lists are dead? not really...

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To say that listservs (i.e. news lists and discussion lists) are dead is a bit premature. Discussion lists and news lists serve different needs than RSS and blogs, though they do interchange at certain levels. At best, they are complementary to each other.

For example, I have plenty of news and discussion lists subscriptions, as well as plenty of RSS feeds. Over the past year I have supplemented some of my news lists with RSS feeds whenever possible.

However, as far as discussion lists are concerned, RSS is no replacement for those. Some people do prefer to get their discussion lists in their e-mail, filtering each list into separate e-mail folders. The technical difficulty to setup e-mail filters is not harder than the setup of RSS feeds. Webboards also are not a total replacement for discussion lists. Rather, a generic mix of discussion lists and webboards have sprung.

Also, lets not forget that throughout the world there are plenty of places where broadband is not readily available and will not be available in the near future. Thus, e-mail discussion lists are much easier to deal with, since the e-mails come to you, vs. having to browse badly designed webboards with lots of graphics over slow dial-up connections.

So, rather than saying that listservs (that is lists) are dead, I think they will coexist with other tools such as RSS and Blogs and complement each other since their tasks are different.

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1 Comment

Now now now! You can't say "listserv" or our friends at L-Soft will have their lawyers send a cease-and-desist letter! They've copyrighted that name, and when I used "listserv" recently on some documentation for Lyris I got my wrist slapped.

That being said, you are right that lists are not dead -- not close to it. I use them all the time both professionally and personally. Our IS department keeps trying to get me to surrender the server space it occupies, but that'll happen over my dead body . . .

By Mentor Cana, PhD
more info at LinkedIn
email: mcana {[at]} kmentor {[dot]} com

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This page contains a single entry by Mentor Cana published on February 4, 2005 6:19 PM.

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