Most forums I’ve used take you to the beginning of the conversation at the top if you click the topic link, but have a second “recent” button that takes you to the last post at the bottom. That way you can start reading at either end. This did take some getting used to but at least now I can find the beginning. lol
Changing the order of posts within a thread
Another way to think about it is- in the days before there were smart phones or tablets, everyone used to read newsgroups and forums on their desktop computer monitors. Once tablets and smart phones came along, every post or two took up an entire phone screen, and people really began to hate having to scroll through endless screens of their tiny phone screen to get to today's posts in a discussion they were following. People don't like having to scroll through a whole long discussion from start to finish every time there was a new post in it. That's really the reason why so many sites today make sure the most recent posts are first/top and older posts are below them in that order.
Some online forums are still set up the 'traditional' way. When everyone was doing their online reading on large monitors, it made sense to have threads read from start to finish in original order, like a book. Many of us got used to that and it's not always easy to switch back and forth when you follow various sites. But nowadays people mostly prefer to view the latest posts when they check in to see what's new in their favorite discussions.
I'm sorry that it can't be changed as an individual viewer preference... that's sometimes possible with simple PHP forum sites, but I'm afraid it's not possible on this network platform.
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Scott, the order of the posts is not, I believe, something individual users can change. It is a setting we decided on as we built the site. If my memory serves me well, at one point we did have the oldest posts at the top, but some people complained about that, and it also led to people posting without reading the most recent posts to see where the discussion had gone.
In the Group discussions, the original post does indeed stay at the top, but below that the rest of the posts are listed with the most recent one at the top.
The way the Forums work, though, as you've noted, the original post moves to the bottom as new posts are added.
This is one of the examples of the adage that you can't please everyone. But at least this way we are all shown the most recent post without having to do too much scrolling. In long, involved discussion in which an individual might post numerous times, having the most recent stuff at the top is convenient. But you are right that if you are joining a discussion late, you might have to scroll to see the original comment or question.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Other forums I belong to has the original post at the top and you scroll down to read all posts in the order they we posted. ie, first to last. I see that this site lists the original post at the bottom so to read it you have to scroll all the way down to the end and then work your way up to the top in order to read them as they were posted. This seems awkward to me. Is there a way of changing the order in which you see posts?