Email discussion groups or "lists" are topic-based and ongoing, and at any one time they often contain different "threads" or debates. Members of the group contribute to the discussion via email to a central computer programme, which then redistributes their contribution to all other members of the group. Groups may or may not be "moderated" - i.e. contributions may or may not be vetted and/or edited by the person administrating the list before being distributed. Equally applications to join the list may be accepted automatically, or vetted and membership restricted to those meeting criteria set by the list administrator.
Whereas a seminar covers a set area and range of topics and is led by an expert, the nature of lists means that debate is wide-ranging and unmediated, so the experiences were not strictly comparable. In the future it would be interesting to see the development of online seminars utilising an academic model and list technology.
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