Mary Canady
This may be a can of worms, but...I was just thinking about all the old email lists I used to subscribe to as a scientist (CCP4 was/is 'it' for X-ray crystallographers). My question is...why were/are scientists so open to these mailing lists, but seem reticent to adopt the 'mailing list 2.0' options available today such as friendfeed and twitter?
In France, the bioinfo mailing list is still the main forum for bioinformatics - Pierre Lindenbaum
Targeted audiences. I just re-found the SEQanswers (.com) forums, and am very happy. When I head over to ProtocolsOnline in times of need, I'm glad of that, too. I think FF and twitter don't seem targeted enough to most, and only useful for diddling around or chatting - more rooms like The Life Scientists on more subjects, and it might catch on further. I haven't really found a personal use for Twitter yet incidentally, but am finding it amusing. - Heather
Mailing lists are archived, noise-free, controllable, searchable, and you can express yourself in more than 140 characters at a time. - Iddo Friedberg
However...don't you think the 'noise' sometimes leads to a serendipitous connection that you wouldn't have made otherwise, in a targeted group? I think the possibilities for strengthening interdisciplinary relationships and making new findings makes the 'noisy' tools worth a look. Keeping all the mailing lists separate seems very counterproductive as well for searching, etc. - Mary Canady
Mary - just about to trial a conversion from an old email list (that was not very active) to a FF room - going to announce it to the old list in the next few days. Part of the reasoning behind the conversion was that conversations on the old list were not possible without burdening everyone with lots of email. Or people would reply to the owner of the list, and that person would have to distil the comments. Annoying. - Matthew Todd