[Zope] Newsgroup vs. Discussion Board vs. Email List

Dan Shafer dan@gui.com
Sun, 21 Oct 2001 10:26:30 -0700

We don't need to make an either/or decision here. We can make a 
both-and decision.

There are discussion board products out there that allow members to 
decide if they'd like to participate via an email/list interface or a 
newsgroup interface or in the discussion forum format itself. Web 
Crossing is the one I know best that comes to mind but I've just 
finished a book on the subject of online community in these various 
incarnations so I know there are several others.

I find email lists not very productive because of the lack of 
context. The massive size of the mailings that we sometimes encounter 
on this list result at least in part from people inadvertently (or 
advertently for all I know...:-) ) copying entire messages into their 
sometimes-brief replies. That problem doesn't happen on a properly 
run message board or in a newsgroup, either for that matter.

Using either newsgroups or a discussion board -- and, again, I'm in 
favor of moving to a solution that gives everyone the participation 
interface they want rather than sticking with one solution -- would 
allow us to segment and categorize content as well as to thread 
discussions to retain context.
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