[uf-discuss] Mailing list debate moved & new proposal

John Allsopp john at westciv.com
Tue Oct 31 20:27:45 PST 2006


> I don't like forums because I have to go to a website to use them.

RSS anyone :-) I love my forum changes popping up in my feedreader.  
Compared with older, non RSS based forums, it has definitely made a  
world of difference.

> I'd much rather work from my email client, which has a nice big  
> text box, unlike a forum, which often have ridiculously small text  
> entry elements. Plus, the UI in my email client is much nicer than  
> that of most forums.

Sure, fair enough points.

> There are a host of other disadvantages to using a forum.
> Granted, mailing lists aren't perfect, but we have one now and it  
> works.

That's the thing - it doesn't seem to. There is a lot of discussion  
about whether and how to add new lists, and frequently we have  
conversations dying out, or people posing the same questions or  
issues despite them having been dealt with before, because it's just  
too hard to find prior conversations.
There is high overhead in lurking, as you need to subscribe, and then  
receive emails, and in participating even higher overhead -  
subscribing to the digest and then conversing is hard work.

So all of these things diminish number of people participating, and  
the nature of their participation.

> Forums also require a bit more administration than a mailing list,  
> and our list administrators are already over-worked, it seems.

In my extensive experience managing mailing lists and forums, I'd  
argue that the opposite was true, that forums are much less  
administrative work than mailing lists. Unsubscribing is just not an  
issue for a forum, and it is a big issue for list admins in my  

I guess we are getting off topic now, but I would restate that the  
biggest problem with the mailing list its that it will limit the  
number of people participating in official uf.org conversations,  
which are an important part of the uf process, and this is not simply  
a theoretical concern, I know it to be the case.



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