Top-posting (was: Barracuda Networks is at it again: Any Suggestions as to anAlternative? )

Michael DeMan nanog at
Tue Apr 12 07:08:56 UTC 2011

I really don't think anybody is concerned about how fast the email downloads anymore.

Rather it is more of a matter of how long it takes us humans to process the incredible volume of information we are expected to process.

I have no problem either 'top posting' or 'bottom posting' - but I agree it would be good for the NaNog list to decide on a policy.

I say we all vote.

The ultimate question on email etiquette is naturally how to properly identify inline commentary.

Top-post is definitely the most efficient for that.  For instance, if I have a lengthy correspondence with a peer who may or may not speed English, the top-post is always respected, and from there it is quite easy (because it is in the top) to note that other commentary is inline - and (as I mentioned before) - to remove unnecessary material while leaving short portions of material relevant.

To get back on topic about using email efficiently and get away from peoples personal preferences, I will say the following.

#1) I have no disagreement about whether to top-post or bottom-post on this list or any other - given that there is a policy in place.  Maintaing communications is the most important thing.

#2) I still do not understand how 'bottom posters' reference material from prior e-mails in their replies?  Perhaps I am just ignorant.  I often have lengthy business and technical communications which some times require a bit of snipping here and there - the best way to notify somebody you have <SNIPPED> the prior conversation is to say it right up front?

#3) These kinds of things become even more important when working with non-native English speakers.

#4) I still seem to believe (maybe I am wrong) - that 'bottom posters' thing that an individual email to list is supposed to be an 'archive' - I wholly disagree.

On Apr 11, 2011, at 11:49 PM, Tim Chown wrote:

> On 12 Apr 2011, at 07:33, Michael DeMan wrote:
>> Call me and old 'hard case' - but I prefer that when I get information via email, that if possible, the relevant information show up immediately.
>> Call me lazy I guess - but I would expect that most folks on this list have also understood good user interface design, and that the least amount of work that needs to be done for the receiver to be able to get their information is frequently the best solution.
> Well indeed, top-posting is just so much more efficient given the volumes of email most of us probably see each day.    
> Back when receiving an email was an event, and your xbiff flag popping up was a cause for excitement, taking time to scroll/page down to the new bottom-posted content in the reply was part of the enjoyment of the whole 'You have new mail' process.     But I'm afraid times have changed; bottom-posted email is now an annoyance to most just as a slow-loading web page would be.
> Tim

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