Internet Mailing Lists Offer Targeted Discussions

May 1999
by Reid Goldsborough

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Internet mailing lists aren’t as flashy as Web discussion groups or as visible as Usenet newsgroups, but they can be far more useful.Reading and responding to messages in these e-mail discussion groups is considerably faster than working through the Web. And because they usually cover subject matter that’s narrower in focus than Usenet discussion groups, chances are greater that any given message will be relevant to your needs.”Mailing lists offer the best ‘signal-to-noise ratio’ [percentage of high-quality information] of any type of forum on the Internet,” says Scott Southwick, creator of the Web site Liszt, a searchable directory of mailing lists.Mailing lists are sometimes referred to as “listservs,” after the most popular software for administering them. But this is actually inaccurate since other software may be used besides Listserv. Majordomo and ListProc are two of more than 20 other choices.Types of Internet Mailing ListsThere are many different kinds of lists. Some are one-way rather than two-way. With one-way lists, also called announcement lists, messages move from publisher to subscribers without back-and-forth communication. They’re commonly used for newsletters and product announcements.With two-way mailing lists, also called discussion or talk lists, any message you write is first sent to a central address…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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