Technology Grump Talks Tops and Bottoms

::snicker::

That’s my juvenile joke for the week I guess.

Back in the old days of email, it was considered proper etiquette to post your reply to an email at the bottom of the thread. This is called Bottom Posting. The reason was that you could then read all the emails from top to bottom, in a chronologically sensible way, from the originating email to the most recent, scrolling down.

And sure, back in the olden days, that made sense. You were invariably reading your email on a CRT, a large, unwieldy, monitor that had more than enough screen real estate.

There were often chiding lectures from Unix admins reminding people to bottom post. Email programs adapted to this by making bottom posting the default. When you hit reply, the cursor was at the bottom of the email.

That was Then, This is Now

Now, though, people are reading their emails on smartphones. The screen is smaller. And guess what? If there’s a long email thread, most of these smart phone emails only display the beginning of the thread — the part at the top.

What does that mean? If means if you bottom post, people reading mail on their smartphones CANNOT SEE YOUR REPLY. They cannot do a quick scan to see if your reply is important.

If you bottom post, chances are good that lots of people will never read your email. Because they never see it, or, and this is quite possible, they cannot get the rest of the thread to download. It’s annoying as hell.

Bottom-posting: Bad. Bad. Bad. Stop doing it.

Top post. Leave only a snippit of what you’re replying to.

Thank you. This concludes your technology lesson for the day.

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2 Responses to “Technology Grump Talks Tops and Bottoms”

  1. Oh, funny! I was just posting a comment on my own fb author page to some discussion and it was at the top and I was all, well this is presumptuous. And I couldn’t get it off the top. But now I see the light!!

  2. Facebook is a different thing completely. I’m whining about email clients like Outlook etc.