On 21/04/2012, at 10:53 PM, Lawrence Whitaker wrote:
> It's easy for list emails to get lost in the welter of email I regularly receive. Email list management requires me to actively do things and, being a natural idle sod, I'd rather do as little as possible.
I set up a filter once, which took me about a minute, in 2007. It really was not that arduous. Now all my WoG mail is in a separate folder, just like GD was before it.
> For me forums are easier to deal with. I go there, see topics laid out in a structured format and work through what interests me. I can subscribe to hot topics and easily ignore the ones I've no interest in.
The difference between forums and mailing lists are, to my mind, on this exact point. Forums are a more convenient format if you want to ignore more topics, and subscribe to only a few. Mailing lists are a more convenient format if you wish to read most topics, and skip only a few.
They are not equivalent formats, they are similar, but with a different emphasis.
I suspect a lot of it comes down to the this. Forums are great if you want to skim, but not very good at all if you want to read most of it. It takes more effort, more time, is harder to do, etc. I read almost everything on this list. I won't do that on a forum, it is simply much harder to do so. And so perhaps forums spread a wider net, being friendlier to the casual browser and the newbie. But it does so at the cost of making it harder to be fully engaged. They can complement one another, but they aren't the same.
> Navigating forums is something I find easier to do and my email box remains unclogged. It's better for me because it's less intrusive on my time and message space. It's easier to read. It's easier to manage.
There is certainly a mindset difference. I've always found having a local email archive a blessing, not a curse. It sits quietly in a separate folder, takes up a tiny percentage of my hard drive, and I can search it if I want to, or read it when I don't have an internet connection (I spent a lot of time in places last year).
> These are personal preferences. I enjoy forums and don't enjoy message lists. That's the strength of it. I also prefer coffee to tea and brown bread to white. Your preferences will differ.
True. But like choice of food and beverage, it isn't JUST a matter of taste. Some diets have different long term effects on health. And some methods of communicating have different long term effects on communities. Cheers David
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