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Re: [ARSCLIST] The case for message boards.
I propose that the debate be shifted from "email vs board" to
"let's look at an integrated email-list/board" (using Yahoo!
groups as an example of what such a tool might look like).
Something like Yahoo! groups actually supports both formats - you
can choose to interact exclusively via email, but your email posts
will also be automatically posted to the forum, and vice versa
(forum posts are also cc'd to the group via email). Members can
choose whether they want the emails or not, and everything is
simultaneously archived in the forum. A Yahoo! group also
automatically generates threads for each topic, and has an option
to expand the thread for those who want to print a hardcopy of
the complete thread.
There may be other forum and bulletin board software that offers
both an email list and a nice web UI.
And now I'll opine and contribute some of my own "noise" to the
If I had to choose just one channel for interacting with ARSC, it
would remain email for me. Even with the perfect web interface
or forum/board tools, I still prefer email.
I'm good at ignoring "noise", so the email list format works for
me. I like the fact that things are "pushed" to me - the potential
for "out of sight, out of mind" with a forum/board format is too
high (for me). I might miss something which is timely if I don't
take the time to visit a forum, so email is easier for me to just
monitor the ARSCList, since I check email several times throughout
the day. I like having my newspaper delivered, so to speak, while
others like to go for a walk down to the newstand to get their paper.
I have all my information delivered to one email address (NY Times,
ARSC, Studer, MLA, etc.) where I can quickly scan subject lines
for anything important - it's easiest for me this way.
I actually like Outlook enough, between using "rules" to auto-sort
email and search/sort to find things, that I can easily go back
through my own archives (saved annually as PST files) of the
ARSCList far easier than I can the web interface.
But I also acknowledge that everyone is different, and the email
format isn't ideal for everyone. Just like Macs vs Windows, every
format and every tool has strengths and weaknesses.
I agree that the web interface to the current ARSCList archive
is super clumsy. I never use it, except in desparation, and even
then I'll usually make a request to the ARSCList mail server to
download an archive of past postings and sort through them locally
As to the question of ARSCList being a country club, it may be to
some, and not to others. Just like one person's "noise" might be
another's "signal". For me, ARSCList is a valuable tool, with
plenty of gems (signal) mixed in among the noise.