Clever Humans


Clever Humans do the darnedest things!


8 August 2007

The Death of Mailing Lists

by Patrick

Am I the only one who believes the general move toward forums for technical questions, information and collaboration is a step backward? Used to be everyone who was anyone subscribed to mailing lists on whatever subject was the most interesting.

Mailing lists are easy and convenient. Every list I read comes to the same place. Forums: I have to remember to go to each site. I have to remember the last post I read. I have to remember which thread I was following. Each forum you read has different features and functionality. Each one of them makes you log in yet again to use most of the functionality.

With mailing list, every single mailing list had the same UI and the same interface. Soon as you sign into email you are signed into every mailing list. You get an email, you read it. If you want to reply, you hit the reply button. Simple. Easy. Uniform. Every mailing list, regardless of the software it used worked the same way.

With forums, everything is different for each forum. Some support RSS, some support being emailed about responses to your messages, some support emailing a digest of every post. But none of them support every featyre. And, to my knowledge, not one of them lets you hit reply from your email application and post to the forum.