Author Topic: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea  (Read 12637 times)

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Offline MCG

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Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« on: June 25, 2009, 07:59:07 »
All,
Here at Army.ca, we seem to have established conflicting & incompatible expectations of forum behaviour.  Consider these scenarios:
  • A new member starts a topic to ask one or more questions and is immediately jumped-upon by more experienced members to do a search because the question has been asked and answered.
  • A new member posts a question in a dormant thread in order to gather more information on the topic in particular and is immediately jumped-upon by more experienced members for the inappropriateness of necroposting

As you can see, we have created a dynamic where new members cannot get a question in without someone finding the need to climb-aboard.  Because we always demand of people to do a search before asking the question, at Army.ca we would rather see the necropost.  This has several benefits. 

Firstly, it shows all of us more experienced members that the question was posed after a search was at least attempted.  Secondly, it helps consolidate the related information into a common thread to facilitate others searching for the information later.

Necroposts are not always appropriate.  Joining a long dormant thread to flame a three year old post is one example of unacceptable necroposting.  Other times, the question is sufficiently distinct from previous threads that it does warrant a new topic.  This is a bit of a judgment call.  If you, as an experienced member, feel that the wrong judgement call was made then use the report to moderator feature and request a topic split (there is no need to call-out the individual for doing the necropost, because the mods can do that privately as required).

Cheers,
The Staff

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 11:44:19 »
I concur, I would rather a "necropost" than a new thread as I can always split off the new post if required, but if I don't see, or know about, the old thread than its hard to keep things streamlined.

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 11:53:17 »
How does the Mod Squad feel about this approach:  start a new thread, with a link to the old thread in the first post of the new one?  I know I've done that once or twice if I'm in doubt about resurrecting a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG stopped thread.

Thanks for the clarification, and thanks for the time & patience in helping keep things on track around this place!   :salute:
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Offline MCG

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 12:13:44 »
How does the Mod Squad feel about this approach:  start a new thread, with a link to the old thread in the first post of the new one? 
It is still a judgement call.  Remember that while you new thread may link back to the old thread, the old thread will not link forward to your new thread.

If you are building on the previous discussion, then it is most beneficial to work in the existing thread.  If you want to take a conversation in a new direction but reference details of the past thread, then it is reasonable to make a new thread with a link.

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 12:17:07 »
How does the Mod Squad feel about this approach:  start a new thread, with a link to the old thread in the first post of the new one?  I know I've done that once or twice if I'm in doubt about resurrecting a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG stopped thread.

Thanks for the clarification, and thanks for the time & patience in helping keep things on track around this place!   :salute:

That is an equally effective third option, but not one we should expect anyone new to the site to be doing.

Part of the issue is also the need to give new members a chance to learn how the site functions, offering guidance (and actual answers) without sarcasm, or suggestions of impending banning or questioning their intents, family lineage or desire to join based solely upon their first few posts.


Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 20:07:10 »
If a thread is old, but still open, does the date of the last post really make the info in the thread any less relevant?
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 20:12:10 »
If a thread is old, but still open, does the date of the last post really make the info in the thread any less relevant?

 ;D

Unfortunately, some today think that unless it was posted ten minutes ago, it is no longer relevant......
...................
..................
wait that is now nine minutes...
...................
...................
eight............
...................
...................
...................
seven...........

Some won't believe the sky is blue if posted a couple years ago......It has to have been posted recently, for them to accept the facts as posted.
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Offline Mike Bobbitt

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 14:59:09 »
How does the Mod Squad feel about this approach:  start a new thread, with a link to the old thread in the first post of the new one?  I know I've done that once or twice if I'm in doubt about resurrecting a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG stopped thread.

Another consideration here is that a link format that we use today may change over time. It's happened before a few times, and when such a major site evolution occurs, it often breaks all existing intra-site links. The old War Diary archives are a good example of that. That's not to say we shouldn't crosslink related posts, as that's obviously the right approach. However if you're dealing with a thread that may still be around and referenced in a decade (yep, it's possible) then I wouldn't necessarily expect that link to work.


Cheers
Mike

Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2009, 15:18:01 »
;D

Unfortunately, some today think that unless it was posted ten minutes ago, it is no longer relevant......
...................
..................
wait that is now nine minutes...
...................
...................
eight............
...................
...................
...................
seven...........

Some won't believe the sky is blue if posted a couple years ago......It has to have been posted recently, for them to accept the facts as posted.

I get that, George.  I was referring to the habit, and I've been guilty of it once or twice, of jacking someone for posting in an old thread.  Why does it matter to anyone when new information is posted in an old thread?
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline 2438210947213

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2009, 20:20:53 »
I think that directing staff should regard these inquiries (save and except "I want to be a JTF-sniper" kinds) as a compliment to the depth and quality of information available on army.ca - - The tried and true "Have you initiated a search?" question is the professional way to conduct an initial response. At a time when the CF needs to attract new blood let's not get agressive on the newbies who don"t have a clue. My $0.02.
Chimo all & happy Cdn Day.

Offline Sigs Pig

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2009, 00:06:10 »
;D

Unfortunately, some today think that unless it was posted ten minutes ago, it is no longer relevant......
<Snipped>

But those same people are the ones jumping in to say that the member should do a search first!   ???

I have tried to use the search feature many times, with disappointing results. No matter what or how I ask for it to be displayed, the age of the results are all over the place. As an example, I searched Necropost and asked for the latest results first. It came up with a 2004 post, then this post, then one from 2007, etc. just all over the place.
Am I just doing it wrong?

ME
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Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2009, 00:10:06 »
Am I just doing it wrong?

Yes. If you use the main search page, you can limit the age of the results.

Offline ArmyVern

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2009, 11:58:32 »
But those same people are the ones jumping in to say that the member should do a search first!   ???

I have tried to use the search feature many times, with disappointing results. No matter what or how I ask for it to be displayed, the age of the results are all over the place. As an example, I searched Necropost and asked for the latest results first. It came up with a 2004 post, then this post, then one from 2007, etc. just all over the place.
Am I just doing it wrong?

ME

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Offline MCG

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2009, 01:41:51 »
My intent in starting this thread was to discourage those with a reflexive need to chastise anyone who would post in a thread that has been dormant for more than a few weeks.  In a lot of cases, the necropost is the right thing to do.  When it is not right, then we'd rather the more established members use the Report to Moderator feature or apply a bit of a mentoring approach (as opposed to the bullying & cajoling approach).

However, given the direction & discussion in this thread, I think it is fair to say that we desire to see similar behavior from the established members when a new site member throws some questions into a new post.  It may be mind-numbing for us "fixtures" to listen to yet another newby ask the same old newby questions but we have to do better than just telling them to go search.  It is a fact that the sites search engine is not the most user friendly, but let's forget that for now.

How many hear have arrived at a new job to be told that everything they need to know can be found on the N:\ Drive, and how bloody infuriating did you find that useless bit of "helpful advice"?  We can do better than that here.

When you see that infuriating question that you've answered a thousand times and you just want to be the first to tell that guy to do a search, then you should just move along to another topic without posting a thing.

If you still feel the need to help the misguided individual, then I challenge you to first do the search yourself to confirm that the question has been answered and can be found (because we've had cases where guys have been lambasted for not searching & then nobody could find the past discussion).  Then, post the link with some helpful suggestion like "I think we've addressed your question before.  Check out this link, and if you need more then revise your question over there so we can build on the previous discussion."

It is in our best interests to give the benefit of the doubt to most new users who are a little sloppy but well meaning.  If we great these new members with condescension, bullying, and other hostility then we will drive them away before they have the chance to learn the ropes and prove themselves.  We will loose out on potentially quality contributors & "new blood."

... and yes, I know this advice has been given before:  http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,58106.0.html

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2009, 06:10:52 »
My intent in starting this thread was to discourage those with a reflexive need to chastise anyone who would post in a thread that has been dormant for more than a few weeks.  In a lot of cases, the necropost is the right thing to do.  When it is not right, then we'd rather the more established members use the Report to Moderator feature or apply a bit of a mentoring approach (as opposed to the bullying & cajoling approach).

However, given the direction & discussion in this thread, I think it is fair to say that we desire to see similar behavior from the established members when a new site member throws some questions into a new post.  It may be mind-numbing for us "fixtures" to listen to yet another newby ask the same old newby questions but we have to do better than just telling them to go search.  It is a fact that the sites search engine is not the most user friendly, but let's forget that for now.

How many hear have arrived at a new job to be told that everything they need to know can be found on the N:\ Drive, and how bloody infuriating did you find that useless bit of "helpful advice"?  We can do better than that here.

When you see that infuriating question that you've answered a thousand times and you just want to be the first to tell that guy to do a search, then you should just move along to another topic without posting a thing.

If you still feel the need to help the misguided individual, then I challenge you to first do the search yourself to confirm that the question has been answered and can be found (because we've had cases where guys have been lambasted for not searching & then nobody could find the past discussion).  Then, post the link with some helpful suggestion like "I think we've addressed your question before.  Check out this link, and if you need more then revise your question over there so we can build on the previous discussion."

It is in our best interests to give the benefit of the doubt to most new users who are a little sloppy but well meaning.  If we great these new members with condescension, bullying, and other hostility then we will drive them away before they have the chance to learn the ropes and prove themselves.  We will loose out on potentially quality contributors & "new blood."

... and yes, I know this advice has been given beforehttp://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,58106.0.html


But it is still good advice and I, for one, intend to follow it.

Thanks for the friendly reminder.
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Offline ajp

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2009, 10:43:07 »
I know when I first started reading in here that I failed on many occaisions to read a date and vented or questioned a matter, only to realize  the last post was 5 or more years old.  Red faced at a later date I would go on and read more about the topic.  It certainly is a good way to get your feet wet, general surfing the site.  A few friendly nudges from experienced members would do a youngling a lot of good though.  Maybe dropping a thread into their newer question, seems to me Goerge is a pro at that process.

Offline Vell

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Conflicting Posting Guidelines (Necro Threads or Create New Topic?)
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2016, 18:40:36 »
The Short Version


The guidelines ask that people post in existing threads for similar topics while a warning message before you post in an old thread suggests that you create a new thread if you try to reply to a topic that is more than 200 days old.


The Long Version

I was asking a question about ATIS postings yesterday and was about to reply to an older post that was similar (but not the same) to the question I had. When I hit the submit button I received a message saying that I should create a new thread for posts that have not been active for more than 200 days (the posts I was trying to reply to were about 3 and 5 years old http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,101314.25.html and http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,101314.25.html and I could not find any relevant topics that were newer).

Following the instructions given, I chose not to submit my post and elected to make a new one instead. The next day my post got moved to the very same thread I was trying to reply to (one that has not been active for about 5 years) along with a bunch of links back to the old posts I already read.

http://milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,81071.msg1410733.html#msg1410733

Should I have ignored the warning message? Did I miss some rule? What guideline should I follow, the general consensus that new topics should not be created when possible or the server issued warning message suggesting that I create a new post for topics that have been inactive for over 200 days?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 18:44:33 by Vell »

Offline Mike Bobbitt

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Re: Conflicting Posting Guidelines (Necro Threads or Create New Topic?)
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2016, 18:49:38 »
Hi Vell, thanks for the question, it's one that has come up before, and doesn't have a 100% clear-cut answer. I'll steal your format for the answer.

The Short Version

It depends.

The Long Version

We do encourage topics to be posted into existing threads where possible. When someone comes along well after the fact (E.G. you, now, 200+ days after the original) it's typically better to find one mega thread with all pertinent discussion than many scattered threads. Sometimes there can be many, many scattered threads, and a simple search then turns into a laborious task to research all available results.

However, if the contents of the new topic differ materially from the original, it does make sense to create a new thread. In that case, those who come after you may be looking for specific details about your variant on the topic. Or alternatively, they may not be seeking the variant you posted, but the original. In that case separation is better, as it allows searchers to find specifically what they were looking for, not a massive "glob" of somewhat unrelated answers.

That's probably not very helpful, but in a nutshell, we encourage posting onto an existing thread or into a new thread based on the relevance for future readers. The idea is to have all available info on a topic available in a single location, if possible. However if it is a new direction, or only slightly related, it probably should go into a new thread.

Hopefully that's enough guidance to get you started, and if you are unsure don't hesitate to ask for clarification (as you have already done).


Cheers
Mike

Offline Vell

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Re: Conflicting Posting Guidelines (Necro Threads or Create New Topic?)
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2016, 19:14:32 »
Perhaps this new thread, and this necro-thread, can be merged for future reference,

Necroposting - Not always a bad idea 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=87278.0

Ironically, since everything after the first two pages of the Army.ca Admin forums are more than 4 years old, I did not bother using search for this topic (I just read all the topics since there are not many). That is a pity in and of itself since I would have brought up that link you gave had I used the search (despite any response there being another necro post).

My post however, is very similar but not the same (Just like my ATIS post). I was wondering about the warning message that comes up when you try to necro a post (I was initially under the impression that you should necro posts until that warning came up).
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 20:36:59 by Vell »

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Conflicting Posting Guidelines (Necro Threads or Create New Topic?)
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2016, 19:50:23 »
......... I was wondering about the warning message that comes up when you try to necro a post (I was initially under the impression that you should necro posts until that warning came up).

It is only a warning.  If you have something valid to the topic, then add it.
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Re: Conflicting Posting Guidelines (Necro Threads or Create New Topic?)
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2016, 04:26:13 »
Ironically, since everything after the first two pages
of the Navy.ca Admin forums are more than 4 years old, I did not bother using search for this topic
(I just read all the topics since there are not many).
   [highlights and Navy.ca my edit]

Too often, new people to the site mention the same  comment you've expressed. We can not speak to other online sites, but the knowledge and experience of members on this site attracts many new and often uniformed people who join to simply satisfy a Q&A.
If talking about the CAF was so easy, this privately owned site would serve no purpose, but as an unofficial RCL.  [:p

Read the old threads. Yes the necro warning is just that, a caution. If you have a valid question on that topic, then that is most likely the best place to ask it. *shrug* At least you are demonstrating your desire to know more about your question, the DS won't mind so much moving it if needed, mentors may be more available and your query will add to the value of the site for others looking for answers.
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Offline runormal

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2016, 06:57:11 »
Could the warning message be updated with more detail and/or a link to this sticky be included in the warning message?

When I was a newer user I also thought it would be better to create a new thread/vice posting in older topics because of the warning message.

Offline Mike Bobbitt

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Re: Necroposting - Not always a bad idea
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2016, 13:21:01 »
I've moved the warning from 200 days to 365, I guess we'll see how that works out. The message is hard coded in the forums, so all I can do is disable it completely or move it out a bit further.