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Re: do we need a forum
> For what it's worth - I've found that Gmail is indispensable for groups
Being a member of "Dougs for Gmail" I have to agree! ;-)
> It's very simple to set up filters and labels, to search through
> history, and to follow a threaded conversation. I have over a year of LD
> postings (and many other groups) in my Gmail inbox, and I'm only using
> my storage space.
You lightweight! ;-) I've been using Gmail since October 2004 and I
have 976 MB (34%) of "my" 2859MB used... (54,697 threads.) Woohoo!
It's really cool to have the Google search capabilities, and when
someone sends me a tracking number for a shipment, there's even a
quick link to it on the right hand side of the window...
> One of the things that makes this list great is the relatively high
> to noise ratio. Not a lot of off topic chatter going on. My experience
> with online communities shows that without a doubt, forum-style
> communications encourage high noise ratios, and can have a *negative*
> on a group's ability to share, document and build on useful information.
I've been on the net since before there was a web, (where's my
cane???) and I've interacted with a lot of communities. While forums
are pretty looking and have the advantage of storing messages at a
central site, they are still much less immediate, and they force you
to bend your habits to the way they work. Plus, you have to remember
to go to the forum to see what's going on. And what happens if the
moderators decide that they don't want to keep a topic or thread
around? (e.g. Northern Sounds decided to not host the East West forum
anymore, so it was completely deleted. A huge amount of info lost...)
I want to be charge of my own censorship if you know what I mean...
Email gets delivered to you, and you can interact with it on your
terms. You can store or delete, put labels on it, move it around,
send it to other places, etc. Email lists with central storage (e.g.
Loopers-Delight, Yahoo Groups, etc) seem to provide the best of both
worlds. Central storage, distributed delivery, etc.
The biggest thing for me personally though is I'm getting lazy - there
are so many different forums that it's hard to get motivated to check
all of them. If it doesn't show up in my inbox, it ain't gettin'