Topics that are just a few hours old (not even a day) get closed. Topics that management decides "thats enough" get closed.
I often feel like I would like to add something to the discussion. Sorry, you didn't log in to read it fast enough. Sorry, don't care about your opinion.
Is it really that big of deal to leave these types of topics open longer? I get the "this topic will auto close XX days after last response". But there is active discussion and boom, tough if you would like to contribute. It feels draconian.
The specific screenshot you shared would only be seen in the Ask Anything category. These particular topics will be closed as soon as a good answer is provided because that is the nature of category; it's hinted at when you make a post ("extension of the FAQ"), and the underlying reason is that recent questions and answers are shown on support.hubitat.com. The text welcomes continued discussion elsewhere (if there is, indeed, more to discuss). For posts intended to make an ongoing discussion rather than a simple Q and A, posting in another category would be more appropriate.
So, that may describe a lot of the posts you see. For others, a recent effort was made to close old posts in various categories across the forum, which should be less of an issue going forward (I think a year-long "auto close after no posts" is being added to many of those categories that wasn't before?). There are also posts that get manually closed elsewhere sooner, usually for some reason. These will not have the exact text you shared above (but may provide clues as to why), which is specific to that category and probably accounts for the majority of such posts.
Perhaps a "single question begets a single answer" type workflow used for all the things you mentioned isn't great on a forum, which by definition is ongoing discussion is to be encouraged. The person asking the question also doesn't know that an answer is a good one, if they are the one marking the post solved. Perhaps someone else has a better answer. I understand the need for a Q&A type area similar to Amazon, but even those allow for comments and don't close. I'll look for a configuration parameter to disable that section in the meantime.
I was also commenting on the often quick-close in other sections too. Feels like it happens quite a bit. Maybe I'm just sensitive to it.
IMO, question with a single defined answer? Close it.
Else leave it open.
But I assume there's a reason other than "no replies for a while". There are times I've because aware of a post or topic I find interesting, but see its closed, and then... Obviously can't comment. I can't justify creating a new post to say "that's cool", so instead it gets ignored.
One reason I sometimes comment on a very old thread is it might be one about "There isn't any device that does x" with the conclusion that no there isn't. If in the intervening time one comes onto the market I might post to say "they've finally made one". Adding to that thread then becomes useful because the OP might still be wishing they knew where to find one and will get a notification of the thread update, and others may be searching and find that thread and it makes the thread complete of information.
So basically I am saying I'd prefer threads to stay open as things do change in the world of tech and at any moment most threads may have further useful information that can make them more useful than simply becoming inaccurate and incomplete because they can't be completed.
And I've seen very few - actually I've seen no threads where they have been reawakened simply to post spam or abuse. Everything I have seen added to an old thread I am subscribed to has been of interest to me.
Ultimately this signals (I think) a maturing of the management of the Community, i.e. Hubitat staff are putting time into looking at how best to manage the Community and the conversations that occur. Like anything (I expect) they are going to make changes, review the outcome and adjust things further. So I like to look at this as a positive that the Community is being given this attention and conversations like this will hopefully inform both Hubitat staff and others on what we want, but also offers a chance for the rationale to be aired and explained.
Putting aside what reads as quite corporate speak if I look over it again... That is likely my point of posting here... While some of the rationale and justification can seem reasonable in isolation or when picked apart in detail.... the experience and interpretation by the average user is not one where they pick up on the nuance of why certain actions are taken or even that those reasons are made obvious at the time.
I don't have any answers to solving this, only that the experience can be a little jarring and I would suggest some more time is spent to improve the experience for users when topics are closed so quickly, or even re-assessing the policies being implemented to potentially relax them, slightly, even if only for a period of "transistion", while users can get used to the new approach and adjustments can be made.
I'd also add I liked the OP from the point of view of I'm glad someone took the time to offer what I take as an honest opinion about how the Community is managed. While I have perhaps less reservations about the impact of the changes, I am just one of many who use this forum and it is good to see people prompting what feels like constructive criticism, without overblowing the commentary, just putting forward their experience and the affect on their experience here.
I'd also call out @bertabcd1234 's informative explanation of some of the changes, which importantly included the rationale behind them, which is part of the process of selling a change to people. If we see topics suddenly closed without adequate warning or explanation at the time, it can impact peoples opinion and buy-in to a change like this. I am sure there have been places that could be pointed to as being communication of the change, I am not trying to downplay the challenge in managing something like this... Just my observations...
To be fair, and the reason I have not been too scathing of this change, it does not need spell the end of the conversation. There is every opportunity to continue the conversation in another topic / thread referencing the original thread. Some of the responses from some users has included they find it difficult to trawl through long running threads for answers. I'm not saying in every example te conversation will drag on to the extent that it produces a long-winded and difficult to follow discussion, but I can understand an attempt to target more succinct conversation for people to search and find.
I would expect links appear on both threads... I could be wrong... Admittedly in the list of links below the OP, not as part of a comment. Certainly if you quote them I would expect them to be notified.
I feel the need to chime in, supporting the original idea of not being so zealous about closing forum topics. I fear things have gone a bit too far, and we might be limiting ideas. I was just part of a discussion in which the person maintaining a driver thought a solution had been developed, but as we discussed the issue as a little group they discovered an even better approach. Had the thread been closed that might not have happened.
So, I really appreciate the motivation behind closing threads, but respectfully suggest that a more moderate approach might be a better path.
If you really need a thread reopened because something really has changed, then staff likely would reopen that thread. There even was a sticky thread for a while for this exact thing.
Again, if this happens, it can be reopened if necessary. That would have had to be a very inactive thread to sit with no solution and no postings for a year and then become locked. If it has any type of activity within a year, it won't be locked. That doesn't mean you should just spam a thread to keep it open though, that will likely get you a temporary ban and/or the thread locked anyway.
There were dozens if not hundreds of examples of this. There were a couple users in general who would post nonsense in a thread and ramble on about crap that was no longer relevant. They would get a temporary ban, and once they return they would go right back to dredging up 2 year old threads.
The other thing that happened fairly regularly was a new user would dig up a thread about update 2.1.0 (year 2019) and say "Rule Machine is doing this for me too" with no regard to there having been three completely different RM apps (RM4, RM5, and RM 5.1) since that last posting. So there was zero way that they could be having the same issue, or that it was the same bug. It added confusion for new users, the "me too" wasn't adding to that old conversation, and it wasn't getting the new user the help they needed.
Every forum has dickholes who do this crap. Perma ban helps. Seems rough to reduce the ability to participate for the rest of us.
I'm okay with topics aging out and locking, seems like a reasonable balance. I think it also gives a warning for posting on old threads which of course no one reads. But regardless, even if a few posts like that add to confusion of that user doing the post, the forum usually self corrects (others chime in and say 'hey this issue was solved in 2019, no longer a problem') and people continue to participate too.
I definitely appreciate that there are reasons why these policies have been enacted. My argument is that it comes at a cost that feels too high for the good forum citizens.