Author Topic: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?  (Read 737 times)

Offline Power

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Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« on: March 10, 2023, 09:38:58 AM »
There is an automatic warning against posting in threads that haven't been posted in for 120 days. I'm pretty sure we don't have any such actual rule and all it's going to do is discourage people from posting on what is already a low activity forum. Does anyone disagree?

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2023, 09:46:11 AM »
It's only a soft warning, not a hard lock, so it doesn't hinder anyone who really wants to add to an old thread.
That being said I wouldn't mind if the setting were entirely disabled.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2023, 11:39:53 AM »
That isn't something that has an option to be turned off and honestly the whole point of it is that someone is replying to a really old thread and maybe it would be a better idea for them to make a new post entirely so it both can't be changed and in my opinion doesn't need to be.  I really doubt that our activity is in any way impacted by a "hey, are you sure you want to do this?" message.

Offline altpersona

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2023, 12:17:24 AM »
at this point 99% of the board posts are >120 days old;

might as well just respond normally to the ancient texts
The goal of power is power. - 1984
We are not descended from fearful men. - Murrow
The Final Countdown is now stuck in your head.

Anim-manga still sux.

Offline Power

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2023, 02:20:22 PM »
That's why I think it's better if it's removed. Ultimately, I expect this can be a bit of a discouraging factor. I don't know how much it affects posting patterns, but I suspect it does have at least some effect and that it's better to remove it if that is possible. I know there was a PF thread that got bumped with an apology for necroing that suggested to me that some people do feel like they shouldn't be posting in old threads as a consequence of this warning and the forums are low activity enough as is.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2023, 03:33:56 PM »
Like I said, it can't be removed so it doesn't really matter in the end. 

Offline Power

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2023, 09:22:43 PM »
Actually you just need to go to Administration Center > Posts and Topics > Topic Center and disable Time before topic is warned as old on reply. See here. If you want a board-specific option, there is a package here that offers that. It seems close enough in forum software version to be compatible.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2023, 09:24:23 PM by Power »

Offline Nanshork

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2023, 11:41:44 AM »
Ahh, I was wrong.  That's an odd place to put the setting.

However I still don't agree that it's an issue and don't see a purpose in changing the setting that we've had enabled for over a decade.  If nothing else the warning says "please consider starting a new topic" so if it was stopping people from responding to old threads they would be starting new topics (and that pretty clearly doesn't happen very often).

Offline Power

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2023, 01:18:09 PM »
However I still don't agree that it's an issue and don't see a purpose in changing the setting that we've had enabled for over a decade.
Well, the issue here is that there does not seem to be a constructive purpose to having the warning in the first place. All it does is discourage certain posts, and it's not clear what the benefit is. As it stands the overwhelming majority of threads are over 120 days old.

Quote
If nothing else the warning says "please consider starting a new topic" so if it was stopping people from responding to old threads they would be starting new topics (and that pretty clearly doesn't happen very often).
Sadly, it doesn't quite work like that. If you discourage people from doing one thing, there will be some percentage of people who will avoid doing that one thing but not do the other thing you recommend in its place. This is especially the case for new posters, who are generally less certain what about what to do and how to behave on a new forum (and the easiest thing to do, of course, is to do nothing at all and not post), In conversion rate optimization, A/B testing, etc., you notice that these are ways you lose people. Hell, just having people click one more link to do something is a way to lose people.

Just to be clear, I don't exactly expect this to make a major difference in forum activity,* but it does seem like an unnecessary discouragement to present this guideline that we do not really follow ourselves. The balance of a lack of positive effect and tendency for negative effects is why I say we're better off just removing it.

*But who knows. The forum is so low activity that just one more active poster would constitute a major difference in forum activity.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2023, 03:21:05 PM »
I just don't see things the way that you do, especially given that Discord is the primary reason that the website is so low in activity.  I've seen one person refer to logging into the website as too much work.

Offline Power

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2023, 04:11:57 PM »
Frankly, why do we even have the warning in the first place and what makes you so unwilling to remove it?

Offline Nanshork

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2023, 04:49:26 PM »
I don't know why it was originally set up because I didn't do that, I wasn't a mod when the BGs stepped down and neither my first stint as a mod nor this stint of being a mod ever had anything to do with the setting until a few days ago.

I'm unwilling to remove it because I see a purpose for it to exist, as I mentioned.

Edit: I also am not the kind of person who will make changes unless I believe they're actually warranted.  Doing things just to do things is not the kind of person that I am.

Offline Power

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Re: Could we remove the automatic warning against thread necro?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2023, 10:20:11 AM »
That's preserving a guideline that was instated for reasons you do not know at a time when forum activity was very different from today (ie. you wouldn't find such old threads populating the first page of a board) even though right now the standard is for everyone to ignore the guideline if they have any interest in posting in existing threads. Making new threads is only really useful if it actually warrants a separate topic rather than being more relevant and useful as part of a preexisting one, and "consider making new threads instead of just posting into existing ones if it works better as a new topic" is a guideline that's different from "you shouldn't post in 120+ days old threads if you can help it."

I also gave some thoughts on why I consider this rule to be unproductive here but I'll directly quote the relevant bits:
There's no problem at all with necroing threads. If you want to liven up an old thread with new feedback, be my guest. I honestly don't understand why some forums have rules against thread necro, since many old threads are good ones and there's nothing wrong with the conversation picking up again where it left off, and I feel like those forums tend to have moderators who feel obligated to create rules and enforce them just so they can feel like they're moderators. Not to mention it's just a pain when you're websearching for information on some topic and you find a forum thread that's useful but just old enough to be missing a lot of newer material or insights and no one was willing to post the newer stuff to that thread because that would be "thread necro" so now you have less helpful threads to look through and get to hope that maybe there is another thread that does have the information you want.

Anyway, I reckon I've just about said my piece on it now.