"Necroposting"occurs when a forum thread that has been inactive for a long time, typically years, is bumped by a reader, usually in response to what he inadvertently believes to be an ongoing discussion, perhaps coming from a web search rather than from within the forum.
From Urban Dictionary:
1. On a message board, posting something irrelevant on a really old topic to bring it to the top of the list topics. name comes from the fact that you are bringing it back from the dead, thus Necro. a practice common among n00blars.
2. The act of posting in a forum thread that is too old to matter any more, or has served it's purpose.
Usually by new, inexperienced members of the board.
So. Is Necroposting good or bad?
I say the reason it is done has a lot to do with it. Typically it is done by newcomers. I can see two plausible reasons for this phenomenon to be done by new people:
1) They weren't around for the original discussion, and feel they have something to say on the matter. Particularly if it's an A or B type question posed in the thread. ie a "Peanut butter or Jam?" thread. New person might see it and say "Holy crap! I Looove peanut butter! I'm sure everyone is dying to know that I do...so since I'm a member now...I'd better let everyone know."
Remember that the alternative is to start up a brand new thread just so that person can say their piece. This is as bad, or worse, than necroposting.
2) The new person sees that there is a nominal ranking system on the site. They have a low self esteem and wish to be seen to be a real someone on the site rather than just another 'newb'. The most logical way, or so it would seem, would be to get the post count up. That person may have enough awareness to realize that putting in 2 cents (at an average of 1cent per word) into every available thread is not going to win them any friends on the site...but then again they may not. They may not realize it if they are quite young as well as new.
These people have to come to realize that you are judged by the quality of what you contribute, not by the quantity. An old saying: "All it takes to be regarded as wise is to think up something stupid to say...and then not say it."
Now there is another reason for Necroposting that I can think of; It's simply that the person doing it is trying to be a major shebs hole...and I don't mean the accumulation of rank. If this is the case, we have ways to deal with them that go above the issue of necroposting. Until the person is proven to be an shebs, then they will get the benefit of the doubt.
How to deal with Necroposting.
I'd love to say shoot the thread in the head and it will stay dead...but that's not always an option. Only the mods can actually put the threads down for good. So if you see someone necroposting, it's best to evaluate the reason why.
If they are new, see if they have made any relevant point in the old thread. It might actually spark up a valid discussion. If the item posted doesn't interest you at all...then just ignore it. Maybe there are other newer people who missed the thread the first time around who might like to weigh in on the issue. If no one finds it interesting, the thread will die again for the same reasons it died originally. Kind of a self-correcting problem.
If the person has made numerous necroposts and they have added nothing of real value to the discussion, then a polite welcome and a note about necroposting is probably warranted. You are a member, you are within your rights to mention this, with courtesy.
If the new person becomes belligerent about the issue, you can bet the mods will wade in with the heavy ordnance at the ready. Feel free to give one of us a little tap if we don't notice the situation right off.
In general, the overall unwritten rule is, have fun and where possible add something worthwhile to the discussion. If all your posts are about upping your post count...you will not likely have a long or enjoyable stay.
your Republic Provost Marshal