What should be the default ordering of posts within a thread? (please take part in a little poll)

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Poll: What should be the default ordering of posts within a thread?

Chronological order (most recent post at the end)
8 47.1%
Inverse chronological order (most recent post 1st)
7 41.2%
I don't mind
2 11.8%
Total number of voters: 17
Only registered users can participate to this poll
  • muench
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What should be the default ordering of posts within a thread? (please take part in a little poll)

Dear all,

We recently had a discussion amongst several forum moderators if it would be better for the forum if the posts within one thread should be displayed in inverse chronological order as a default (currently the default is chronological order within a thread, i.e. most recent post of a thread could be even on the second or third page of the thread).

Therefore, I am conducting this little poll to find out if there is a general preference amongst the users for one way or the other (see the poll answer options displayed directly above this post).

Further exaplanation:
As a default, when you click on a thread, you will see at the top the first post ever posted in this thread, and the order is from the oldest to the newest. It can be useful for the users that are arriving to an ongoing discussion, so you can check the history of it, how it started and how it evolved. Nevertheless, if you are you are already following one discussion topic, the easiest way to get updated would be to see the most recent post first.

You can actually decide for your own profile (when logged in) which setting you prefer. This is described here in the help section:

forum.susana.org/forum/categories/135-qu...dering-of-your-posts

For viewers that are not logged in, the default setup would apply (currently: most recent post within a thread comes last). Hence my little poll today. Please take part in it and have your say.

Thanks.

Elisabeth

P.S. For your information, any user can set up a poll: the polling option is enabled in many of the forum categories (but not in all). Look for the little symbol of a bar chart which appears next to the world symbol with the chain, just above the emoticons, when you write a post.

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: What should be the default ordering of posts within a thread? (please take part in a little poll)

In a classical forum like this I much prefer chronological order as it most closely resembles the logical flow of the exchange.

Modern forums often utilize a sorted/voted & threaded view however, which allows for several sub-topics within an exchange to be more clearly sorted and also to bring more prominent replies to the top. In this model the individual replies are still mostly chronological, but more relevant or recent sub-threads are moved to the top.

There might be a plugin that extends the SuSanA forum software to do something like that also.

Krischan Makowka
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  • AquaVerde
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Re: What should be the default ordering of posts within a thread? (please take part in a little poll)

opening the Recent Topics you will find all new entries in Inverse chronological order (most recent post 1st)

just follow existing logic... do not change logic within Topics
:)

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  • muench
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Re: What should be the default ordering of posts within a thread? (please take part in a little poll)

Dear all,

I hope a few more people would like to answer my little poll (see above - at the very top of this thread - to vote; you need to be logged in to vote) - as the current result is completely inconclusive: 7 are for chronological and 7 are for inverse chronological order (but we have 3300 forum members...).
Please participate in the poll, it is your forum that we are talking about!

Dear Kris, do you have an example of a more "modern" forum, as I can't really picture this threaded way of displaying answers. Sounds complicated to me. I already get lost in Gmail's way of threaded e-mail replies sometimes.

Detlef: I can see your point to keep consistency, as the recent topics are grouped by inverser chronological order.

Regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Community manager of this forum via SEI
(see: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
Wikipedian, co-founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation

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  • JKMakowka
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Re: What should be the default ordering of posts within a thread? (please take part in a little poll)

Stack exchange is probably the biggest example of such a system that is often called Q&A.

In a very "meta" fashion I found a topic discussing this issue in a Q&A format:
webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/34003/forum-vs-qa-system
:D

Krischan Makowka
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