In principle I am not against archiving. In fact, I think it's better than deleting threads because they are considered too old. However, archiving anything old now would not benefit us. It will make us look an empty place that recently started, despite the fact that we've been running this show since 1998. So right now archiving is against our best interests.
The best you can do is indeed to post new content, as this accelerates the forum to the point where we CAN and WILL archive old threads.
Which brings me to the next point: I think we should have less threads that combine topics (bin-threads). I understand the benefit of these threads, as it is convenient and it prevents stubs (1 post threads), but this path we travel upon since we opened Small Issues, is not good for the forum. In fact, it is biting the hand that feeds it. Let me explain:
- We have less threads, because you can post whatever you want to say in one 'bin'-thread
- These threads have less specific titles that can draw people in from search engines
- Which in turn means less potential newbies and discussion
- Anything interesting goes unlabelled
- Anything unlabelled quickly loses value as it ends up buried 10 pages deep in a single thread
- Ten pages on, the topic has changed and anyone arriving late(r) to the scene is inhibited from commenting on something 10 pages ago.
In theory you can splice bin-threads apart, but usually that's not helping as most posts are stubs, due to the nature of the thread that inhibits comments. It's ironic, because people fear their thread will be a stub, then make or post it in a bin thread. Thereby dooming the post to being a stub, piled on other stubs, never getting the chance to grow into a decent thread. Anyway, it's better to archive these threads and start new threads on the topics in the bin-thread, just with better thought-out titles.
Meanwhile behind the scenes I have made a threadmap (sitemap) of our SFF section. GO is proof-reading it to spot any errors made. I originally made it for the Staff to know what topics does/did our community like. But a threadmap pinned at each board, will make searching easier, and gives stubs a bigger chance to grow into decent threads.
Finally, I would like to see the forum inivisbly divided in two: An archive and an active forum section. Each with its own threadmaps. Anything old is ported over to the archive. Giving room for people to start new discussions in the active forum section. People can browse the archive to read, using the threadmap or not. Meanwhile, we can use the archived information as content to build up our new HoW front website/wiki.
The higher the forum activity and thus the turnover, the more we can archive.
In summary: be careful with archiving, get rid of bin threads and post more content driven discussions, install threadmaps for each forum section.