August 5th, 2009

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PSA: "Bumping" a post, and other bulletin-board environment items, versus LiveJournal

So in many forums it is possible to bring a topic back up to the top of whatever board by commenting to it, or resetting the date. Despite some misconceptions, this is actually not an option for most areas of LiveJournal/other sites running the LiveJournal code.

For most cases where one might "bump" a post in a bulletin board, the answer on LiveJournal is to make a new post, possibly one pointing back to the old one to revive discussion, or bringing the same topic from the old post up in a new post (sometimes linking back to the old one too.) Occasionally the answer is to leave a reply, or contact the original poster privately.

Let's examine some of the ways that people who are used to a bulletin board environment attempt to do things, and how and why they don't work.


Commenting.

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If you are thinking of attempting to "bump" by leaving a comment, consider the effect you want to have.

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Editing a Post.

Editing the text of a post only changes the text of the post. It does not otherwise notify anyone of anything. People who visit your journal or the community directly may see the edit if they're looking for it; people whose friends pages have not filled up past your entry may see the edit if they refresh the page; people who come back in response to comments may see the edit if they look through the original entry; people who come back just to look at the post and comments again may see the edit. It does not bump the entry's position on a friends page or send a notification to anyone.


Editing a Comment.

When you edit a comment, anyone who would have received a notification about the comment in the first place will get a notification that you have edited it. If you know you will be making several changes to a comment, you may wish to save them for one edit, rather than making several smaller edits.

However, once a comment has a reply, it can no longer be edited. Only paid accounts may edit their comments.


Changing the Date in a Community.

Editing an entry in a community to change the date will change where in the community's calendar/archive page the entry appears, but will not affect the entry's position on the friends page of community readers or in the main view of the community.


Changing the Date in Your Journal.

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Changing Post Security Significantly After Posting.

Posting something with a strong level of security and then editing it to a less restrictive setting will not change the entry's placement on the friends pages of your readers either. If you post an entry and edit its security within a few minutes of posting, your readers are likely to see it on their friends page unless their friends page is very busy indeed. If you edit its security a few days later, your friends may not see it unless they go all the way back to that day for some reason, or else visit your journal directly.
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