Mailman powered lists.wikimedia.org displays 422 mailing lists, and there are some more unpublished. The activity of Wikimedia lists differ from very active to basically dead> Some lists are archived, some are private…
Discourse offers the technical possibility of mirroring mailing lists handled by Mailman. Discourse can also emulate mailing lists, allowing users to follow a category, post, reply… entirely via email.
Now, imagine a World where all public mailing archives would be searchable in Wikimedia space, and where anyone could follow and participate in each list-category via email or web, according to their preferences. Imagine how off-topic threads could be moved to an on-topic list-category. How posts could be tagged, bookmarked, liked… through the web interface. The possibility of creating Closed groups would allow private lists to have their Wikimedia Space integration too.
You can check a couple of proofs of concept:
Now we could start discussing how this mirroring and/or migrating could look like. And we could start with some trials if you wish. Mirroring is easy and doesn’t affect the mailing lists being mirrored or their users. Migrating implies a bit more of social change, but anyway in the past months we are seeing how some groups have decided to go through this transition, leaving Mailman to end up in places out of Wikimedia like Google Groups.
Related task in Phabricator: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T226727
Interested? Let’s talk!