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From Andreas S├Ąger <>
Subject Re: Why a mailing list is superior to any web-based "forum"
Date Mon, 22 Oct 2012 05:32:04 GMT
Am 21.10.2012 10:07, Fernando Cassia wrote:
> Here someone wrote it better than me, on the VLC mailing list

As a matter of fact, kept on working while all
the lists were abandoned and the whole project was at stake.
Before October 2011 the forum had between 300 and 350 active topics per
week, most of them solved (yes, you can tag topics as solved).

Mailing list are the best medium for communities where each member needs
to keep up with the exact same level of information as any other member.
This is achieved by copying every mail to each member. The distributed
information can not be changed once it is copied to the mailboxes. So
there is no way of moderation for information already sent.
This level of bindingness is not wanted by the vast majority of end
users who want to get answers to their questions.

All the advantages of mailing lists make them inadequate for end user

> * Easy to save posts for future reference.  This is a PITA on forums.

Forums are easy to link for *updated* reference. You do not need any
subscription to find already answered questions and tutorials on the
same page.

> * Interface choice in my control (I can choose from any number
>   of mail readers) vs whatever interface the the web forum server
>   provides.  I can also read maillist posts via the web (e.g. google
>   or my choice of usenet newsreader (gmane, etc)

Today's users are not familiar with customizable mail clients but
whatever you do on the internet, you are confronted with web-interfaces.

> * There are a large number of tools for working with mail messages.
On our forum you can format text, embed pictures, attach documents
within reasonable quotas.

> * Mail readers offer features unavailable in forums like filters
>   and kill-lists, keeping track of what's been read previously,
>   etc.  (I realize the volume on the vlc list is low enough that
>   some of these are not often needed but still...)
You never really tried the forum. It is easy to track recent topics, new
postings and topics with your contributions.

> * Mail lists are often archived in multiple places (gmane, google,
>   nabble, etc) so the accumulated knowledge-base and history are
>   not subject to the longevity or availability of a single web site. 

> * Mail interfaces make better use of screen real-estate.  Most web
>   forums waste large amount of space on avatars, jpeg sigs, ads, etc.

> * Mail is pushed to me with no effort on my part.  It is easy to
>   delete (or in my case ignore, since I read via gmame).  With a 
>   web forum, I have to take a positive action to visit the web site
>   (and since I'm both busy and lazy, am less likely to do.)

We are discussing media for end user support. You can choose mail
notification and you can watch your own topics easily.

> * Better responsiveness.  Web forums, for those of us who still
>   have not-so-fast internet connections, feel slow and bogy.

Again, does anybody want to download the full list when he needs one or
two questions to be answered?

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