drewblanchard at gmavt.net
Sun Jul 26 08:44:41 PDT 2009
There are lots of alternatives that combine elements of both a forum and
a list serve. For example, it's easy to set up an account at ning.com
<http://www.ning.com/> and make it open to the public so anyone can
join. Members can decide if they want to receive regular updates/emails
when people post new replies or create new threads (so it's saved in
your inbox) and also allows for wiki type communication and image
uploading (although this is limited with the free account). The person
who creates the Ning site has the power to delegate administrative
authority to others in limited or comprehensive fashion; someone could
be responsible for maintaining content in a certain thread, or for
supervising the wiki, etc. The site's creator can also upgrade service
(for a fee) an allocate a fairly large amount of server memory and storage.
Alternately, someone with PHP and CSS knowledge, as well as some server
space, can create a Moodle platform <http://moodle.org/>. Unlike Nine
(which is purely Web based) Moodle actually resides on a server which
others can link to, but does require true administrative oversite. But
there are no limitations on bandwidth, storage, etc. because your own
server is being used. Moodle is free and Open Source, and was
originally created as a course/content management system for colleges
and universities, but can be configured to do just about anything.
As technology teacher for my school district, I use both these platforms
for lots of different purposes because they're easily configurable and
administrators have the ability to limit membership to "invitation only"
or allowing members to sign up for selected forums, activities, etc..
Plus, users can determine the amount of interaction they want with the
site. Moodle, for example, allows users to decide if they want to
receive an email every time anything is changed, any time a specific
forum topic is changed, or simply leave it all on the Web. Nings send
you a link to the change, but don't actually provide the content of the
change. Moodle sends both a link and the content of the change.
If someone wants to tackle either of these options I'm available to
provide tech support, but my job responsibilities keep me busy almost
24/7; I really can't take on full administration of another project.
There's plenty of other stuff out there which combine these and other
features, and Google is adding stuff in GoogleLabs
<http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/> all the time.
Drew in VT
> <<The reason I suggested a forum, is because most people do pass this
> site up because its a mailing list. Data is lost, hard to search, and
> the group will continue to dwindle because of it. Not to mention parts
> swapping will be easier, data will be retained in a searchable format,
> and in one place. Oh, and posting pictures won't suck :p haha>>
> My personal .02 is that forums are a hassle. Instead of finding email
> in your inbox you have to pull up a site then wade through a ton of
> crap to get what you want to read. I hate forums and don't use them
> for that reason I'd much rather have emails everything is there for
> you. where you want it.I have my inbox divided into subfolders, one
> for each list I'm on and everything goes where it's supposed to and is
> easily found.
> Ralph L. Angelo Jr.
> Author of "Help! they're all out to get me!
> The motorcyclists guide to surviving the everyday world."
> ISBN# 1-4137-6187-9
> Check out
> LIMELongriders NEW site;
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