Discussion List Digest - A Better Alternative

A better alternative to digests

Digests are so last-century.

When email discussion lists first appeared several decades ago, subscribers soon started to complain about all the messages from busy lists. Thus was born the idea of a digest, a single message sent each night containing all the posts of that day.

But today, using the option of a free Gmail account, subscribers can have the best of both options. Create a separate Gmail account to receive mailing list messages, or apply a filter to an existing Gmail address to segregate list mail. Either way you will get:

  • Your mailing list mail is segregated from your normal email.
  • Easy access from any web browser. You can log in and read any time, from any internet-connected computer.
  • The messages arrive immediately, as sent, rather than in a nightly summary.
  • Gmail will show you just subject lines, for quick scanning, or a short snippet of each message if you prefer.
  • You can create filters to forward selected messages to your normal email account.
  • Discussions are threaded - all replies will be grouped together.
  • The account also serves as a list archive, so you can quickly find old messages or research previous discussions.
  • Original content is preserved (images, attachments, etc.)
  • You can reply easily to any message.
  • If you're already using Gmail, simply create a filter to apply a label to all list mail, to segregate it from your normal email.
  • It's free.

The Gmail option is a great solution for every list member, not just those who are interested in digests.