Question the forums choice to repost very old thread

I want to voice that I am uncomfortable with this forums choice to post very old threads.

However interesting the subject and conversation may have been , I know that some of those people are no longer living. It seems inappropriate to pull them out of the archives and repost without permission after so many years have past. People may no longer agree with what they wrote ten years ago and if they have past away, well?

It just gives me the heebyjeebies, doesnt feel right.

Hi Mark,
In my opinion, it would seem that if sharing information relating to construction, technique, or in general, technical information is a component of the thread, then it’s a contribution.
I have also seen posts that are neither objective nor relevant to much of anything other than diminishment of a person, concept or action.
So the issue is more likely (remember, I’m sharing an observation, not a truth) that there is a question as to the value of editing each individual post.
Then the age old conundrum of who choses to censor what post and how does that effect the continuity of the thread.
People can say some pretty nasty stuff, and while it might offend some, it could enlighten others, possibly as the discovery of an absurdity , or maybe a reflection of ones own actions that they previously were unaware of.
Respecting and honoring the dead is considerate. But this is an archive and what has been said is the past.
What is important is to access the past and have it as a measure as to how we create our future as a community of people, having a forum to express our experience , questions , talents, and, as human beings, foibles.
Just my thoughts,

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Everybody knows this is a public venue and what is posted on the internet is eternal.

I doubt dead folks care about who reads their old posts.

Hi @mpandfamily - Thanks for this note. I can see how this might concern someone, but perhaps the below may help.

Just to clear up a few points of fact. I am not seeking to be defensive or in any way invalidate, I just want to be sure everyone understands the history.

  1. Nothing has been “re-posted” – all previous Orchid threads were always posted online to the Ganoksin/Orchid website. They were indexed by Google, and anyone searching the interwebs could find them (if they typed the right words, of course). We took nothing private and made it public, and I would never do that or condone it.
  2. Everyone who ever signed up for Orchid always understood, as @Betty2 alluded to, that it was an email-based forum and that their email or note would be blasted out to everyone on the email list as soon as they pressed “send.” Thousands of people. No one who ever sent those exchanges had any reasonable expectation of privacy.

Old threads are coming up now, and they weren’t before. That is definitely true, for a few reasons.

  1. We turned 250,000 discrete emails into actual, legible, topic-driven threads. So now when people search on Orchid based on a topic, they find dozens of really interesting old posts with valuable discussion on almost any topic. You are simply seeing people finding things really easily that they otherwise never would or could have found. I personally think that’s amazing, but I respect that others may feel differently.

  2. Old posts are brought up to the top of the forum because, both for efficiency and archival continuity, people finding them simply decide to add on to those posts rather than start new ones, unless they feel new ones need to be started.

So I simply mean to say, this stuff has always existed, its just never actually been “usable” – I think as @JimGrahlDesign does… the more usable it is, the better for everyone. Some may disagree, but I believe the last 21 years of Orchid Q&A is something of value that can help the world make better jewelry if appropriately preserved. One of my primary motivations in taking this over was to do that very thing, and I take the responsibility to steward this resource seriously. It means a lot to me.

Those of you who are paying members of Ganoksin/Orchid, it is YOUR money that funds this, and I thank you for that.


“However interesting the subject and conversation may have been , I know that some of those people are no longer living. It seems inappropriate to pull them out of the archives and repost without permission after so many years have past.”

It’s in the archives so people could read it anyway. We don’t throw away books when the author dies, we don’t throw away movies when the actors or director die, so why is this somehow different?

" People may no longer agree with what they wrote ten years ago and if they have past away, well?"

Well, they are dead. They don’t know and they don’t care. And neither should we.

"It just gives me the heebyjeebies, doesnt feel right. "

If you feel the need for heebyjeebies, I suggest paying attention to the US presidential election. Absolutely guaranteed to do the job. :slight_smile:


Anyone posting to a group with a public archive automatically agrees to having their posts archived for public viewing.

Janet in Jerusalem


I kinda like the fact that knowledge gets passed down to new generations. I
would want people to be able to learn from my experiences when I’m gone. I
think that’s why people post on this forum in the first place, to teach
others. Old knowledge is sometimes superior to new as well. Not all, but
some. Old knowledge built stone pyramids, don’t you wish they had a
digital forum instead of clay tablets? I’m dying to know how they did that
without just best guesses.


I have spent much of my life reading publications by dead people, playwrights, philosophers, artists, and yes, jewelers. When we press the send or submit button in a public forum are we not publishing? On the practical side, how would the forum know when a contributor was no longer among the living?


I think that the improved access to old threads is probably the most important and useful improvement that Seth has made.

I also think that if Seth was to edit out everything written by people that have passed away, we would be doing a disservice to them and the knowledge that they thought was important enough to share. Passing along that which we have learned is important to a lot of people that post on Orchid. For many, it’s the primary reason for their participation. It would be a shame, maybe even an insult if we just flushed it as soon as they pass.

The written word is a form of immortality. Instead of being uncomfortable reading the writings of friends that have passed, we should draw comfort from the fact that they have left behind a little piece of themselves. Orchid is a better place because of their words.

Dave Phelps


I’m not attempting to be a contrarian and I understand and respect what everyone is saying. I particularly understand that the old conversations are a valuable component of the property for the forums new owner. I even don’t mind when I have seen my old posts pop up, it’s interesting to see what my younger self had to say. I honestly didn’t expect any agreement and do not really expect to change any minds. I get it but still feel as I did and thought I should push back, even if I’m pushing in the wind.

Realize that the old days, many people thought of these forum interactions more like a phone conversation than writings that would be held and then republished many years later. Sometimes after the writer has died and few remember the individual and never got to know and understand them through their many posts. So it lacks context and the weight it may have had. Or it may have been a total misfire. I don’t think the comparison to authors or playwrights fits. You write differently if you think posterity will be reading your work. These were not written in that way. That’s where my discomfort comes from.

Best regards to all,

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One of the few things a human can control is what he shares.

Saying that some members would not have responded so casually had they known their posts were being archived, is tantamount to saying the members who saw the original post were not worthy of the same respect as the folks who would read the post in the future.

Either these posters did not know the archives existed,
or they did not believe their posts would be added to the archives
or they didn’t think Orchid was important enough for them to compose a thoughtful post

Your discomfort is with our new ability to reply to an archived post, and how a current reply pushes the old thread into the Latest Discussion category.

I only read the posts that resonate with my interests. I don’t care who wrote them, how poorly or how well they are presented, it’s the ideas that matter to me.

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