Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Vaspers web usability discussion list

In my never-ending pursuit of new tech applications to offer you, I can now unveil an official Vaspers Web Usability Discussion List.

This discussion list is an email service that enables you to ask specific questions about your blog, web site, malware, CMS, RSS, podcasting, video blogging, or other web issues...and receive the input of web pros, successful bloggers, and usability specialists.

You can also help your fellow list members by providing answers, solutions, insights, or relevant anecdotes to those who pose questions, via this discussion list.

What happens is this: let's say you have a question about tweaking your blog template, so you can add links to your sidebar. You send an email message, with something like "RE: adding links to my sidebar" to the list. Your fellow list members, including myself, can then read your message, and respond to your question. The answer arrives in your email inbox.

It's simple, easy, and fast.

No using a search engine and hoping you typed in the best keywords, then rummaging through the search results for a hopefully reliable web page.

No fumbling around with an RSS/Atom reader.

No repeatedly visiting a blog to see if anyone replied to a question you posted as a comment.

No repeatedly visiting an online discussion forum, to see if anyone replied to your question posed as a topic thread.

A discussion list is a more direct and immediate way to get a problem solved or a question answered. Even if you don't have any pressing problems right now, you could learn a great deal by reading the messages others send in.

What's really great is this: you can tell what the question is about by the subject line. If you aren't interested in the question posed, or have no expertise or experience to share, you can simply delete the message.

I delete most messages from the discussion lists I subscribe to, but I've also learned a lot from the messages that I did read. Often I had a answer to share. Especially when the message was "RE: site check", meaning a person wanted a quick critique of a new site.

I've been using discussion lists for a couple of years and while they've been extremely helpful at times, I decided to try building my own list to see if I could improve the results. When you email a question to my list, I'll try to respond to every question, and hopefully others will also lend their advice to you.

This list will be helpful to the extent that I invite and obtain a good group of experts on web usability, blogging, social media, etc. I just got the list approved by the hosting company, so this is just a heads up that this new service has been born.

More details, and where to email your questions, will be forthcoming. Stay tuned.

photo above by:
Norbert, Kinderkram,
Dusseldorf, Germany

If you have any questions about the Vaspers Web Usability Discussion List, post a comment here.

If you wish to join now, just send an email, with "Subscribe" in the subject line, to:

vaspersthegrate-request [at] freelists [dot] org

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