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Mailing lists are superior for async communications IMHO for endeavors such as this. Nothing needs to be addressed immediately (and as everyone is a volunteer, realistic expectations should be set for response latency; email helps that, Slack/Discord does not), and the mailing list archive is a natural log of conversations and decisions that are open and accessible (Free Slack only keeps 10k lines of conversation history if I recall). A mailing list is also free (can be, not always, but can be), and does not require a chat client installed.



Mailing lists was superior in 90's-00's, now when discourse/slack/discord/etc exists there's no reason to use ML except nostalgia. Parsing tons of new emails isn't easy.

Also I'm prefer to avoid Google services 'cause privacy issues.


I soured on discord/slack/etc when their absurdly bad performance caused my laptop to get so hot it probably neutered me.

Seriously though, those services are fine on a powerful tower PC plugged into the wall, but if you're on the move on battery power, they are unbearable.


Try https://cancel.fm/ripcord/, if you want to give them a try.


I like the combo of regular forum (Xenforo, Discourse, etc) and chat (Discord, Slack, etc). Unlike mailing lists, modern forums are actually usable, fun to use, and appealing. And chat provides a place for more conversational community-building.

For example, the Elm community has both. The Discourse forum is technical and business-only yet there's a clean record of these discussions. The Slack chat is where I hang out, get to know people, and participate in more relaxed chit chat about Elm, webdev, and building applications.

Elm used to just have a mailing list but it was obsoleted and shut down with the creation of the Slack group and Discourse forum which were far more popular.


Well discourse forum and matrix chat bridged to IRC through riot.im works very effectively in our open source community.


What do you mean when you say "modern forums are fun to use"? I ask in 100% good faith and I am not being snarky.


They have all sorts of modern features more conducive to discussion and community-building like notifications that someone @mention/replied to you and even editing your post -- features that people generally like. If you don't think that's "fun", fair enough, but I also enumerated other benefits like their broader appeal.

Any community that only has a mailing list could benefit from experimenting with a proper forum. I've seen this experiment broaden a community time and time again as you move away from only selecting for the type of person who likes mailing lists. And notice that HN isn't a mailing list either.

For example, I would imagine that the sort of people interested in high-quality ebooks extend beyond mailing list loving super-techies. Even a subreddit would be a nice option.


My question was simply about how much fun you experience using modern forums. I have never edited a post and thought it was fun.

Some people might say it's useful and others might say it encourages people to comment first and possibly focus on polishing the comment second.


For start... they aren't a freaking mailing list?

E-mail sucks.


It is bearable when using an efficient client like Ripcord.


You don't know how much I agree. I used Ripcord the other day and forgot software could just be fast. Slack feels like a boulder in comparison.

It's not very full-featured yet, but it's so fantastic I want to pay for it. It's a shame the companies themselves don't offer clients like it.


Counterpoint: Old mailing list conversations are difficult to parse and encourage a "ignore it until the issue goes away" mentality if no one is enforcing a reply rate.

Mailing lists only really work for corporations imo


We're talking open source/free/non-profits here. No reply rate should be enforced unless by project owners (their time, their project, their rules). Some issues should be ignored until they go away. I myself ignore issues from some folks who engage me in my role as an open source tooling maintainer, after I have exhausted my patience working with them and they are not receptive to polite discussion.

> Mailing lists only really work for corporations imo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel_mailing_list

We've steered off topic though. Feel free to email me if you want to chat further on the topic.


Fascinating subject. It seems like the difference between slack/discord and email, is the difference between a water cooler conversation and an actual sit down meeting.


There's also IRC for water cooler conversations in an open protocol.


> Feel free to email me if you want to chat further on the topic.

Is there any way we can contact you on slack or discord instead?




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