Listserv and Mailing Lists
Mailing lists are kind of like email clubs. You
ask to join the club because you are interested in what they are talking
about, and when you become a member, your messages are passed on to the
other members, and their messages are emailed to you too.
The hard part of this is the fact that to subscribe (join) or unsubscribe
to the group, you usually have to send an email to a COMPUTER PROGRAM.
Hard to believe, but yes, a program can have an email address. There are
many programs that can run mailing lists, two of the most popular are
LISTSERV and Majordomo.
Once you find a group you want to join (by using one of the links below to
search), how do you do it? Say that you searched for a group on ferrets,
and you got the following result:
List Name: FERRET
Subscription Address: LISTSERV@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU
Owner: Bill Gruber
Last Update: 1/10/95
Description:(removed for space considerations)
The name of the list is "ferret" so the LIST address would be
firstname.lastname@example.org , this is the address you email your messages to
AFTER you have subscribed. Note, some searches may list the email address
for the list name, just remember to remove everything from the @ symbol
So now, to join the list, you email to the program (the Subscription
address) which in this case is email@example.com with the following
subscribe ferret Phil Waclawski
(or whatever your name is). Note, Majordomo usually wants you to include
your email address and not your name. PLEASE
remember you are talking to a computer program. Typing "I would like to
subscribe to" will not work. You'll get an error email back saying "I"
command not found, "would" command not found...well, you get the picture.
IMPORTANT Remember, to unsubscribe, you MUST send "unsubscribe
ferret Phil Waclawski" to the SUBSCRIPTION address. Sending messages
"Please unsubscribe me" to the mailing list makes you look, well,
clueless. The people don't want to hear, and they (unless they are list
operator) can't do anything about it. You have to send it to the
Finally, KEEP the email they send you if you like the list. It contains
information on what the list is about, how to unsubscribe, and often even
tells you how to access archives of old discussions by email. The links
below are resources for finding lists, and give their own perspective to
mailing lists. Have fun.
- Liszt, The Mailing List
Accessible Mailing Lists
- Links to
several searches of Lists and GOOD help files
- List of