The point of rule #3(b)

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The point of rule #3(b)

Post by Gordem » May 20th, 2021, 3:20 pm

So, why posting in highly inactive topics isn't appreciated? Am I missing something?

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Re: The point of rule #3(b)

Post by dvgrn » May 20th, 2021, 10:12 pm

Gordem wrote:
May 20th, 2021, 3:20 pm
So, why posting in highly inactive topics isn't appreciated? Am I missing something?
That restatement of rule 3(b) isn't really accurate. It doesn't really make any sense as you've quoted it, but it makes sense after you add the final clause back in, "... without good reason".

For some reason, newcomers to the forums seem to like looking back through old posts and re-posting and maybe answering details that have been settled for years, already improved on, widely known, etc., etc. Usually if they had taken the time to read just a little farther in the same thread, they would have found that someone else had already come up with the same answer, so that there's no need to re-post anything. Here's an old complain-y post of mine with a linked example. Notice that the rule is really a bit more complicated than 3(b) makes it, and it's hard to make a short summary of it.

1) Nobody will actually mind a "necropost" on a thread, even if it's been inactive for several years, if the post brings up a genuinely new and interesting discovery about an old topic. That counts as "good reason", and nobody will complain about it (except maybe a few newbies who have learned to take rule 3(b) seriously, but don't have the exceptions quite figured out yet.

2) Conversely, even if a thread is currently active, it is still perfectly possible to necropost on it (as the linked example shows) by bringing up very old stuff from years back in the thread that nobody else particularly wants to see brought up again. The presumption in a case like that is that you're contributing something new to the old material. So a lot of people will independently take the time to jump back and look at the old material, then look at the re-posting to see what has been added that's new and interesting.

When it turns out that there _isn't_ anything new and interesting at all, that's a more than a little disappointing and irritating -- mostly because a post like that doesn't just waste one person's time. It wastes the time of everyone who is paying attention to that thread, and especially the people who are spending the most effort staying up to date on the topic and contributing to the thread.

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