Can web forums and email live together in harmony?
August 12, 2012 4:13 AM   Subscribe

I'm part of a long-standing email list community (both digest and non-digest individual mail versions) where some folks would like to be able to move to some kind of web forum type format, but others would like to hang on to their plain old email mailing list format. Is there any software out there that would work well to allow for an email interface to a web forum? Or some other way to get the old school email folks and the people who want something more like phpbb to all talk amongst themselves without too much pain for either group?
posted by rmd1023 to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The latest iteration of Google Groups seems to do this reasonably well (though, as someone firmly in the email camp, I want to call it a web interface for an email list).
posted by hoyland at 4:21 AM on August 12, 2012

If your e-mail list runs off Mailman then it's certainly possible because I built exactly that (for the same reason you describe) about five years ago. The experience was painless for both e-mail subscribers and web subscribers. But it was entirely custom and not exactly painless to build. The basic idea is that Mailman already maintains a web archive of the entire discussion. It's possible to scrape that content, dump it into a database and rebuild a new web interface with PHP on the fly. Whenever users post a reply from the web, it sends an e-mail to the list, which then gets re-scraped. From the e-mail subscriber perspective absolutely nothing changes. They can migrate to the web interface if they like, but otherwise the e-mail traffic continues as before.
posted by jeffhoward at 5:29 AM on August 12, 2012

Response by poster: Not mailman, currently.

Anything wordpress-ish or some kid of email/web bidirectional gateway? (besides, say, the RT ticketing system)
posted by rmd1023 at 4:33 PM on August 13, 2012

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