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The Difference Between the Web Forum and the Mailing Lists

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:21 pm    Post subject: The Difference Between the Web Forum and the Mailing Lists Reply with quote

Mailing Lists, aka listserves, were the original form of online communities, predating web forums by a number of years. A mailing list is an email-based discussion group. The "list" is just that, a list of the e-mail addresses of those who belong to the mailing list. The mailing list itself has its own e-mail address (posting address). Each message sent to the posting address goes out to all the addresses on the list. Each member of the mailing list receives every message posted to it. Only members can post to the mailing list. Mailing lists also usually have digest versions. The mailing list software saves up messages until they reach a certain file size or time limit, then generates a digest containing all those messages and sends it out to those who belong to the digest version of the list. CLICK HERE for more information on Hummer Network mailing lists as well as options available, such as joining/subscribing and leaving/unsubscribing.

Web Forums are like what you are using right now. It's a web-based discussion group. You have to register in order to read or post messages which is done via the web.

Hummer Network Web Forums and Mailing Lists Are Integrated. That is, any message posted to the web forum also posts, automatically, to the appropriate mailing list. Any message posted to any of the mailing lists is automatically posted to the appropriate forum. This is all there is to the integration. Otherwise, they are separate entities. The mailing lists are still just mailing lists and do not share features of the web forum, only messages. Photos cannot be posted to the mailing list, but can be posted on the web forum. If attachments are uploaded to the forum, links to them go out over the mailing list, not the attachments themselves.

The forum and mailing list share messages only, not user data. If you are on a mailing list and have a forum account, any changes you make to your forum profile have no bearing on the mailing list. If you change your e-mail address in your forum profile, it does not change it for the mailing list.

If you are a forum user and find you are receiving messages via e-mail, you may also be on one of the mailing lists. If you are getting e-mails with actual messages, you are on one of the mailing lists (post notifications, sent via the forum, do not contain actual messages, only links). If you are receiving e-mails with subject prefixes "HML:", H2ML:" or "H3ML", you are on that mailing list. If you are receiving messages with subjects starting with "hml-digest", h2ml-digest" or "h3ml-digest", you are on the digest version of that mailing list.

To join or to remove yourself from any of the mailing lists, go to:

All available options for all Hummer Network mailing lists can be found there. If you need to change your e-mail address for the mailing list, you need to go to the above link, unsubscribe your old address and subscribe your new one.

Why bother with mailing lists? The Hummer Network began as a mailing list, the HML, and operated as such for many years. When web forums began to become popular, a full year of research went into finding web forum software that could be integrated with existing mailing lists. The idea was to not abandon the many members who still prefer the mailing list format. This has created a unique system which offers a choice of format: web forum or mailing list. The Hummer Network does not exclude people based on their format preferences.

The biggest problem with integrating forums and mailing lists is that forum users tend to forget there are mailing lists and mailing list users tend to forget there are forums. PLEASE try to remember that you are posting to BOTH a forum AND a mailing list at the same time.

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