Author Topic: Reading the thread?  (Read 27028 times)

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cbcb

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Reading the thread?
« on: July 19, 2009, 05:45:37 PM »
I'm still unclear on whether there is a specific rule about poster's reading the thread before posting. I'm talking about instances like this:

OP:
Quote
My cat is having difficulties finding the litter box. I have tried the "crate-retraining" method, but it was not successful. Does anyone have suggestions?

Responder:
Quote
Try the "crate-retraining" method.

Or times where a question is answered, but still comes up again and again (as if posters are reading only the original post and none of the subsequent discussion).

I've been at other forums where there is a "read back X pages or X days, whichever is longer" rule, but don't think I've seen this clearly/specifically addressed here. Apologies if I've missed it when reading the rules.

Frostblooded

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2009, 06:22:32 PM »
In the forums that I visit, including this one, I use Greasemonkey scripts made by myself to ignore posts of people I do not wish to see. I don't wish to be forced to read the posts of people that I do not want to. If a thread has veered a little off or into food parties, I feel I should be able to ignore those kinds of posts and post my own opinion/whatever to the thread. I think people are going to make mistakes, and that's all right, the OP can clarify or doesn't have to respond. I personally don't think this is necessary and hope it's not the case.

Just my two cents.  :)

cbcb

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2009, 07:10:49 PM »
Just to clarify, I didn't mean to advocate such a strict rule, but just mentioned it as an example. I'm more irritated by seeing instances of my first example - which I think of as "I didn't really bother to read your post, but here are my thoughts on the subject generally and without regard to potentially important details you carefully outlined". It seems so rude - like, why did OP even add details if they're just going to be ignored?

I completely agree with you that there's nothing wrong with posting about the original topic even when other posters have veered into food party/tangent mode.

MDefarge

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2009, 07:19:42 PM »
This issue has come up before and it seems like there are 2 *very* distinct trains of thought 1 - it is rude to post without reading all the way through (for the reasons you gave ie people don't realize things are being repeated/the OP has already said the won't work/OP has clarified something) 2 - posters who say that "you can't dictate the way other people post."  I do not believe a consensus has ever really been reached.

jimithing

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2009, 07:26:08 PM »
I'm not exactly how you can enforce a rule, making posters read the entire thread. I definitely think it's rude not to. But sometimes, details get missed.

And frankly, if a poster clearly hasn't read the thread, I think that it only makes them look bad and posters can see that they haven't been reading.

caranfin

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2009, 08:46:14 PM »
It's rude (IMHO) to reply without actually reading the post, but we have to keep in mind that it's easy to read a post and still miss pertinent details. What really frustrates me is when people *admit* they haven't read, and say something like "I've only read the first paragraph and I have to reply!" or "I haven't read the responses yet, but here's what I think."
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Animala

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2009, 09:03:44 PM »
I think sometimes people just don't read as well as they thought they have.

kareng57

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2009, 09:13:54 PM »
I think sometimes people just don't read as well as they thought they have.


That can happen, especially when a thread has grown to 100+ posts.  It might be several days since I read it last, and even though I've read the more recent replies before replying myself, I just cannot instantly remember all the details of the prior posts.  For me, that's generally why I just don't reply in threads that have gotten that long.  I'll forget a detail, and then will get the "didn't you read..." replies.

hobish

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 12:37:28 AM »
I think sometimes people just don't read as well as they thought they have.


That can happen, especially when a thread has grown to 100+ posts.  It might be several days since I read it last, and even though I've read the more recent replies before replying myself, I just cannot instantly remember all the details of the prior posts.  For me, that's generally why I just don't reply in threads that have gotten that long.  I'll forget a detail, and then will get the "didn't you read..." replies.

Yep. I have definitely had that happen.

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blahblahblah

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2009, 03:07:15 PM »
Both of the other two MBs I frequent have a "read the previous posts" rule, i.e. you have to read at least the immediate few preceding pages before posting. One message board doesn't enforce this rule at all, and if it gets to be a huge problem, a mod will come in and gently remind everyone to please read the last few pages of a thread before posting. The second message board is very strict about this though and will 'warn' you if you don't read the last few pages (enough warnings will result in a ban). Of course it's hard to tell whether someone did read the required pages and simply missed something (I always put a disclaimer saying I've read the last few pages, sorry if what I'm posting has already been said), or if someone didn't read the pages at all. So the mods on the second message board typically look out for the most blatant offenders, e.g. the ones who actually post, "I haven't had time to read through all 15 pages, blah blah blah...."

twinkletoes

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2009, 05:15:59 PM »
I always, always, always try to remember details before posting, but as PPs here stated, it's hard to remember details when the thread gets long and unwieldy! 

I've seen a few posters here who consistently don't seem to read the thread (especially if the thread's under two pages!), and post some great idea that has already been mentioned and the OP has said if it would or would not work in their scenario.  Should we gently call anyone out ("Hey, Sally, the OP has already stated that solution won't work"), or just leave it alone?

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2009, 08:54:41 PM »
I usually won't even read a post initially if there are more than 2 pages of replies.  It takes too long to read through all the replies, looking for additional information from the OP.  However, once I have commented, it becomes problematic trying to read all the posts before being able to post again.

I don't have a solution, but I wanted to post (& post on topic ;-) so I'll see additional posts in case a moderator has a solution and posts it here.
hint hint ;)
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RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2009, 09:07:28 PM »
Someone was (publicly) banned recently for something that could have been avoided had she just read the entire thread before posting.

I can understand, in a long thread, not reading all the responses, and I can understand that sometimes a detail just slips past.  But in general, I think posters ought to read the thread before responding.  I'm actually surprised at how often it happens on an etiquette forum, it doesn't seem very polite to ignore everybody. :P  I don't know that I would actually add it to the rules, though, if I were in charge of that sort of thing.

wordgirl

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2009, 09:15:02 PM »
This issue has come up before and it seems like there are 2 *very* distinct trains of thought 1 - it is rude to post without reading all the way through (for the reasons you gave ie people don't realize things are being repeated/the OP has already said the won't work/OP has clarified something) 2 - posters who say that "you can't dictate the way other people post."  I do not believe a consensus has ever really been reached.
I can think both those things.  ;D

In general, you shouldn't ignore other posters. Especially the person who originated the thread, but also those who have already weighed in.

However, I don't think I've ever seen anyone be admonished or disciplined here for failing to do that.* I'm not sure whether it's that the mods haven't been alerted to a thread where that has happened or not. And the threads do get terribly unwieldy sometimes. I have been known to skim, but if I'm actually going to reply I try to read all previous posts.

It's important to give the mods a heads-up if you want a ruling on something. They don't read every thread.


*(The case Rainha is alluding to was, if I'm not mistaken, a situation where a poster committed a particular violation of a forum content rule and was publicly admonished and banned. Another poster came along a few hours later and repeated the violation. And was banned. If she'd been paying attention, she would have seen that a particular subject was off-limits on this board. A very good advertisement for reading previous posts. And the rules. :) )

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Reading the thread?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2009, 09:17:51 PM »
You're right wordgirl, I probably could have been a little clearer.  What she did was clearly a violation of forum rules, which is her own fault, but given that someone had been banned in that thread for saying almost the exact same thing, on the same page, even, it really would have been to her benefit to read everything.