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*Good* groupware?
As most of you have probably seen, I'm going to be running a heraldic-education project over the next year. (If you haven't been on any of those lists and are interested, ping me and I'll give you the details.) For this purpose, I need some sort of fairly conventional, non-technically-oriented groupware -- something that has mailing lists and discussions, allows file upload, and that sort of thing. Yahoo Groups is the usual lowest common denominator for this, but I've never really loved it, so I'm curious what else is out there.

So: do you know of good online groupware (cheap or free) that you would recommend? I'm not interested in the 95 terrible systems that undoubtedly exist -- I'm looking for recommendations of systems that in your experience don't suck, or at least are better than Yahoo...

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Google Groups and Documents Drive have been put into a lot of use for players organizing the 7V boffer LARP. It has easy entry, setup and some nice features. It isn't that much different than Yahoo, though, so your mileage may vary.

Interesting. Google Groups used to be pretty terrible, but admittedly I haven't done much with it in recent years, so it may have improved...

Seconding Google Groups; it's pretty easy to use. If you have a little money, then the BBS software that uses is stupendous in my opinion--there's code for PMs, chats, file repositories, everything you can think of. I looked into the cost at one point and it was surprisingly low for the capabilities it offers.

Why don't you write some? :P

*ducks and runs*

Honestly, I'll be surprised if this doesn't eventually turn into a project on Querki -- there are plenty of reasons for me to want it. But there are *many* features necessary in order to make that effective, so it's a long ways down the line...

Does it need to be a hosted solution or are you willing to run your own?

Hosted strongly preferred -- I'm looking for something that is quick and easy for me to get running, and I don't need the power and customization of a local server.

I'm astonished at how little I'm coming up with. is the only thing I've found so far that even looks like an improvement on Yahoo...

Ping me.

Our Larp uses Google Groups for the mailing list portion, but then Google site for the actual infrastructure and it's worked remarkably well. It has a good file management system and allows for lists and forms. It is quite good for wiki type informational sharing.

Fair enough. I love Sympa, but I don't know of any open instances of it. (It's very much a run-your-own-server software.)

I don't know if might meet your needs?

Probably not right for this purpose -- I'm looking more for a lightweight community-communication tool, not a project-management one.

That said, it might well be useful for my *own* purposes: I normally do this sort of thing with ToDoList, but that's getting sadly creaky around the edges, especially in its complete lack of hosted-ness. So I may consider switching my personal task-management to Chandler, to kick the tires...

Well, you could take a look at Piazza, which originated as a classroom-management tool. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles as something like Moodle, but it's free, and hosted, and very good at Q&A-style discussions (an "answer" is jointly developed, sorta wiki-style, along with a thread of discussion).

Okay, *that* is fascinating. Totally not what I was looking for -- I was just thinking about something with mailing list and file-management capability -- but might actually a better answer. I'll have to ponder this one: thanks!

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