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Mailing Lists: What’s Wrong With Them, and How Can We Fix Them? [pdf] (mit.edu)
27 points by Errorcod3 on Apr 28, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments



They've changed little in 44 years because they've worked, for 44 years. One of the "tensions" they claimed about push-vs-pull is a client-side issue, not the email technology itself. If you use a mailing list for critical emergencies, everyone should be using push. Otherwise the consumer can decide.

Another one of their tensions, debating type & quality of message -- several mailing lists I've participated in have spun off subsequent mailing lists to discuss in detail topics (eg. a mesh network discussion on a developer list) or moved to private conversations.

It's good that mailing lists are open and people can talk about random topics -- that's what a forum is for. Good clients let you mute or block people you don't like to hear from.


Some other advantages: Almost no assumptions about the technology stack, platform, OS, etc. of the participants; no need to create yet another account on yet another service in order to participate; no need to expose anything about yourself other than your email address.


Oh, it is so tempting to reply with "PDF files: What's Wrong With Them, and How Can We Fix Them". There, I did it.

Here is a 30 second summary of the paper from one of the authors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t0U7-BiWHw


Would you rather watch a 30-second video than read a paper? If I come across even a mildly interesting PDF, I read it immediately or download it for later. If I come across any but the most fascinating video, I usually move on. I hate being forced to get information from videos.

(I am not claiming that my experience is universal, just that, I think, neither is the one you seem implicitly to be describing.)


Nah, I prefer a single column website. To me PDFs are for printing, especially such paper formats.




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