Zombie threads, can anything be done?

Well, let’s ask the question directly of the [del]gods[/del] mods:

Mods, why are zombie threads not marked in some conspicuous way so it is immediately apparent to us-all? Is it because of lack of interest on the part of the mods? Too much trouble to implement? Not an existing capability of vBulletin? Lack of agreed-upon definition of a zombie? The mods themselves are zombies?

I can appreciate zombies as much as any other thread. After all, if the topic is interesting to me and I haven’t seen it before, then it’s of interest to me to read it, zombie-nature notwithstanding. But I do like to know, and have it blatantly called to my attention, that the thread is old, and may contain dated material, and I like to scroll down to recent posts to see why it was re-enlivened. And I agree that it’s a PITA that I should have to train myself to look at the start date (especially since I often jump directly to the last page of a thread).

I would like the zombie notification to be up front, on the thread-list page, like with an icon or a different color or something. Be nice also if the starting date of the thread was there too. How thoroughly configurable is vBulletin?

How long have you been posting here? :smiley:

Before the hamster was on steroids :smiley:

Is there a Greasemonkey script which can do this (since a lot of Dopers are running it now for their avatars)?

Or posters could just quit pulling this crap. That would also work.

The zombie jokes haven’t been funny for a long time, and there’s no reason to hassle a new poster who stumbles onto the board through Google. If we dealt with the posters who are making new people feel unwelcome, that would go a long way toward making zombie threads much less of a big deal.

I’m not optimistic on people cutting the stupid zombie jokes, but a man can wish.

I do have to say one reason for all the zombie jokes is legit - to alert posters that it is a zombie because there is no other way that really stands out except to use this self defeating method (that tends to have the thread closed).

Many times I have only notices the zombie nature of a thread after noting the zombie jokes. But there has to be a better way, there just has to be.

Yes, there is.

First, look at the date of the thread.

Then, if you’re interested in posting to it, mention politely to the poster (and others) that the thread is old.

Zombie jokes are not a particularly helpful way of alerting anyone to the fact that the thread is old. The significance is going to be completely lost on the person who raised the thread, as well as any other newbie who sees it. (Posting nothing but “BRAIIIINS!” is particularly annoying.)

I will admit to be jaded on the subject after reading a few thousand zombie jokes too many, but I really wish people would give this old shtick a rest. Only about one in a hundred are amusing.

That sounds like a challenge!!

Here and/or here.

CMC fnord!

It’s a challenge far too many people have already taken up. People that don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding at.

Ok, but let’s make it interesting. I’ll issue a warning for any that don’t have me ROTFLMAO. :slight_smile:

Colibri, take a look at this nearby thread:

Can do? cochrane (post #6) seems to think so. (But with what version of vBulletin?)

I don’t know if that’s an option. cochrane’s site is running a much more recent version of vBulletin than we are.

I don’t see anything wrong with zombie threads.

You must be one of them then :smiley:

The powers that be could solve two problems at once if they would just implement changes that allow users to “Like” zombie threads.
Probably wouldn’t need an ATMB forum if that was done :slight_smile:

The problem with zombie threads is different in the different forums. Seethe FAQ: Guidelines and Etiquette [On resurrecting old threads](http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=7697100#post7697100 ).

In some forums (like CoCC, say) there’s really no problem with zombie threads. And we permit them there. It was discussed three years ago, so what? The only problem is if someone re-opens an old thread just to say, “I agree with that!” and doesn’t add anything new. Then it’s a kind of waste of time to read through a long thread that’s old with nothin’ new. As others have said: avoid that problem by noticing the date before you start reading; then skip to the recent posts, perhaps. Or re-read and enjoy the thread. Basically, we don’t see this as a problem.

And we’d MUCH rather have all thoughts on one topic (like comments on one of Cecil’s columns) in one place, regardless of the time span since the last post.

In other forums (like MPSIMS or the Pit, say) there really can be problems with zombie threads. As noted in the Guidelines and Etiquette, the potential problems are:

  • Re-opening old wounds. If there were hard feelings and high emotions long ago, and they’ve been quieted down, why stir them up again?
  • Revisiting issues long dead (e.g., some rant by a poster who has since been banned or left, or a person having a problem with their newborn infant in a five-year old thread)
  • Unfairness. The people who posted long ago may not be around to respond to your comments, or may have forgot that they even posted there.
  • Confusing (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 would be awkward if revived.)
    Thus, zombie threads are NOT permitted (mods will close them) in MPSIMS, Pit, IMHO.

Now, why not mark a zombie thread? The only method that is practical (there is no staff with time or availability to modify the system) would be for mods to mark such threads on a one-on-one basis. By the time we do that, it’s too late. The current approach is we close 'em when we find 'em in forums that don’t allow 'em; and we ignore 'em in forums that do allow 'em. Seems to work.

Well theres your problem :smiley:

And may I suggest you look up the meaning of practical. :wink:

Zombie threads, can anything be done?

Yes, you can get the hell over it. Problem fixed.

“Oh, no, I posted in an old thread! The Mayans were right!”

Irishman, fine you DON’T have a problem with zombies, but some of us do. **Get the FUCK OVER YOURSELF! **