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Zeus Tech Note
Internet Mailing Lists

Copyright © 1996-1997. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.
Written by Bruce A. Epstein

Q. What is a mailing list?

A. A mailing list is a convenient way to distribute or receive information to a group of people via e-mail. It is similar to a snail mail mailing list in the following ways: There are also some important differences:

Q. What is a distribution list?

A distribution list is a type of mailing list in which only the list owner can post messages to the list members. Other mailing lists allow all list members to participate in the discussion, as long as they are subscribed to the list. Some lists allow anyone to post to the list, even if they are not members.

Q. How do I join a mailing list?

A. Generally you join (subscribe) by sending an e-mail to a particular e-mail address called the List Server. You usually must include the word "SUBSCRIBE" in either the body or subject line of the e-mail. You must send the e-mail from the account which you wish to subscribe to the list.

NOTE: The e-mail address for joining a list is usually different than the one used for the list itself. The administrative details are often handled by an automatic List Server, but are sometimes handled manually by a list adminstrator (human)

Be sure to send the Subscription request to the List Server and not the mailing list itself.

Q. I am getting too many messages from a mailing list. What do I do?

A. You can unsubscribe if you no longer wish to partake in the list, but you may prefer to DIGEST your messages, so that you get one e-mail per day containing all the posts that were made to the list.

Send the DIGEST command to the List Server. Note, it may take a few days to activate Digest mode. Some lists do not offer a DIGEST mode.

Q. How do I temporarily stop my mail from a list.

A. Some mailing lists support an "inactive" status to temporarily remove you from the list. You can reactivate your subscription at your convenience. Send the "Suspend" command to the list server or contact the list adminstrator for guidance.

Q. How do I quit a mailing list?

A. You can quit a list, generally by sending an e-mail to the same List Server address which you used when subscribing in the first place with the keyword UNSUBSCRIBE. The unsubscription request may take a few days to process. If the request seems to have failed, you should:

Q.Why can't I post a message to a mailing list?

A. Several factors may prevent you from posting to a mailing list. Refer to the Help file for that particular list or contact the list adminstrator

Q.Why am I getting mail I don't want, and how do I stop it?

A. Junk mail is often referred to as Spam. Some mass-mailing programs comb the internet for e-mail addresses. There is a pretty good chance that you receive junk e-mail frequently if you participate in on-line discussion groups or newsgroups. You can request that junk e-mailers take you off their distribution list (often by used the REMOVE command).

If you subscribed to a list intentionally, you can unsubscribe at your discretion.

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Copyright © 1996-1997. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.

(This page last revised June 17, 1997)