[K12OSN] Top post vs Bottom post

Les Mikesell les at futuresource.com
Mon May 3 15:22:46 UTC 2004

On Mon, 2004-05-03 at 09:02, Jim Kronebusch wrote:
> > Bottom posters are more likely to snip and comment 
> > only on the areas addressed by them resulting in shorter 
> It looks to me that you are implying that no message on the list should
> ever be replied too.  That all messages should be created new, and the
> [SNIP] cut and pasted into this new message, then the snip noted as such
> and all lines of the snip manually denoted with a special character,
> then the relevant reply posted beneath.
> Is this correct?  

No, if you are staying on-topic with an earlier message you should
always start by replying to it in your email program.  This will
generate a normally-hidden In-Reply-To: mail header with the
message-id of the previous one.  Many mailers know how to display
messages in 'threaded' order so anyone on the list can reconstruct
the conversation if they want.  Likewise for the list archives
so even if you delete your older messages from the list you can
still find the rest of the conversation if you are so inclined.

> If so, wow!  Maybe I don't have time to post anymore
> :-)  Just hitting reply and typing my 2 cents is a lot more efficient to
> my schedule and makes it easier to quickly respond during other tasks.
> I will try to follow suit and post as requested, but understand that if
> we want a larger community of involved posters, less rules means more
> interaction.

You just have to consider the scale of the list when you do this and
the fact that it will be archived publically for years.  When you send
email to one or a few recipients it may not be worth the trouble to
tidy it up.  However, when there may be thousands of people who
download and read it, it becomes a matter of politeness to trim the
irrelevant bits and arrange it so your response makes sense in context
even if this is the only message that someone reads.  This list may
not be that big yet but it is not unusual - the internet is a big place.

> I appreciate the knowledge of good ettiquette, but don't let it kill the
> free posting to the list.

Agreed, I don't think anyone would go so far as to say you shouldn't
post either a question or an answer any way you can, but mailing
lists have been around many years and have developed their style for
very practical reasons. The more convenient you can make it for the
reader, the more value you add to the list and the more it will
attract others who will be helpful in the future.

   Les Mikesell
    les at futuresource.com

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