What you describe is pretty much how the http://eaa-phev.org
website came about and was developed, and the SEVA website for that matter. I used to spend a few hours each day combing through the seva, eaa-phev, and evdl maillists and other sources looking for useful information and then distilled that information the pages that make up the websites. But it has been a number of years since I've had the time to do that sort of thing and the websites were "mature" enough that they didn't need that level of continuous development. Of course now their content could be considered somewhat stale and I truly wish that I had to time to put in the same level of work to keep them as "fresh" as they once were. You will notice on many of the core pages that there are reference sections to news and products that might be useful and relate to the topic of the page. In the end very few people on either the PHEV nor SEVA community jumped into the wiki websites to lend a hand at adding additional information and refining the content of the pages found there, A few did but not enough.
Both websites have always supported RSS and Atom new feeds via their Recentchanges pages:
For example, these pages represent everything that I know about the topic of these pages:
(Notice the "Per SEVA_Maillist:2007./7./163" and "Y!" links to a maillist post, the Y! link works better)
(Notice the news section indicating that I pretty much stopped following and adding links more than a year ago).
(This is a Category page on the site, Categories are like Tags and used to organize things)
(This is the top page for "Fuels" and would also be a good place to add new content regarding your main interest of "net-zero home energy")
In the end It should be easy for anyone to participate fully in the maillist, this forum, and the wiki website. My intention with running them is to allow members of the organization and community to participate in whichever way they desire. Obviously email is the easiest for people to use, and the forums should be nearly as simple, even the wiki website "should" be very simple for anyone to interact with and I'm always watching to help cleanup, fix, and help anyone who encounters trouble. In the end all it takes is a little bit of time and persistence to become fully proficient with any one of or all of these services. While I can not force nor coax anyone to give up their free time nor make them learn new skills or become familiar with web technologies that are new to them I've done my best to choose the most easy to use yet powerful of these three types of services cross link all of these resources.
About each Services:Maillist
- This is as simple as it gets and anyone with an email address can use it, thus it has the lowest entry level and gets the most use but also has the most noise.Forums
- Very similar to the maillist but easier to organize, search, filter, and manage. The Forums can be moderated and have additional features such as Personal Messages and Calendars built in. But it requires slightly more effort to learn and use, thus the noise level is lower although the quality of the content should be higher.Wiki Website
- Not unlike the other two the website is fully interactive for anyone to participate with by adding new content or updating existing content. It takes more effort to use but the results are far more rich and persistent information.
I could be wrong, but the way I see it we don't need more or "better" maillists or new services as the ones we have should fulfill the full scope of what is required. People just need to put the time and effort into using what we already have, it requires substantially more effort to refine information into ever more useful forms. Some of that effort has to go into learning how to use new tools. I hope that I don't come across as condescending or as having abandoned these projects, there is simply only so much time in a given day and my attentions are shifted primarily elsewhere but rest assured that I am still here to help in any way that I can...