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Why can't there be an old topic warning? I find that I have answered, or considered answering questions that are more than an year old before I realize that it's too old.

New answers to old questions basically don't get upvoted. Here is one I did that was two months old, the guy probably already had figured out his problem.

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I'm not sure how useful this would be and you might be missing a key part of the goal of the Stack Exchange network from the help page:

We build libraries of high-quality questions and answers, focused on each community's area of expertise.

So while it's nice to help someone out who's facing a particular problem part of the goal is to build a library of questions and answers so in the future someone facing the same problem can already find the answer without having to ask. From that point of view it doesn't really matter how old the question is and there are the revival and necromancer badges to encourage it as a positive thing to do.

About the only thing the age of a post changes is whether it's worth adding an answer when there are already others that cover pretty much the same ground. You can always see what other answers are present and personally I think regardless of whether a question is a day or a year old it's a good idea to check other answers and if you're not adding anything new just voting on existing answers.

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If you have a worthwhile answer, then go ahead and post it even if it's an old thread. It's not against the rules. May be, you have a new answer to an old problem.

Are you concerned that an answer to an old thread would not have enough visibility? When an old thread gents a new answer, it gets bumped to the top of the active stream of threads. Folks will get a chance to vote on your answer.

Are you concerned that bad answers can be posted into old threads? That's taken care of. Late answers are a subject to additional moderation. There is a separate review queue for late answers. You will see these review queues when you accumulate enough reputation.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think one issue with this may be that many people don't use the active tab when viewing answers. I've been on this site for over a year before switching from "Newest" stream to "Active" stream. If you're answering questions/voting on questions, the majority of people may tend to favor the "Newest" area rather than the "Active" area. This would mean old questions although recently answered will hardly ever be voted on. \$\endgroup\$ – horta Jun 5 '14 at 18:04
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How about getting rid of the badges encouraging re-visits of old questions?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The badges need 2 or 5 upvotes to get, so for anyone just badge hunting not something you're likely to get just by tacking a "so so" answer onto the end of a question that already has good answers. And if they don't have upvoted answers they can end up being bumped by community each month forever. \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Jun 24 '14 at 0:22

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