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Topic: This List...is it possible to have an on-line forum? (22 msgs / 552 lines)
1) From: Rick W
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Reading all the messages about "bounces", I was wondering how hard would
it be to have a Sweet Maria's forum like the ones over at Coffee Geek
and other forums on the net?  To be honest, receiving these messages via
my email has never been my preference.  I think the sheer volume of them
is what encourages some folks to unsubscribe and it's tempting
sometimes.  As this group grows, it becomes more of an issue.  
So, why not manage this list online and take advantages of modern-day
online forum design?  You see these threaded forums all over the place
these days.  I recently noted that Ron Kyle has one for his Drum
Roasting customers.  So why not this List? 
Understanding that Tom and Maria's specialty is coffee (not forum design
and management), maybe someone on this List has those skills and would
be willing to help?  Just a thought.
Rick Waits

2) From: john roberts
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I'd speculate that most of the conversational responses would be better
served by a chat room.
email or threaded lists are useful for posts containing content worth
archiving. perhaps a mix of both might be nice?

3) From: Greg Spinelli
With due respect to the list and its members, I have to agree. I think 
it would be far nicer to have a "forum" based group rather than an 
e-mail based list. The archive available on the SweetMarias site comes 
pretty close already except you cannot "post" from there. The primary 
benefit of a forum would be for newbies (and others) to have the ability 
to search the complete (or reasonably so) history before posting the 
same questions again. Also, the topics tend to stay more properly 
threaded in a forum because it is a more controlled environment and is 
usually moderated.
But I am thankful for what we have, so don't take this as a complaint.
Rick W wrote:

4) From: Eric B. Stauffer
I'm curious, you insinuate that moving toward a forum type format would 
be impersonal. Why do you think that?
gin wrote:

5) From: Barbara Greenspon
  I agree.  This is one of the most informal AND informative sites I 
have used.  We shouldn't mess with a good thing.  Perhaps if it is 
important to some to do it differently, it can be done in addition to 
what we have.
On Feb 4, 2004, at 8:23 PM, gin wrote:
Barbara C. Greenspon

6) From: Ed Needham
I enjoy reading the messages in an email format and being able to drag and
drop into a 'save' file if I decide I want to keep something.  Much more
difficult on a web based forum.  Threads and trees seem to be more cumbersome
too on web forums.  At least that's my experience.  Passwords, log in's,
server delays, etc. also go along with web forums.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
"Nunc Aut Nunquam"
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com

7) From: Greg Halbrook
At 10:05 PM 2/4/2004 -0500, you wrote:
      I, too, enjoy this list as is.  The problem with going to a web based 
forum, for me at least, is it becomes much too easy to 'grow apart' from 
the forum.  Some days you visit the forum, some days you don't.  Then one 
day you realize that it's been months since you last visited.  I don't 
always read every thread here and there are some days when I don't read any 
list mail at all -  especially if I've been out of town and get way 
behind.   However, I would sure hate to some day realize that it's been 
months since I read this list.
Plymouth, Mi.

8) From: Michael Vanecek
I find the process of reading online laborious and very inconvenient. 
Not all of us are on broadband. I archive my email, filter it into their =
own folders and browse it at my convenience without having to wait for 
the next page to load. I can edit replies while researching other emails =
and the web with no hoop-jumping at all. Even my Yahoogroups emails come =
to my POP3 mailbox rather than reading online. One of the groups I 
belong to/co-own has 3300 members and is *very* active (wishing I had 
broadband), but even then - keeping track of the messages is so much 
easier for me in my email client than on a webpage. So - you'll probably =
find different camps of opinion here. Ultimately, it's Tom's decision 
and he's got the enviable role of not being able to please everyone all 
the time but hopefully pleasing most everyone some of the time. :)
Rick W wrote:

9) From: Rick W
Funny, I find the process of receiving "every" conversation into my
email whether wanted or not as "inconvenient".  I guess it depends upon
how you want to receive information from Lists.  If all the information
from other active online forums was pushed into my email each day it
would be unmanageable.  This List can get really active with messages
and produce a large quantity of daily emails.  Judging from the comments
from people that claim there's just too many emails coming in and they
want off the List, I know that I'm not the only person who doesn't care
for the method.  Obviously, I'm still here and that's largely because
(like everyone else) I find some value.  
My ultimate desire would be that this List could retain it's uniqueness
and the fellowship without having to use email as the sole tool.
There's also other stuff that could be useful that our current design
can't handle.  As they say "a picture is worth a thousand words" and I'd
like to see the ability to use pictures in this group (ala Coffee Geek).
But, I appear to be "swimming upstream" on this thread and can tell when
it's time to stop paddling.  So, I'll leave this idea alone for now and
hope that one day there's a better way for "all" of us.
Rick Waits

10) From: john
My only input on this is that, should it be moved to a Web-based forum,
PLEASE do not use the "flat view" that is so popular these days.  It's
absolutely impossible to follow a conversation with those.  I much prefer
the threaded view, similar to what you might find on Usenet.
Dr. Zeus Web Development  |  Bebo cafe, logo existo!http://www.DrZeus.net    |  http://www.DrZeus.net/coffee

11) From: Phil Jordan
You may well be "paddling upstream" as you say, but I for one tend to agree
with you. I find myself just going through the incoming mails and
"cherry-picking", and recently I have to say the crop has been much smaller
than before although the volume of mails seems to have increased
One of the other groups I'm involved in went to a forum approach very
quickly after the volume of emails became significant. Forum software is
readily obtainable and free (phpBB2, vBulletin) and if one were to host it
in a Content Management System framework (Postnuke, MD-Pro, etc, etc) (again
free) then all sorts of other goodies become available like chat rooms if
people really want to chat about anything at all, on or off topic.
I've resisted unsubscribing from the group as it is, as you say, a unique
environment and the people are for the large part wonderful, but I do not
like the overhead involved in managing my access to this resource. Still, if
group votes for the way things are now then that's how it'll have to stay.
Just my two UK pennies' worth.
Kind regards
Phil Jordanhttp://toomuchcoffee.comThe European Coffee Resource

12) From: Bart Frazee
On Wed, 4 Feb 2004 17:19:44 -0500, you wrote:
I and a good many others do prefer this format. When Coffeegeek
started their forums I read them every day. I found that I read it
less and less frequently as time went on. 
So, why not read the forums/lists you prefer and leave the lists that
are not your preference to others who do prefer them? I would not ask
coffeegeek to switch to e-mail format just because I prefer it. I like
having a choice.

13) From: Rick W
Hmmm...so you're suggesting that I read/participate somewhere else just
because I raised a valid thought that others in and off the List have
considered?  Thanks, but no thanks. 
Rick W.

14) From: Ken Thomas
My Input -  affects me only.
Although there are several thousand members of our ISP only two follow
newsgroups. Recently something happened with the ISP's server and now we are
unable to use newsgroups. As there are only two out of several thousand
members repairs to the server are way down on the list.
I like it as it is

15) From: John Blumel
On Feb 6, 2004, at 1:23am, Ken Thomas wrote:
The idea would be to mirror the mailing list to a private newsgroup 
that would be hosted on a news server one could access directly just 
like accessing a Web site -- problems with one's ISPs news server would 
not affect one's ability to access it since it would not be published 
to USENET. One could post to either the mailing list or the newsgroup 
and all the posts would show up in both places. You could follow the 
list through either or both of these alternatives.
For those who prefer the email format, you could just ignore the 
newsgroup interface.
John Blumel

16) From: Bill Waldron
How about looking athttp://gmane.org/which would eliminate the need for Tom to set up an NNTP server? I currently
use this service to follow a number of mailing lists via NNTP.
Bill Waldron
Brandon, Florida

17) From: John Blumel
On Feb 6, 2004, at 9:48am, gin wrote:
I'm going to look into it with Tom to determine if it will fit into 
SM's setup.

18) From: John Blumel
On Feb 6, 2004, at 10:00am, Bill Waldron wrote:
Seems like an interesting alternative that would be worth looking into.
John Blumel

19) From: Bart Frazee
On Thu, 5 Feb 2004 17:44:53 -0500, you wrote:
Actually Rick, when I read your post the first thing I did was remind
myself that many times what we hear/read may not be the same thing the
other person said/wrote. What I read was that you prefer a different
format so I and others who like it as is should be denied this option.
You pointed out that the option you prefer is readily available, but
you would still deny us this option. 
I'm suggesting that options are a good thing. For ALL of us. Not just
me..... or you.
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

20) From: Rick W
You are right about one thing...what you read is "not" what I wrote.  I
never asked anyone to deny the ability to continue, for those who "like
it as is".  All I said was that I (and others) don't like it and was
asking if there could be a better way.  The simple act of asking about
change should not have threatened anyone.  If it did, then that's for
you to deal with, not for me to leave the List over.  If we told people
they should go somewhere else every time we disagreed, this List would
have very few people to participate.
Rick W.

21) From: Bart Frazee
On Sat, 7 Feb 2004 07:45:05 -0500, you wrote:
Yes, and what you read is not what "I" wrote.
You proposed changing this list to a format that is used by  other
lists that are "all over the place". Since there are no other lists
like this (that I am aware of), changing the format here would deny me
this option.
Actually Rick, my concern is about options. The format you proposed is
"all over the place". I choose the option I prefer and was suggesting
you do the same. When someone wants to remove some of my options I do
feel threatened. I am dealing with it by responding here. 
Very true. Just as changing  everything to what you (or I) prefer
would reduce participation. Let's keep our options open!
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

22) From: Bart Frazee
Some of the other posters say it is possable to do both, which I think
renders this discussion moot.
On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 08:42:59 -0800, you wrote:
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

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