Forums Page?

Joe Pfeiffer jjpfeifferjr at
Tue Feb 20 19:31:44 CET 2007

michael at writes:
>It's interesting to note that most youngsters seem to prefer forums, and most
>of us old-timers (IIRC you're my age, Joe) prefer mailing lists. I wonder why
>that is?

I don't know how old you are, but I'm afraid I count as an oldster
these days...  there are some definite generational things I've
noticed.  Preference for forums (and the ongoing decline and slow
death of usenet is related -- when my university stopped supporting it
a few weeks ago because their upstream feed stopped, they told me I
was the only regular usenet reader left on campus) is one of them;
another is text messaging on phones.  It just never occurs to me to
send an SMS; I almost always email, and phone if that's impractical.

My children (I've got one who just finished his undergrad degree in
CS, and a second who is a pre-med) don't send much email, but are
constantly texting.

The generation before us doesn't seem to have ever gotten used to
email; most people I know up in that age range will pick up a phone
and call for most things I'd use email for.

I find the communications patterns of a few generations before *that*
to be almost inconceivable.  If books are to believed, it was quite
normal to just appear on somebody's doorstep, send a card in, and be
told whether the person you wanted to see was "at home" or not, with
no apparent stigma when "not at home" might just mean "not receiving
company at the moment".

(of course, everything I've said is a generalization.  There are
certainly 70-year-olds who use a lot of email, and I see people close
to my age texting.  But in general...)

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