Please, Trim Your Posts!

If you belong to a Yahoo Group or a list, how often have you seen this request? Do you trim your posts? If you don't why don't you? Is because you:

  • 1. Don't know how?
  • 2. Don't see why you should?
  • 3. Can't take the time/can't be bothered?

1.*If you don't know how, then you need to learn. By far, the majority of posters that do not trim posts do not know how.
Here are some screenshots to see how. It isn't hard! (For those who REALLY don't know how, you must press 'Reply' first.)

 Screenshot  An untrimmed message.

 Screenshot  Step One, highlight the un-needed part. To highlight an area, just place your cursor at the start and drag the cursor to the end.

 Screenshot  Step Two, cut to remove the highlighted area. 

 Screenshot  Step Three, use Delete or Backspace instead of cut.

 Screenshot All Trimmed and ready to send.

2.* Don't see why you should?

Every word in an email takes up a bit of bandwidth. A really long and repetitive email can use more bandwidth than most users are aware. But the people who live in areas that get charged for every second of bandwidth are aware! So out of respect for those folks, trim your posts!

Another reason to trim, it just makes posts easier to read! No one wants to see over and over again all of the stuff that Yahoo adds to each and every post! I don't know about everyone else, but if the poster is appending his/her post to the end of the message, I probably won't read it if the post contains everyone else's message that has ever replied without trimming.

If none of the above moves you to trim, think about this. For folks who are vision impaired and depend on screen readers, there is no option to 'visually skim' trying find the pertinent information. They must listen to each and every word; maybe even listen to the mechanical voice count how many asterisks are in the attempt to mark off a section. Many aspects of email, and the internet in general, can be huge boosts for accessible living. Other aspects, like untrimmed email, can be equally huge roadblocks. (This information was provided by a reader of Martha's Web.)

3.* Can't take the time to be bothered?

If you think your time is more valuable than being courteous, then you probably don't need to post to Yahoo Groups. Common courtesy goes a long way and is one of the most valuable assets for a poster. It is part of the reason a group can be successful.

So please take the time to learn how to trim messages when posting to a group or list. You will be much appreciated and will not earn the wrath of fellow members for using unnecessary bandwidth. (Your posts will be much easier to read!)

The messages in the screenshots are not for a real Yahoo Group, they are for viewing purposes only.

One last thing, don't get too carried away with trimming!

There is a happy medium to trimming. Leave enough of the message you are responding to so that we don't have to search through a list to find the original post. For me, if all of the footer information is trimmed, that is usually enough. Unless of course the post has been replied to numerous times. Then more rigorous trimming needs to happen.

Some folks are so enamored of 'all posts must be trimmed' they lose sight of the original purpose of help groups, which is to actually 'help' and not jump on folks all the time for not trimming.