We’ve tested the free version of DiscussThis Email Discussion Group Software this past week and it’s been very easy to use.
They provide a free 14-day trial which allows one to test out the DiscussThis service by creating one discussion group with up to 100 members. If you decide to pay for the service after 2 weeks, you get the additional features:
- Create multiple lists with as many members as you need
- Sign up for optional message archiving
- Use your own domain name
There doesn’t seem to be a size limit for total members of the list, and the email size limit is 1 MB, which, in general, should be sufficient for a discussion list. Bigger items probably should be posted and linked, anyways.
The user interface is fairly intuitive. Members can send email to a common email address and have it delivered, moderators can be set up to review emails before they go out. Emails are scanned for viruses before distribution which is a nice feature – but not foolproof.
Pricing isn’t unreasonable. Basically, it’s $10 per month for every 50 members you have. If you want to use online storage for archives, it’s another $5 per month.
Personally, I probably would rather use pair Network’s PairList because pricing there isn’t based on number of members, and a successful discussion list could eventually grow to an expensive size. But if the population is guaranteed to be small, and the primary moderator is not going to be particularly comfortable with what is admittedly a more rudimentary looking interface with PairList, then DiscussThis seems like a reasonable alternative.