Say you have subscribed to some active mailing list hosted on YahooGroups or GoogleGroups. The settings are such that you receive an email as soon as a new message is posted on the mailing list.
Most of the conversations and discussions that happen on the mailing list are worth reading but there are situations when someone starts a thread / conversation that's boring or doesn't interest you.
For instance, an email thread on resolving iPod problems would make little sense to a person who doesn't have an iPod.
What do you do in situations when you find yourself a victim of these boring and irritating but never-ending email threads ? Unsubscribe from the mailing list temporarily ? Or create a new Gmail filter ? Or delete messages using # shortcut as soon as they land in your Inbox ?
Here's a more productive solution - Just mute the conversation with the Gmail keyboard shortcut "m" - The message is immediately removed from the Inbox view and all future messages (with similar subject line) will be archived automatically.
You can search for muted messages using the search operator - is:muted And unless your email address is in the To: or CC: field, that email thread will never touch your Gmail inbox again.
More about the Mute conversation shortcut on Gmail Help and Adam's blog.
Extra Gmail Tricks:
Prevent Image Spam in Gmail
Filter False Positives from Gmail Spam Folder