Back in the mid-1990s, I joined this great training listserv called TRDEV. At the time, it was owned by David Passmore at Penn State and it was an excellent source of information, discussion and argument. Eventually David gave up the list and it moved over to Yahoo, where it's been managed by several individuals who have taken on the thankless (and unpaid) task of moderating a group of often cantankerous participants.I've continued to monitor emails from the list, but haven't posted in a few years now.
This afternoon the moderators sent out a notice that they are closing the list, citing a variety of reasons. Not surprisingly, one of those reasons is the rise of social networking, Twitter and blogging as sources of information and conversation.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post wondering which is better for community participation, blogs or listservs. In it I explored some of my own experiences participating in both blogging and lists and, certainly based on my own activity, it's clear to see that blogging (and now social networking) won. Looks like that's true for many other people too.
I have to say that I feel a little nostalgic about TRDEV's passing. It was my first extended experience with using the Internet for professional development. I "met" a lot of interesting, smart people who were willing to engage in extended conversation on a diverse set of ideas.
Over the years it evolved away from that. It seemed to be dominated by a few outspoken individuals and not a lot of useful discussion. The topics I saw on TRDEV were not the same things we've been discussing in the blogosphere and for me at least, TRDEV began to feel like the country club your parents belonged to and where they were still talking about the good old days. But they didn't serve food or have a nice pool I could swim in.
While I'll miss TRDEV, I have to agree with the moderators that it's probably time for the list to move on. I guess this is another example of one of those dead ideas?