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mailing list vs. UseNet
There are some differences in the quality of content between the UseNet method
of getting your dino-fix, and the mailing list method. For those who
regularly monitor UseNet, you will know what I'm talking about. Listservers
are usually more content-rich, more well-mannered, have a more serious audience,
and the posts are usually better crafted than on those on UseNet (there are
some exceptions to this, of course, but I'm saying "in general").
These differences are easy to explain. It takes a conscious act to subscribe
to a listserver. Annonymity is not tolerated on a listserver. Mail volume
can be a real pain in the *** for some. People who are "serious" about a
subject are more prone to subscribe to listservers.
The paradox is this: It is a HASSLE to be on a listserver, particularly a
high-volume one. Ironically, that is what makes a listserver a better medium
for some people. Dinosaur@lepomis is acommunity" of a sort. Most
UseNet groups are more of an interesting mix of chaos and content. Both mediums
have their place. It's just that you have to sift a lot more chaff to get to
the wheat when you are on UseNet.