Forum cleanup and archive

by Simon 80 Replies latest forum announcements

  • Simon

    I mentioned I was cleaning the forum archive when I bumped this thread by oompa:

    damm i miss jwd...this place will always be jwd to me...

    Rather than turn that into a discussion of the archive, I'll answer slimboyfat's concern here.

    The things I'm clearing up are either:

    • time specific and non JW related (e.g. "did you watch American Idol last night?", 2002)
    • blatant fluff ("what's your favourite ice-cream / pizza / pet food")
    • topics about topics (either "where is" or "help me find")
    • topics about the forum itself (errors, how-to's, support especially related to previous versions)
    • spats two anonymous people had on the internet a decade ago.
    • trolls, topics about trolls, smut etc...
    • what the weather is like 'today' (e.g. some random day 8 years ago)

    The reason I'm doing this is to prevent the really valuable topics in the archive being lost in all the other topics.

    Some topics will live forever and will always be kept, some were a moment in time when certain people came together, made some friendships, shared some thoughts and moved on. I am going to keep most of those, just not every last argument and bit of fluff that happened along the way.

    It's actually been quite moving. I've re-lived how the forum developed and grew and people came and went. People met and married, even had kids (that are probably 10 now !!) and some of us kept in touch, some moved on, some fell out and sadly a few died or suffered terrible losses - life happened. It's probably a bit melodramatic but it feels like watching the end of Lost - we're just a bunch of random people who've made special connections. They will never be forgotten or removed.

    So, rest assured the archive will be kept - not 100% in entirety because not every single last topic is super-valuable and by doing this I hope the forum archive will be more useful as a whole and helpful to anyone who comes across it in future.

  • slimboyfat

    Thanks for starting this thread Simon.

    You never know what might be valuable in the future, that's the trouble.

    The ironic thing is, if Eric had not died, then his topic about the name JWD, which had got no response the time, would likely have been a prime candidate for deletion. But subsequent events have given it a poignancy that could not have been foreseen, and instead of being deleted it is now cherished. Which kind of illustrates how perilous even the most selective of archival destructions can be.

    Plus threads don't stay on topic. A discussion that started about ice-cream could well contain fantastic observations about the Watchtower Society or some Bible passage by Leolaia or Narkissos buried on page 4. Deleted.

    And imagine for a moment some crazy scenario where Lars succeeds in gathering a following and somehow starts a new religion. (Stranger things have happened in the history of religion) In years to come maybe researchers will want to research how it all began, only to find all Lars' threads have been deleted. It's like someone going back in time and deleting all the Watchtowers from 1879 to 1900 that mention the Great Pyramid. Ooops.

    Are you running out of space or something? Personally I would not deleted anything (apart from stuff that breaks the rules) unless there was a very urgent constraint of space or money or something.

  • minimus

    I'm with Slim. This place is a socially comfortable area where you can hang out with people of like mind if you so desire. I have, over the years read many posters comments and threads, including some mundane ones and have learned about the poster's likes, hates, humor, issues, viewpoints, etc. ...don't tamper with a Rembrandt. You may never know what could be of value if you don't allow it to exist.


    I get SBF's point. What else can be done? It's like cleaning house, you just can't keep everything.. I pretty useless when it comes to computers, but what about saving everything "as is " somehow, and then proceed with the clean-up? If someone remember something important that can no longer be found, like OOMPA's post, then we know where it could be...

  • Splash

    Just delete all those "... you have a PM" threads.

  • Watchtower-Free

    Thanks for your hard work .

    Thanks for this site .

  • rocketman

    Good point, Splash.

    I agree with Data Dog's analogy too - it's like cleaning house. You could end up throwing away something that could have later proved important or even valuable. But that doesn't stop all of us from doing a periodic 'spring cleaning' at home.

    Unless you're vying for an appearance on "Hoarders", you're going to have to dispose of things from time to time.

  • talesin

    Thanks for that, Simon. And for all your hard work. After 10 years passed last week, I've decided to visit less, and not much posting. It's time to move along, but something in my heart says "this will always be one of my tribes". I will NEVER forget JWD, my first post .... the many lovely debates with various posters, and most of all,, the feeling I had when I first found this place. It screamed at me "YOU ARE NOT ALONE!"

    C'ead Mile Failte!

    One hundred thousand welcomes, in Gaelic!

    (w/out the accents.. drr)

    If you decide to visit down East anytime, would love to meet you and the fam.

    Thank you for sharing your personal journey, and for providing

    a place of healing,

    a place where current JWs, ex-JWs, and the general public can learn the *REAL* Truth About The Truth TM and ,,,

    well, somewhere for newly-exited JWs to test the waters in the real world.

    That, FWIW, is how I see the Mission Statement of JWN.



  • slimboyfat

    Is it really like cleaning a house? Are we really running out of space like hoarders with lots of junk cramped in a small apartment, or is JWD/JWN a huge barn most of which is still empty? I guess that's the question.

    If we really a tight for space then I don't imagine simply deleting posts about PMs, weather and ice creams is going to fix the problem in the long run anyway.

  • talesin

    SBF - it's been years since I worked with software, but I can tell you that yes, things can get 'gunked up'. We perceive that it's all cut and dried, but really, things are more sensitive than that. It may be that the HUGE amount of memory used by storage, will make the new forum a lot slower. Streamlining by way of deleting some threads, though I hate to see ANYTHING deleted, yes even my own faux pas, makes sense, and I 'get' Simon's point.

    I think you can rest assured that there is no censoring involved in this procedure. I, for one, am happy that Simon chose to let us know that he was doing this .... it is, I think, a necessary move.

    Nice to see transparency to the members, and bouquets to Simon for letting us know ... this news is bound to have its detractors (and I understand your point) ... and it gives us all a chance to express how we feel about it.



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