[FoRK] my dream mailing list software

Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> on Tue Jul 17 04:23:40 PDT 2007

On 7/17/07, Justin Mason <jm at jmason.org> wrote:
> > Does this exist and I am clueless?
> >
> > X-THREAD-URL:http://somewhere.com/list-id/2cb10c440707161851s5d1cdb5au7e3bfce52ee78757
> me, I'd like to add RSS/Atom feeds to the wishlist. ;)

Those are both nice ideas. (I have particular interest in the
X-THREAD-URL, since a goal of my ideal mailing list software would be
to minimize repeated conversations- which means good archives.)

I'm a little less interested in the RSS/Atom feeds; not that they are
bad, but that in and of themselves they are just polish on a turd.

Current mailing list software is like a bad panel at a conference- you
have to lock yourself in a room, you're often listening to the same
3-4 people, people end up either shouting or bored, with nothing in
between, and (overall) you're stuck with whatever is going on unless
you either leave or you're one of the lucky few who owns really good

Good mailing list software would (IMHO) be like a really good party.
If you get tired of a conversation, you can easily and politely ignore
it by just walking away, but you don't have to leave the party just to
get away from one conversation. If a conversation gets really good
once you walk away, you can notice that that corner of the room has
gotten more crowded and more animated, and you can rejoin the
conversation. (Ideally, a good friend catches you up on what you
missed while you were away, hence the interest in good archives.)
Since you're speaking to smaller groups of interested people instead
of a whole room, you don't have to raise your voice and you're less
likely to want to scream. And overall it can be a lot more welcoming
than a conference- you can invite your friends over, and tell them
'don't worry, if the asshole talks to you, you can just ignore him.'

So yeah... RSS feeds are nice, and I certainly wouldn't mind a more
google-groups like experience in general, but feeds/google groups
don't solve the fundamental problem. You're still at a bad conference
with them; I want to host a party.


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