So we had a process of "archiving" posts that were over 1 year old within our Community. Our process was to go board by board, find any post that was created over a year ago, post a new reply to the thread with a message stating "the thread was archived, but saved for education purposes and to create a new post if they need help," and blocking new replies.
We stopped this process because we thought that there should probably be a little more going into what gets archived besides just the date on the post. So I wanted to get some thoughts on this. I saw this post, and while there is some great information there, it does not seem like the right fit for our Community and the posts that we have. We also are currently not deleteing any posts, just commenting & blocking new replies.
How do you archive within your Community? Do you have a specific Archive board? How do you determine what gets archived and what does not?
Thanks in advance
Manual archiving is a huge amount of work. I could never justify that time spent archiving when it could be put towards helping existing users. As you mention, even if you are archiving everything it is a very labourious process. And if you are trying to assess every post and make a judgement call about whether it should be closed or not, that it even more work.
At my previous community, we got a third party developer to create a simple system in which posts created more than xx days ago are automatically closed to new comments. It's something that the Lithium platform should definately offer. You can see an example here - http://community.myob.com/t5/Getting-started-with/
Basically we were just hiding the Reply buttons and putting a message at the top of the thread that says "This thread is now archived and closed to new comments. If you have a question please post a new topic." The change was very positively received. We received no negative feedback following its introduction. We have had the auto-archive set at 6 months to be conversative but I think 3 months for a vibrant support community would be fine.
I think search should play a big role here. If Community Managers could set the timeframe for how far back search produces results, then the need for archiving is reduced or even eliminated. Search would provide always relevant and recent results. You can add your thoughts on this post - http://community.lithium.com/t5/Product-Ideas/Limi
It's very disappointing Lithium doesn't have a better way to archive posts. I know it's come up several times in the Product Ideas. I agree, it isn't worth the manual effort if you have a large community, but if we see a reply on a really old post, we sometimes reach out to the user and ask them to repost or move it ourselves.
For one of my previous communities, we archived the customer service section about every 90 days. While other sections in the community were more product focused and therefore had long-term benefit, we found that the customer service issues were too individual customer specific. We extracted any good customer service solutions and used that as the basis to author TKB articles.