Necroposting warnings on the forum

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Necroposting warnings on the forum

Postby eishiya » February 6th, 2018, 4:52 pm

The SJ forum is rather unusual in that most of the activity occurs in a small number of long-running "general" threads rather than short-lived single-topic threads. As a result new members, even if they're already familiar with general forum etiquette, often make the mistake of posting in long-dead threads because they don't imagine that a thread near the top of a forum could actually be long dead. This results in negative experiences for new (and not-so-new) members, as their first foray into the forum results in silence from the long-absent OP or in a moderator asking them not to necropost, rather than in meaningful conversation.

Having an automatic warning displayed on threads that have been inactive for more than a month or so should mostly solve this problem. That's also much better than locking old threads, since it leaves the decision about whether a thread is worth resurrecting in the user's hands.

There is an extension for phpBB that does exactly this, could it please be added?
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Re: Necroposting warnings on the forum

Postby Oly-RRR » February 6th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Seconding this - I think most new users walk into this, especially when the forum is mostly quiet.
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Re: Necroposting warnings on the forum

Postby mitchellbravo » February 6th, 2018, 5:24 pm

I like that a lot rather than locking the posts. Sometimes old threads become relevant again (and there are situations where I'd prefer somebody resurrect an old thread than start a new one on the exact same topic/concept) but often when the OP is seeking help for a particular problem I feel bad for new people coming along and putting a lot of thought into writing a response. (you could argue that someone else could still be helped by the reply but I imagine the writers might feel better if they at least knew it was a dead thread and just wanted to write in to it anyway).
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Re: Necroposting warnings on the forum

Postby MK_Wizard » February 6th, 2018, 6:56 pm

It happened to me twice actually. To be very honest, I agree with the person above. No matter how old a thread is, as long as it is not closed, why should posting to it be a problem? Forums are a means of being social after all? But if the rules say don't do it, I will abide and I will appreciate a better warning about the forum being cold. I don't want to keep repeating mistakes.
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Re: Necroposting warnings on the forum

Postby mitchellbravo » February 6th, 2018, 7:28 pm

MK- there are other reasons, but one reason I dislike necroposting is because as somebody who's been here a few years, it can be very jarring and then disheartening to see all the old names come up in the thread (especially if clicking the thread brings me to the first page)- not that it's unsurmountable, but it is kind of a bummer.

Overall I don't have a terribly huge problem with it, but it's kind of one of those things of unwritten forum etiquette that's just "not the done thing." If I see an old thread from years ago that I vaguely remember is brought up again, I know with some certainty that it's a new person coming through posting on the forums and not really paying attention to where they're posting. How much that actually matters is up to the individual.

(Or, it's a spambot on a spam rampage. I've spent a few mornings cleaning up spam posts from bots that just went through a bunch of super old threads to try to spam their message. Not that a warning would do anything about that though, it's just another thing my brain thinks of when I suddenly see a lot of inactive threas have become active).

The one that does actually bother me is when it's specific and time-based requests, like artists looking for writers or vice versa, and it's clear the necroposter would have had to navigate back several pages of old posts in order to resurrect the thread. Just makes me think of somebody standing on a street corner where there years ago used to be a hot dog stand, waving their money around and asking if they could have a hot dog now.


edit- I dunno. The more I think about it the more I maybe don't mind it so much at all. This place is so inactive maybe it's kind of nice if people run into an old thread we had fun in years ago and bring it back up.
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Re: Necroposting warnings on the forum

Postby Oly-RRR » February 6th, 2018, 9:57 pm

mitchellbravo wrote:it can be very jarring and then disheartening to see all the old names come up in the thread (especially if clicking the thread brings me to the first page)- not that it's unsurmountable, but it is kind of a bummer.

I mostly think of that one really sad thread of a user that hasn't been here for years (and I hope they are doing okay but I can't really know), and a couple of "controversial" threads out there that are better left buried.

Though I also think the forum has a pretty good system of big "broad" threads for general banter (Let's Vent, Optimistic Thread, Thoughts of the Top of Your Head), specialized banter in Your Day in Webcomics, a reasonable number of threads serving as a knowledge base and most things being bumped up by necroposting are dead for a reason and become even more meaningless communication as time goes on, like echoes in a cave.
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Re: Necroposting warnings on the forum

Postby kayotics » February 16th, 2018, 8:09 pm

While warnings could help, maybe reducing the amount of posts that you can view for each page might prevent necroposting as well. If it's past the first page, you can presume it's "dead". And currently this forum isn't active enough to necessarily warrant 25 threads per page.
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