I quit the GroupStudy.com CCIE-LAB mailing list a few weeks ago, and I don’t think I’ll go back. I found the list to be initially interesting and helpful. After being on the list for a while, I found that there wasn’t enough there beneficial to my preparation. I had to pick through a lot of messages to come up with threads that were useful to me.
Now, if you like GroupStudy.com, great. There are a number of really smart people on the CCIE-LAB list, including the Brians from InternetworkExpert.com and Scott Morris from IPExpert.com, as well as Narbik Kocharians. Plus there are other CCIEs & candidates who monitor the list and try to be helpful to other candidates.
IMHO, it comes down to this: the list signal-to-noise ratio was bad. Lots of grandstanding, epic rants, flame wars, and off-topic posts. In addition, list performance was (unless it’s been fixed) horrible, with posts taking 24 or more hours to hit the list, duplicate posts, and posts never making it to the list at all. For example, someone would ask a question with a simple answer. I’d check to see if anyone had answered, and answer if no one else had. And then my answer would appear several hours later with the 14 other people who did the exact same thing. Perhaps the list owner has fixed the problem by now, but it was certainly an issue about 3 weeks ago, and had been ongoing for several weeks.
The GroupStudy archive search function was/is shaky as well. I found that if I used the GroupStudy.com search function, I would come up dry on finding specific posts that I KNEW were there. OTOH, if I used Google to search for the same information on GroupStudy, I could find the desired post with no trouble. Perhaps I’m too simple-minded to use the GroupStudy.com search function, but I did speak to others who experienced the same issue.
Don’t get me wrong – GroupStudy.com is useful, but it’s not as useful as I’d like it to be for lab preparation. As I understand it, it’s not as useful as it has been in the past, either. If it works for you, don’t let me steer you away. But I wanted to explain my reasons why I’m not bothering with it for right now.