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Last Build Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:55:04 +0000


By: Retirement investmen

Sat, 03 Mar 2007 09:12:17 +0000

I have to disagree. I personally believe that mailing lists belong to the past when internet access and speed were limited in many areas. Nowadays, people prefer to stay online and browse sites instead of reading emails. At least this is what I noticed.

By: Eddie Awad

Tue, 23 Aug 2005 17:57:17 +0000


RSS (or Atom, or web feeds) is a one way communication. The publisher pushes the information to you, the subscriber. If you want to push back information to the publisher, you will have to go to the publisher's web site and follow whatever way they set up for the communication structure (e-mail, forum, contact forms...). In fact, the oradev and oracle-l mailing lists have RSS feeds, the oradev's feed URL is

E-mail, on the other hand, is a two way communication. So, comparing e-mail to RSS is like comparing apples to oranges, they serve two different needs.

But do not get me wrong, I subscribe to many RSS feeds and use my favourite news reader, bloglines, religiously. But, I use it to read stuff not to actively participate in discussions through the reader itself.

writing an email is often too easy Absolutely, that's why I prefer mailing lists.

sift through the morass of bottom-quoted, full-quoted junk Do you mean that online forums do not have bottom-quoted, full-quoted junk? lots of them do.

management, something that is impossible on a list In an activily managed mailing list, of course it is possible. "Thread drifting" exists in any type of online discussions.

Then there are issues like archiving and accessability I do not know about other mailing lists services, but has an excellent archiving capability and is very much accessible and searchable through "HTTP".

By: Oded Maimon

Tue, 23 Aug 2005 06:46:11 +0000

Well, with forum rss you still have to login to post a comment.

for forums there should be a standard and then you could create a forum-client!

email is better because you use the client/web interface you like and know best.


By: Roger Benningfield

Tue, 23 Aug 2005 06:11:51 +0000

"First, almost everyone has access to e-mail and can read it online as well as offline; unlike web forums, where you have to be connected to the internet all the time."

Eddie: You're using the wrong forum apps. :D Any decent forum in 2005 produces RSS feeds, which have all the offline benfits of email without the spam.

"Second, e-mail is almost immediate, when someone sends out an e-mail to a list you’re subscribed to, the e-mail shows up almost instantly in your inbox, compare that to constant manual refreshes to a forum web page."

Again, RSS. There's really no reason to refresh web pages anymore.

"Compare that to the ease of writing an e-mail and publishing to the list (once you subscribe)."

Subscribing to a list and becoming a member of a forum are pretty similar processes. And there are forum apps that will let you post via email, dedicated offline client, etc.

But that misses the crucial point that writing an email is often too easy. Anyone having to sift through the morass of bottom-quoted, full-quoted junk that piles up on a list knows the bliss of reading your way through a well-managed discussion thread.

Which brings us to management, something that is impossible on a list. Thread drifting? Everything on a list is either on- or off-topic. If it's off-topic, you're expected to move to a different list or just drop the subject. In a forum environment, the conversation moves to a different group/topic/category, and following requires as little as a single mouse click. Individual conversations can be subscribed to (again, via RSS), obviating the need to join an entire list to participate in a single conversation.

Then there are issues like archiving and accessability. For example, right after I click "submit comment" on this post, I'm going to hit the "publish to Furl" button on my Firefox toolbar. My comment will be bookmarked on Furl, and my blog template will automatically fetch the bookmark and display it in a list, effectively creating a public breadcrumb trail and searchable archive of my interaction on the web. Duplicating that with a mailing list requires far more effort than any reasonable person would ever expend.

In short: HTTP is our friend. SMTP is the devil. :D

By: Eddie Awad

Mon, 22 Aug 2005 23:36:48 +0000

I also forgot to mention that reading and writing e-mails with Google's Gmail is a very pleasant experience and especially well suited for mailing lists.

If you still do not have a Gmail account, just let me know and I'll send you an invite (I have 50 of them).