forums vs. email

list list at
Thu Sep 30 03:10:08 UTC 2004

I think that you have some valid points, but I would really like to see a  
forum in the near future...

> * Searching (via Google) can be accomplished with anything mirrored to  
> the web.
> Google also has facilities for browsing netnews which offer some nice  
> search
> qualifiers, but nothing special for web forums.

I really do think they help redundancy a LOT. If there are a few questions  
that get asked over and over, then you toss a sticky at the top of the  
forum. People can easily search the entire forum, or subsections of  
it--and instead of everything being lumped into one HUGE mail list, you  
can have specific categories such as hardware, software,  
sub-categories--or whatever. Plus if you are helping someone, you can look  
in the area that you have the most experience instead of getting  
overwhelmed with a million different topics.

> I dislike moderation by one's peers on the web forum.

These types of forums are generally not modded in the way slashdot  
is--they are in chronological order of most recent post.

> * Some web forums don't tell you when someone has followed up to your  
> post so
> it's hard to follow a conversation thread.

Pretty much every forum I've ever perused has an option to subscribe (or  
auto-subscribe) to specific threads, which cuts down on getting a mailbox  
full of questions, when you just want to know if someone has an idea for  
your problem.

> * Web forums require yet another login and password (which, in turn,  
> means yet
> another cookie) for me to lose when I post from some other web browser  
> or from
> a computer I don't keep my cookie file on.

Logging in could be a bit of a hassle, but if you don't save your email  
password, then you have the same problem--and how do you check your email  
on a friend's computer? You still put your username and password in there.

> * Netnews and mailing lists are far more offline-friendly than web  
> forums.

I think you are definitely right here.

> * Posts can be disallowed or edited with little to no opportunity for  
> anyone to
> have received a copy of what was said before.

This is true, but generally a well ran forum will not have this problem  
(unless people are posting random crap--and if they did this to a mailing  
list, they would probably be booted too)

There are strengths and weaknesses for both, but in my opinion, the  
organization and categorizational abilities of a forum far outweigh the  
benifits of a mailing list--I subscribe to about 3 different technical  
mailing lists, and have to wade through them anytime I want to get help.  
When I'm not looking for any advice, I get a mailbox full of stuff I don't  
want to see (whereas if I have a question on a forum, I just put a  
temporary link in my favorites to zip me immiately to the post).

Sorry for the rant, I just really hope to see some forums soon ;)

  ***Yes, I did hear that you guys are working on setting up some  
forums--thanks, and as always keep up the awesome work!***


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