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Re: Message Board

Well said Ian.  I agree one hundred percent.  I would postulate that
those that always complain about the email list (whether in
comparision to a web forum or digests) simply aren't using their mail
client to it's fullest potential.  Email is THE electronic way to hold
conversations.  The applications have matured for more than twenty
years now.  Take the time to 1) find a good email client, 2) learn how
to use it, and 3) customize it's filters and sorting to work the way
you want it to.  Now, this is important so let's say it again:  Learn
to make the computer do what you want it to.

Failing all that, use GMail <http://mail.google.com>.  It's free and a
joy to use.  You lose some flexibility, but it's conversation views,
filtering, and labelling are straight forward and easy to use.

I shudder to think that there are people that actually prefer the web
forum format over email when forums are so clumsy, immature
(technology wise), feature poor, and inefficient.  It makes me wonder
what the rest of their computing experience must be like if a web
forum is the pinacle of achievment by which other technologies are
found lacking.

So, in short:  love the list, love email, keep it as it is, make your
computer work for you, and down with web forums.  ;)


On 4/24/06, Ian Petersen <iep@mail.dk> wrote:
> Matthew,
> > I personally find message boards so much more conveinent than mailing
> > lists.
> I find quite the reverse is true. Message boards are OK for stuff like
> product support where you don't need to follow a conversation - just ask
> a question, get an answer and get out. But they rarely have decent
> threading, making it impossible to know who is saying what to whom. And,
> since most web-boards use some sort of time-based cookie arrangement for
> marking posts read or unread, you never can be sure whether you haven't
> missed an important message or not. Even worse is the fact that you have
> to manually go out and fetch each and every message yourself - perhaps
> from half a dozen or more different boards, each with their own
> interface and way of working. This is extremely ineffective. It takes me
> the same time to skim through a couple of dozen web-board messages as it
> does to skim a couple of hundred emails ...
> With mailing lists all my messages come to me automatically without
> having to lift a finger. My mail app sorts them into nicely threaded
> folders for me to read at my leisure - presented in a consistent and
> controllable interface no matter where the messages come from. And I'm
> certain I have all the messages a thread for further reference. In fact
> I have in my current messagebase every email and news message I've sent
> or received since 1996! It's a goldmine of information on a variety of
> subjects that would be impossible to assimilate in any other way.
> --
>   Ian Petersen