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From drew <>
Subject Re: [Was: Re: [Discussion]]
Date Tue, 23 Aug 2011 23:33:52 GMT
On Tue, 2011-08-23 at 18:08 -0400, Rob Weir wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 5:40 PM, Jean Weber <> wrote:
> > Idle curiosity: I wonder how many people who offer support do it in both places:
mailing list and forum, or more or exclusively in one or the other.
> >
> > Personal observation (not intended as a generalization): my preferences vary with
whether I'm a consumer or a provider of support services. As a consumer, I generally prefer
a forum, but as a provider I prefer an email list. Perhaps I'm just weird, or set in my ways...
> >
> I think it is like this:  a mailing list is best for a long-term
> relationship.  It has some a user to subscribe and set up filters and
> folders and such, to optimize it for the mail app.  But once done, it
> works smoothly.  You have a local, searchable archive, etc.
> But if you are a user who has a quick question, but are not savvy
> about mailing lists, then the forum is the simplest solution.  It
> allows you to have a few exchanges about your problem and then go away
> and come back 6 months later with another question.  But very little
> overhead. Forums are also easier to research your issue in, since they
> are fine grained, e.g., a forum for Calc, another for UNO, etc. If we
> tried to replicate this same capability with mailing lists we'd need
> 10 languages x 15 forums per language = 150 mailing lists.
> But my previous point was this is all about differences in access
> methods -- 

There is actually more to it then that.

There is much that can be done in a forum that can not, easily, be done
with a mailing list.

Then there is the ability with a web interface to offer more then just a
post/reply format - for example.

Come to the forum and go to any modules list and the first you find is a
ink to the current manual...

You can offer custom search functions.

Topics can be flagged for quality of reply.

etc, etc.


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