[mythtv-users] Support via email group versus forum??

Simon Hobson linux at thehobsons.co.uk
Tue Feb 7 08:09:20 UTC 2017

Brian J. Murrell <brian at interlinx.bc.ca> wrote:

> Not counting the forum software that will send you an e-mail of a new
> post but require you to go to the forum to reply, and in even more
> hideous cases, to continue getting replies from the forum.
> Yes, that is you get only one e-mail with the latest thread posting and
> you have to go to the forum to continue to get more postings.
> Presumably just to keep the click-count up to entice advertising.
> Which is even more -1 for forums... malware-laden , bandwidth chewing,
> latency increasing, ads.

I think you must have been using "the wrong sort of forum" ;-) I'm sure some are malware and ad ridden, but that's not an inherent feature of forum software - just a matter of how it's been considered. I've been on mailing lists where every list message comes with advertising attached.

But the email feature you describe is actually very useful **as a forum feature**. It is not, and I assume never ha been, intended as a substitute for using the forum - it's a convenience tool that makes using a forum much more useful (especially low traffic ones).

Examples :
On one forum (it's one section of the community forum for my ISP) I have set to alert me of any new threads/posts. That way, when there's activity in that small (and quiet - it can go weeks with no traffic) area, I can quickly click the link and see the full thing. I'll agree that for this, a mailing list would work as well, but to be perfectly honest, the forum works quite well enough. Oh yes, and there's no advertising on that one.

Other forums I'm on I don't have this set. I periodically go and skim the recent threads and read anything that looks interesting. The better forum software allow you to hover over the thread title in the list and the first few lines of the first post pop up so you can get a better idea what it's about.
Anything I reply to, and a few I decide to subscribe to because they look interesting, gets the treatment you describe - and TBH it's how I'd want it. One recent thread grew by several pages (15 posts/page) in hours - I wouldn't really want 30, 40, 50, ... emails. When I have time, I can go and read some more of the thread (the software keeps track of where I got to (or at least, which page) so I can easily go to the first page of unread posts.

Most of the forums I use have advertising - but it's low key and not "in your face". The running costs have to be paid for somehow. I don't tend to use ones with a lot of advertising - that's probably because there seems to be a correlation between that and me not being interested in the subject matter the forum is there for.

Don't get me wrong, I like mailing lists (which IMO have many of their own failings), but I also like forums. They are different, some features are more suited to a situation than others, so I think it's very much 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

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