This section covers topics where individuals use e-mail for
group communications. Another section, Newsletters
is devoted to projects that use e-mail to distribute information
from one entity to a group, with no subsequent communication.
Mailing lists work as follows. Software on a computer run by the
organizer (or moderator) of the list sends mail to all members of the
list when it receives mail. For obvious reasons, the term mail
exploder is sometimes used for such software. On some lists, the
moderator will approve mail to be sent to all list members. Whether
it is moderated or not, to send mail to all members, you need only
write to one address: the list address. However, to subscribe or
unsubscribe from the list, commands are not sent to the list
address (and thus all the people on the list), but to the software
running the list. Such software appears to be a user on the machine
housing the list, but it has a name such as Listserv, Majordomo,
Listproc, JISCmail, Mailman, etc.
When using a mailing list, please follow "netiquette:"
Use a meaningful subject line. A subject of "help", particularly
when received by those on more than one list, is not likely to
elicit much of a response.
If responding to a previous post, quote accordingly, but
judiciously. This helps put your comments in context, yet avoids
messages that are too long.
Enclose a short note (or "signature") at the bottom with at least
your e-mail address. Some mailing systems mangle the information in
the header with your address.
If you have a response, consider responding directly via e-mail if
you think no one on the list will be interested.
Watch your temper. E-mail sometimes makes tempers flare. If you think
you should wait or tone down your note, you most likely should.
Don't type in all capital letters (IT IS CALLED SHOUTING).
Don't ask the list to be un-subscribed from a list. Rather, this job
is handled by the software that runs the list and not the hundreds
or thousands who subscribe to the list.
Finally, employ common courtesy. If someone helps you out, a thank
you will be appreciated.
While not part of netiquette, the value of mailing lists should be
approached like other many other sources of information, such as a
newspaper or a journal. Much of the material may not be of interest,
but occasionally something very useful may be included. Note that
digests (described below) help you manage lists more effectively.
Note that in ALL cases, one subscribe and unsubscribe from a list
NOT by sending e-mail to the list itself (which means it goes to ALL
the members of the list), but to some special address that deals
with subscriptions. Sending mail to the list itself marks you as a
novice who hasn't taken time to carefully read directions. It also
irritates list members (numbering into the hundreds) who receive
useless mail. One hint: when subscribing to a list, you will receive
information on how to unsubscribe. Keep it and use it.
Each list has its own directions and information. These include the
name of the list, the commands to subscribe and unsubscribe via
e-mail (note that (i) commands go in the body of the e-mail unless
otherwise noted, and (ii) when it says ,
type your name without the angle bars). The directions also include
the address of the list itself: e-mail sent there will be forwarded
to other list members. There are also directions on how to receive
the list in digest form (i.e. rather than receiving each piece of
e-mail individually, they come grouped together as one piece of
e-mail.) and the location of past messages (i.e archives).
The next sections contain the list of mailing lists. They are
organized them around JEL classifications (some of the
classifications may be a bit arbitrary, so be sure to look around