Re: Closing of thread.
I don't post much here (though as of late, I do lurk quite a bit :D), and as a matter of fact, I don't even think I've posted on said thread, but if I may, I wanted to offer my (lengthy) opinion nevertheless.
As I understand, depending on the forum's software and the servers it's hosted on, lengthy threads can cause technical issues, since they can drain resources. Now, I'm by no means an expert, and I wouldn't know what a sensible maximum thread size for the Mozart Forum would be, but I've seen other forums have the practice of locking threads when they reach 500, 1000 or 2000 messages, for example. So, assuming a thread length of ~500 posts won't cause any technical issues on this forum, I'd like to offer my reasons why I think a lengthy thread may be preferable in this case.
Firstly, I do agree with those who say that the closed thread was difficult to navigate, but I've found that's mainly a problem if you are viewing the thread on an unsuitable "Display Mode". In case some of you haven't noticed, there's an option to switch between "Linear", "Hybrid", and "Threaded" modes under the "Display Modes" drop-down list on the top-right of the page.
"Linear Mode" is definitely the choice for a "What are you listening to?" thread, since to check new posts, you simply have to go to the last page of the thread instead of painfully navigating through the branched-structure of the other two display modes, while at the same time, having to deal with horizontal-scrolling.
The main issue is this, though. Based on my experience from other forums I frequent, it's my opinion that "What are you listening to" threads are meant to be lengthy, because it's preferable to have a reasonably large number of messages contained within a single big thread, than to have many mid-sized threads which contribute to clutter the search results. Think for example, when you use the search function to look for threads containing a K-number, you probably don't want to get potentially multiple "What are you listening to? Version ##" non-relevant results; you more likely want to get to the threads discussing the work in question.
Also, I think that these kinds of threads are not really meant to be read in their entirety, except in the case you've been keeping track of it from the start and so you've read all of it "as it grew", so to speak. They're useful mostly to the people who are actively posting in them, so they'll usually only check when new posts are made. I agree that a problem could arise if only a couple of people participate, since in that case the usefulness to the forum community as a whole would be doubtful, but I don't think that was the case in the thread being discussed.
I believe a "What are you listening to?" thread should be viewed more like a place to socialize and share your favorites or latest discoveries with other members than as a well structured repository of knowledge.
That's not to say, of course, that these threads are completely useless to others, as they may provide good information and make you discover new pieces/performances you weren't aware of, even if you don't actively participate in them.
Just my opinion, of course.