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wundayatta's avatar

How and why do you go looking for old questions on fluther?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) May 12th, 2011

Another question just asked if people went back to old questions and gave out GQs and GAs. A number of people said they did and I wondered how this happened. What would cause you to look for or through old questions? How would you design your search? Why would you be doing this?

I have occasionally received a new answer on a very old question, but so far, it has generally been new people. I assume they are just surfing through, searching on one topic or another. Maybe even just checking out my questions.

However, I did not realize this was a regular practice for some people. So I’m wondering what’s behind it.

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18 Answers

Hibernate's avatar

Well maybe when posting new questions they found similar questions thanks for that or else we’d end up with the same question asked a few times ]

Maybe others were just surfing some.

blueiiznh's avatar

It comes up listed in the related items and it sounds interesting. I answer it with glee and before I know it, I see it was a 2 year old question.
Oh Well!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If someone’s response captures my attention for whatever reason, I check out their profile. it often leads to looking at the list of questions that they have posted. There are some really good threads that I have missed.

Occasionally, I use the search feature if there is a specific topic in mind. There is a boatload of stuff that has already been discussed and is still valid. This is also applicable when crafting a new question and similar questions pop up. I more often than not abandon mine and read these threads.

Some responses on a new thread share a link to an old question that is pertinent to the discussion, like The Proposal question.

Seelix's avatar

Sometimes I find my way to old questions from a Jelly’s profile, sometimes through the Related questions. I don’t often answer questions that are really old, but I like to read them sometimes.

Aethelwine's avatar

I search for old questions only if I want to reference it in a new question. I did give good answers on an old question yesterday, but that was only because it showed up in my activity and I realized I hadn’t given any good answers when I answered it a long time ago.

thorninmud's avatar

It occasionally happens that I come across some information that is very pertinent to a question I saw some time back, so I’ve searched for the Q and added my comment.

janbb's avatar

Answered this on the other thread.

JilltheTooth's avatar

What @Seelix and @Pied_Pfeffer said. I love wandering through the old stuff. I rarely answer, but I’ll GQ and GA sometimes.

JLeslie's avatar

My answer is the same as @jonsblond.

HungryGuy's avatar

Sometimes I click on the topics under a question and see what related questions are connected to them. Or sometimes I type a topic into the search box and see what questions come up.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I use @johnpowell’s most excellent thingamabob. <3

which he seems to have disabled. le sigh.

phoebusg's avatar

I usually use the search box the type questions I’d like to ask – see if they were already asked. Rarely, I click on related questions on the side and topics.

@MissAnthrope looks like there is a need for a random great question button. I for one am in favor of this.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I would love a ‘random question’ button, myself. I can’t tell you how often I use it when I’m bored.

jrpowell's avatar

@MissAnthrope :: I just moved hosting and that seems to have gotten lost in the transfer. I will fix that ASAP.

edit : All fixed. I put it under the wrong domain. And some info about how to add a random button is here. And there is also the map

janbb's avatar

@johnpowell Is the “Mark All as Read” for activity new and yours too? I just noticed it and thank whomever did it.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@johnpowell – Thank you so much! :)

MissAnthrope's avatar

I realized that I never answered the ‘why’ portion of this question..

I don’t know what it is, but I just find the old questions interesting. I’ve learned new things, been reminded of jellies gone, and stumbled across some really fantastic threads that I would otherwise have missed. Basically, it’s very entertaining for me and I love randomness, so the whole delivery is perfect. I love it. :)

Jeruba's avatar

Reasons why, more or less in order of frequency or likelihood:

•  I’ve answered the same question before, and I want to copy it or point to it.

•  I remember someone else’s answering the same question before, and I want to copy it or point to it.

•  I’m interested in getting to know a certain jelly a little better, and so I look at the profile and maybe read a few old posts.

•  I recall a question on some subject that I’m interested in now and want to see what the answers were.

•  I see something in “Siblings” that looks interesting.

•  I have a question in mind and want to see what’s been said about it in the past.

•  I want to see how a particular story turned out.


•  If in “Siblings” or linked on a profile page, I just click the link.

•  If I know who wrote the post or the question or even just who was on the thread, I use the ’@’ and username in a search along with any exact words I can remember.

Searching is often a frustrating experience, so it depends on how determined I am. Sometimes I will scroll through pages of results and sometimes I give up after one failure.

I never hesitate to GA or GQ a question when I want to applaud it, no matter how old it is. Sometimes I will even answer a very old question, as long as it isn’t something that went stale a long time ago (such as what you think of the candidates in the 2008 election).

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