Regarding the Life of Threads

mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
If you post regarding a topic that has been discussed in recent memory, you can anticipate a response that goes something like, "this has been discussed here <link inserted>," but if you perform your due diligence and use the search function to find where a topic has been discussed and contribute to that thread, you can anticipate a response that goes something like, "thread necromancy!"

What is the etiquette? How long must a dead thread lie before it's inappropriate to resurrect? How long must a topic go undiscussed before it's no longer appropriate to point to it as the place to continue discussion? Is it only necromancy if you respond to a dead thread like it's been alive all along? Are paladins or gnomes involved?

Asking for a friend.

:)
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Here's my thought on the topic: it's like entering a room and starting a conversation with some folks, and then having a third person walk up to you all and demand that you stop having that conversation because *they* had that conversation with somebody yesterday.

If somebody is having a conversation you've already had, or are bored of, or whatever, then just move on and have a different conversation. The fact that something has been discussed before doesn't mean that nobody is allowed to discuss it again.

The concession I make to this is that if there is an identical topic currently active on the first page, then we'd probably merge them for convenience.

So, yeah, do what you want. There's no rules about it. Whatever makes sense to you at the time.
 

oreofox

Explorer
Personally, if the first post of a thread is more than a month old, and there hasn't been any recent posts made, I say make a new one if the topics are similar. That's how I would do it, anyway.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I'll state my preference in case it's helpful to someone who is trying to decide if they should revive an older thread or post a new one on a similar topic.

For me, it's really useful to see a larger array of responses all in one place.

I'll offer an example. Let's say as a DM I want to know people's thoughts on whether a feat is overpowered, and suggested changes to it to make it more balanced.

And let's say over the past year we've seen 10 different arguments for why the feat is not overpowered, 10 different arguments for why the feat is overpower, and 10 different variations on the feat to alter it for different preferences.

If all of that were in one thread, then one of the 10 of a particular category might speak best to my gaming preferences. However, if it's split into two different threads, there is a decent chance (a 50% chance in this rather simplistic example) I will miss out on that.

So, from a utility perspective, it's far better for my needs if it's all to be found in one place.

And I do think that is one of the most powerful things about a message board as opposed to places like Reddit or social media. The ability to refer back and collect opinions on the same topic over a longer period of time is highly powerful for a game discussion where people are coming to look up thoughts about a rule over a period of years. And I think a lot of that powerful utility is lost if that topic is always spread over a half dozen different threads which are much harder to gather and analyze in one place.

So, if you're trying to decide if you should revive an old thread or create a new one on an older topic, for me at least I would encourage you to revive the old one. Future readers may thank you.
 


jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
I would start a new thread rather than necro one that is like 6 months old. But I'm also happy if someone points out the old thread, so I can see what people said there.

I would feel a little bad if I started a new thread and then found out there was an existing one on the same topic that was only a week old.

Between a week and six month, I wouldn't feel bad either way.
 

jgsugden

Legend
My best practice suggestions:

1.) Search First: If the underlying material is something that may have been discussed in the past, do a search. If you have questions, they may already be answered. Old posts may already have comments relative to your discussion. If you decide that the thread is useful and you are going to Necro it, start your 'Raise Dead' post with something that acknowledges that you're necroing the thread, such as, "Mordenkainen's Tome puts a new spin on this old thread ..." Even better, if you started the old thread, consider tweaking the title to show that it has been necroed.

2.) Referencing is ok: If you think the situation has evolved and it'd be better off to leave the old thread dead and start a new one, it isn't a bad idea to reference the other thread and provide a link. That will reduce the chances of an (annoying?) one sentence post telling you it was already discussed with a link to the old thread. Odds are someone will reply to the old thread, however, so you may end up with parallel discussions on your new thread and the old one, so this is a judgement call.

3.) Don't take offense: If someone comments that you're necroing a thread, don't assume you're being chastised. It may just be someone noting their surprise to see a topic reinvigorated - not a reprimand. I remember not too long ago where I started off my reply in a recently necroed thread by saying something like, "Wow... this is a really timely thread necro." I meant to convey that the changes from Mordy's made the topic relevant again and I was glad someone brought it up. The Necromancer was offended because he assumed I was chastising him. (On the other hand, some of us are insensitive and rude louts that may be giving you the efinger unjustly. $#@! them. They're not worth your worry. There is a wonderful block function on this forum.)

4. Consider whether you're the right person to post: If you're going to post a topic that a lot of people care about, such as news of a new WotC release announcement, a UA article, or discussion of a popular component of a new product that just hit the shelves: Ask whether YOU should be the one to post it. I won't post these things because when I do so, I cut out members of the community that I've blocked - and I've blocked a few members of the community that want to be involved in these discussions. Rather than start a conversation they're either entirely excluded from or that they'll duplicate so they can talk about it, I let someone else start the discussion. There are no points gathered by being the person to post the topics... and I think that things that will live as News Items are better posted by Enworld folks with the access to make it a news story easily when it is their post, but for which it is harder if it is someone else's post.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
If the old thread has fallen off the 'first page' then I would favor a new thread. If the old thread is still easily visible, I favor adding to it.

Find out if the old thread was closed by a moderator (and therefore is dropping off the front page) before you do anything; some conversations go badly, and you can review what happened.
 



jgsugden

Legend
I have noticed there are a few gatekeepers around these parts.
Stop using past perfect tense, challenging the right of others to nitpick, and using vagueries like "these parts."

And don't even get me started on your letter count per post. And this thread is about the lives of threads, so if you want to discuss people's behavior you should really start your own thread.

And your font is unimaginative.

And stuff.
 

Eubani

Hero
Stop using past perfect tense, challenging the right of others to nitpick, and using vagueries like "these parts."

And don't even get me started on your letter count per post. And this thread is about the lives of threads, so if you want to discuss people's behavior you should really start your own thread.

And your font is unimaginative.

And stuff.

Don't forget to lock up and to turn the lights off after you close up......
 



Henry

Autoexreginated
Stop using past perfect tense, challenging the right of others to nitpick, and using vagueries like "these parts."

And don't even get me started on your letter count per post. And this thread is about the lives of threads, so if you want to discuss people's behavior you should really start your own thread.

And your font is unimaginative.

And stuff.
Jgsugden, we’ve already discussed the discussion of gatekeeping before HERE, so go necro that thread if you wish to discuss the discussion of the discussion.
 



Li Shenron

Legend
Here's my thought on the topic: it's like entering a room and starting a conversation with some folks, and then having a third person walk up to you all and demand that you stop having that conversation because *they* had that conversation with somebody yesterday.

If somebody is having a conversation you've already had, or are bored of, or whatever, then just move on and have a different conversation. The fact that something has been discussed before doesn't mean that nobody is allowed to discuss it again.

The concession I make to this is that if there is an identical topic currently active on the first page, then we'd probably merge them for convenience.

So, yeah, do what you want. There's no rules about it. Whatever makes sense to you at the time.

This is what a good forum should be! :)

A forum is not a "knowledge repository" where conclusions are reached and truths are established, but rather a place for discussions. If someone wants static knowledge, that could better be a wiki.

Besides, one of the biggest pests in technical forums on the web is very much the habit of redirecting people to years-old answers, ignoring the fact that in the meantime the relevant technology has already changed many times and the old answers just won't work.
 


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