In the Trenches: 120 Reasons to Turn off Auto-Closing


It’s a magical number, or so it seems in the querying world.

Why do I say that? Well, if you are using QueryTracker, that is the time a query typically remains active. After that auto-closing enters the picture. What’s that? Well, by default, Query Tracker automatically closes queries that are over 120 days old.

If you look at the inboxes of agents via the timeline feature, you will see, in some, cases row upon row (upon row ad nauseum) of closed queries, automatically closed queries to be precise.

I have found a couple of agents who seem to ignore their inboxes. I say this because they are examples of endless timed-out queries, and there is no evidence that they have looked at anything.

To my thinking, that opens up several possibilities. First, something is preventing the agent from using the service, and they, or their agency, have not notified the service that they are out of commission. Possible.

A second possibility is that they are behind in their work. Also, something very possible in the world of agents and querying. I imagine these folks are diligently attempting to climb back atop their queue. But that does raise the question of why there are reams of automatically closed queries and no evidence of their activity. Yeah, that scenario doesn’t really seem to fit.

A third idea is a question of correlation. Not every instance of an inbox filled with timed-out queries, but a good many, are agents that use email as their preferred way to query and communicate. And, if you think about it, that makes sense. Their process of managing their inbox is literally that, an email inbox. Why would they duplicate effort to manage a system they essentially don’t use?

A fourth possibility is that these inboxes are places where queries go to die, the proverbial querying black hole. The only difference, in this case, is that you can watch your query die in real-time. It is the visual legacy of the widespread practice of the ‘silent no.’ And you all know my opinions on that topic.

The inherent problem in all this theorizing is that it is just theory. There are reasonable guesses that can be made, but those tend to be very shaky if you don’t have the rest of the picture.

Gather all your SIGINT people. Don’t just look at your corner. At the moment, the question of “Just what is going on over there?” remains frustratingly unanswered.

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