Mailing Lists for New Media Research

On: November 7, 2006
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About Jeff van Schie
Founder and managing director of Fix Nieuwe Media BV. Became an official Master of New Media in Octobre 2007.

Website
http://www.fixnieuwemedia.nl    

pigeon.jpgIn a time when everything is about blogging, vlogging and glogging it is necessary to highlight an old school tool used by researchers years before anyone had ever heard of blogs, the mailing list. There are thousands of mailing lists handling almost every subject imaginable and many of them could be of interest to the field of new media research.

I am currently subscribed to a couple of new media related mailing lists and find them of great value. The thing I don’t understand is why these mailing lists haven’t transformed themselves into a more modern and versatile form, like a blog.
I can imagine it’s a challenge to change to a blog if this means having to move thousands of subscribers. A mailing list also provides a certain level of privacy, but this is surely not a big issue for most lists. Or is it? I would like to know why blogging hasn’t yet killed the mailing list. Please enlighten me… :-)

Meanwhile, I would like to point your attention to two lists I am currently subscribed to and find very interesting (please feel free to include links to lists you like in your comment!):
AIR-L: AIR-l info page

“The Association of Internet Researchers is an academic association dedicated to the advancement of the cross-disciplinary field of Internet studies. It is a resource and support network promoting critical and scholarly Internet research independent from traditional disciplines and existing cross academic borders. The association is international in scope.”

INCOM-L: Incommunicado:About

“At the moment there are 300+ subscribers to the list, and at any given moment in time 50-70 users are either reading the incommunicado rss-news or searching the collaborative weblog, whose topic areas include network(ed) ecologies, ICT for Development, internet governance, analyses of the NGO sector, and emerging South-South relations. So far, incommunicado has been an exclusively online resource and list community, consisting of researchers, ICT practitioners, activists and social entrepreneurs.”


2 Responses to “Mailing Lists for New Media Research”
  • November 7, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    I just subscribed to AIR-L last night. I think one reason why they prefer the mailinglist format over the blogging format is the format of commenting. Blogging allows only a rigid form of commenting, while e-mail gives more freedom in the style of commenting.

  • November 15, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    Agree with the view on blogs. Although I haven’t really come across any mailinglists with heated debate or something (except that one on AIR-L if I’m correct that Heleen sent us recently).

    In my experience messageboards still provide one of the better enviroments for discussion. Peppie probably agrees :)

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