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Digging up old threads

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Digging up old threads

Postby Bruce N H » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:32 pm

Hey all,

Recently there has been some discussion on the practice of necroposting, or adding a new post to a years-dead thread, bumping it back up to the top of the forum. This is a bit of a tricky issue, that we tried to address in the FAQ, but it would be good to get some more community feedback on this.

The problem is that it is an issue of degree. On the one hand, we don't want to be constantly retreading old ground and never have anything new. On the other hand, we don't want the forum to be characterized by older members constantly saying "I discussed that back in 2004! You have no right to talk about it now! (And, BTW, get off my lawn!)"

We certainly want newer members to know and appreciate great classic MOCs, going all the way back to Ed Boxer's Castle from 14 years ago (older stuff, too, but I date that as the start of online Castle-AFOLs). I hope everyone on the forum, both old and new, are checking out the creations, links and past contests sections of the site, all of which archive great MOCs (also poke around in the various [url]how-to articles[/url]. But even if you're just poking through past pages of the Castle MOCs subforum, or looking at pics from past fests linked in the Castle Displays and Events subforum, you'll run across tons and tons of other great things. Perhaps we should really reinvigorate Blueandwhite's Masterworks project from a couple of years ago - I did mean to turn that into a how-to article. Someone else had a memories thread, where they went back several years and highlighted favorite builders and MOCs - does anyone remember who that was?

Probably the biggest negative with necroposting is that the forum software immediately bumps the old thread to the top of the list, pushing older stuff further down. This becomes an obvious problem when someone who is very new to the forum suddenly raises 20 threads to life, and so all new content gets pushed down and off the front page of the forum. This is particularly frustrating to someone who has just posted a brand new MOC and would like feedback on it. But the same effect would also happen if tomorrow ten different old members of our community suddenly decided to make comments on two of their favorite older MOCs (and, let's face it, it you've been around the forum for several years, you've seen hundreds of things you could go back and comment on).

There is also just the annoyance factor of people adding one-line content-free responses to threads. As AC noted, this is annoying whether the thread is fresh or stale, but I sort of expect some of that in active threads, so it seems more jarring when a thread from years ago comes back just so someone can say "LOL! This moc RULZ!" Again, there is a bit of a fine line here. Without meaning to offend or sound too condescending, some of our youngest posters are not as articulate as they will be as they mature (i.e. lose their hair and gain a potbelly like us older folks :) ), and we do want to encourage them in the hobby and not just drive them away.

Anyway, as I said in the FAQ, a little bit of necroposting is okay, particularly when you have something intelligent to say, but too much, or too inane a response, will probably let slip the dogs of war.

I'd love the thoughts of others, both the Big and the Little, as we say in Bree.

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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby Athos » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:23 pm

I don't know why this is such an irritant to people. Especially when its the ordinary one or two threads. Sure it is a bit irritating, to click on an old thread or two, but its not like its that big of an issue. So you wasted two seconds... you're wasting even more time complaining about it. As long as someone isn't doing it with 20 threads, as Bruce, mentioned, its not a big deal. And I've never seen that happen...

Sometimes people want to talk about an old issue. Just because we've talked it to death, doesn't mean new members don't want the same chance. This is especially true with the influx of new people to AFOLdom. And there are only two ways to talk about it: post in an old thread or start a new one. Either option is going to cause chastisement.

I think that digging up old threads isn't the problem. And, in an homage to Dennis Miller, I'm going to get off onto a rant here:

This is all the result of the changing nature of the Lego community. The problem is, as I've ranted in chat recently, two-fold and probably unsolvable: (1) many new members are young, stupid and, more importantly, active posters; and (2) the old members (myself included) are crabby and nostalgic.

To the first issue: The Lego fanbase has expanded, membership on all forums has exploded and the average age of the members has dropped. In the initial days of CC, most posters were AFOLS. Now, however, we're getting a lot more TFOLs and such, so the maturity level has dropped. Add to the issue is the original AFOLs are getting older, which just makes the new members seem even more immature.

On the second issue: Many of the old members miss how the forums used to be. We could browse through the forums effortlessly, without having to wade through a bunch of crappy posts. Now we can't and it makes us cranky.

I don't, however, see a solution.

Regarding the immaturity level, we could attempt to ban the more immature members or set up a restrictive age limit or create an invitation only forum. But those aren't tenable solutions. The first requires too much work for the admins; the second weeds out too many good people; and the third makes us snobbish prigs.

Regarding the crankiness level, we could all try to be more kind and forgiving and try to teach the new members or we could create our own forum, or we could just give up on the whole online community. Again, these aren't good. The first is often a waste of time and a case of casting pearls before swine; the second would be fruitless because the new forum would be in the same state in a few years; and the third is the worst of all (there are already too many former pillars of the CC community who have gone missing).

Times have changed. Dust in the wind. Turn, turn, turn. And all that stuff...


Phew... anyhow. Thread reviving doesn't bother me, because I've not experienced an excessive amount of it. Complainers need to lighten up about it and the practicers need to not post crap when they do it.

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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby Bruce N H » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:43 pm

Hey,

Thanks for the thoughtful rant, Steve. Is it really true that the forums used to be that much more mature, or do we just tend to remember the great posts from long ago and the annoying ones from more recently? Nostalgia often boils down to the fact that we remember the best stuff.

I should have added one other point to my initial post above. Another annoying instance of necropostery is when people drag up topics that have been particularly beaten to death (e.g. gray/bley, fleshy figs, proposed Tolkien license).

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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby Aliencat » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:21 pm

Interesting discussion, and I feel I have something to say here so I'll post it :)

I most definitely agree that if someone bumps up 20 old threads it gets in the way, but just like anything else really, there can't be a system for this: it's different on a case-to-case basis. I don't see anything annoying about digging up one or two old threads every now and then, in fact I think it gives newer members who missed the discussion or MOC the first time, a chance to have a look at it too, and add some of their own thoughts.
I guess I haven't been around long enough, but I honestly don't mind going through a thread again that I already read 2 years ago.

Like I said in my reply to Ottoatm, I do agree that posting those oneliners like "omg cool moc" that have nothing to add can be annoying for digging up an old thread, but it's equally pointless in a new thread, though Bruce is right in that it can be expected more in new threads than in old threads. But with something insightful to say or at least something to add to the discussion, shouldn't it be OK to post anywhere? New or old threads?

I admit my reviving Jason Spears' thread was a bit of an act of trying to prove my point. I mean all of what I said: I did run into it on MOCpages recently and do think it's one of those creations that paved the way for tudor MOCs to follow and is very iconic for Castle MOCs. But I admit that if I hadn't had my wee disagreement with Ottoatm I probably wouldn't have replied to the thread here at CC :oops:
But ah well, impulsive as it was I still mean what I said. And I still think newer members should be given a chance to discuss older MOCs and I do still count myself as one of the newer members since I've only been around for 2 years or so and have missed a lot of the groundbreaking MOCs from the early days of Classic-Castle.

Bruce N H wrote:Another annoying instance of necropostery is when people drag up topics that have been particularly beaten to death (e.g. gray/bley, fleshy figs, proposed Tolkien license).

This I disagree with. Even though it's been discussed by some of the older members, some of the newer members haven't had their say yet. What would be the arguement against that? That nothing that's added now is going to change anything? How is that different from what was said way back when, none of that changed anything.
If anything, looking back over 6 years after the big colour change, one might have more insight into the situation as a whole and post an even more intelligent response than anyone posted 6 years ago when they were angry about this change, and it was still fresh and sudden.
I know I'm stretching it there, and that's not the case: people will get annoyed when an old discussion that has been ended gets flared up again, and I do see why, don't get me wrong.

I still don't think the same goes for MOCs though. Old MOCs deserve praising if they're good, old stories deserve praising if they're good, and the occasional bump will help these things get viewed by newer members as well, so I don't see the harm in that. Like I said it's really something that's different on a case-to-case basis and should be treated as that.
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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby Forestboy » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:39 am

Aliencat wrote:
Bruce N H wrote:Another annoying instance of necropostery is when people drag up topics that have been particularly beaten to death (e.g. gray/bley, fleshy figs, proposed Tolkien license).

This I disagree with. Even though it's been discussed by some of the older members, some of the newer members haven't had their say yet. What would be the argument against that? That nothing that's added now is going to change anything? How is that different from what was said way back when, none of that changed anything.
If anything, looking back over 6 years after the big color change, one might have more insight into the situation as a whole and post an even more intelligent response than anyone posted 6 years ago when they were angry about this change, and it was still fresh and sudden.


You know it's funny that we bring up this subject. Being a fairly new member myself, I was actually going to start a new thread about a "color" change because I can see that some of my dark grays, light grays, and browns are weirdly different than the old ones.
I also saw a very old conversation and I was going to post on it, but when I saw the date I decided not to post, lest I get yelled at for doing so. I was actually pondering weather I should ask a question if I may do so. So I'm glad we're talking about this. Here's what I think the rules about it should be (maybe :) ):

On MOCs
You should NOT resurrect a thread if...
1. You don't have something positive. Resurrecting something that just trashes a creation won't help at all...especially if the moc-ist has improved.
2. You do not have anything insightful, appreciative, different to say than what's already been said. ("Ur Moc iz soooo coool!!!!1!!!111)
3. You comment on an old moc whose maker is no longer active and will not be able to benefit from the comment.

You should resurrect a thread if...
1. You have something that someone else that someone hasn't pointed out. ("That tree design is spectacular!")

On Normal Threads
You should NOT resurrect a thread if...
1. You resurrect 10+ at the same time, bumping down newer conversations.
2. You don't add anything helpful to the conversation or ask a question that was already asked or answered. (Read the topic before posting :wink: )

You should resurrect a thread if...
1. You are a new member and have not had the chance to join in the conversation and maybe talk to a few people about it.

Tell me if there's anything you disagree on, or would like to add to or something. Good topic... :mrgreen:
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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby ottoatm » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:12 am

If it makes you all feel any better, it's just as nerve-racking to correct thread necromancers, because I know that as Mods we all need to do this, and also that as soon as we do, someone is going to post after us saying "what's wrong with that?" along with several other paragraphs on their points of view.

Being "that guy" who has to make a judgment call about when to tell someone not to do something and etc is not exactly a happy-go-lucky time, and in the case of digging up old threads, I find myself having to correct members on something that I find annoying but doesn't bother me as much as others.

That said, I have to admit that there are many sections of CC that I would normally never visit as a member, because they are always full of necro-topics. I do because I am a mod, but I believe that many veterans here do not for that reason. We both need to try our best to see both sides.

In the most recent case, I did because of three reasons:

1 - I saw a trend of multiple topics being dug up
2 - Content of posts didn't seem to be too deep (no offense) & in some cases, was not related to the main topic
3 - The member was still somewhat new, and in that case, coaching from mods helps a lot
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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby architect » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:25 am

I agree with most of the comments above. Posting in an old thread should be done sparingly if you have something constructive to add to the discussion. A few resurrected threads here and there are acceptable. Flooding a sub forum with newly resuscitated threads should be avoided. New members are encouraged to start new threads on new topics and mocs.

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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:59 pm

I see this issue as three fold.

First, the reason we are even having this discussion is because some newer members go about posting in old threads. Now this could be in their excitement of finally being able to join, or seeing things they really want to post on. It could be they are trying to raise their post count. It could be they are just being young and silly. As a mod, we aren't mind readers. We can only see what is on the screen and do what we've been told to do.

But the thing is, if you look at the new posts of most new members, they are short. It takes a lot of confidence to come to a well established place such as CC, where there are a lot of well established members who speak their mind and post. There are a lot of people who do not speak English as their first language.

Secondly, I think it is about tolerance and acceptance.

The internet is a place where you can say anything and have very little repercussions for your statements. I think people forget that a lot. They tend to realize that over time it gives them some power or sense of "I can handle this..just by being a bit aggressive." I've been noticing this getting worse and worse all over the LEGO community.

But words still are words. And even if you are typing them on a screen, they still have impact. Remember the old saying "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"? We have more than a few well established members going about in aggressive manners. How does that allow any new member to want to stay here and be part of this community if they run into a bunch of aggression?

I spend a lot of time pm-ing new members, helping them fit in, giving advice and guidance. Some take it. Some don't. Some of our established members need to let the mods do their jobs, even if they can't see it on the forums, it might be being addressed in private.

Thirdly, I think we all need to think before we post.

I often find myself wanting to post something like "Totally cool MOC!", typing it out and then thinking.."oh yeah now that almost adds to the discussion" and then pressing the back button and not posting it.

Fun is fun. And yes we can have fun, but there are ways to have fun that do not annoy others. There is the chat if you want to have a convo with someone and we have several rooms in there that one can take advantage of. There are ways to post more than just one line in a comical manner.

So I guess to sum up my thoughts: Think before you post, use tolerance, and remember...you were once a new member too.
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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby LEGOFREAK » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:30 am

Athos wrote:I don't know why this is such an irritant to people. Especially when its the ordinary one or two threads. Sure it is a bit irritating, to click on an old thread or two, but its not like its that big of an issue. So you wasted two seconds...
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:D

ok.. i wanted to leave it there but i couldn't.

speaking as an old timer its kinda gratifying to get a response to something i've posted a couple years back ('specially when i haven't posted anything new (I've made new stuff, postworthy stuff.. but the ex got the digicam in the separation and I can't afford a new one... :D))
so... for me, it's no biggie. but that line says it all.. so you wasted a few seconds. big deal. move on.

even if its a bullshit post like "u'r thread rulz" then so what?

meh :D
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Postby Robin Hood » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:45 am

This is truly a topic that should be addressed here, for as one of the older members, I am well aware of how cranky and grumpy we can be about new members resurrecting old threads. In the end though, I guess it really depends on the cirumstances.

The "thatis soos kools man!1!!1" posts that are added onto a five year old thread should be completely discouraged against. I think this is something we can at least all agree on. It is this kind of post that most often happens, and unfortunately, has given the rest of necroposting a bad name. Having most necroposts being the completely pointless and, forgive my harshness, dumb type has made the old members here have a negative feeling at necroposts in general. It's unfortunately something that has grown over time and not likely to leave quickly. It is a negative feeling that has become almost ingrained with us.

If necroposting were all of a mature and insightful manner, then it is quite possible there would be no issue with it. Alas that it is not so.


A few opinions on the various forms of necroposting.

Commenting on old MOCs = Okay, so long as it is a worthwhile and meaningful post. And so long as the creator of the MOC has at least a slim chance of being an active member.

Commenting on old topics = Sometimes okay, depending on the topic, and again, depending on the quality of the post. The biggest issue for me in this situation is that bringing an old topic back to life only serves to bring the same arguments back with it. If a five year old thread is resurrected, only to have the exact same opinions stated, with nothing new added, regardless of how well it is said, is it really worth resurrecting? Take the colour change. If a new post is made to the who-knows-how-old thread, making a comment in retrospect, on how things are now, with the passage of time, that is okay. If a post is made by a person lamenting the problems of the change, and how he/she can't believe Lego would do such a thing, then it is not okay. For really, what does that add to the conversation?

Commenting on old news = Not Okay, IMHO. I don't really think this is much of an issue, but the colour change, for instance, could be considered old news. I think I recall some old news thread(s) being brought up a few months back, but I don't recall for sure. Basically, the title says it all. It's OLD NEWS. It's something we all know about and discussed back when it was relavent. Time passes, things change, and some things just don't matter anymore. Again, the colour change is a possible example. And again, if a concise post is made concerning the change of things over time, with a retrospect sort of look, then it's fine in my books.

Really though, it's a case by case basis, with pretty much any non-"thats sooo kewl" posts being okay. But that's just my thoughts, and as I post less than frequently, it's hardly the most informed opinion.

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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby RichardAM » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:24 pm

I have strong feelings on this matter that I feel need to be said.

I shall wait two years until this thread is well and truly buried and shall post them then.
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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby footsteps » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:10 am

Bruce, all I can say is that we discussed that back in 2004! You have no right to talk about it now! (And, BTW, get off my lawn!). :P

I think RichardAM is on to something good.

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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby Blueandwhite » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:40 pm

Personally I feel this is simply a matter of online ediquette. There is nothing inherently wrong with bringing up an old topic if you have something you would like to contribute. I love seeing some older MOCs and discussions being brought to the forefront again. It brings back memories. On the other hand, digging up 15-20 old threads simply to post a one-line response is inherently immature and more often than not leads to debate on whether it is appropriate to necropost or not.

While I am opposed to a strict rule on this topic, I do feel that members should be invited to use a bit of common sense and courtesy when digging through old posts. One-liners on a three year old topic don't encourage dialogue. I don't mind when a newer fan decides to add his or her 2 cents to an older topic, however I'm far less accepting of members who seem to post simply for the sake of posting. I appreciate that new members may find that CC isn't exactly the most exciting forum on the internet, however digging up a bunch of old topics with short quips isn't likely to change that either.

I certainly miss the traffic and thoughtful dialogue from earlier years but I'm still not keen on necroposting for the sake of necroposting. Any post (new or old) should at least attempt to contribute to a discussion.
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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby Skalldyr » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:02 pm

Ohh hehe, Bruce it seems that you have digged out a lot and very deep for the cattle-project.! :P
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Re: Digging up old threads

Postby Bruce N H » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:16 pm

Yes, I know, I was king necroposter for a day. :oops:
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