both, moderated discussions are always more focused than the more common unmoderated ones.
Searching through archived Usenet and mailing-list messages is even more time efficient. Check out Deja News and Reference.com.
If your e-mail and Usenet software permits filtering -- most up-to-date programs do -- you can screen out messages about subjects or from people you find irrelevant, and you can create folders for messages that warrant immediate attention.
Short and Sweet
To avoid getting bombarded with e-mail, selectively respond to e-mail, and match the length of your response to how eager you are to chat. A short, polite response indicates you've received the other person's message, but need to move on.
Save what's worth saving and toss the rest. Avoid letting useful information sink into pile purgatory. After you've finished scanning or reading, file information into clearly identifiable folders in a file cabinet or on your computer's hard disk.
Ours is an information society. Information can lead to knowledge and knowledge to wisdom, but managing information requires some wisdom of its own.
Reid Goldsborough is author of the book "Straight Talk About the Information Superhighway." He can be reached at
November Table of Contents