Right now there is a huge divide between the two, and while forums are great for quick fire-and-forget questions from users, they are horrible for anyone to try and follow in volume.
Baen Books http://bar.baen.com (registration required, but free) has configured FUDForum to tie in to both NNTP and e-mail, with the same content appearing in all three places.
Postgres has a presence on nabble where you can view the mailing lists as if they were web forums
the Baen approach is useing all free software (FUDforum, INN, Mailman with light customization).
The Postgres approach is using a closed-but-free hosting service
We really need for more organizations to take this sort of approach (and for more forum software to support it)
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