DISCUSSION GROUPS : INTERNET : EMAIL: The Value of Email Discussion Lists
The message below is my response to an excellent and well thought out post
on the Journet discussion group by Gerald Grow about the value of email
based discussion groups, his focus being those that use Listserv software.
One must join the Journet list to view this post.
Gerald Grow notes with extensive elaboration that email discussion groups
are push technology, interactive, social networking, collaborative and
fast amongst other values he cites for this method of communication.
Here is the contribution to JOURNET that I made in response to his post.
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 09:19:19 -0500 (EST)
From: David P. Dillard <jwne@...>
Cc: Discussion List for Journalism Education <JOURNET@...>
Subject: Re: The value of email discussion lists
I do want to thank Gerald Grow for this substantial listing of the benefits of
discussion groups. They are a tremendous asset to members of the internet
community and I do not believe that they will go away soon.
Unlike blogs, for example, they are participative and not limited to an owner
making comments on whatever topic and and others posting responses. I could
follow any post on this or any other list with comments about any other topic.
One key here is to realize that discussion groups of this email to post and
receive content variety are not limited to those lists using Listserv software
at various colleges, universities and other institutions. Yahoo Groups and
Google Groups are very extensive collections of groups run in a very similar
fashion and on Yahoo Groups lists, one can also run a links collection, a
photograph section and have public or private sections as the list owners
wishes. Lists tend to meet specific or general information needs or have
discussions about the topics of interest to the membership. Some providers of
lists do leave the field, some with pleanty of well announced notice of
withdrawal, others like JIGLU recently provide short notice and post the
information in a place not easily found and create some turmoil on the web
through dead links. JIGLU announced on a moderators board of their own that
service would discontinue for those who did not indicate a desire to keep their
lists and I am sure a number of list owners lost lists on their server as they
would never dream of a need to check this board. This is a critical example of
the power of an email discussion group for getting information to its members.
If the members read the mail from the list, they will see the messages, while a
board requires that you think to and deem it necessary to check the board
amongst the million and one other things one needs to pay attention to.
One vital and very important aspect of a discussion group is the availability
of its content publically on the web. Private groups and boards on servers
like Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin and the like to this point and this is about
to change for these social networking groups, there has been no indexing of
this content by search engines. For example, one interested in the post about
Listservs by Gerald Grow can easily turn to Google to find what else Dr. Grow
has contributed to or about this list:
A shorter URL for the above link:
It is a good idea to back up ones list on more than one server, given my JIGLU
experience with loss of archives and an experience with Yahoo Groups in May
2004 when NetGold permanently disappeared and the then owner replaced it with
Net-Gold, the current list. This is just good insurance that the valuable
contributions to a list will not be as likely to be permanently lost to the
list users and the public if an archive for the list is closed by the provider.
Having an archived discussion group also provides the opportunity for indexing
its content through the use of search engines.
and more importantly
From this index:
MEDIA RATINGS EVALUATION ASSESSMENT
NEWS CELEBRITIES ENTERTAINMENT SPORTS MEDIA POLITICS
NEWS EVENT COVERAGE
NEWS HISTORY AND HISTORICAL
NEWS LOCAL NEWS
NEWS SUBJECT SPECIFIC
EDUCATION ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
EDUCATION COLLEGE FINANCE
EDUCATION COLLEGE FOREIGN
EDUCATION COLLEGE GRADUATE
EDUCATION COLLEGE STUDENTS
EDUCATION COLLEGE TEACHING
EDUCATION COLLEGE TEACHERS
EDUCATION COLLEGE UNDERGRADUATE
EDUCATION CRITICAL THINKING AND EVALUATION SKILLS
DATABASE OR DATABASES
DATABASE SEARCHING TECHNIQUES
INTERNET SEARCH COUNTRY SPECIFIC TOOLS
INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
INTERNET SEARCH GUIDES
INTERNET SEARCH LANGUAGE SPECIFIC TOOLS
INTERNET SEARCH MEDIA SPECIFIC TOOLS AND RESOURCES
INTERNET SEARCH SUBJECT SPECIFIC TOOLS
INTERNET SEARCH TECHNOLOGY
INTERNET SEARCH TOOLS
Finally I have websites that are guides to sources in various fields such as
tourism, public health, recreation, disabilities and others. They have links
to content about specific sources or topics, but in many cases the list of
publications, web links to specific internet sources and discussion of the
sources are found in Net-Gold posts or posts to related lists that the links on
these websites point to.
These applications, among others, are examples of why email based discussion
groups like Listserv groups are very likely to remain a strong and important
part of the internet scene and culture and those who join and participate in
such groups strengthen this method of communication. It is very expensive in
time and effort to keep changing media to keep up with the latest fads.
Consider the cost of starting with 78 records, changing to 45 LPs, then to 33
and then to cassettes and then to CDs and now to what? I hope you are not
converting a large number of recordings or that you have a very good income. I
still have my LPs and very few CDs.
Thanks again to Dr. Grow for his invaluable and much appreciated comments.
Everyone have a great end of term and a great holiday season.
(215) 204 - 4584
General Internet & Print Resources
RUSSELL CONWELL CENTER SUBJECT GUIDE
THE COLLEGE LEARNING CENTER
Nina Dillard's Photographs on Net-Gold
Net-Gold Membership Required to View Photos
Bushell, R. & Sheldon, P. (eds),
Wellness and Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit,
Place, New York: Cognizant Communication Books.
Wellness Tourism: Bibliographic and Webliographic Essay
David P. Dillard
Improve Your Chances for Indoor Gardening Success
Health Diet Fitness Recreation Sports Tourism
Please Ignore All Links to JIGLU
in search results for Net-Gold and related lists.
The Net-Gold relationship with JIGLU has
been terminated by JIGLU and these are dead links.