Why are comments closed on MakeUseOf articles after 90 days?

Tilman October 4, 2011
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Dear MakeUseOf people,

currently, comments are closed if an article on MakeUseOf is more than 90 days old. Why? I think this is stupid because sometimes you might want to revive a discussion (for instance to give new information or to let everyone know that the article contains old information)… Or sometimes you find an article after it is already expired – but perhaps you have something valuable to say to the topic!

In my opinion, keeping comments open would be a good idea :)

Cheers,

Tilman

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  1. Tina
    October 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Tilman,

    there are three main reasons why we closed the comments for articles older than 90 days:

    For one, authors were getting overwhelmed with comments on old work. When you write several articles a week and you receive comments for every article you ever wrote on a weekly basis, imagine how that comment flood builds up over time.

    Secondly, some authors have left us and then new comments to their articles never received a response or no one else knows enough to provide an answer in their name.

    Third, some articles are outdated after a while. No one wants to support a two year old article about a piece of software that has since gone through upgrades and hence works different than described in the article. However, people discover the article on Google and you can imagine where that leads to.

    Finally, this is what MakeUseOf Answers is there for. Got a question about an old article? Post it here? This is also what drives traffic to MakeUseOf Answers.

    • Tilman
      October 5, 2011 at 7:37 am

      Hi Tina! :)

      Reasons one and two would be easily solved by putting a note into the article that for example after 90 days the author is NOT anymore required or expected to follow the comments. Your third reason, however, makes entirely sense to me! And about driving traffic to MUO Answers, good point! The only problem with that is if I don't want to ASK a question but ANSWER a question (or comment on something) posted in the article or its comments. But ok, maybe the number of people who would read my comment in a very old article is anyway so small, that it doesn't matter :)

      So, thanks for your answer!

      Greetings from Finland,

      Tilman

      • Jonathan
        October 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm

        I think one and two are more about having a cluttered inbox than having to reply to comments

      • Aibek
        October 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm

        Hey Tilman,

        That was a cool question indeed :) Tina summarized our motivation behind closing comments on older articles quite well. The Answers was our solution to increasing difficulty dealing with comments. It also helped us a great deal when promoting Answers at the beginning.

  2. Jeff Fabish
    October 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Have a look at this article, Automatically Close Comments on Older Posts to avoid Spam. Apperently it's used to prevent spam.

    James Bruce is the web developer here at MakeUseOf, you may want to contact him at jamesbruce@makeuseof.com to submit your idea!

    • James Bruce
      October 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

      Gya!

      It's more an editorial decision actually, complain to Aibek, not me!!! ;)

      • Aibek
        October 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

        thank you James! :)

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