Google Groups is the new LISTSERV

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OIT recently accounced that while it would continue to support existing LISTSERV lists, new email lists are now created and managed in Google Groups. As a Google evangelist, I think this is a great move. However, it does require some thoughtfulness and planning from the end of the list creator because Google Groups are customizable. For example, there are four different kinds of lists, depending on your purpose and needs.

  • Email List: An email list allows users to post from the web or through email. This is a mailing list group.

  • Web Forum: A web forum is designed primarily to allow users to interact with the group through the web user interface. Initially, these forums have web-only features (e.g., tagging of posts) enabled. Users post topics through the web interface, but can recieve updates via email, as well.

  • Q&A Forum: A Question and Answer forum allows members to post questions and followup answers. Members can identify which answers are the best, and also mark questions they are interested in. As with web forums, users must post through the web interface, but are able to recieve updates via email.

  • Collaborative Inbox: A collaborative inbox allows members of a group to manage the workflow state of topics within the group. These groups have specific features and permissions set. If you choose to not use these features, they will need to be disabled individually.

Because of the myriad options afforded by this tool, I will be hosting a discussion about the potential of Google Groups to enhance our communications and teaching strategies. Please join me in Cooke 226 at noon on Tuesday, November 13. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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