How to automate archiving of posts based on moderator tag, tag, or flagged post

  • 2 April 2024
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(I use Zapier for my automations, but you could likely do this same automation via another automation tool)

Use Case

Delayed archiving of content that is either low quality or has an expiration date on its relevancy. For example: 

  • Questions answered with “this was a bug that has been fixed in the next release”
    • After a certain point, the fix will have been deployed and the post is no longer needed. Keywords in the post could cause it to clutter up search results.
  • Questions answered with “I was able to fix it myself” (but no explanation of how)
    • After a certain point, there’s no reason to keep this post visible if they don’t respond to moderator follow up to share how they solved it
  • Questions answered with solutions outside best practices (my driving use case)
    • We don’t want to promote bad practices, thus want to hide in our knowledge base
    • However, we want to leave time for other solutions to be added to the thread and have the answer changed
    • And we want to allow time for users-subscribed-to-the-topic to visit the thread if they received a system email about the reply/answer, etc
  • Questions/Articles/Conversations about a feature that is being retired
    • Often times there is a phasing out period, where the feature is still available. 
  • Questions flagged by users as outdated

In all these circumstances, I want to take the archive action when I initially moderate and remove any need to come back later and archive it. 

 

Solution

Automating archiving based on moderator tag with a built in delay

Trigger

I’m using the pre-built Zapier trigger for updated moderator tags, but you could use a webhook for the same trigger if using another tool. 

Alternatively, you could build a similar automation to empower moderators, superusers, or staff to trigger the automation from either add a public tag (if they have permissions to edit tags on a post) or using the post reporting/flagging feature. (I plan to explore auto-archiving based on the reporting feature)

I set my moderator tag keyword to be “archive#” (# being the number of days I want to archive it; see below)

Actions

  1. Filter: Only continue if moderator tags contain archive
    • stops the automation if it’s not relevant, saves you task consumption
  2. Pick from list: choose last (moderator tag)
    • moderator tags come through as an array, listing each moderator tag on the topic
    • You need to do this step to avoid re-running the automation if additional tags are added after you’ve added the archive tag
    • Zapier has a formatter tool for this
  3. Filter: Only continue if output from #2 (last moderator tag) contains archive
  4. Extract Number from the tag
    • Zapier has a formatter tool for this
    • you can split the text or extract the number, separating an archive7 tag into two outputs: archive and 7
  5. Delay for # of {unit of time}
    • Zapier has a delay feature for this
    • I use the output from step 4 (ex. 7) to delay for that many days (ex. delaying 7 days based on archive7 tag)
  6. API action for moving the topic
    • Leverage the API documentation to find the right operation(s) to move example
      • There are separate operations for each content type
      • However, the API operation URL uses a similar structure and you can likely input content type from the payload to cover all content types with one step
    • Pull in the topic ID for the API call
    • Specify a moderatorId (an admin/moderator who has permission to move topics)
    • Pre-set the payload to your archive category

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