[Theforum] Web based forum

Ben Phillips ben at inchima.com
Thu Mar 7 13:12:35 CST 2002

> Disavantages:
> 1. people tend to become less of a community with a message
> board than a mailing list. 2. you have to remember to go
> check the board, unless we can rig it to send each post as an
> email for the users who would want that (and then how do we
> handle people who answer via email instead of via the board?
> that's a can of
> worms...)

hi all,
this is my first post in theforum and i hope my background in online
community can be put to some use.

i have to echo nicole's words here about an online forum being 'less of
a community'. it all depends on the type of community, but a mailing
list has a definite advantage in that every person has the message
pushed to their inbox regardless of whether they were thinking about
'visiting' the community that day or not.

personal experience: i joined an online music community
(www.ukdance.org), about a year ago. i lurked for a long time, but
really enjoyed the posts. they use a web/email combination, with posts
appearing on the site and all messages emailed. i got busy due to work
and other hobbies (away from the computer! shock!) and as such didn't
read the emails from ukdance any more.

recently, i have started reading again, simply due to one email that
caught my eye. because of this, i have got back into the community. if
it wasn't for the email i received, i doubt i would have gone back to
the site.

this works in the short term as well, people fire up their email client
in the morning, and read their emails. they get a daily reminder that
they are part of a community. a lot of community members do need this
reminder - without it they tend to drift away.

obvious, but i think it does need saying. of course, the opposite is
true... if i had unsubscribed from ukdance, then i would never have
received that email. once somebody has unsubscribed from a mailing list,
they don't tend to return.


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