As we all probably know, this email list generates a ton of emails. If it
were not for filtering and subject sorting in MS Outlook (for me at least) I
wouldn't be able to keep up with this list. I find that Outlook doesn't
always sort properly, particularly because of the RE: infront of email
I don't see much of a structure to posts here (no subject formatting, such
as "Job: xyz" or "Conference: xyz". Everything is clumped together.
So, my question is: "are email lists more/less usable than web based
forums?" or better yet "Email Lists vs Web Forums, Which is Better?"
There are benefits and problems with each type though..
1) can take all those messages with you on your pda or laptop to read
offline. (which can also be bad, when you have 1100 emails)
2) will get to a message when you get to it (my IxDA folder has about 1100
email in it right now, I slowly go through it when I have a moment)
3) there can be so many replies to so many topics that if you don't use a
date sort, you won't always see the most relevant topics (I tend to leave it
in subject sort mode, and then read a very good topic that was posted back
in February, and a reply would be a bit silly since the thought-thread is
pretty much gone at that point).
4) great for smaller volume posts/responses.
web based forum:
1) broken out by category (meetings, general questions, job postings, etc)
2) if you don't read the posts everyday, you can lose something fast if the
forums are set to expire.
3) can't take it offline.
4) great for high volume posting/responses.
I guess there are 2 more categories that could be considered:
1) newsgroups (nntp) which means you can take the content offline
2) blog style (ala Slashdot) where a topic is posted and there are responses
underneath (which can lead to extremely lengthy pages)