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Encyclopedia > Electronic mailing list

An electronic mailing list, a type of Internet forum, is a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. It is similar to a traditional mailing list — a list of names and addresses — as might be kept by an organization for sending publications to its members or customers, but typically refers to four things: a list of e-mail addresses, the people ("subscribers") receiving mail at those addresses, the publications (e-mail messages) sent to those addresses, and a reflector, which is a single e-mail address that, when designated as the recipient of a message, will send a copy of that message to all of the subscribers. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Electronic mail, abbreviated e-mail or email, is a method of composing, sending, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems. ... A mailing list is a collection of names and addresses used by an individual or an organization to send material to multiple recipients. ...

Contents

How automated electronic mailing lists work

Electronic mailing lists are usually fully or partially automated through the use of special mailing list software and a reflector address that are set up on a server capable of receiving e-mail. Incoming messages sent to the reflector address are processed by the software, and, depending on their content, are acted upon internally (in the case of messages containing commands directed at the software itself) or are distributed to all e-mail addresses subscribed to the mailing list. Depending on the software, additional addresses may be set up for the purpose of sending commands. Many electronic mailing list servers have a special email address in which subscribers (or those that want to be subscribers) can send commands to the server to perform such tasks as subscribing and unsubscribing, temporarily halting the sending of messages to them, or changing available preferences. The common format for sending these commands is to send an email that contains simply the command followed by the name of the electronic mailing list the command pertains too. Examples: subscribe anylist or subscribe anylist John Doe. Some list servers also allow people to subscribe, unsubscribe, change preferences, etc. via a website. Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Electronic mailing list servers can be set to forward messages to subscribers of a particular mailing list either individually as they are received by the list server or in digest form in which all messages received on a particular day by the list server are combined into one email that is sent once per day to subscribers. Some mailing lists allow individual subscribers to decide how they prefer to receive messages from the list server (individual or digest).


Types of mailing lists

One type of electronic mailing list is an announcement list, which is used primarily as a one-way conduit of information and can only be "posted to" by selected people.


Another type of electronic mailing list is a discussion list, in which any subscriber may post. On a discussion list, a subscriber uses the mailing list to send messages to all the other subscribers, who may answer in similar fashion. Thus, actual discussion and information exchanges can happen. Mailing lists of this type are usually topic-oriented (for example, politics, scientific discussion, joke contests), and the topic can range from extremely narrow to "whatever you think could interest us". In this they are similar to Usenet newsgroups, and share the same aversion to off-topic messages. The term discussion group encompasses both these types of lists and newsgroups. Usenet (USEr NETwork) is a global, decentralized, distributed Internet discussion system that evolved from a general purpose UUCP architecture of the same name. ... A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from many users at different locations. ... A contribution is on-topic if it is within the bounds of the current discussion, article, etc. ... A discussion group is an online forum for individuals to discuss various topics amongst each other. ...


On some discussion lists, every message must be approved by a moderator before being sent to the rest of the subscribers. Moderator approval is usually employed to keep a high average quality of posts and weed out spam. A moderator is a person who monitors the quality of a comment posted on a site, message board or IRC channel. ... E-mail spam, also known as bulk or junk e-mail is a subset of spam that involves sending nearly identical messages to numerous recipients by e-mail. ...


Some mailing lists are open to anyone who wants to join them, while others require an approval from the list owner before one can join. Joining a mailing list is called "subscribing" and leaving a list is called "unsubscribing".


Mailing list services

Free web-based services offering an easy way to run and maintain such lists were popular in the late 1990s, but many of these were taken over or went bust, so that the only popular provider is now Yahoo! Groups. This is used by a wide range of groups, including organisations who might at first glance be considered 'rivals' to Yahoo!. MSN Groups appears to be pushing hard to catch up to Yahoo!. Freelists.org is a technology-related, web-based service using all-free software, though it may be more difficult for some users to set up. The new version of Google Groups includes free mailing list services as well as access to Usenet. Jiglu adds wiki and feed aggregation to the traditional group model, and ties it together with an "auto-tagging" function using natural language processing techniques. Yahoo! Groups Yahoo! Groups is a service from Yahoo! that provides electronic mailing lists. ... MSN Groups Home MSN Groups is a commercial community site created by Microsoft in 1995. ... Clockwise from top: The logo of the GNU Project (the GNU head), the Linux kernel mascot Tux the Penguin, and the FreeBSD daemon Free software is a term coined by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation[1] to refer to software that can be used, studied, and modified without... Google Groups is a free groups and mailing list service from Google. ... Look up Wiki in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Natural language processing (NLP) is a subfield of artificial intelligence and linguistics. ...


Archives

A mailing list archive is a collection of past messages from one or more electronic mailing lists. Such archives often include searching and indexing functionality. Many archives are directly associated with the mailing list, but some organizations like Gmane collect archives from multiple mailing lists hosted at different organizations - thus, one message sent to one popular mailing list can end up in many different archives. Some popular free software programs for collecting mailing list archives are Hypermail and MHonArc. Gmane (pronounced mane) is an e-mail to news gateway. ... Clockwise from top: The logo of the GNU Project (the GNU head), the Linux kernel mascot Tux the Penguin, and the FreeBSD daemon Free software is a term coined by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation[1] to refer to software that can be used, studied, and modified without... Hypermail is a free program for creating email archives, in the form of cross-referenced HTML documents. ... MHonArc is a free e-mail archiving program first released in 1994. ...


Encrypted mailinglists

Here are some examples for using mailinglists in conjunction with encryption:

  • Schleuder (German: catapult,slingshot) - Schleuder is a crypto-mailinglist software written in ruby. It allows completely encrypted mail transport, has remailer capabilities and enables maintenance via signed mail or web-interface.
  • gpg-ezmlm - gpg-ezmlm is a set of scripts which add to the ezmlm package the ability to reencrypt messages sent to the list.
  • SecureMailinglist Howto - Encrypt your mailinglist with a patched version of gnupg.

See also

This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A mailing list is a collection of names and addresses used by an individual or an organization to send material to multiple recipients. ... A mailing list archive is a collection of past messages from one or more electronic mailing lists. ... The Mail Archive is a free public mailing list archive. ... Online consultations or e-consultations refer to an exchange between government and citizens using the Internet. ... GNU Mailman is a GNU package for managing electronic mailing lists. ... LISTSERV® is an electronic mailing list software application, originally developed in the mid 1980s for the Bitnet computer network. ... Majordomo is an open source mailing list manager (MLM) developed by Great Circle Associates. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Sympa is an open source(GNU GPL) mailing list software. ... Gmane (pronounced mane) is an e-mail to news gateway. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Google Groups is a free groups and mailing list service from Google. ... Yahoo! Groups Yahoo! Groups is an electronic mailing list service provided by Yahoo!. Over the years, Yahoo! bought several other mailing list providers, including the popular eGroups, and combined them with Yahoo! Clubs into one system. ... MSN Groups Home MSN Groups is a commercial community site created by Microsoft in 1995. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Electronic mailing list - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (478 words)
Electronic mailing lists are a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users.
Mailing lists of this type are usually topic-oriented (for example, politics, scientific discussion, joke contests), even if the topic can range from extremely narrow to "whatever you think could interest us".
In even stricter mailing lists, every message must be approved by a moderator before being sent to the rest of the subscribers.
Mailing list - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (325 words)
A mailing list is a collection of names and addresses used by an individual or an organization to send material to multiple recipients.
At least two quite different types of mailing lists can be defined: the first one is closer to the literal sense, where a "mailing list" of people is used as a recipient for newsletters, periodicals or advertising.
The mailing list owner typically enforces this by "salting" the mailing list with fake addresses and creates new salts for each time the list is rented[1].
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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