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YARNLADY's avatar

When you ask a question, do you only want the most current answers?

Asked by YARNLADY (45525points) October 20th, 2010

Some people object to links to older question comments, as if they only want the most current comments. What is your feelings about this? Do comments on similar questions have no value for you? Is there any reason to archive questions if no one wants to look at them?

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13 Answers

Aethelwine's avatar

I like to compare past Fluther questions to classic rock. It’s nice to reminisce, but it’s also nice for new input. Led Zeppelin gets old after awhile.

Links are fine, but Fluther is growing. Not everyone searches for past questions. Let new users respond to questions they aren’t searching for. No harm done. If you answered the same question a month ago, let it be and let new users respond.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with posting a link to a similar question, so long as you aren’t berating the asker of the newer one for asking it again. If it was asked very recently, and gets flagged, we generally remove the newer one… but not always. It depends on what the question is asking.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The challenge today is that, not only are new members not aware of the search feature, it is sometime hit-or-miss for those of us who know how to use it. Fortunately, the Fluther staff is working on it. In the meantime, certain links to old questions are helpful, depending upon what the OP is looking for.

I’ve seen appropriate examples of providing a link to an older question is very appropriate, like bob’s link in this response. There was another post by a Jelly linking back to “The Fluther Proposal” when the question was about who had the highest amount of GQ points for one question.

It also depends upon how it is delivered. I asked a question one time, and JLeslie gave a wonderfully hospitable response with a link:
You may be interested in a question I asked a very long time ago basically asking the same thing. Although I am interested to see what new answers you get.

When a link to an old question is provided with a comment that says, “You might be interested in this”, or “Here we go again…”, it makes some people uncomfortable, especially the OP. There is always the option to send the link to old and similar questions to the OP via a PM, thus creating a potential win-win situation.

I’ve read questions that have been asked before, and I either pass it over or reply (occasionally giving a different response then the one on the earlier post). Often, the new question has a subtle difference, so I find it important to read into what it is that the OP is actually looking for.

Frenchfry's avatar

I must say, I never knew it existed this feature. Where is it? I just had a person do that to me in one of my questions. The answer answered” no “with link to a old question. I thought,” Ok”. I didn’t even bother reading the old question, and answers. For what I see people views, and ideas change . I have not been on this site as long to find questions old ,and boring, and repeated enough to take the time to search old questions to point to the asker it has been asked before. Does that make sense? If I know the answer , or have a answer ,I answer it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Frenchfry The Search box is up in the top right corner. I thought it was a link to Google until I tried it and figured it out. I have yet to see any instructions pointing towards it on Fluther, although they may exist.

I think I know which post you are referring to. The person included a permalink so it took me directly to their response. I’m okay with that; the response obviously hasn’t changed. It’s also a tacit way of acknowledging that the question has been asked before. But you are right; responses can change over time or based upon the content of the question, even if it is a similar topic.

Frenchfry's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer That’s it. I also thought it was link to google. That is funny. Thanks

JilltheTooth's avatar

I like the links, I love exploring the old questions. If, for some reason, I’m not interested in them I simply don’t click. If someone links to be rude or snotty, so what? I’m not required to respond.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I like to see comments from older questions so I did appreciate it when you posted a link on one of my questions recently. However, I do like fresh answers too and as I have noticed that questions more than a few months old don’t get answered very often by newbies (or oldies that didn’t catch the question when it was originally asked) I have no qualms about asking a question that may have already been asked.

Blueroses's avatar

If it’s a technical or serious question that was well answered previously, by all means please send me the link.
Social questions are different. Suppose you and your friends were all sitting around talking about your favorite candy… nothing special… then, two years later, a lot of your old friends are gone and the new guy says, “You know what I like? Snickers.”
Do you fix him with glare saying “We’ve already said all there is to say on that subject. Too bad for you for missing it. Here’s the transcript of the conversation, now shut up.”

Frenchfry's avatar

@Blueroses OMG That was funny! Here’s that transcript now shut up! Hilarious.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Blueroses hahaha, that’s really funny. I curious though, are you also not allowed to say “Last year, my dog ate an entire box of See’s Candy and it didn’t even make him sick.” After all, nobody cares what your dog did last year – or ever. What about; “Remenber the time we all tried to eat our entire bag of Halloween candy and ended up getting stomach aches?” Oh, wait, I forgot, we aren’t allowed to talk about what happened in the past.

Blueroses's avatar

Well @YARNLADY You just sorta illustrated my point. It’s basic “customer service” protocol isn’t it? Always remember that no matter how many times you’ve heard the same question, it is the first time that this particular person has asked it. The difference between rolling your eyes and pointing at the Restroom sign… and saying “It is just down the hall and on your left.” Same terminal result but one way makes the person feel slighted and the other makes them feel they were helped.

It’s not at all that you should never bring up the past. Just keep in mind the tone you use and remember that not everyone is privy to the same information you have. I’ve seen you give great answers and great links to helpful things.
Not for nothin’ (;-D holla, Jersey!) but sometimes “helpful” can come across as “hall monitor”.

flo's avatar

It depends on each question. I would specify if it is important to me.

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