Question on necroing

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Question on necroing

Post by wrackspurt » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:41 am

I'm always curious to hear you guys say that. I'd really always thought it was better to continue on with a thread already addressing a topic you wanted to discuss rather than having repeat threads, no? I mean, shouldn't somebody search the posts to see if there's already something there rather than starting a new one?

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Re: Question on necroing

Post by Zimoon » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:50 am

Of course this is an arguable topic. But let me explain why necroing, in the context of forums, is generally advised against, just a few examples:
  • The thread may contain outdated facts, or reports on issues that are resolved since long ago
  • The thread may contain heated topics and we rather see the thread rest in peace
  • The thread may contain lies, rumors, and who knows what and the new reader cannot distinguish true from false
  • The original topic may have been replied to, no further input is necessary
  • The original poster is happy with the replies and perhaps do not want to see the thread revived
Even if incorrect content is corrected in some post far down it is not likely that a new reader easily finds that post, or that he understands that the post is the "correcting" post that nullifies the rest of the thread. That correcting post is not always the last post, certainly not so if somebody is necroing the thread. Necroing such threads just causes unwanted disturbance.

Quite often the necroer has not read the thread in its entirety and is just echoing something already said. Doing that in a fresh thread just tells that he is lazy, doing it in a dead thread really reveals that ugly fact in full.

Put differently:
  • A thread that deserves to stay alive is always kept floating by more and more good and intelligent comments (but that also implies the reason to why bumping is always disallowed).
  • A thread that deserves to stay on top while no further comments are necessary is made a sticky thread, or contained in FAQs or a stickied thread with "useful links".
So, is necroing always a bad thing?

Not necessarily, but with rare exceptions.

One common situation is when the thread is a "guide" and situations have changed so parts of it should be updated. Usually it is best to post the news and facts to the thread and the original author or the moderators can update it accordingly. This is indeed commended.

A more rare occasion is when an old thread is still completely valid, just that its nature did not make it a sticked or into a FAQ. Under new circumstances its content suddenly become most interesting and rather than copy the post straight off it can, perhaps, be necroed.

Can somebody come up with another situation?
wrackspurt wrote:I mean, shouldn't somebody search the posts to see if there's already something there rather than starting a new one?
Absolutely right, the nail on the head.

But that does not mean that once the answer is found that somebody has to post a reply, does it?
If the thread is fresh, a cheer is proper. If there are additional facts or observations, post them.
If the thread is old, stay calm and think not only twice but triple on what to do. Most often: do nothing.

Using Search, Google, or for example SWG Wikia to find an answer is way more productive and most often the best way to find an answer. Mindlessly posting new threads to ask what is asked thousands of times most often yields one or more links to the guides, does it not? 8)

However, for any other kind of thread than questions on facts, feel free to start new threads. IMHO it is much better to have many small but contained threads than long winded threads on everything from alpha to omega. Even so in an off-topic forum but usually the mods are more relaxed there.

More guidance is found in what is called "The Netiquette" which has not changed over the decades, which I guess is a sign of how generic and applicable they are :)

Finally, in some cases a moderator might say "necro" but there are other, unspoken reasons for the action. Very often it is both a necro and a change of the topic, or something in that way, that is harder to express. Then it may be easier to just say "necro" ;)

If anybody feels that I am too zealous, feel free to PM me, I am a most laid back guy, always close to a laugh, so I won't ban you :mrgreen:


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