• Web forums can be indexed by Google and hence show up in search results
  • Web forum sysops can easily decorate a forum as they please, creating a little more personality than an average mailing list
  • Forums often have fine controls in how posts as seen to the outside world
  • Forums are easier to moderate - UI in place for banning IPs etc.
  • Forums generally have a better community feel
  • Generally have DB backend, making it easier to do queries to see how many posts a certain user has made etc.
  • Instant gratification - you can confirm your post is live

Mailing list problems:

  • Hard to subscribe
  • Sometimes difficult to confirm your post actually was posted
  • Cliquey atmosphere
  • Often no public archives or poor Web archives

If you're a fan like myself of email, please consider taking up a project to write a decent mailing list Web archive system.