What is a Mailing List?
An electronic mailing list is very similar to a postal mailing list. Your e-mail address is added to the e-mail addresses of a group of other people who share a common interest. People send messages to the list address and they are automatically forwarded on to each of the individual members. You read the e-mail just as you would any other you receive.
There is one big difference between postal and e-mail mailing lists: you ask to have your name added to the list - you don't just get junk mail from an organisation you haven't heard of. To emphasise this you are known as a member of a list. There is no limit to the number of lists of which you can be a member, however, some lists generate a lot of e-mail and you can quickly become swamped if you're not careful.
Types of Mailing List
There are a number of ways in which mailing lists can be used but the two basic uses are:
- discussion - where the list is used by its members to exchange messages that form ongoing discussions. Discussion mailing lists have names ending in "-L".
- announcement - where the list is used mainly by the list owners as a way to send information out to the list members. Announcement mailing lists have names ending in "-announce-L"
Some discussion lists allow anyone to join and post messages. Others let anyone join with all messages being looked at by a 'moderator' before being forwarded on to the list. Still others are 'closed' - your application to join is vetted (this is often used on confidential projects or to ensure that lists remain at the right academic level) and only approved members can post and receive mail from the list.
To join an LSE mailing list, you would normally be sent a message from the list owner inviting you to join and containing appropriate instructions. List owners will publicise their lists accordingly and this will depend on the function, confidentiality and scope of the particular list.
If you are interested in creating a list for your project or interest group, staff and research students should contact your cluster team. Advice will be given on the suitability of the subject area and on the basic principles of list ownership.
Unfortunately, at this time, taught course students are unable to participate as list owners.
Mailing Lists at LSE
Information Management and Technology uses ListServ software to manage its lists and as some of the commands may vary between list software packages users of other list management services may find that some adaptation is required. The list is managed in one of two ways; through sending emails containing specific commands or through the ListServ web interface on http://listserv.lse.ac.uk/. Please note you need to use Internet Explorer in order for ListServ to work.
IMT reserves the right to refuse to host a list if the subject area of the list does not meet our guidelines.
The first point of contact for mailing lists is the IT Service Desk - they will be able to advise on best use of the ListServ service.