The people who visit your site dont care about it nearly as much as you do. Im thinking specifically of message areas.
At best, if you’re providing your own messaging system, you should open it up so that users can get to it from outside your site. Email is probably a safe choice but Atom/RSS is another good, viable choice. Syndication can let your users get your messages in an aggregator and for those who are more comfortable in their inbox there are plenty of syndication-to-email services. RSS is probably a better choice also since it lets you focus on the content of the message, not its design, and you don’t have to worry as much about getting through spam filters or dealing with dead or full inboxes.