Have you ever heard the inventory control acronyms FIFO and LIFO? FIFO stands for “first in, first out,” meaning you distribute the oldest items first. LIFO stands for “last in, first out,” meaning you ship out the newest items in inventory before the older items. In other words, FIFO means handling inventory in chronological order, while LIFO is in reverse chronological order.
When it comes to most matters, including blogging, I prefer the FIFO method because chronological order makes the most sense. Something happens first. That leads to the next event, reaction, or response. And that leads to what follows after that. It flows. It’s logical. It’s easy to follow. Perhaps that’s why, when I was still working, I enjoyed creating process workflows. One thing follows the next.
Comments on blog posts, for those of us who read them, can be the best part blogging, especially when the post is of a controversial nature and generates a lot of different responses.
To follow the thread, the sequence, of the discussion, doesn’t it make sense to read the comments in the order in which they were posted, or oldest first? Of course it does.
When comments are displayed in chronological order, you can easily follow the conversation, see the interactions, the reactions, the responses, and the replies in the order they were made.
Yes, it may be convenient to show the most recent comment at the very top of the comments section, but then the latest comment may not have context, particularly if it was posted in response to an earlier comment.
Thus, posting comments in reverse chronological order, with the most recent comments first, is just bass ackwards. I mean, seriously, do you read a book by starting on the last page and working your way to the front? No, you don’t.
Do you open up a newspaper to the comics section at the back of the paper first? Well, okay, maybe that’s a bad example.
My point is that the natural flow of any conversation is from start to finish, not from finish to start. So why would anyone want to have the newest comments first, rather than starting with the oldest?
As a blogger, do you post comments in chronological order, from oldest to newest? Or are you a fan of having the most recent comment at the top? What do you do on your blog? And what’s your rationale?
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