Necroposting is a good thing

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by endolith, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. endolith

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    For some bizarre reason, people on forums get really angry when you post in an old thread and chastise you for "necroposting". This forum goes so far as to post a warning like so:
    I seriously have never understood why this is a bad thing. If you have something to contribute about differential probes, then you should search the forum and see if it's already been discussed. If there's been a discussion on the forum about differential probes, but your post brings something new, you should post in the existing thread about differential probes.

    Encouraging people to make whole new threads about topics that have already been discussed and duplicate the same conversation and background information scattered around in multiple places makes absolutely no sense to me.

    Why does this warning and checkbox exist? Why do you discourage people from consolidating information in one place?'t_repeat_yourself
  2. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    You make a good point. The arbiters of the forum encourage continuity by requesting that you search for existing threads to post to before starting a new one, then when you find an existing thread you get pummeled for trying to post to it. It doesn't make sense.
    endolith likes this.
  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    This relates directly to hijacking. A thread started by you is uniquely yours. If you want to continue a conversation you attach a link to a pertinent thread in your thread, then move on. When you continue a conversation in a previous thread where the OP (original poster) is long gone you are still hijacking his thread.

    Many forums solve this problem by removing access to older threads instead of posting a sign. This one doesn't. Personally I like the system we have here. For people who are working on long term projects there is no deadline for editing a thread either, something almost unheard of elsewhere. I use this feature write online articles.

    When dealing with people whom you feel will edit history you use the quotes system, showing what was originally stated. You can also use quotes for outside sources.

    The idea of ownership prevents someone with an agenda from confusing the questions posed by the OP. It is the OP who started the thread, it is the OP who has asked questions (which in itself can be very hard for some people), and it is the OP who should be addressed in their thread and have their questions answered if possible. If you have a related question you start a second thread with your twist on the questions, and get the same courtesy the OP got and deserves.

    It is a pretty simple system, and it works.

    Another thing I love about this site, no flames allowed. Discussions in a civil manner are always encouraged, but trolls are eventually banned if they don't change how they approach other people. If someone wants to help another person new to electronics or electricity civility and respect are not only encouraged but enforced.
    #12 likes this.
  4. endolith

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    Threads are "owned" by the original poster? Why? A forum thread is a conversation between people about a particular topic. Conversations aren't owned by the person who started them.
  5. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    That is the way it is here. Every site has its own rules, this is ours. Our moderators regularly split hijacks from other peoples threads. We are not restricting their speech, but (to mangle an analogy) your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins.

    This is primarily a teaching site. A (almost) open source text book in the heart of All About Circuits. If someone asks a question they deserve the right to control the direction of the conversation until they understand (or give up trying to understand) the answers.

    If someone wants to steer the conversation another direction they have to start their own thread. We have had borderline trolls who wanted to push a version of physics to people new to the field, without caring if it messed up their education. They either learn or are blocked (as in banned). These situations can take a very long time though, since we do try to allow some leeway.

    Like any system it isn't perfect, but it works for us.

    If you look closely at the open topics forum you will find subjects that are not open for discussion. Mostly this involves perpetual motion and overunity, not to be confused with alternate sources of energy. This is also a science site, and we have had scammers come in with their own agenda, usually they are trying to acquire some sort of legitimacy for their scams.
  6. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Simple answer is a thread is not a conversation. The best threads present a single or small group of related issues. Opinions are submitted but the point of the thread is to satisfy the original poster (OP). It is the OP's call to request clarification, choose which answers seem best, or to ignore everything and move along.

    What is bad with necroposting is it forces the people to review an issue that may have been solved long ago, follow all the twists and turns only to find some noob is asking some unrelated question. In your own hijack (and that's what it was) the OP is looking for scope probe advice, got his answer and the thread ended. You see it and pop it open to ask about a diff amp. That question is at right angles to the thread and forces anyonw who might have an answer to wade thru a stack of irrelevant stuff.

    Everyone would be best served if you started your own thread with your question. Nothing wrong with referencing the old thread (hey I saw X mentioned here) but you should start a fresh thread if you want fresh answers.

    Welcome to the boards. Now go make your own thread! :p
  7. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    I have been confused by this, myself. Thanks for the detailed explanations.

    I would also mention that sometimes a beginner answers a thread for a long gone poster, thinking the OP will see the answer, and it just isn't true, most of the time. Several kinds of mistakes cause "necro-posting", but they are: mistakes.