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From David McKay <>
Subject Re: Why a mailing list is superior to any web-based "forum"
Date Sun, 21 Oct 2012 09:59:58 GMT

On 21/10/12 09:41, Rory O'Farrell wrote:
> On Sun, 21 Oct 2012 05:07:24 -0300
> Fernando Cassia <> wrote:
>> -No captcha to solve anywhere to join a mailing list.
>> - No separate user-password to remember on a mailing list.
>> - You can read it anywhere you can get e-mail
>> - You don´t have to conciously go "fetch" or "look at" anything.
>> Email arrives "automagically" to your inbox.
>> - no waiting for forum web pages to load, no adverts, no footers, no
>> colors, no graphical sig files, no animated gifs to look
>> at, no delay to "log-in", messages just arrive to your mailbox
>> - Easy archival (just set a rule and archive your list email to a
>> given subfolder, or a given label if using GMail)
>> - Reply speed (many people´s work day involves reading and replying to
>> e-mail. A mailing list ensures messages with catch the interest of the
>> reader are clicked on and read immediately, or much faster then when
>> "visiting a web forum once a day".
>> - Sense of community: participating on a any mailing list for a period
>> of time helps breed a community feeling. Avtivity on web forums is
>> much more sparse... many people just join a forum to ask a question,
>> and when given an answer that suits them, they rarely return... they
>> do not "engage" as often as members of a mailing list.
>> - in part due to the above, it´s much easier to deal with
>> troublemakers, spammers and trolls etc on a mailing list (just ban his
>> email address) than on web forums.
>> -web based forums are more prone to spam than mailing lists (even with
>> the implementation of captcha for registration by many popular web
>> forums software)
>> -web forums are part of the involution of the Net... (imho)
> Without wishing to generate a long controversy, I'd answer Fernando like this, based
on the en-Forum:
> Captcha only on registration - a one off event; I don't think one can complain about
such a reasonable anti-spam measure.
> One can tell it to log one in automatically on each visit - I'm currently able to access
the Forum (auto-login) from six computers.
> One can subscribe to a thread for notification, or (my choice) check "new postings" (link
towards top of Forum screen).  This only works if one has subscribed to the forum,
> No need to archive - the Forum does it automatically and provides a targetted search
> Replies can be almost immediate, depending who is online.
> Sense of community applies among the Volunteers, who are chosen from regular and helpful
posters.  Admittedly many posters post to find a solution to one problem and are never seen
again - surely this is the same on a mailing list?
> Troublemakers and spam are dealt with very quickly by the Moderators, aided by reports
from Users and Volunteers.
> I think the en-Forum's spam record is better than the old OOo Forum and the current LibO
Forum, although I recognise the work done on those forums by their administrators
> Another matter to consider: if the Forum(s) did not exist and the queries were instead
posted to the mailing lists, could the list users cope with the added volume? I reckon there
would be about 100 postings per day from the en-Forum, and certainly as many (perhaps even
more) from the other national language Forums.  And after that, there would (inevitably!)
be many daily "Unsubscribe me" requests from posters whose quer has (hopefully) been answered.
Technical aspects are bets handled through a mailing list; general user 
questions are best handled through a forum.

Let's not go round in circles again.


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