My opinion is that bionet newsgroups have the features needed
for public electronic communication that other methods lack, while the
other methods still suffer from mis-use without a moderator.
Whether the drosophila community needs or wants a
public electronic communication forum, others should address.
The other methods I know of are semi-public mailing lists and
web server community bulletin boards. They would need someone to set up,
manage, publicize, and archive or distribute. The bionet groups have that
already. For those who use newsgroup reading software, the
bionet/newsgroup method is preferable to e-mail or web pages for
reading this stuff (and web browsers also handle newsgroup reading/posting).
While on this subject, if the Drosophila board decides
bionet.drosophila is useful, it would be nice if some
payment could be made to help the Biosci organization maintain it
(a small fee would be a bargain for what you get, if you consider
costs of alternatives).