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Getting help - using mailing lists

Getting help - using mailing ... is a mailing list? It's a ... group ... by e-mail. Mailing lists cover a wide variety ... at all levels. Many lists have a ... who

Getting help - using mailing lists

What is a mailing list? It's a discussion group that
converses by e-mail. Mailing lists cover a wide variety of
topics, at all levels. Many lists have a moderator, who will
check posts for suitability before the go out to the list

How do I find and join a list? Many lists are operated
through the Topica, Yahoo and SmartGroups list services.
They all have searchable directories. You can join a list at
the list web page, or by e-mail. To join at the web site,
you'll need to take out free membership of the service
provider. If you join by sending an email, you don't have to
worry about this step. You can find them here:

How do I know if the list will interest me? If the list
you're interested in has public archives, you can take a
look before joining. If not, you'll have to join first. If
it doesn't interest you, you can unsubscribe, either at the
site or by e-mail.

How does the discussion work? Lists have three options -
individual, digest, or web-only. If you choose individual,
you'll get an e-mail for every post that is made. Digest
will send you one email a day with all the posts for that
day. Web-only doesn't send any mail - you'll have to log
onto the web site to read. This option is handy if you're
going to be away from your PC, and don't want email piling
up. You can switch between options whenever you want to.

How do I post? Send an email to the posting address - this
isn't the same address that you use to subscribe and
unsubscribe. Check the rules for what you can have in your
posts. Some lists don't allow HTML code, ads in your
signature, or off-topic posts. I hope I don't need to say
that they don't allow bad language, abuse of other members,
or sp*m!

What should I include in my post? Most posts are part of a
thread - just as in a face-to-face conversation. So you may
want to include a quote from a previous post when you reply,
so that people know what you're talking about. This is
helpful to new list members, or for people who've missed
posts while away from their PC.

If you get a digest version, don't just click reply when you
submit a post. This will include a copy of the entire digest
in your post. People who are getting the digest version find
it almost impossible to disentangle the new posts from the
copies of old posts and digests. I've sometimes given up
trying to read some digests, when everyone has copied a
whole thread, and added their post!

Always include a subject - list members won't always be
interested in every post. Digest versions include a
contents list which show the subject. If you're replying to
a previous post, start with RE (for REply), and then the

Some lists allow off-topic posts. In this case, start your
subject line with the letters OT, and suggest that list
members contact you "off list" - by emailing you direct
rather than posting. This is a courtesy - some lists are
happy to have off topic threads, especially if they will
interest other members. Some lists have a completely
seperate mailing list for off topic stuff.

You may find it helpful to "lurk" for a while - just reading
what other people have to say before making your first post.
This will give you a feel for the list and its' rules. You
may like to use your first post to introduce yourself - that
way, people know that you're new, and will make allowances
for any posting errors you may make.

I've found mailing lists invaluable in getting help with new
software and hardware, exchanging information about my
business interests and hobbies, for getting advice before
making a purchase or choosing goodsBusiness Management Articles, and meeting people from
around the world with similar interests.

Article Tags: Getting Help Using, Help Using Mailing, Getting Help, Help Using, Using Mailing, Mailing Lists, Lists Have, Some Lists

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Dianne Reuby is co-author of the e-book "First Website
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site, dedicated to providing ebooks and tips for new
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