[LINK] Why I like email, mailing lists, don't use forums regularly and don't like Facebook, SMS, Twitter, IRC . . .

Paul Bolger pbolger at gmail.com
Sat Feb 19 21:47:56 AEDT 2011

I'm largely in accord with you Robin, with a couple of exceptions.

>  Email         Yes.
>  Phone calls   Yes.  I am normally home, so only a very few people
>                know my cellphone number.  Phone-call activity has
>                greatly decreased.  Its much better to get an enquiry
>                from a potential customer by email, than to have them
>                call by phone and interrupt what I am working on.
>  Website       Yes - I put stuff on my sites and search other
>                people's sites all the time.
>  SMS messages  No - I hate writing them and am very slow.  Predictive
>                text would be intolerable.  I know SMS is useful for
>                many people, but I avoid them like the plague.

I hate writing them too, but I must admit that it's a hell of a lot
easier with my new cheapo Android phone with Swype. And, a lot of
people I know are only really contactable via SMS. If you are always
home and need to use them check if your cellphone provider has a web
to SMS facility - just like sending an email.

>  Facebook      No - I manage friendships independently rather than
>                according to little bits in some company's database.

Yep, I'm really not sure why, but I hate Facebook. I'

>  Twitter       The horror!  Still, I know its useful for many people.

I didn't get it until we had an earthquake, quite a big one. Twitter
was the only channel which actually got it to begin with. The local
radio station, situated 500km north, were still wittering on about
making goat cheese while people on Twitter were comparing notes about
what was happening.

>  RSS           Never used it.  My life seems complete without it,
>                but I understand other folks find it useful.

 I use it (via Firefox live bookmarks) to keep tabs on a couple of
forums and BBC and ABC news. For those things it's great.

>  Mailing lists Yes!  I keep my own archives on the IMAP server of
>                those lists I might want to search.  Others, which
>                can be searched via their web-archives, I don't keep.
>                This means my archive can span more than any one
>                web archive, if the list changes its arrangements
>                from one year to the next.
>                I have a complete record of my contributions to
>                mailing lists in my Sent mail IMAP mailbox, so
>                years later, I can find what I wrote - even when
>                I can't remember what month or year I wrote
>                about something.
>  Usenet        Only occasionally, such as for well moderated
>                "newsgroups" (a most unfortunate term) such as:
>                http://groups.google.com/group/sci.physics.research
>                or for griping about some turn for the worse in
>                the development of Mozilla software.
>  Yahoo Groups  These are mailing lists which also operate as
>                web-based discussion forums, with web-based
>                archives.  As far as I know, no other system
>                provides this.  Google groups does, in principle,
>                but when I last looked the moderation arrangements
>                were crude.  Yahoo Groups enables one or more
>                moderators to individually check messages before
>                they go out, including editing them to add moderator
>                notes and to get rid of extraneous quoting, fix up
>                horrible layout etc.  For sufficiently motivated
>                moderators, this can lead to a discussion list with
>                an extraordinarily high signal-to-noise ratio, which
>                is highly readable.
>                I am on many Yahoo Groups and contribute to some.
>  IRC, Chat, Instant Messenger etc.  I really hate this.  If I was
>                going to communicate with someone in real time, I
>                would prefer to talk by phone.  I understand some
>                people like it, and that it can be useful for
>                group discussions, but it drives me nuts, since I
>                tend to think and write in paragraphs, not lines.

If I have a particular question about an app - usually an open source
CMS I use - I often find jumping onto the IRC channel gets me some
informal advice.

>  Web forums    I don't regularly read or contribute to any.  I post
>                to some.  But each time I do, I need to get an
>                account, or find my password.  Each one has its own
>                posting system, and I generally would prefer
>                fixed width font with 72 character lines, except for
>                URLs and other exceptions.  Typically forums have
>                Helvetica with wrapping to the browser's size of the
>                box, which is typically far too wide to be readable.

I use a few of these, usually devoted to a particular application I use.

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