Chat programs usually put the most recent information or message below others (bottom posting). Forums and feeds put the most recent information above others (top posting). Is any one better than the other?
It seems like a usecase thing. We read from top-to-bottom, so if you're interested in the latest post or information you'll do a top-down solution. But, if you're interested in the history of a conversation, it is easier to read old messages at the top, like reading a conversation in a book.
But what happens when the these two instances are crossed? What happens when you want to create something that is like a forum but also like a messenger? I see this with twitter. Twitter is a feed system, but also a messaging system when tweets are replies to other tweets. Twitter reverses the order of tweets when looking at a chain of tweets all @replied together, but is this reversing of order good?
Same goes for comment systems. You have comments about something, and you put the most recent at the top. But when you want to reply to a comment, you start a thread and reverse the order, most recent at the bottom. But, what if you're interested in these replies and don't want to just barry them in a thread? Then you'd have to do something similar to YouTube comments, put a link to the previous comment to get the context of the reply.
There has to be a solution better than this? On twitter, if you want context to a tweet, you click on it to view the previous tweets. Same with Youtube, as described above, you click a link button to get context.
So, my question is, can we invent something better than top-posting or bottom-posting; something that is in the middle, but doesn't require much thinking for the user (no no action to take to get context, usually scrolling is better)? Also, something that doesn't reverse order semantics.