Why is the fifth "suggested link" now going back several months?

I mean the five selected articles with the blue dots at the bottom of a thread, that suggest other articles to read: “New & Unread Topics”.

For about a week now, the first four have been normal, ranging from threads that were updated like 5 minutes ago to maybe 10 hours ago.

But now, blue dot 5 is usually an article that was last edited months ago: March, February, October; tonight I’ve even had some that were last edited September 30.

What’s going on?

I first really noticed it when I responded a few days ago to a thread started by @Chefguy . I didn’t notice that he posted it back in April…

Mine go back months, sometimes years. I’ve inadvertently revived zombies many times. I blame Discourse.

It may have something to do with your posting history. Right now mine has 5 topics the oldest of which has been dormant for 2 whole hours. This at 6am Eastern time.

All 5 are on my unread list. None are new to me.

I suspect that despite the cryptic “new and unread” label the list is actually some combo of “topics on your unread list, and if that’s not 5 total, add inactually new(ish) topics new to you, and if that’s still not 5 total, then something from long(er) ago from categories you frequent prioritized by Discobot somehow.”

Depending how one has their “unread” feature configures, and how they handle the new topics page (or don’t), I suggest that one might often, or only rarely, see any of the ancient bottom sludge of years long gone.

But what I’m commenting on is that it just changed in the past couple of weeks. Prior to that, the “New & Unread” have been relatively recent, not more than a day or two old. Suddenly, the last one on the list may be almost a year old.

Interesting. Again I’m not seeing the experience you are. Right now the oldest one for me is 21 minutes ago.

Did you do something like log out, or clear your browser cache or clear out your list of tracking threads or dismiss all new thread or anything like that?

It does seem to be something user-specific. I’m not suggesting you’re the only one affected, nor that I’m the only one unaffected. Just trying to imagine what could have changed either individually or globally that affects us both so differently.

I don’t even know how to clear my browser cache! Techno-peasant, remember?

Can’t think of anything I’ve done. But, it’s just an irritant, not a crisis.

That’s not my experience.

And now it’s back to normal. I didn’t do anything different, except start this thread.

@discobot , did you fix it?

Hi! To find out what I can do, say @discobot display help.

Discourse has been trying to show me golden oldies for a while now.

I got recommendations yesterday for a thread with 1 unread response from 2021…and another with an unread response from 2005.

It’s been happening again. On the front page, when I use my laptop, there are plenty of new or active threads, but in my “suggested links” area, on my iPhone, often over half of them are to threads that were last active months ago. I’m also getting it on the “suggested links” area on my laptop.

As of this posting, the fourth “new and unread” topic is 23 hours old, and the fifth “new and unread” topic is from October 2023.

Either the SDMB is dying from inactivity, or there is something wrong with the software.

Right now, the timestamps for the five “New and Unread Threads” on my desktop are:

2 hr
25 min
1 hr
Apr 19
14 min

That’s always been the case for me. The threads down there are always from a mix of different times, some recent, some not. Like, right now, the suggested links have one recent thread, and then several Site Feedback threads, all of which are going to be old. But they’re considered more related than any other threads I’ve not read yet.

I think that’s all that happening. You’ve already read the more recent threads that the system thinks are related to the threads. And you don’t have any recent updates to threads you’re watching or heavily participate in.

For someone like me, who reads a lot of threads and almost never watches any thread, I never even thought they were supposed to be recent threads.

But it’s so erratic. Now, it’s showing me five threads whose most recent posts are within the past few hours, arranged in correct chronological order.