:
Might open old wounds. If there were hard feelings and high emotions long ago, and they've been quieted down, why stir them up again?
Revisit issues long dead (e.g., some rant by a poster who has since been banned or left)
Can be unfair. The people who posted long ago may not be around to respond to your comments, or may have forgot that they even posted there.
Can cause confusion (e.g., some public/newsworthy event that happened long ago but seeing an old thread title might imply it was new or recurring -- a thread from Sept 2001 titled, "NYC attacked!" for instance.)
First tier: depends on the forum. In GQ, CoCC, Game Room, Cafe Society, it's probably fine to revive and old thread. In the Pit or ATMB, it's probably not.
Second, assuming the forum is OK, it depends on the subject of the thread: does the thread involve any of the aforementioned reasons that we don't like zombies.
Third, tier is content of your post: whether your idea is really "new" or a continuation/response to ideas already brought up. If you've read the old thread and think your post is really a different tack, then start a new thread (and perhaps link to the old thread to show that you're aware of it.) If you've read the old thread and think your post is really related to what's gone on before, revive the thread.
Fourth tier: assuming it's passed the prior criteria, our definition of "resurrect" is deliberately ambiguous: "many months or years ago." We've usually said six months, but we're not fussy. It's mainly related to the reasons quoted above.
Finally: if you do resurrect a thread and a mod thinks it oughtn't have been, there's usually no serious consequences, assuming that you're not deliberately trying to provoke one of those reasons.
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