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...a possible implementation?

     
9:16 pm on Jan 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Many times I find myself opening two windows while browsing WW just so I can reread the previous message as I'm posting a reply. As of right now, when you go to post a reply, the FIRST MESSAGE of the thread shows below the textarea. Would it be possible to make it the last post in the thread, instead of the first? This would make responding soooo much easier.

Anyway, that's just a suggestion. It makes sense to me. :)

12:30 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I like the idea.
1:18 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think this would be the wrong approach. The idea of showing the first post is to help keep the original thread starter's question in mind when replying, rather than just following up on the previous comment.

The risk with leaving the last comment is that the conversation could rapidly go off on a tangent, leaving the original poster with no satisfactory reply and a lot of off-topic posting.

The first post in a thread sets the focus for the discussion, and as such is always the most important post in the thread. :)

I can see some advantages in code threads where each post is an enhancement of the previous one, but even then the focus on the original question is vital.

1:27 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Good point. OK, how about having the first post above the reply area and the last post below it?

I can see Brett eyeing the bandwidth charts already ;)

1:40 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wasn't looking at it from that approach. I agree with you, but maybe I'm different than others being that I only look at that bottom part if I'm the first responder in a thread, and never afterwards. If others are like that too, then I'm sure that it would have very little affect on the topic of a thread, in my opinion.

I guess it also depends on the forum that you are in, as you said.

I am under the impression that everyone at least reads the first post in a topic, if not more, before they post a reply. To be continually "reminded" would serve no purpose if no one reads it over again.

I don't know...sounded like a good idea :)

[added]
I was thinking something similar too, coopster, but I feared that it would be shot down because of bandwidth. Maybe the "Help on creating messages" part can be made into a link to a help page to reduce it a little.
[/added]

1:49 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Here's the original discussion when the current setup was introduced:

[webmasterworld.com...]

These days, it's just easier to click on the reply and open it in a new tab, then you've got the whole thread at your disposal. :)

2:02 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>>These days, it's just easier to click on the reply and open it in a new tab

I guess you are right; it doesn't really matter much.

I'm just curious, though. Has implementing the current solution drastically reduced off-topic posting?

1:09 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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yes, it actually has
1:27 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> Has implementing the current solution drastically reduced off-topic posting?

Yes, it has been a very noticeable change. Threads can still wander, but the "one item nit pick" that takes threads vastly off course has been drastically reduced. We also see more threads where followups refer back to the original message even after dozens of responses. So it has the effect of pulling a thread back on topic, even after it has wandered. Ultimately, all this helps with the quality of threads and topics here.

(btw: I took many-a-body shot from moderators for this switch a couple years ago)

7:20 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I didn't realize the discussion had taken place once upon a time. I just thought the forums always worked this way. I'm a tab-user and open replies in new tabs when I know I need to review the current discussion in full detail during my response.

Good points, all well-taken. I'll stick to my new tab method which has worked fine for me and understand the reason for the current structure which will remain as is.

Thanks for finding that thread, encyclo!

9:06 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks everyone for explaining the situation. I had no idea this much thought was already put into this!

Thanks again! :)

 

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