News - Last updated: October 2005
By subscribing to a mailing list you can exchange messages with a group of people who share your interest on a certain subject. Once you have subscribed to a mailing list you will receive all messages posted directly into your email box. You may simply lurk or you may reply to messages and initiate new conversations.
Mailing lists are normally maintained by computer programs which receive submitted messages, deliver them to the list subscribers, generate and maintain archives, accept new subscriptions, etc. List managers (these are real people) only keep an eye on what happens and intervene if necessary.
Mailing lists policies:
To subscribe to a mailing list you need to send a message to the computer that manages the mailing (listserv) list so you need to know:
You will tipically receive a reply with a welcome messages within 24 hours (sometimes within a few minutes).
The command that you will need to specify depends on the software that manages the mailing list - see the list of references below.
Once you have subscribed it is a good idea to lurk for a while.
Eventually you may want to send a message to the mailing list. In this case you need to know the email address of the mailing list. Note that for unmoderated lists this address is always a different address than the listserv address. You will be informed of this address in the welcome message you will receive when you join.
When you do not want to be on the mailing list anymore you will have to send a message to the listserv. The content of this message will also be specified in the welcome message (e.g. unsubscribe in the Subject: field).
When you subscribe to a mailing list always keep the welcome message for future reference. It is a good idea to have a folder where you keep all the welcome messages from mailing lists you subscribe.
If you foresee not to check your email for some time (e.g. you go on holidays) you should remember to suspend or unsubscribe all the mailing list you have joined otherwise your mail box will get clogged with messages.
Mailing lists normally allow commands for:
To find out which mailing lists exists - see the list of references below.
Mailing lists normally maintain archives containing all messages which have been posted in the list. These archives are often searchable by subject, date and authors of messages.
If you cannot keep up with all the messages you receive from a mailing list: