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I'm making an experience design for a place page, knowing that I am working on a reviews writing and sharing site.

If a place in real life is now closed and no longer in service, what kind of information can we keep on its page?

Note that a sign (this place is now closed) will be shown, and all associated buttons (write review, share, flag, comments, etc.) will be disabled.

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Jamila - What do you mean by "place page"? Is a place something like a restaurant, hotel, park - or something else? – gef05 Jul 15 '11 at 13:21
Hello Gary,, yes places like these :) – Jamila Hyasat Jul 15 '11 at 13:32
@Jamila - As Gary says - we need more info about the term 'place'. Say it is a park that has closed because it's been built over then it's probably not much use to keep the data. If it's a pub or hotel that is closed due to renovation then it's worth keeping until it re-opens. If it's a single branch of a restaurant chain then the info is likely useful to people visiting other branches of the same chain... – Roger Attrill Jul 15 '11 at 13:32
Hi Roger... actually i made a case analysis and the question i had mentioned now may solve on of the cases i have in mind.. other cases were if the place moved its location, or closed for maintenance and redecoration, and I put in mind if the place has more than one branch, we can put an announcement of the cases on the other branches pages,, what do you think? – Jamila Hyasat Jul 15 '11 at 13:38
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If the place is permanently closed and not part of a chain, then the information is only of historical interest. How often do people read reviews of restaurants that no longer exist? If the place was somehow unique the answer to that might be "sometimes", so if you have the server space you might want to preserve the information, but if your users are only interested in current information then it doesn't make sense to keep it.

If the place was part of a chain, though, then reviews and even menus/room descriptions/price sheets/etc can still be useful, if you link all instances of a chain together somehow. Say I'm trying to find out whether Fancy-Sounding Chain would be a good place to take guests; there's one in my town but there are no reviews of it. I would use reviews of other locations to help guide my decision; yes all places are a little different, but it would be better than nothing.

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A place might reasonably be deleted or have information removed if

  • it has been marked as closed
  • it has been confirmed closed (in case a competitor just comes along and says 'it's closed')
  • it is not temporarily closed (moving, changing hands or refurbishment)
  • it has no connection to another place (part of a chain)
  • some cooling period of time has passed

So even if a branch of a chain closes, the relevance of these ageing reviews to people visiting another branch will decrease over time (say 6 months) until such time as they might no longer be of interest.

How you manage merging the reviews of multi-branch chains is up to you, but if you are reviewing branches individually, I don't think you need to do anything special when one branch closes. Those reviews are not suddenly of any more significance to any other branch. If you follow the cooling down idea, then the closed branch will fade out of use naturally and no one will notice its removal 6 months later.

The cooling period can be short for a unique place and long for a branch of a chain. It can be multiplied by a popularity factor. If it had many reviews, extend the cooling period. If it had very few reviews, reduce the cooling period. This will also have SEO benefits because you will receive hits to a popular page and it would be a shame to lose those just because you removed that place within days of it shutting down.

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Thanks a lot Roger its very useful and i solved some cases through your answer =) – Jamila Hyasat Jul 17 '11 at 8:38

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