Today, John Resig wrote a really nice (and quite lengthy) post about Google Groups and why he dislikes it because of its interaction with SPAM. The article is a really nice read so I highly recommend to check it out. I’ve been a participant on quite a few Google Groups to see the problem. Especially larger groups eventually often see themselves in a situation where moderating them is so much work, that it’s sometimes not worth the effort anymore. So, they either set the moderation limit rather restrictively or move to a different solution altogether simply because Google Groups are a too attractive target for the scum of the advertising business.
I’m personally not really a big fan of Google Groups. At first I was thrilled by how easy it is to set up a mailinglist + archives with it. For some reason, though, it never had the feel of an integrated solution but this is probably mostly due to also the other Google apps not really integrating themselves not all too well with Google’s own Domain Apps. There is also the whole problem of being locked in without a clean way of exporting all mails posted on such a group. For this and also the SPAM problem, a dedicated server is probably the better solution than something so centralized. You simply have far more options at your disposal and can tweak your whole battle-strategy to your own liking. For some reason, I also always fear that one day some spammer will spoof my own email address on too many Google Groups and all my mails sent to other people on GMail will see only the SPAM folder during their 14 days of life :-/
<update>Not that I think mailman is the perfect solution either. Google Groups tries to be somehow a mix between a bulletin board and a mailing-list, which is a good idea, but for me the focus is still too much on the mailing-list part, which has its problems when used for really large communities.</update>
Google Groups is still a nice solution for private groups where members all have a Google account but I definitely understand why some projects are slowly moving away from it for large mailing-lists. In this regard I'm also really curious about what solution JQuery will use in the future.