As your community grows, you eventually spend more time removing content than creating it.
This requires archiving content, discussions, and even members.
Your goal is to encourage members to more easily find the most relevant (up to date) content they need with the minimum possible effort.
There are a few useful steps here.
1) Archive ‘no visit’ and ‘low visit’ content. If few people have visited an item of content in the past year, consider archiving it. However, be careful of removing highly useful, but niche, long-tail content (generally 3+ visits of 20+ seconds is worth keeping). Don’t delete it entirely as this will impact gamification scores of veteran members.
2) Archive out of date content. You can usually safely archive discussions that are 5+ years old – especially when new products have been released in that category. Sometimes you can archive discussions that are 2+ years old.
3) Archive unpopular content. If some discussions are clearly unpopular by rating/votes – consider archiving this too.
4) Remove no-visit members. If members haven’t visited in 3+ years, consider removing them too. Don’t delete their contributions (this could break a lot of discussions) but send out an email letting them know their account and data will be anonymised within 3 months.
It’s tempting to hoard as much content as possible. But this creates a tougher experience for members who want to find the best information right now. Instead, develop a system to automate the archiving and removal of low-value content and inactive members.