A mail list is a collection of e-mail addresses that will be receiving mail on a particular topic. Every mail list has a list name and a list address. For example: the mail list for the End The Occupation Coalition is named ETO and has the address: ETO@YahooGroups.com. For historic reasons, mail lists are sometimes referred to as “listserves”.
The mail list is controlled by a Mail List Manager (MLM). The mail list manager is a program on a server that makes it easy to create and remove lists, to add or remove users from lists, and to do things such as make message digests or maintain message archives. As a list subscriber you will only be using the mail list manager to add and remove your name from the Coalition mail list. Examples of other list managers that you may hear about are Majordomo or LISTSERV.
Joining or being added to a list is called subscribing. When you leave a list it is called unsubscribing.
Please note: You must subscribe to the mail list in order to use it. The mail list administrator can add you but you can always unsubscribe. This is a safeguard to prevent you from being sent messages that you do not want to receive.
Imagine that the mail list contains 100 e-mail addresses (many mail lists contain thousands of entries). If one of the members of the list makes a change (e.g. if she changes her ISP or decides to process her email at home instead of at school or at work), and if all of the list members have private copies of the list in their own address books, then each of the 100 copies of the mail list must be updated. On the other hand, if the mail list is kept on a server, there is only one copy that must be updated. And this update is handled automatically by a program or (in rare cases) by a human administrator. Changes in mail lists are very common (large lists have 10's of changes each day).
Normally if I receive a message sent to 100 people it will contain the names and e-mail addresses of all those persons (in a To: list or a Cc: list. Usually two addresses are displayed on a single line so that the message will contain 50 lines of data that are not the contents of the message. Replies to and forwards of the message normally include all 100 addresses. Messages that I receive from the Coalition MLM a "To:" line of "ETO@yahoogroups.com" which is informative but not obtrusive. If I do a Reply or Reply-All to it, it will be sent to everyone on the mail list.
Another consequence of using the Coalition mail list is anonymity. No one (with the exception of the list owner) can tell who receives messages posted to the mail list.
|Subscribe to ETO|
|Powered by groups.yahoo.com|
Or you can simply send an e-mail message from the system where you wish to receive ETO messages to ETOfirstname.lastname@example.org. The subject and body of the message can be anything. They are ignored.
Then check your e-mail. In a few minutes, you will receive an e-mail message from "Yahoo Groups" asking you to please confirm your request to subscribe to ETO. Follow the instructions (it's easiest just to reply to the message) and you will soon receive an e-mail message from "ETO Moderator" welcoming you to the group. If you do not receive a "welcome" e-mail message, you have neglected to do something or have made an error and you are not subscribed to the list.
It is necessary to go through this two step process to insure that persons cannot be added to the list without their knowledge and approval.
Members subscribe to the mailing list created.
A member or owner posts a message by emailing to ETO@yahoogroups.com.
Everyone receives the posting from ETO@yahoogroups.com
As you can see from the diagrams above, you can send email to the list once a list is created, and everyone in the list will receive it. If you reply to the email, your message will go only to the sender. If you do a "reply-all", your message will go to everyone on the list.