I've been seeing this a lot lately: If a topic is not easily answered or is not part of a popular technology, it slides on down the list and will not be posted on again just within a day (sometimes the same day?). An example would be my latest started thread: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?929711-Zend-Framework-Couple-design-questions. I know there's plenty of people out there that can throw their two cents in on this topic, but it has already become buried and won't see anymore attention than it has already received, which did not cover everything.
I suggest either breaking PHP forum down in to further sub categories, or perhaps some sort of new view that would easily show topics that still need attention (allow the poster to mark answered or something)
Or, what about making the "Unanswered Threads" list navigable?
As it stands, I can only ever see the first page, although it tells me that it found a few thousand results for threads with a maximum of zero replies?
I know this doesn't fully answer Kyle's point, but it might be something that's easy to implement, that goes a little way to addressing it.
As for 'show topics that still need attention'... how do you define 'need attention'? We've had threads that were answered in reply 1 that go on for 70 or 80 posts. Unanswered threads? Well there's a link for that in the top bar, and if you want to narrow it, go to the Search page and choose your forum, set the replies limit to "Most Replies: 0", and hit go...
The possibility of topic-tags was discussed in the staff areas, not sure anything came of it though. So many that wouldnt use the tag, or wouldnt respond back...
I'm not sure of the best way to attack this, I'm just simply pointing out that I feel there is a an area that has an opportunity for improvement. As for the unanswered threads tool, while great, will exclude items such as mine that I provided as an example.
The PHP forum is very large and very active, a lot of days, a post will be pushed on to page 2 within the day of creation and will fall out of view to a lot of people. PHP is also a very broad topic with many specializations I feel. If it were to be broken up into smaller specializations (OOP? Frameworks?) then these categories may become less used / active than we are used to, but would take care of issue one, as well as bring attention to newcomers that there are better approaches / methods past what they are using now.
Though I know breaking forums up further is frowned upon, but thinking on this further, SP is THE premiere source the web dev community, and we are just lumping its primary server side language all together in one group? I'm not sure how it should be split up, but I feel it's activity warrants it.
Though [SOLVED] at the beginning of a thread name is useful, I think it's a bit of an eyesore, and we can also do better than that if we go down that road (which I think would prove most useful). Color code the thread row based on it's status perhaps? Open, Solved and Inactive (30 days of inactivity without being flipped to "solved" by the thread creator) but without manipulating the thread title... Quick toggle to filter between these 3 in the thread browser would bring in the ones that might still need attention. Just some ideas..
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