What Should WordPress.tv Do with Old Videos?

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photo credit: tvs(license)

WordPress.tv launched in January of 2009 and since then has become one of the largest repositories of information dedicated to WordPress. To put that in perspective, WordPress 2.8 and 2.9 were released the same year.

However, with more than six years of content available, the team has run into a problem. On July 3rd, Brash Rebel, who helps manage WordPress.tv, asked if there should be a user interface for outdated content.

A reality we are now facing is the fact that the software we know and love has evolved and changed considerably over this time period, thus rendering much of the early content on this site no longer applicable to users of more current releases of WordPress. In today’s TV team Slack meeting the question was raised about how to properly address outdated, deprecated, no-longer-accurate content.

The first question considered is whether to keep or delete old content, specifically, videos in the How To category. Since so many people watch older tutorial style videos, the team decided that removing the content permanently from the site is not the best course of action. The other question considered is whether older presentations on specific subjects should be deleted.

For example, the following two sessions are about the same subject but four years apart. The content in the 2015 video is more likely to match the Google Analytics experience of today.

  1. Melinda Samson: Google Analytics 101 Workshop (2011)
  2. David Bird: Google Analytics and WordPress for Beginners (May, 2015)

The team also discussed a variety of ideas on how to display information to viewers that they’re watching outdated content. These included, text prompts, information bars, links, and determining the best method to indicate videos don’t reflect the current WordPress experience.

Rebel says the goal isn’t to strictly deal with the issue today, but also set a precedence for the future. As more WordCamps occur across the globe and more screencasts show up on WordPress.tv, the team needs to figure out a balance between displaying old content and making the most out of fresh content.

Mimic the Plugin Directory

I’m happy that the team won’t delete old videos. As someone who writes about WordPress everyday, the videos on WordPress.tv contain a wealth of knowledge. It would be a shame to see so much information deleted.

I think the best and easiest solution is to mimic the WordPress plugin directory in how it deals with plugins that haven’t been updated in two years or more. A prominent message displays on the page telling the viewer that the content they’re watching is outdated. It could be taken a step further by showing the viewer a list of related videos that are more recent.

I encourage you to read the blog post and the associated comments as they contain some good ideas. What do you think should be done with old content on WordPress.tv?

4 responses to “What Should WordPress.tv Do with Old Videos?”

  1. Hey Jeff, thanks for sharing this post, just went in and commented. I know that I have had the same issues myself with my tutorials, etc. As I mentioned in that post always great if dates and versions can be highlighted. Also, linking to newer videos that have updated info. But it can be a lot of work because, as you said, there is a lot of good stuff in the archives, and going through and deciding can be a bit of work. I know one of my posts from 2012 is still my most commented post because of it’s content and the concept behind it hasn’t changed with WP.

    In a nutshell, I always looking at some archived solution.

    They have a lot of work to do no matter what direction they take!

  2. I love how the WordPress project doesn’t delete old content. Some projects just randomly delete crap, and then you lose all of that historical data, which I think is really sad and sometimes annoying if you need it for some purpose.

  3. Yeah I think it’s helpful to keep the old content, but label it clearly as outdated (like the WP plugin directory) with dynamic suggestions for newer related content. Moving forward, new content could also be labeled with the WP version it is in reference to.

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