I am a fan of forums over mail lists but I recognise that others will prefer mailing lists. It should be possible to somehow provide both options as you can subscribe to a forum (like this OSMF one) or to individual topics and receive mail digests pretty much like the current mailing lists but without the endless repetition of earlier posts
german community is showing, that there is the possibility of the communication coexistence of forum and mailing list.
This is a matter of “critical mass”.
It is good, that the OSMF Topic can have a broader audience in the forum. To make it happen, we have to do a little bit marketing for that.
As i expect the number of topics not generating a “critical mass” like in the german forum, it is important to use the subscribe button at the and of the forum , to be informed about any new information.
If you are interested in a thread, you can subscribe to the thread only.
The German Pirate Party has created a forum that enables to participate on a mailing list. Private details like IP address are replaced with a forum identity.
A forum helps
1.) to manage the personal data a user wants to publish (e.g. IP address with location and provider, which can be combined with browsing history and third-party cookies)
2.) to manage the identity which is permanently stored by Google and other search engines.
3.) to edit the message you want to be displayed permanently. Sometimes it makes sense to reduce the number of four-letter words.