This blog can't be viewed on LiveJournal. Instead see

Too Many Mailing Lists

30th Nov 2008

The number of mailing lists that are being used for discussing "the open web" is ridiculous. Most of them are so low-traffic that they are rarely looked at and of no use to anyone. I'm sure everyone's missing at least a few of these that they should be watching. Let me try to enumerate... (though I'm sure I'm missing some as well, so please feel free to enlighten me.)

  • OpenID General - the only mailing list at that really gets any traffic
  • OpenID Specs - occasionally has a splutter of activity whenever someone proposes something, but then discussion seems to quickly redirect to some obscure, private mailing list and it all goes quiet again
  • OpenID User Experience - does what it says on the tin
  • OpenID PAPE - mailing list for the OpenID PAPE Working Group
  • Open Web Foundation Discussion - mostly about the business of getting this foundation up and running, it seems
  • idib - not really sure what this is. Identity In Browser, I guess? Someone should really fill out the information about this group a bit better
  • Social Network Portability - started to discuss what the name suggests. Now mostly dead and just attracts the occasional spam message.
  • OAuth - the main discussion group about OAuth
  • DataPortability-public - The public mailing list for the DataPortability folks
  • Social Graph API - Group specifically about Google's Social Graph API.
  • OpenID Test Framework - Started as a project to make a test suite and test harnesses for OpenID. Pretty-much stalled.
  • DiSo Project - Stands for "Distributed Social" and is about implementing social networking features without a centralized social networking site. (I guess?)
  • axschema - Discussion about the core schema for OpenID Attribute Exchange
  • EAUT - Discussion about a particular approach for mapping email addresses to HTTP URLs
  • PortableContacts - Discussion about a specification for shifting lists of contact information between sites
  • Activity Streams - Discussion about how to generalize activity streaming so that consumers don't need to hard-code support for particular services
  • Step2 - Apparently this started as a place to discuss the OpenID/OAuth hybrid protocol, but somewhere along the line also started being about using email addresses with OpenID
  • OpenSocial - a bunch of different mailing lists about various aspects of OpenSocial
  • Microformats - discussion about Microformats
  • XRDS-Simple - (aka "Yadis 2.0")
  • OASIS XRI TC - Where XRI and XRD(S) live. (Joining this one will cost you $300 in OASIS membership.)
  • OAuth Extensions - "A forum to discuss and develop extensions to the OAuth protocol to be published seperately or added to future versions of OAuth."
  • OpenDD - Reinventing RDF, it seems. I'm sure there's more to it than that, but that's all I've been able to understand from their Google Group.
  • User-centric Identity Interop - "Forum for user-centric interop planning, reporting, etc. for OSIS and other user-centric identity interop efforts that are allied with Identity Commons"
  • SIOC - "Semantically Interlinked Online Communities": an approach to interconnect online communities using the technologies developed by the Semantic Web community
  • IDtbd - I have no idea what this one's about
  • Metatada Discovery Coordination - (presumably this is meant to be "metadata") Aims to help coordinate the separate ongoing efforts regarding URI metadata discovery by providing a place to share requirements, use cases, and solutions.

The most frustrating thing about this plethora of mailing lists is that many of them are deliberately obscured, whether by making their archives available to members only, or by configuring them not to show up in searches, or by posting little or no information about what the group is for, or in some cases just not telling announcing that they exist in any useful location.


TPCThread 6a010535617444970b01053614336e970c