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Re: forum vs email

True; and before that there was yahoo groups, and others. Those are not fora, however, merely web interfaces to mailing lists / newsgroups.

as a lurker on this list, I jump in. It is curious that newsgroups are mentioned only en passant, and NNTP is not mentioned at all.

Still vastly prefer email over fora, as interfaces go. Better read/unread views,

Personally I prefer the e-mail INTERFACE, and a good old(-fashioned) email client (I use alpine) allows to access with the same interface mail and NNTP newsgroups. I am in general not keen of forums because they are not interoperable with e-mail (one cannot save a message in a mail folder) and usually have each one its own interface ... I don't like to get lost in a maze of little forums all different (cit.)

of the (for me, at least) defining features of a forum, is that the subjects tend to be divided up into a tree structure, which has it's own benefits;

Threading is possible also with NNTP, and in the way and extent chosen by the user and the possibilities of the reading agent.

I do subscribe to mailing lists, but usually in MIME-digest mode whenever it is allowed. This way I receive a digest once per day, I skim through the subjects, and only if I see something interesting I expand the digest in a folder, and read the interesting messages. Rarely I could save a particularly interesting one in a folder, or reply and take part to a thread. I do not keep track of all (other) messages, usually there are the list archives.

I use nntp newsgroups, in a very simple threaded mode, I "subscribe" interesting groups and look at them once a day or sometimes more frequently. I skim through thread titles, expand the interesting ones, read the messages, then occasionally save an interesting one to a mail folder or reply and take part to a thread. When I exit I usually mark as deleted all posts except mine or a few I keep "pending". Next time I enter I'll see only new posts and the few "undeleted". Of course I can resurrect the "deleted" ones insofar they are still on the NNTP server. I do not particularly care of the fact they expire from the server after some week/months. In the past there was dejanews, present google groups is not as good as a way to look for old stuff.

I do subscribe regularly only to two forums, and both use the PhpBB interface. I may have registered to other forums to ask a question, but may come back to them only if I have another one. On the forums I follows (and to which I take part), I keep the view of "new (or recent) messages" so I can see only the recent traffic and skim through interesting stuff. I regret there is no way to save interesting messages locally with one tick (but the topics of those forums do not deserve it ... eventually phpBB has an internal bookmarking mechanism) Threads in forums tend to last forever or at least longer than they deserve and some forumers complain if one opens a new thread instead of posting in an existing one.

Lucio Chiappetti - INAF/IASF - via Bassini 15 - I-20133 Milano (Italy)
For more info : http://www.iasf-milano.inaf.it/~lucio/personal.html
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