Xbox.com forums redesigned – old content deleted or abandoned

Back in May of 2011, the Xbox.com forums were redesigned. The old forum’s content was transferred to a new subdomain at http://forumsarchive.xbox.com/ and left to rot.

What happened to all the stuff in the “old” forums?

For a limited time, all your posts from the previous version of the forums live on forumsarchive.xbox.com (will be available shortly after the new forums have gone live). They are available for you to go grab any FAQs, walkthroughs, and other valuable posts that you created, so you can repost them in the new forums.

http://forums.xbox.com/xbox_forums/forum_faq/f/6/p/3058/19910.aspx

That isn’t quite true, as I’ve found links in posts on ardamis.com to at least one thread that I’d started on the old forum that is missing from the archive, so there has obviously been some culling happening.

I suspect that not only were countless useful threads simply abandoned or even deleted, but probably millions of inbound links to xbox.com were left to 404.

Instead of redirecting all of the links to the old forum threads, visitors following those links now see an ugly IIS server error message.

Server Error in ‘/’ Application.

The resource cannot be found.

Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

Requested URL: /31685953/ShowPost.aspx

It’s stunning, actually, how poorly this transition was handled, and I’m not alone in thinking that. There are even threads on the new forum about how much better the old one was. I cannot picture any metric by which improvement is measured that would indicate this change was successful. And I would love to know how the decision was made to let tons of inbound links 404. Who on earth would allow this to happen to their site?

One of my most popular articles at ardamis.com was a description of the slow death of my Xbox 360 at the hands of FFXIII, which thankfully didn’t link to the forum threads that it referenced for support. All those threads on how either a) Final Fantasy XIII broke dozens of Xbox 360s, or b) dozens of Xbox 360s just happened to break as people were playing Final Fantasy XIII, disappeared. But I’ve begun a new one, for posterity (and not because I still play the game, which I found to be a huge disappointment). So, to keep the flame of discontent burning, here’s the link to the new thread on Final Fantasy XIII freezing on Xbox 360.

On the upside, a quick look at the HTML of the new pages suggests that the links are not nofollowed, which is something else I found interesting about the old forums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *