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RE: Problems with 'List Server'

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I agree with what Dennis is saying. There is no
perfect system. But there are thousands of BBSs out
there functioning well, and I visit several of them
regularly, and I prefer BBS to list server. To give
you an example, here is my biggest problem with list

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> To all:
> I have to correct Bill on this issue - I have not
> switched from
> UltraBoard to a Listservice format - I've added
> Listservices as an
> option. I am no longer using UltraBoard and have,
> about six months ago,
> switched over to a free BBS style forum that is
> great called YaBB (Yet
> Another Bulletin Board).
> Let me summarize what I have found:
> 1. Listservices satisfy a need for those who want as
> close to real-time
> discussion as they can get. With Listservices, you
> can seek and obtain
> answers within minutes or a few short hours. On the
> downside - you are
> inundated with messages on a high volume board and
> retrieving messages
> for referencing is a pain in the butt. Digest format
> simplified the
> number of posts, but generally reduces participation
> since you don't
> simply press a reply button and respond to a
> specific post. Most members
> have difficulty cutting and pasting a message from
> digest format into a
> new post with a RE: subject line and responding to a
> thread.
> 2. Bulletin Board Style (BBS) discussion forums will
> never be unpopular
> and certainly are not second choice to listservices.
> In fact, the
> majority of discussions are held in newsgroups are
> BBS style boards. The
> advantage is that threads of discussions can be
> virtually unending and
> visitors can review and respond at their leisure.
> Another advantage is
> that the user can embed graphics, attach files, and
> add formatting to
> their messages to draw attention to the topic or
> subject. How would we
> have satisfied all the Listservice professionals who
> wanted to show
> damage that occurred during the WTC disaster in
> order to discuss the
> causes without the ability to embed graphics?
> Furthermore, the Software
> productivity forums on The Structuralist.Net where
> users can download
> templates for Mathcad, Spreadsheets, TEDDS and other
> important
> productivity tools are the most popular for
> visitors. On the downside -
> you simply can not obtain an answer to an important
> question that will
> serve productivity using a BBS alone unless the
> traffic is very heavy.
> AutoDesk, Microsoft all have the traffic on their
> Newsgroups to serve
> users needs by volunteer MVP users. The majority of
> discussions may have
> bursts of use, but for the most part, a user may
> wait days or weeks to
> obtain important answers that they need. As a
> reference tool, the
> Listservice can not compare with the ease of
> retrieving information from
> a BBS.
> 3. There is no one answer any more than those who
> argue that you can not
> do committee work using Internet tools - you need
> the face to face
> personal involvement. As a professional community,
> we can not be so
> closed minded as this. It is never a one or the
> other proposition - I
> never suggested that the Internet replace committees
> any more than
> Listservices replace BBS style discussions. We need
> to consider each
> method of communication as a tool and learn to use
> one for immediate
> response and for social real-time discussions and
> the other for long
> term consideration and referencing. There is a
> tremendous amount of
> committee "grunt-work" that can be done between
> meetings and for the
> most part, the majority of professional associations
> are not using these
> tools. BSSC still has not set up a general
> Listservice or discussion
> forum for their members to question issues in the
> code development. I
> tried to set one up but did it without the approval
> of BSSC and was
> reprimanded for it. They were correct - I should
> have offered it first
> and asked permission to set it up - even if it was
> private and not
> accessible to those outside the committee. Still,
> it's been nearly a
> year later and the only real communication comes
> from replies to drafts
> and information sent out by mail from the committee
> chairs.
> We are not using the tools available to us in the
> most productive way.
> Thank about how your dues are being used. Are your
> dues going up? Are
> you considered a market for the sale of publications
> that at one time
> were given freely to insure proper design
> understanding? Are their ways
> to reduce spending and to accomplish this
> "grunt-work" more productively
> by Listservice or private discussion forums? There
> most definitely are
> but there are many who are threatened by this and in
> the last several
> years, the infrastructure has been in place, but
> left unused.
> Solutions:
> The solution, I believe, is to offer both a BBS
> Style Discussion forum
> AND a Dedicated (Topic Exclusive) Listservices.
> Topic Exclusive lists
> reduce e-mail and improve response time for
> solutions to problems or the
> need of immediate replies. Discussion forums satisfy
> those who use
> forums for reference and long term discussions where
> issues change -
> also for the download of documents, templates and
> other files. Even with
> this, there is the need for refinement and The
> Structuralist.Net has
> chosen the following steps:
> 1. Topic Exclusive Listservices with individual user
> administration
> pages
> 2. Access to list topics and administration from one
> web page -
> including automating the start of new messages for
> the list.
> 3. Integration of BBS style discussion forums into
> The Structuralist.Net
> website.
> 4. Reduce navigation by providing an automated
> bookmark on each major
> page to allow the user easier return
> 5. Create a Portal: This is essentially a two
> browser window set up. One
> window contains an index or menu tree access to
> discussion forums - the
> second browser window launches the discussion page.
> When the user wants
> to seek another discussion page they only need to go
> back to the first
> browser screen and find the discussion board on the
> menu tree. The same
> second window updates with the new forum to avoid
> more than two browser
> windows on screen at any one time.
> 6. Advanced users still have total control over
> navigating from one
> screen. These users are comfortable with creating
> links to specific
> pages or forums they wish to jump to.
> 7. Email notification of Discussion forum replies to
> a users thread OR
> to anyone who wants to track a discussion.
> 8. Online polling that the users can use to poll
> those
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