5.1 Internet Mailing Lists
Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet

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     Usenet is not the only forum on the Net.  Scores of "mailing
lists"  represent another way to interact with other Net users. 
Unlike Usenet messages,  which are stored in one central location on
your host system's computer, mailing-list messages are delivered right
to your e-mail box, unlike Usenet messages.
     You have to ask for permission to join a mailing list.  Unlike
Usenet, where your message is distributed to the world, on a mailing
list, you send your messages to a central moderator, who either re-mails
it to the other people on the list or uses it to compile a periodic
"digest" mailed to subscribers.
     Given the number of newsgroups, why would anybody bother with a
mailing list? 
    Even on Usenet, there are some topics that just might not generate
enough interest for a newsgroup; for example, the Queen list, which is
all about the late Freddie Mercury's band. 
    And because a moderator decides who can participate, a mailing list
can offer a degree of freedom to speak one's mind (or not worry about
net.weenies) that is not necessarily possible on Usenet.  Several
groups offer anonymous postings -- only the moderator knows the real
names of people who contribute. Examples include 12Step, where people
enrolled in such programs as Alcoholics Anonymous can discuss their
experiences, and sappho, a list limited to gay and bisexual women.
       You can find mailing addresses and descriptions of these lists
in the news.announce.newusers newsgroup with the subject of "Publicly
Accessible Mailing Lists."  Mailing lists now number in the hundreds,
so this posting is divided into three parts.
        If you find a list to which you want to subscribe, send an e-
mail message to
 
        list-request@address
 
where "list" is the name of the mailing list and "address" is the
moderator's e-mail address, asking to be added to the list.  Include
your full e-mail address just in case something happens to your
message's header along the way, and ask, if you're accepted, for the
address to mail messages to the list.