I can hardly believe that I agree with several people simultaneously.
(Obviously the Zac 'n Jack is working well today. ;-) )
Anyway: I've often thought about "Google Lists" because it would be
very useful to be able to go to one place and search many, many
mailing lists. And frankly, I kinda like the Google Groups interface
(though I do not like the fact that they call it that; they're Usenet
newsgroups, not Google Groups). They certainly provide a much better
service than DejaNews did -- and they're not spammers, unlike Deja.
However, there's a difference between articles posted to Usenet and
messages sent to mailing lists. [insert long argument over exactly
what those differences are]
But the utility of having a single search interface and a
competently-maintained archive of mailing lists, with the decision
on inclusion delegated to the owners of mailing lists, would be large.
Perhaps archives.org would be more appropriate? (I *like* Google and
for the most part feel that they behave responsibly toward the Internet
community. However, having watched other companies that started out
that way and then became greedy pigs as they grew, I'm reserving judgement
for a few more years. NOT that I'm in love with archive.org, but I'm
guessing that it might possibly be more appropriate.)
There are a number of sites that do a subset of this: here's one (picked
However, lack of a single site with a unified search interface and
appropriate measures to (a) ensure that mailing list owners have
granted permission and (b) ensure that email addresses are obfuscated
to prevent mass-harvesting by spambots need to be addressed.
I would argue that (a) needs to include permission on BOTH sides: if I
were running a mailing list archive site, I would not necessarily agree
to archive every mailing list that asked. And as an operator of mailing
lists, I wouldn't necessarily agree to having them all archived.
As to (b) as a member of many mailing lists, I would prefer that the
addresses that I've used to subscribe to those remain within the bounds
of the mailing lists and not be exposed to 'net-wide searching. (Though
I'm well aware that there are other mechanisms available to determined
In the interim, all of my mailing lists include:
for the same reason that some of my web sites include robots.txt and
my sendmail answers (in part) "NO UBE". The only people that have
uniformly ignored all of these to date -- are, predictably, the most
vile, filthy scumbags on the Internet: spammers.