In August of 2000, Bryan Warnock elegantly laid out the dilemma of asynchronous and (potentially) asymmetric communication in regard to posting on Usenet discussion forums with the following description of the problem:
The problem with no response is that there are five possible interpretations:
- The post is correct, well-written information that needs no follow-up commentary. There’s nothing more to say except “Yeah, what he said.”
- The post is complete and utter nonsense, and no one wants to waste the energy or bandwidth to even point this out.
- No one read the post, for whatever reason.
- No one understood the post, but won’t ask for clarification, for whatever reason.
- No one cares about the post, for whatever reason.