Web forums vs. mailing lists

totototo@telus.net totototo@telus.net
Wed, 03 Jun 2009 13:35:08 PDT
The difference is very simple: with forums, you, the reader, have to go to the 
messages. With mailing lists, the messages come to you. Forums have the further 
difference that you can set up a forum subdivided into different subjects.

Some people prefer one, some prefer the other.

However, when there's a successful mailing list already running (such as this 
one), setting up a web-based forum for reasons that are essentially spurious 
(i.e. claims that web forums are inherently better)  may have the effect of 
balkanizing discussion. As matters stand, if you want to read all online 
discussion of, say, trilliums, you have to look in quite a number of places. 
This is not good, but I cannot propose any solution.

What I detest is ineffective moderation. I used to subscribe to alpine-l when 
Harry Dewey was running it, but when a message came through from someone asking 
about how to grow petunias, I unsubscribed.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island


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