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Keeping Track of Conversations

Often, you do not wish to read every post in an online group, but you do want to keep track of the conversation. The simplest way to do this is to glance at the subject and sender information, and then delete the emails. You can usually tell what is being discussed in the group without reading every post, especially if members write good subject lines. You can always go to the web interface to read the conversations in detail. If you prefer not to use this method, you can filter the emails or use the topic digest or a web feed to keep track of the conversations.

Delete the Emails

You may receive a lot of email via your Online Group. The point of this is to increase communication but to do so effectively. You should be able to tell whether a post is relevant to you or not just by reading the subject line. If it isn't relevant, you have still gained information about what is going on in the group. If you do open and skim or read the email, you can then delete it, unless you want to respond to or act on it. You don't need to worry about finding it again later, because you can always go to the Topics area of the group to locate it.

Advantages

  1. You can keep track of what is going on in the group while only reading emails that are relevant to you.
  2. You do not have to manage a lot of stored email.

Disadvantages

  1. To read a message again later, you must visit the website.

How To

  1. Look at the subject line and sender of the email message, and decide whether or not it is relevant to you.
  2. If the message is relevant to you, open and read the email.
  3. Delete the email.
  4. To read the message again later, visit the Topics area of the group and navigate or search for the relevant topic or post.

Filter the Emails

Some people find it useful to keep all of the posts from an online group in a separate email folder. You can even set up a rule or filter to put them there automatically. If you prefer, you can delete the emails from your Inbox as you receive them and read them in the Topics area when you are ready.

Advantages

  1. Group posts are kept separate from the rest of your email.

How To

  1. In your email client, create a folder with the same name as the group.
  2. Create a rule or filter to put all messages from the group email address into that folder.

Use the Topic Digest

LURK can send you an email summarising the top ten topics in the group. For each topic, the title, number of posts, date of the last post, and location of the topic on the web are displayed. The digest is sent once per day so long as there is activity in the group, or once per week if there is no activity in the group.

Advantages

  1. You will not receive more than one email per day from each online group that you have set to digest.
  2. Based on the topic title and the number of posts, you can decide whether a topic is of interest before reading any of the posts in that topic.

Disadvantages

  1. If you are interested in a topic, you must visit the website before you can read any of the posts in that topic.
  2. You may not see some posts for up to 24 hours after they are posted.

Use a Web Feed

LURK provides a web feed for all posts in a group. You can subscribe to the web feed of posts, and then your feed reader will show you the most recent posts in the group.

Advantages

  1. You will be notified as soon as a post has been added to the group.
  2. You can read the full text of a post directly in your feed reader, without needing to visit the website.

Disadvantages

  1. You must have either an internet browser capable of functioning as a feed reader, or an account with a web-based feed reading service.