is not a replacement for e-mail. It's a hub of information. It's a way to share more than just the casual e-mail message. It's a collaborative online journal.

Comparing to e-mail is like comparing a family dinner to a phone call. The phone call works great if all you want to do is have a quick conversation. But if you like to spend time together and build relationships, the phone call doesn't come close to a family get together.

With e-mail you send a copy of your messages and files to a bunch of people. Those people, the recipients, then reply to you, or to everyone, or to their own list of people (which means you may not ever see their message). Those recipients then reply to the sender, or to everyone, or to their list of people, and so on. It doesn't take long before you don't know who has seen a message, who has seen it more than once, who wishes they would have seen it, who doesn't really want to see it, and where you might be able to find it if you ever want to see it again.

This is all fine and good in a casual message environment. However, if you want to write bonafied letters, keep them in a secure place, access them on demand, and allow others to read them and share comments about them, is a far better approach.

With all your letters and files are centralized. Individuals who wish to be notified of new letters receive their notifications, while those who prefer not to be bothered can turn off the notification option. If a new member joins the group they can catch up on what they've missed because the history of letters is available to them.

In a nutshell: Use e-mail for casual conversations with a few people. Use to share meaningful letters and conversations with the people you really care about.