An e-mailing list, or mail reflector, is an e-mail address that takes any note sent to it and forwards the note to everyone on its list of "subscribers." Users can subscribe to a mailing list by sending a command by e-mail to the mail server (which always has a different address from the one used to send mail to the group). The most common mail servers are LISTSERV, listproc, and majordomo. Like news groups, mailing lists are used mostly for informal discussion. Most mailing lists are not moderated or fact checked, so while they may be good resources for conversation, and leads to other resources, they are not entirely free of disinformation and rumor. Back | Top of glossary
Mailing lists allow you to send e-mail to a large number of contacts in a very efficient manner. You can manage the mailing list through the control panel. Participants subscribe to a list, receive copies of messages sent by other members, and can e-mail their own comments. In some mailing lists there is a moderator who receives all mail, screens it, and decides which messages to pass on. Unmoderated lists simply redirect all mail received to the list of recipients. Mailing lists may be highly technical, or social and recreational.
There are more than 4,000 topic-oriented, email-based message bases that can be read and posted to. Users subscribe to the lists they want to read and receive messages via email. Mailing lists are operated using listserv software. Thus, many users call mailing lists 'listservs'. There are two types of lists: moderated and unmoderated. Moderated lists are screened by a human before messages are posted to subscribers. Messages to unmoderated lists are automatically forwarded to subscribers.