Just came across this .sig in someone’s email:
A: Yes. | Q: Are you sure? | | A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation. | | | Q: Why is top posting frowned upon?
Geeky, but reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a while ago – he was the first programmer-type I had encountered who actually advocated top-posting comments in email threads. Why? Because most email conversations are very short, and the information you want should be the most visible. With top-posting, you can usually see the info you need in your mail client’s preview pane, without having to open and scroll through the message. Sort of for the same reason that virtually all weblogs post most recent info at the top, rather than in true chronological order. He was right — top-posting does make most email conversation more fluid. The system backfires when:
A) The two parties don’t agree on a protocol, and the thread wanders up and down the page willy nilly.
B) A brief top-posting thread evolves into a longer thread, with the need to respond to individual bits rather than to the message as a whole. In this case, there is sometimes an awkward transition as the posting order turns itself inside out.
I’m a switch-hitter on this one, and go both ways depending on message content and mood. Anyone out there adamantly top or bottom? (Cue the sub-dom jokes :)