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What are Mailing Lists?

What are Mailing Lists used for?

How are Schools using Mailing Lists?

How to Participate on a Mailing List

LISTSERV Subscriber's Manual





    What are Mailing Lists?

An electronic mailing list is a form of group communication via electronic mail.

The most common types of mailing lists are:
- Announcement lists:
Announcement lists are one-way distribution lists. On this type of lists only the list owners, or authorized people, may send information to the listís subscribers. This type of list is very convenient for the distribution of electronic newsletters.
- Discussion lists:
Discussion lists allow all the subscribers to participate and post information to the rest of the participants of the list. As a result, discussion lists are more appropriate for the interaction and discussion of certain topics.

For more information about mailing lists and the different types of lists that may be created go to: LISTSERV List Owner's Manual


    What are Mailing Lists used for?

Consider for a moment what the users of your electronic mail system actually use electronic mail for. Do they discuss problems and issues that face your organization, down to the departmental level? In an academic setting, do the faculty and students communicate via electronic mail? As with "real world" distribution lists, electronic mailing lists can make it possible for people to confer in a comfortable manner via the written word. The electronic mail software simply replaces the copying machine, with its associated costs, delays and frustrations. In fact, electronic mail lists are easier to use than most modern copiers, and a lot less likely to jam at just the worst possible moment.

Since electronic mail is delivered in a matter of seconds, or occasionally minutes, electronic mailing lists can do a lot more than supplement the traditional paper distribution lists. In some cases, an electronic mailing list can replace a conference call. Even when a conference call is more suitable, the electronic mailing list can prove to be a useful tool for the distribution of papers, figures and other material needed in preparation for the conference call. Also, once the call is over, it can be used to distribute a summary of the discussion and of the decisions that were made. What before might have been an exchange of views between two or three people can now become an ongoing conference on the issue or problem at hand.

Announcement lists and even monitored electronic journals can be made available to your audience, which can be as small as a few people or as large as the entire Internet community. For more information about electronic mailing lists go to http://www.lsoft.com/products/about_emaillists.asp or write to netpals@netpals.lsoft.com


    How are Schools using Mailing Lists?

As an illustration of how schools are using mailing lists, Onalaska School District has installed their own LISTSERV server and have created the following mailing lists:

- Educational Service District Principals Mailing List for communication about school problems and solutions that are of concern to our local area to save on travel and phone costs

- Educational Service District Superintendents Mailing List for communication about district problems and solutions that are local to our state and local area to save on travel and phone costs

- School to Work Mailing List for students that allows for mentorships with trades people and dialog with people in business in our area for career exploration

- School to Work Mailing List for teachers that allows for sharing in career information in our area for career exploration

- Teacher Mailing List, for curriculum about or pertaining to local history, places, events

- As a training tool for our students who are all on e-mail accounts from the 4th grade on so they can learn in a safe environment how to interact on the internet

- School Announcements/Community Bulletins - Current Events, School newsletters, School outages and so forth.

Ryan Faussett
Network Director
Onalaska School District


    How do you Participate on a Mailing List?

You simply need to find a mailing list of your interest. To find mailing lists, you may search the existing NetPals mailing lists.

You can also find a wider selection of mailing lists by searching CataListSM, the official catalog of LISTSERV® lists at http://www.lsoft.com/catalist.html

You can subscribe to a mailing list either via e-mail or directly over the web interface. Once you have subscribed to a mailing list, you will receive the mailing listís postings to your e-mail account. For more information on how to join and leave a mailing lists go to: LISTSERV List Subscriber's Manual


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