Forum vs. List


The TWUUG Forum, as configured, has many advantages when compared to a mailing list, some disadvantages, and many similarities:


  • Discussions are automatically archived as a function of the forum.
  • Discussions can be searched by board or by forum, and with many advanced search criteria.
  • Discussions that are not of interest can be more easily ignored.
  • Messages can contain additional formatting.
  • The site can be accessed just about from anywhere.
  • Members can edit their messages, even after they are posted (and if edited after followup postings, an edit notation with times tamp appears).
  • Members can delete their messages which can be especially useful if the posting was in error.
  • Members do not need to share their Email addresses with others in the group when posting.
  • A private message feature allows users to pass personal messages without the use of Email or disclosing Email addresses.
  • Additional forums can be created easily and seen easily by all members without complex setup.
  • Polls can be created for any topic.
  • The board will indicate how many times messages have been viewed to help the poster and indicate popularity.
  • Notifications are not limited to just optional Email but also include web feed options.
  • Users can choose to have no notifications or feeds at all, optionally choosing a 100% "pull" model for interacting.
  • Discussions can be moderated to correct subjects, move threads from one forum to another, correct formatting mistakes, or remove spam/malicious postings.
  • Users can set graphical avatars and add other optional and custom information.
  • Users can set "friends & foes" and use it to promote or totally ignore postings from certain people.
  • Less repetition of previous questions and identical topics.
  • New users can easily see full existing threads and join into existing topics.
  • A user will see all postings on a forum, even if an Email is lost or missed.
  • Attachments are better supported, including inline graphics.
  • Posting, visitation, and membership statistics are available, and at all times.
  • The forums board tracks read and unread topics and forums in a central database, so it is seamlessly congruent even if the user accesses the board from multiple locations, even simultaneously.
  • Immediate posting feedback and without having to delete a return Email.
  • Optionally read in a batch mode, like a digest, yet MUCH easier and faster to reply and quote/reply.
  • Message content can be filtered before posting to prevent excessive large attachments, improper formatting, or excessive quoting.
  • Tons of permissions options are available for future growth or changes.


  • Full messages can be pushed to you without having to go to any web site.
  • Messages are private to the group.
  • Web crawlers cannot gain access to the discussions, so they will not appear on web search engines.
  • Fast notification of new messages.
  • Messages can be quoted for better attribution and discussion flow.
  • Both can support some type of archive (although in radically different formats).
  • Signatures are supported.
  • Multiple general categories are supported (different lists vs. different forums).
  • There is no need to log in/out of something constantly (forum uses persistent cookies).
  • Both have methods to address an optional digest type of reading.
  • Users have general control over look and feel, post order display, text size, etc.
  • One click reply to messages is supported in both (although on the Forums, it does jump to a browser for the reply).


  • Forums can be more difficult to maintain by the admins (in some ways, easier in others).
  • Forums may use more overall network and storage resources at the server.
  • There is a little additional effort required by the user to respond in discussions (having to visit the board/topic) (but this is mitigated with the "one click reply with quote" link in the notifications.
  • There are more initial things users have to learn about using a forum (because there are so many options/features).
  • If messages are read through Email or web feeds, the board itself doesn't show the message as read (so visiting the site still shows them as new, which they technically are).
  • Web based access to the forum (as opposed to Email or Feeds access) requires time for the server to respond to most user actions.

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