In preparing to make recommendations for an upcoming event at the University of California in Irvine, I took a look at the relative desirability of using a blog rather than using an email listserver to facilitate interaction in a large group of people.
This event will involve up to 5,000 college and high school students in a 2-hour event, and we want to provide pre-event and post-event communications for this group. The communications won’t be related to event details, but we want to provide systems that will enable interaction among group members.
My own take on it, based on the amount of email I receive in a day, and on the amount of spam I receive, is that it would be foolish to start an email group with 5,000 participants. It would take a large server and lots of bandwidth to handle this volume of email. And because we’d like to moderate the group, we’d have to screen all postings before they go out. A difficult task, to say the least.
So instead, I have proposed we set up a blog, with say a dozen students as moderators or thought-leaders who would post interesting questions or comments on the blog. Then participants in the event could comment on the blog postings. They immediately see their postings available to the group. And the moderators can fix up, or can approve the postings in order to avoid foul-ups.
It looks like other folks have discovered the same, or come to the same conclusions: