October 30, 2007
Mailing Lists and Groups
What can you get out of mailing lists and groups?When I started this class (and writing this entry) I had absolutely no idea but here is what I have learned so far.
Mailing lists and groups are features offered by search engines such as Yahoo and Google. Below I will describe (in detail) both for you and how they can be utilized.
Groups are free features that can be useful when pursuing a topic that is commonly discussed and liked (finance, gardening, or football, the possibilities are endless). The groups feature discussion threads about the topic of interest. Google Groups and Yahoo Groups are the two main players. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
First I will start with Google Groups. This feature extends back to 1981 (through their acquisition of Usenet). The interface is a little bit easier to use than Yahoo, but overall they are pretty similar. One advantage is the list of popular groups along the side of the main page. It lists groups that currently have the most recent members. Starting groups is another advantage that Google has over Yahoo. It is very easy to start your own group for any topic you desire. Because of Google's acquisition of Usenet, they offer two very distinct types of groups. There are the Usenet groups which are decentralized and unmoderated and then there are the Google groups hosted by Google which are more similar to Yahoo Groups.
Next, I will talk about Yahoo Groups. Yahoo groups was launched in 1998. Yahoo likes to think of their groups as electronic mailing lists with the additional feature of archiving past conversations for the group members. Yahoo also provides additional function on the group site, such as a calender and file uploading capabilities.
Email ListsOriginally, I thought that groups and email lists were different, but after doing more thorough research, I realized that they are one in the same. When you join a group, you are added to its email list. Discussions are able to be carried out over email, with the individual emails being archived on the group site on one of the search engines. I really like this additional feature because it allows you to carry on the conversation without having to constantly check the group site, but allows people not in the conversation to check the site whenever they want an update on the topic. It is the best of both worlds.
ConclusionGroups and the mailing lists that go along with them are very useful to topics that have a lot of followers and are interesting to discuss. They allow followers to interact with one another and pick up helpful hints and strategies to whatever their passion may be.
Posted by adamcole at October 30, 2007 10:34 PM