|First, I LIKE aroid l mailing list a heck of a lot and i enjoy perusing through the old archives, but in the interest of discussion and maybe food for thought I just wanted to start this topic. Maybe i'm just venting, so the list owners should not boot me off ;-)|
There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Email lists were very popular when the internet first started and there was a lack of free bulletin board web applications, AND people generally did not know how to surf the web. I remember my first whiff of the internet was when i had to get an email account at rutgers university in the early 1990s Nowadays, every host account usually gives you a free web forum.
Advantages of email list:
1. It lands on your email box.
2. You don't need to bookmark the address of the website
3. Maybe it's faster, but honestly, if you
bookmark a site you land there probably just as fast as opening your email box.
Advantages of web forum:
1. Pictures, images and attachments are archived FOREVER. When I go to the aroid-l archives, none of the pics and images from before are there. It's frustrating to see messages that expound on a great pic of an aroid, but then i can't find any picture of it.
2. Threads and conversations are MUCH easier to follow. I've been rooting through aroid-l archives and trying to follow a thread is very difficult. Even email threads of more than a few subjects at a time are difficult to follow by email. Sometimes you can't easily figure out who spoke first.
3. Web forums do not clutter my email inbox with a gazillion messages i
don't want to read. Email lists are fine for groups with some tens or
so actively talking people, but it gets unmanageable for really large
groups. I'm part of many forums and some have thousands of users and
tens of conversations all taking place at the same time. This would be
impossible in an email list.
4. Young people generally prefer web forums, or blog sites, or things like myspace. For example, I was surprised to discover that very few of my nephew's classmates actually even have email or use email. They just text or use youth oriented forums like myspace.
I think the IAS should try to attract more people, and especially very young people, the next generation like my nephew. To them, cool web forums are the norm.
5. The web forum framework generally has better structure than an email archive. Good forums are a joy to peruse...
For example, the much larger Palm Society has a forum that might be the harbinger of some future IAS forum:
They used to have a mailing list but i believe it's now discontinued....
Anyways, END OF VENT! ;-)
--- On Mon, 7/14/08, Susan B
From: Susan B <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] One problem with IAS - Discussion Forums
To: "Discussion of aroids" <email@example.com>
Date: Monday, July 14, 2008, 11:38 AM
| Quoted: People have tried to start real discussion forums once in awhile (my own board, the current UBC board) but they all peter out and die sooner or later (or languish in a state of slow death), mostly because the regulars on Aroid-L tend to avoid them.|
I would think your own example
shows that people prefer an email list.
I do, this is why: I can read what I want on the list while checking my emails. If I go to a board, I have to find the website and open it, then look for new postings, then scroll through pages to get to the newest post, which is often off topic.
Dave's Garden is a good example of this. Reading postings on a discussion forum takes probably 3X as long as reading on an email list.
I can also live without smilies.
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