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On 4/17/11 8:30 AM, RGB ES wrote:
People like forums. People NEED forums. So, why every time the forum
issue is considered here it falls on nothing?

I just want to write in as a consultant and end-user, to point out several of the major benefits of forums over mailing lists that I have not noticed yet in this discussion: mainly --visibility, persistence and searchability

I am actually a fan of the mailman software used to run this list and have hosted several email lists using mailman (and, before that, majordomo). However, i find that whereas email lists are better for discussions like this one, web forums make more sense for official and/or community support. For software I use that has web -based support forums, I almost always can find that the question I have has already been asked and answered by someone else, or that the problem I wish to report has already been supported.

If you've ever tried searching in mailman archives to see if your question has already been posted & answered, it is an exercise in total frustration.

Another thing: once I'm on a web forum, if I have time I start poking through the categories to pick out topics of interest and i learn so much about the forum. And another thing: effectively moderated forums will have a FAQ section so that rather than the regular participants having to answer the same questions over and over they can simply point to the FAQ.

For those who complain of the bandwidth and time entailed in loading web pages:

There is this little thing called RSS, it's been around for a couple of years ;-) ... I subscribe to the RSS feed for web forums and downloading the subjects and summary of all the posts into a newsreader takes LESS bandwidth and time than receiving the same number of complete emails. Just click on the item of interest in your newsreader and you are taken *directly* to the web page with the post. Click the "subscribe to this discussion" box on that page, if you would like, and receive any further replies via email.

Sure, leave the mailman lists up (who knows in how many places the instructions for subscribing have been posted) but also please start official TDF web-based support forums. I bet you'd find LibreOffice users who would volunteer to moderate one or two topic categories. (I raise my hand.)


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