D&D General Poll: Should a poster be expected to read (or at least skim) all posts before posting in a thread?

Should a poster be expected to read (or skim) all posts before posting in a thread?

  • Yes

    Votes: 42 25.9%
  • No

    Votes: 120 74.1%

  • Poll closed .
I read/skimmed all 4 pages that existed in this thread before starting to write this. Personally I voted yes because it's closer to the missing choice I wanted to vote for. When a thread gets to the point of wayy too many pages it's reasonable to skip a lot if coming in late, but while doing that at least reading or skimming the last couple pages to get aware of context before responding to some isolated section of a post on page 23 void of context is reasonable.

there should be an option like "It depends on thread length, but at least the most recent few pages"
I feel it is often more important to review the first few pages as they are the ones that are more likely to be on topic
 

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pming

Legend
Hiya!

I usually just read the first 3'ish pages unless it's really interesting. This one, for example, not that interesting...kinda interesting, but not "read every page" level of interesting. So...I read the first 3 pages, then jumped to here, page 6, to give my 2¢.

I think that if a person reads the initial post, maybe even the first page, then jumps in and says "Didn't real all 18 pages...so... to the OP: (insert post)", that's not only fine, it's a GOOD THING!

I'd say that a good amount of the time, someone "new" popping in to directly address the OP brings people back on track. Not always, but enough that I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I feel it is often more important to review the first few pages as they are the ones that are more likely to be on topic
That's all well & good if someone is responding to the OP, but often someone jumps in responding to post four hundred and seven on page 42 without appearing to have so much as skimmed page 42 to get a idea of how the discussion has evolved
 

Hex08

Adventurer
Heck no. Some discussions become really long and are far to time consuming to dive into, especially when they wander off topic.

It reminds me of that time back in 18-aught-nine when my neighbor Chuck would walk into a conversation and just start talking about stuff we moved on from. Now Chuck, whose real name was Higgins, would have a hard time focusing on the conversation so would often miss points that were made previously. We never did figure out why he was called Chuck. I think it started with his aunt calling him Chuck after receiving a blow to the head. You see, his aunt was a bit clumsy so would fall down the stairs leading up to their apartment quite frequently. You would think it was this clumsiness that caused her to hit her head but it wasn't. The neighbor kids would play games of stickball outside and one time little Charlie Parker, who was also known as Chuck, hit a fly ball on to the apartment roof which killed one of old lady Murphy's pigeons. Well, this really upset old lady Murphy so she threw the ball right back at the kids but since she was near blind her aim was off and it hit Higgins', or Chuck as we now call him, aunt in the head. I think that's when she started calling him Chuck. So Chuck was easily bored by conversations that just went on and on so his attention would wander. He would get this far off look in his eyes, you could tell he was thinking about something but he looked so deep in thought you just didn't want to interrupt. So as not to interfere with Chuck's thoughts we would just keep talking, usually about something unrelated to the original conversation and not even be aware we moved on or why. Sometimes we were not even sure what that original conversation was. When Chuck finally snapped out of it and started back in he would usually address the original topic. To be honest, by this point we had no idea what Chuck was talking about but he would wax poetic in such a way that we didn't want to stop him. Sometimes he would even talk about something unrelated. Like the time he first told us he thought Mary Sue who lived over on 4th Ave was the prettiest thing he ever saw. This was a bit odd because none of us knew a Mary Sue and 4th Ave was part if the financial district at the time so no one actually lived there. Now today that area of town is mostly abandoned. Once the fire of '42 broke out most of the businesses there left and never came back. It was a real sad state of affairs, especially when Mr. McDonnell lost his job and abandoned his family in shame. But either way, Chuck was a real good talker so we would just let him say what he had to say,.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Yes but they won't and you can't make them. People who skip threads to comment as far less annoying than the two or three people that have side tracked in to an "Angels dancing on pinheads" type argument, where no objective resolution is possible and they fill the thread with 50 pages of increasingly obscure, point by point rebuttals.
This is a personal attack!
:)
 


Horacio

LostInBrittany
Supporter
I voted yes, just after reading the first post, then I read the first page and half of the second, thought a bit about angels and pinheads, read some pay on third and fourth pages and come here to post... That's ADHD in action...

But yeah, I think it's reasonable to expect some reading of the thread before posting, but the key word is some. First post, first and second page and some 10 000 feet view of the remaining is usually more than enough.
 


Absolutely not. I've seen plenty of interesting threads where they began literally three or four hours earlier, and already have hundreds of posts, most of which are non-trivial length. It's simply not practical to ask absolutely every person who wants to participate to read every single post at that point.

If the thread is still young (say, no more than 100 posts), or moving particularly slowly (e.g. it's been around a week and hasn't hit 200 posts yet), then I could see an argument for "hey, you can take the time to keep up."

I mean, consider this very thread. It now has over 5 full pages of responses, despite being less than 24 hours old. That means I'd have to read over 100 posts, many of which are multiple paragraphs, just to be allowed to participate. And this isn't even a fast-moving thread. If I had had to read every single prior post before I were allowed to post, I would just not participate. That's exactly the opposite of the point of a forum.

Edit:
As others have said, if I could have more fine gradation than a binary, it would be "is thread short? then read the whole thing, that's just courteous; is thread long? read first page, and the most recent full page, to get a sense of where things are at." That's still at least 40 posts to read, but it gives you an idea of where things started and where they're at now.
 
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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
I'm posting this from the bottom of Page One. 😇

I've discovered the hard way that if a moderator says in red ink "We've talked this particular point to death; drop it and move on", they don't care if you just read the argument-starting post 20 pages back but have read no further, and they don't have a way to redirect new contributors to the 'to whom it may concern' instructions when you hit 'Reply'.

edit: And sure enough, somebody else has seen this point too !

P.S. The 'D&D and the Pandemic' thread is 15 months long. Go read all of that before replying, and your first post will land sometime next week.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
So my vote of Yes on this topic stems from an old adage: "We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak".

Ultimately forums are about discourse, and I would argue that in most cases quality beats quantity. I think the quality of posts improves when a person has taken the time to read what other people have written, which means that since they have paid such a price...they are likely to post more meaty and meaningful postings that reflect (either in support or opposition) positions that they have read within that thread.

Posting is cheap and trivial, but engaging in true discourse takes work... and a forum culture that focuses on quality discourse expects people to post less, and listen to their fellows more.
 

Gnarlo

Gnome Lover
Supporter
The biggest problem with reading through the really active ones is that by the time you get caught up on all the arguments, the thread has been locked and then I don’t get a chance to shoot my mouth off :( ;)
 

So, I haven't read the first 6 pages of this thread...

In general I only read the first page, unless the comments are particularly compelling. Usually my first comment is nothing but a response to the OP, regardless of any comments given so far. A lot of time these threads get sidetracked, and I don't want to waste the time sorting through it all. Although once a thread gets to a certain point, even if I'm invested in it, I'll usually give up trying to follow it.
 

I didn't read the thread, but my vote is no. After the first 3 pages most threads on this forum devolve into 2-4 posters just restating their positions. In fact I suspect the enworld forums would be more readable if posting 10 times or more in a thread would automatically make your posts hidden.
 

foolcat

Explorer
So I skipped the first six pages, but I think in order to express ones thoughts on the original question, one can safely ignore anything that had been said up to that point. Nothing to do with arrogance, it’s efficient and saves time.
 

AmerginLiath

Adventurer
I’m curious when the switch from more shorter threads to fewer longer threads fuller realized itself. Was it when the forum view defaulted into “everything on one page,” or was it a matter of new folks coming in (either from other forums/commenting sources or just as new 5e fans) and posting differently? I’m not saying one is necessarily right or wrong, but I think it’s been clearly a change in style. Maybe social media — Twitter and Facebook conversations, or very likely Reddit threading — post stylings versus the format bulletin board oldheads are used to? Which of course then is thrown off in this static style.

Personally, I feel that we need to be more deliberate about breaking debates into separate (linked) threads where they can develop on their own (and where points from other posts can be quoted and linked as needed), such that a 26-page thread arguing focus back and forth as it develops becomes instead six manageable four-page focused conversations. That’s a bit more to manage, and theres a responsibility for users to participate in the actual work of it such that it’s not all just moderators cleaning up after us, but that’s how this format is usually built for -- it’s a bulletin board inasmuch as things can be moved around it and strings attached between them. A Twitter or Reddit thread are read differently because they constructed differently in both code and visual interface.

[/takes 1d6 damage falling off soapbox]
 

I feel it is often more important to review the first few pages as they are the ones that are more likely to be on topic

My rule of thumb with very long threads is to read the first two and the last two. The first two tell you what the thread started out about, and the last two where its gotten (though you have to watch for the last two pages just being an exchange between two people).
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Personally, I feel that we need to be more deliberate about breaking debates into separate (linked) threads where they can develop on their own (and where points from other posts can be quoted and linked as needed), such that a 26-page thread arguing focus back and forth as it develops becomes instead six manageable four-page focused conversations. That’s a bit more to manage, and theres a responsibility for users to participate in the actual work of it such that it’s not all just moderators cleaning up after us, but that’s how this format is usually built for -- it’s a bulletin board inasmuch as things can be moved around it and strings attached between them.
Totally agree on this. Ultimately, it's up to posters to manage themselves to stay on topic with respect to the OP. It would be nice if posters remained cognizant enough of topical drift to fork off a new thread for their own new topics.
It's a cultural thing here, I suppose. But imo, taking new topics to new threads is just being respectful, both of the poster of the OP, and of readers actually interested in the topic indicated by the thread title.
 


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