Later when the university changed to a new system that divided everything up, and in some cases strictly threaded everything, participation was much reduced. With my students I had to set requirements for participation for the first time. And the campus-wide discussion forums completely died out. That was a terrible loss for the campus community. I tried to get something like the old system restored, as did a number of the others of us who valued the sense of community they created, but to no avail.
Here, of course, with a "mission," anyone who has something important to contribute, will. The amount of responses to things in general will not be the same. I am, as you have all have observed by now, am a "chatty" person. Others, not so much.
That was the primary reason that I favored hanging onto the old list as long as possible. Shortly after we created the Western Native Tree Society one of the members suggested going to a BBS format like this one. At the time I explained I favored the single list because to did create a sense of community and served to encourage participation by a wider membership. However as the number of post continued to grow, and grow dramatically, it became too difficult to even read all of the messages, let alone try to organize them into some sort of an archive. As a group founded to promote the accurate measurements of trees and scientific documentation of our trees and forests, those posts were being overwhelmed by the discussions on more general topics. I know many of the long time members were pulling back or dropping out of the organization because of the sheer number of posts. I know there was a loss of community with this change. I know many less active members will not make the transition. I know there will not be as many posts. It was felt by me and others that the benefits of having organized categories outweighed these losses.
For those of you on dial-up. Yes you will need to do more navigation to find messages. On the other hand there will not be any more 4 or 5 MB downloads facing you when you check your mail. You will especially not need to download 4 and 5 MB attachments you are not interested in reading.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky