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Author Topic: Thread exhumation  (Read 15651 times)

1995hoo

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Thread exhumation
« on: August 15, 2013, 07:46:47 AM »

[Split off from a thread wherein there was much sturm und drang about the word "yawn", which was perceived to have been caused by someone reviving a dead thread. Despite all of that discourse ultimately being sent to the place where completely useless stuff goes, somehow, an interesting discussion on the etiquette thread exhumation was borne from it. -S.]

But seriously now....the new poster resurrected an old thread rather than start a new one, which means he either searched or simply stumbled on this thread. That means he was doing the RIGHT thing. If the response is now to be "yawn" regardless of whether it's a new thread or a revived thread, then it implies new posters shouldn't post anything at all. But, as I said before, in this case I suppose I did open the door for him to post "yawn."
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 05:57:29 AM by Scott5114 »
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1995hoo

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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 01:19:05 PM »

eh, it was pretty funny if you saw it unfold in real time. 

1995hoo notes that NE2 says 'yawn' sometimes.
NE2 responds to that with 'yawn'. 
Billy F 1988 fails to note that this is a meta-yawn, and completely flips his shit.

and there goes the frog...

The thing is, NE2 didn't quote what he was responding to, which encouraged people to think he was responding to the thread exhumation itself instead of 1995hoo's post.  In fact, that was my interpretation initially.

Setting aside my tweak of NE2, I thought overall my point remained valid. "1" exhumed a thread and posted something on-topic, which is better than starting a new and redundant thread. I assume people can agree with that proposition.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

J N Winkler

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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 01:36:13 PM »

Setting aside my tweak of NE2, I thought overall my point remained valid. "1" exhumed a thread and posted something on-topic, which is better than starting a new and redundant thread. I assume people can agree with that proposition.

In general, yes, but going through hundreds of threads with a view toward adding two cents' worth to discussions that lapsed months or even years ago is a newbie mistake.  It tends to irritate established posters, who then have to read back (often through multiple pages) to understand the context of the discussion, which has often been overtaken by more recent posts in other threads.

The secret to effective thread exhumation, I think, is to flag it explicitly as such, and to do it with a post that could function just as well as the original post to a new thread, so that it is clear to the reader that it is entirely optional to flip back to previous posts.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 01:38:40 PM »

In general, yes, but going through hundreds of threads with a view toward adding two cents' worth to discussions that lapsed months or even years ago is a newbie mistake.

newbies to what?  the internet in general?  I feel like "thread exhumation" is fairly universal, with its protocols for how to do it politely varying little across the internet.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 01:42:57 PM »

I was actually viewing "Who's Online", saw a guest reading this topic, and posted in it.

On topic to the actual point of this thread, turning left on a busy street is often a problem.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 02:14:21 PM »

In general, yes, but going through hundreds of threads with a view toward adding two cents' worth to discussions that lapsed months or even years ago is a newbie mistake.  It tends to irritate established posters, who then have to read back (often through multiple pages) to understand the context of the discussion, which has often been overtaken by more recent posts in other threads.

All I had to do was look at the subject and figure out the context of the discussion.

So are we saying that after a few months, no one can talk about a particular topic ever again?  Or does a new poster need a specific post count before they are not considered a newbie and are permitted to reopen a dormant topic?
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J N Winkler

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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 02:27:21 PM »

newbies to what?  the internet in general?

I mean to a particular Web forum.

Quote
I feel like "thread exhumation" is fairly universal, with its protocols for how to do it politely varying little across the internet.

Yes, it is universal.  Established users of a forum don't usually get in trouble for it because they don't do a lot of it on an ongoing basis.  New users are more likely to come in with a head of enthusiasm that they have not been able to discharge through prior participation (typically as a result of lurking without having had an account), and to irritate established posters by adding to many old threads in rapid succession, when it would probably work much better to spread out the exhumations a little in time.

On this forum revival of old threads has become a source of heat in the past, which is why we now have a 120-day warning that displays when a user composes a new reply to a thread which has had no fresh replies for that interval.  On another forum which I used to moderate, we had a few members (some new, many of whom were young) who seemed bent on adding new posts to the oldest threads on the forum, which meant going back to many threads which had started in 2001 and petered out (for the most part) by 2002 and adding fresh posts with 2007 dates.  This led to calls for the old threads to be locked to prevent this form of exhumation.

I was actually viewing "Who's Online", saw a guest reading this topic, and posted in it.

You mean this listing?

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?action=who

That isn't really a good way to choose threads to post in.  It is generated in arrears (i.e., the database doesn't have a notation that user X is viewing thread Y until after user X has already loaded at least one page for thread Y), so there is no guarantee that a new post to that thread will be seen by that user.  There is, however, a guarantee that many users will spot the new post in that thread in the "Most recent posts" listing, and wonder why it has been exhumed, especially if the new post feels to them like a placeholder.

It is much better to choose threads based on your ability to post something substantive and well-thought-out.  This is more likely to attract a positive response:  as economists say, a good signal is both difficult to make and difficult to fake.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 02:35:55 PM »

All I had to do was look at the subject and figure out the context of the discussion.

The subject line is only a thumbnail.  In the case of a list thread, for example, you often have to look back to make sure you aren't posting redundantly.  (For example, when "1" exhumed the "Funny-named towns" thread after a five-month gap with no new posts, I initially failed to register that an exhumation was going on, and nearly posted "White Settlement, TX" again.)

Quote
So are we saying that after a few months, no one can talk about a particular topic ever again?  Or does a new poster need a specific post count before they are not considered a newbie and are permitted to reopen a dormant topic?

Not at all.  I am merely saying that thread exhumations work best when they are done only on occasion, not as a matter of routine, and also when they are explicitly flagged as such and are done with a post which could work just as well as the original post for a new thread.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 09:22:43 PM »

So:

Don't resume an old thread just to say "me too" or "I don't like your idea."
Do resume an old thread to add new content or update the discussion with new information.
Do resume an old thread if the alternative is posting a new thread with the same/similar topic.

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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 11:20:57 PM »

I'm relatively new to posting on these forums, but have lurked here for a while.  I try to post when relevant, if I can.  In my case, I'm very busy with work and kids and don't have as much time to stay current on these threads as I'd like.  I hope to add in new information that I can contribute, but often can't be responding back and forth with someone due to my constraints.

As you can see I have very few posts.  I'lll try to keep my words relevant.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2013, 11:57:22 PM »

I'm relatively new to posting on these forums, but have lurked here for a while.  I try to post when relevant, if I can.  In my case, I'm very busy with work and kids and don't have as much time to stay current on these threads as I'd like.  I hope to add in new information that I can contribute, but often can't be responding back and forth with someone due to my constraints.

As you can see I have very few posts.  I'lll try to keep my words relevant.

That should be fine.  The posting system gives you a hard time if you insist on adding to a thread that's been inactive for more than four months.  Lesser delays, you risk someone else beating you to the point you wanted to make, but otherwise no biggie.

I think there's also some slack cut for new members, who have something new and significant to add to threads that petered out before they joined.  Certainly that's something I did (within reason) when I joined, without objection.
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kphoger

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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2013, 03:02:39 PM »

In general, yes, but going through hundreds of threads with a view toward adding two cents' worth to discussions that lapsed months or even years ago is a newbie mistake.

newbies to what?  the internet in general?  I feel like "thread exhumation" is fairly universal, with its protocols for how to do it politely varying little across the internet.

One can be well versed in the internet, yet never have participated in an online forum before.  "Thread exhumation" is, by definition, a web forum thing; unless you've lurked in a significant number of threads, you're unlikely to have gleaned the protocols for thread exhumation without actually having participated in forums before.

So:

Don't resume an old thread just to say "me too" or "I don't like your idea."
Do resume an old thread to add new content or update the discussion with new information.
Do resume an old thread if the alternative is posting a new thread with the same/similar topic.

This does seem like common sense, doesn't it?

I think there's also some slack cut for new members, who have something new and significant to add to threads that petered out before they joined.  Certainly that's something I did (within reason) when I joined, without objection.

I think there's a lot of slack for one or two here and there—whether by newbies or veterans.  What does not seem to be tolerated (and rightly so) is exhuming eight threads in rapid succession.  First of all, it's unlikely that a newbie (or anyone else, for that matter) will have enough meaningful content to add to that many dead threads to merit their exhumation.  Secondly, nobody wants to see that many threads that died a slow, peaceful death get labelled as "recent" all of a sudden, with every tiny reply (such as "yawn", "makes sense to me", "haven't we discussed this before", "thread exhumation anyone", etc.) bumping it right back to the top again.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2013, 04:08:01 PM »

Somebody just resurrected a threat on m.t.r from 2009, so it happens in more places than message boards.

I just dug one up here on US 460 (Corridor Q) because I went to check out the construction there for the first time since 2009. So far, nobody's yawned.  :sleep:
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2013, 04:14:55 PM »

Somebody just resurrected a threat on m.t.r from 2009

Has Homeland Security upped their alert level to orange/high yet?
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2013, 04:51:44 PM »

Somebody just resurrected a threat on m.t.r from 2009

Has Homeland Security upped their alert level to orange/high yet?
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2013, 09:00:18 PM »

Somebody just resurrected a threat on m.t.r from 2009

Has Homeland Security upped their alert level to orange/high yet?

Listen here son, it'll always be yellow or above, as long as there's them queerish funny languages that don't recognize God's own twenty-six letters in it. And those obstinate morons who still pack a loaded weapon within their personal carry-ons an average of four times a week throughout the airports of this great nation.

What bullshit. Thank goodness for TSA Pre-Check.

Don't resume an old thread just to say "me too" or "I don't like your idea."
Do resume an old thread to add new content or update the discussion with new information.
Do resume an old thread if the alternative is posting a new thread with the same/similar topic.

Yeah, this.

I am merely saying that thread exhumations work best when they are done only on occasion, not as a matter of routine...

And this.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 09:03:19 PM by formulanone »
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2013, 02:21:52 PM »

Quote from: Steve on August 19, 2013, 08:22:43 PM
Don't resume an old thread just to say "me too" or "I don't like your idea."
Do resume an old thread to add new content or update the discussion with new information.
Do resume an old thread if the alternative is posting a new thread with the same/similar topic.

This ^

The term "Reuse and Recycle" does not apply on forum boards in general. I could still never understand why when I add new info to an existing thread instead of making a new one, I get bashed.  :hmmm:
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2013, 01:56:56 PM »

One reason I have heard given for a desire to not revive old threads is that people may have stated opinions in them which are challenged months or years on down the road. By that point, that user may have left and is unable to defend their position. If they're still around, they may have forgotten what points they had made and have to reread the thread (which may be quite lengthy) to catch back up. Someone who may not have been around the first time might well have to read a dozen pages of posts to get the needed context.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2013, 02:41:03 PM »

One reason I have heard given for a desire to not revive old threads is that people may have stated opinions in them which are challenged months or years on down the road. By that point, that user may have left and is unable to defend their position. If they're still around, they may have forgotten what points they had made and have to reread the thread (which may be quite lengthy) to catch back up. Someone who may not have been around the first time might well have to read a dozen pages of posts to get the needed context.
Not to mention their position may have changed, as well.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2013, 03:27:55 PM »

One reason I have heard given for a desire to not revive old threads is that people may have stated opinions in them which are challenged months or years on down the road. By that point, that user may have left and is unable to defend their position. If they're still around, they may have forgotten what points they had made and have to reread the thread (which may be quite lengthy) to catch back up. Someone who may not have been around the first time might well have to read a dozen pages of posts to get the needed context.

That's making quite a few assumptions. Yes, there are a fair number of threads that go on for numerous pages (dozens?), but there still are many that don't. Personally, I would rather see an old thread revived because I find it much easer to go back search thru one thread than four or five on the same topic.
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2013, 04:17:34 PM »

In general, it's usually not a good idea to quote any post over three months old, unless you're actually aware that the poster is still (recently) active. But I don't see any reason for a hard rule, unless you have a chronic violator who consistently quotes huge blocks of posts in a pointless fashion.
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1995hoo

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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2013, 04:27:03 PM »

In general, it's usually not a good idea to quote any post over three months old, unless you're actually aware that the poster is still (recently) active. But I don't see any reason for a hard rule, unless you have a chronic violator who consistently quotes huge blocks of posts in a pointless fashion.

Unless, of course, you're quoting it for another reason, such as to compare a picture to something more recent or the like that does not seek comment from nor remark on a point made by the quoted individual. (For example, totally as a hypothetical here, if you posted a picture of the sign near the Pentagon that used to say "Reagen National Airport," I'd happily quote that post for purposes of citing the sign if another sign with the same misspelling were to appear. I'd be ridiculing the VDOT employee who can't spell.)

Really, I think it all comes down to the idea of "reasonableness" in thread exhumation, and I know "reasonableness" can be a bit of a vague concept at times. But this isn't really an issue that lends itself to firm rules, and I think the admonition that appears next to the quick-reply box is a pretty good way to call attention to it. If it were really an issue, perhaps (I don't know if this can be done) the forum could be set to prompt you a second time when you go to post a reply. (The firm where I used to work had the e-mail software set to ask, essentially, "are you sure?" if you hit reply-all.)
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2013, 06:27:00 PM »

Honestly, the number 1 reason for starting a new thread is that you can't find one that relates to your topic. I just added a tidbit to the Pennsylvania thread that had been dead for over a year, because I knew it was in there and what I had to say wasn't worth a new thread. Exhume if you have something to say or add that's worthy enough to be posted on its own, but related to that topic.

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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2020, 12:16:38 PM »

Isn't there already a topic for this?  :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: Thread exhumation
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2020, 12:17:42 PM »

 :rolleyes: Someone had to say it...
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