It's ridiculous and confusing for so many new people! This topic has been discussed before and nothing gets done about removing them. I find it very annoying now and kinda ignorant of the forum. Do you really want to scare and confuse people with information that is 5 years old??
We discuss the older threads all the time, and it isn't easy to find a balance. Many new members find us through these older threads in Google, and we want them to find us. Yes, there is the advertising part, but we really do want members to find us to get some of the best info there is from really great people.
I'll pass on your suggestions about the Search function.
I must be backwards..... I feel that the value of a forum lies in the depth of information it holds. That means the "search function" might yield better answers than some members may type up today.
It is quite common that someone has answered a question before and in more depth. THAT is why some old threads are better than some new threads.
If you were to delete threads after they were 6 months old, the amount of information in the forum would shrink dramatically. These old threads are a manner in which inquiring people can get a well rounded answer to their question.
20 threads of varying age are worth more than 2 new ones, IMHO.
I personally believe that people who are willing to read and digest information end up becoming the best end users.
It may equally be true that those same people may become the next person who writes a good reply. Good reading begets good writers. : )
If you were to remove all old posts..... you also essentially provide a disincentive to post well reasoned and complete replies.
.....Why put in the effort if it is going to get tossed after a few weeks or months?
And who is it exactly who decides how many weeks old a thread is before it gets removed? It is the same person who fact checks to make sure all information read on MedHelp is correct?
(sarcasm implied) : )
Caveat lector "let the reader beware"
(also....let the reader pay attention to posting dates) : )
The way people find this forum is by doing searches.
Sadly medhelp seems more concerned with getting new members than being sure the information is accurate.
Granted it would be difficult for them to oversee all the information on the huge variety of topics it covers.
And we've had members defend the old posts.
This is not a new subject but I agree it can be problematic.
My only issue with the search function is that you have to click on each link to see what the date is. Only the title of the thread appears. That woudl be OK except there is no way to sort the results. I just did a one word search within this community on "Wellbutrin" and the first thread was dated 2007, the second 2008 and so on.
Surprisingly the terms:
"Anemia RIBA dose reduction" yielded many results from this year.
When I entered the same terms (Anemia RIBA dose reduction) in Google on a computer I never use the first four results were Medhelp links.
it is a business and the amount of daily page hits is directly relative to ad generation revenue. if you can't get them to your site, you can't generate revenue.....sadly enough even if outdated medical information is involved...
scary if you ask me...............how about making that tiny little hour glass depicting an old thread bigger and the date more prominent...surely it would be a minor change to do................just sayin.
What I don't understand is why Medhelp does not set it up to when somebody responds on a old thread and hits the "Post a Comment" button it automatic sends them to start a thread? With their post already there all one would need to be asked is to put a title in their question and then hit post.
I agree with Willy in that old posts do have some great information and are worth reading. We often see the newer members posting responses to very old threads. They don't recognize the hour glass and even if they see it, they don't know what it means. It would be very helpful that if someone tries to respond to a thread over 6 months old, they get a pop up box to indicate the age of the thread. Or Can-do's suggestion would work too.
If anyone has ideas on improving MH you can go to the "Improve MH Suggestions forum" and post your ideas. I wouldn't count on any changes, but you don't know if you don't try. MH is doing some very creative things with ads and "featured videos", so I'm sure these fixes are very possible. If it increased revenues it would be done tomorrow. :)
I wonder if there have not been much innovation or functional improvements with the search function or other ideas that have been suggested since there are few communities on MedHelp that are related to chronic, long-term conditions. With HCV & HIV and to some extent HBV there is a a constant influx of new members with ongoing activity from experienced members. I don't know if that makes sense or not. I have skimmed through other health forums on MedHelp and there is a high degree of transience.
Not sure of the rationale, but the lack of a good search function bugs me much more than the old post thing. This has been brought up with several suggestions in the past and no effort has been made to resolve it. We use the web to search and look up information and the poor efficiency of MH's search function is frustrating. It would be a great help to be able to sort by date, a date range, or list by most current first. However, making things easier and more efficient doesn't seem to be the priority of MH and may result in fewer clicks and revenue. Same old song and dance. :-(
Below is a nearly 15 month old thread. It was answered today by the OP- the original poster.
The thread was started by a member who stopped triple therapy at about 9+ weeks, and ended TX completely. They wanted to know what their chances were of success.
Today, about 15 months later they reported back with their result.
Old threads do not necessarily have to be locked but a more sophisticated search function does not seem an impractical suggestion.
I tried to articulate my frustration with the search function on MedHelp in a previous post. Maybe an image will help. I saw a recent post today added to a thread from 2004. Even if a person used the Search function in the HCV Community, the date of the original post does not appear.
You have to click on the post and then go back to your search if the first result is outdated. To us an old post may be obvious (plus the hour glass is there as well). A new person might be able to relate to what is said in the post so well that (s)he may not even notice the date.
Here is the result of a general but common search (No insurance). The pink font denotes the date of the original post. I was thinking if there were a way to sort the results, regenerating such old posts may not happen as often. I have seen it done elsewhere with posts on forums and reviews on web sites:
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