> you think things are bad now, what do you think is going to happen in
> the next year?
I think it's going to get unmanageable everywhere. Netnews, which is
much better able to handle this architecturally is already swamped in
many topics. Some topics just don't split well. In other words, if
you split them, almost all members subscribe to all the splits.
The only solution I can think of is multiple communities discussing the
same subject. In other words, multiple independent mailing lists that
discuss the same topic. A person would pick one to join, and only
discuss with folks on that list. In a way, this is already happening
on things like Compuserv or AOL, where you only discuss with other
people who pay the same vendor to be a member. But those services
will eventually be so big they have the same problem.
How would one decide which list to join? Geographical separation
occurred to me first, but it doesn't make that much sense on the
Internet. This wouldn't be a perfect solution (or even close) since
many people with obscure questions would post to all the lists on the
topic, and there would be a great need for cross-fertilization, such as
maintaining FAQ lists.
To use an example from the "real" world: You can't have a
"discussion" in a room with 500 participants. The only solution I see
is to break the group up into smaller groups. I don't think there are
any examples of where this has been tried, though.