Proposed new Category: "Archived Categories"

Name: “Archived Categories”


  1. Forum user needs/interests are evolving and some categories are no longer active, but it is desirable to keep their content searchable and browsable.
  2. It is useful to have temporary sub-categories for meetings and workshops, but there needs to be a place to stash them afterwards, so as to not clutter up the homepage.

The use mode for “Archived Categories” will be that inactive (sub-)categories are moved there and made read-only. This category would appear at the very bottom of the homepage.

"About the Archived Categories category" Topic text:
For inactive categories to be stored in read-only mode.
[Followed by the “new to community” content in all “About the …” topics.]

Security settings:
Should be set to “trust_level_0 can see”. This means the category will not be publicly visible, but all forum users who are logged in will see it, but will not be able to post new topics or replies.

Relevant topic which inspired this proposal: Closing rarely used categories, merging simulations into Science/survey strategy

Comments welcome on this proposed new category.

Excellent. I have two suggestions (or perhaps questions):

  1. I think the name can simply be “Archived” (in the spirit that a “News” category wouldn’t be called “News Category”).
  2. I’m not sure I understand the necessity to make the archived content visible to only logged-in users. This has implications about the integrity of internet links: now someone following a link to a topic in an archived category can no longer see it unless they now sign up for an account? I understand we want to drive account sign-ups, but I don’t think putting previously public information behind a log-in is necessary. Keep in mind that the majority of our non-crawler page views aren’t logged in. I think that simply putting the “Archive” category at the bottom of the sort order is enough to keep it “below-the-fold” and not becoming clutter. Could you expand a bit on why trust_level_0 can see is necessary?
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Yes! Agree, it should just be called “Archived”, and not the “Archived Categories” category.

For “trust_level_0 can see”, my only motivation was to hide the old contents from casual (i.e., not-logged-in) users, and hide it from web searches, because the content is old and outdated. As a way to help direct attention to newer, active topics – as a user courtesy, if that makes sense – and not to drive account sign-ups, no… But I had not considered the use-case of people following links to a topic that is now in an archived category. Broken links are much more annoying than getting somewhat-out-of-date returns in a search.

Having a security setting of “everyone can see” seems worth it, to me, to ensure links stay active.