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From "Peter Crowther" <Peter.Crowt...@melandra.com>
Subject [OT] Top posting (was RE: question)
Date Tue, 03 Jan 2006 16:35:05 GMT
> From: Carl Olivier [mailto:carl.olivier@unysen.co.uk] 
> A lot of people on this forum Top Post.
> 
> Is this really such a big issue?

I can sum it up with the following quote:

-- snip --
A: Top posting.

Q: What's the most confusing thing about mailing list messages?
-- snip --

If I'm reading through list traffic, I cannot remember the context of
each thread, and that context may jump about as different posters
respond to different parts of a thread at different times.  *Carefully
trimmed* context, followed by a response, helps me get up to speed and
respond more quickly and possibly more accurately than I otherwise
would.  However, speaking personally, I'd rather somebody top-posted
than left ten pages of mangled context in place and added a line at the
bottom.

A message to a mailing list will get read many more times than it is
written.  Overall, time is saved if the poster makes the effort to
create a clear, communicative message.  However, the poster's time is
typically saved by not doing so, and an individual will usually only do
something if it is worthwhile to *them* rather than to the community at
large.  That's life.  I'd like to think that if I reliably construct
clear messages, regulars on the list may choose to respond to me where
they wouldn't choose to respond to a messy, mangled message*.  However,
I've not seen or done any studies to check whether this might be the
case.

		- Peter

* Interested parties may wish to check the game theory literature for
repeated rounds in games, of which the most famous is probably the
repeated Prisoner's Dilemma.

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