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There's certainly a mixed bag when it comes to this topic, but I've always been in stronger agreement with at least taking the time to read as much as you can through each post in order to gain a better understanding of the characters, their influences, as well as an overall feeling of the mood/setting, etc. Also, I find reading through (rather than getting a summary), helps a new player when it's time to actually write out a post because their character feels that much more embedded in the story as though they'd been there the whole time.
Summaries, however, are a great alternative to at least gain a basic understanding of what's going on, but for a player who might be serious about really sinking into the role, there's no substitute for reading cover to cover.
I think we absolutely need a log.
As much as we would like everyone to ideally read through everything, this is a Star Wars Persistent World on a large roleplaying forum. There is potential for huge volume here, and reading through an RP thread is not like reading a novel. It's an unstructured slog of mixed quality writing that only the participants in the RP are generally interested in reading.
Major events should (1) possibly be cleared with the moderating team, and (2) be self-reported to the moderating team. Things that change the state of affairs for the general population should definitely not be introduced without getting some level of permission or something. Last thing we need is some dip on a remote thread writing about how the Yuuzhan Vong showed up or something, you know what I mean?