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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.

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