If you're confused about how a list works, send an e-mail message either to the owner of the list or to the main mailing list address and include the word "help" in the first line of the body of the document. Soon, you'll receive a reply detailing all the commands that the list's software allows. Keep that document in a special folder.
ARCHIVING "WELCOME" LETTERS
I highly recommend you create a special folder to hold all informational (also called "Welcome") letters you get about the mailing lists to which you subscribe. When you need information about any of them, you can look in this folder. This document will also instruct you often in the netiquette and the focus of the list. In the event that you want to unsubscribe, this document will also tell you how to send those commands.
FINDING OLDER POSTINGS
To see a particular thread of messages on a mailing list, check the informational/welcome document to find out whether the list offers an archive within a Usenet newsgroup or on their Web page (if either of these exists). You can then pick and choose which messages to read without having to subscribe to the list at all.
AVOIDING JUNK E-MAIL
To keep from getting inundated with spam (some promoters look for your e-mail archived on the Web or in a Usenet newsgroup), add the words "nospam," "nojunkmail," or something else to your e-mail address
before you post a message. Also, mention in your signature (if you use one) that any person who wishes to e-mail you must first remove the substitute word or words from your address. This will fool many spammers' programs.
PUTTING A "HOLD" ON YOUR MAIL
To temporarily prevent a list from sending you mail (for example, if you're going on vacation), send an e-mail message to the appropriate address (see the informational/welcome document to find it) and include "set listname nomail" in the first line of the body of the message or whatever instructions the owner of the list provides in their original document to you. To resume receiving mail, send a message that includes the words "set listname mail" in the first line of the body of the message.
FREE AND PRIVATE E-MAIL
To keep your e-mail mailing list mail separate and private from your personal correspondence, get a free e-mail address from various companies and use it only to subscribe to mailing lists. A good suggestion is to use a generic name to maintain anonymity. Warning: You may have to surf a Web interface to access your mail, which might make downloading slower. Check out a list of many of them on Yahoo's site at http://www.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/ Companies/Internet_Services/Email_Providers/Free_Email/
I saw many interesting looking ones such as 3Dmail, Wowmail, MauiMail, Katchup, and others you've probably heard about.
IDENTIFYING YOUR E-MAIL
To help others quickly identify a specific message, put the name of the mailing list at the beginning of the subject line (the mailing list may already do this for you) and then include the topic heading thereafter.
RECEIVING THE DIGEST VERSION
Many mailing lists offer a compact "digest" version of the mailings. The digest version allows you to receive postings to the list in a large batch instead of in individual mailings. To see if a mailing
list offers a digest version of the discussions, look back at the informational/welcome document you received when your subscription request was successful. If the list offers one, follow the instructions the list owner provided to begin receiving it in digest form. If you originally subscribed to the regular version, remember to unsubscribe from that main list.
KNOWING AND NOT KNOWING OTHER SUBSCRIBERS
To get a list of the other subscribers on a particular mailing list, sometimes it's possible to send a message to right address (specified as the "request" address by the list owner) and type the word "Review" or "Rev" (depending on the mailing list software--see the informational/"Welcome" document) in the first line of the document. A list of e-mail addresses will be e-mailed back to you, if you did it properly. If, on the other hand, you want to avoid being listed yourself, send an e-mail message with the words "set nameoflist conceal" (this is only for Listserv software) in the first line of the body of the document.
CONFUCIUS DISCUSSION LIST
Although born in 551 B.C. in the ancient land of China, the great Master, Confucius or Kongfuzi, gained fame beyond the boundaries of his 72 years from the sayings attributed to him and set down by
followers after his death. Colloquially called "wisdom," these sayings espouse humanity, morality, reciprocity, politeness, and loyalty above all things. Two of his famous texts, the I Ching or Book of Changes and Ta Hsueh or The Great Learning have become popular among those seeking spiritual guidance outside the main Western traditions. Such sayings include these: "The conduct of the superior man is righteous, courteous, humble, and sincere" and "Nothing can be made of people who take things easily, not giving themselves the trouble to think." Todd Thacker and Joseph Wang, the owners of this list, follow his advice. The Confucius discussion list is a place where anyone may think and talk about meanings and metaphors. Although, Confucianism is not widely practiced here in the United States, it has been an influential force in the lives of many people around the world.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) and type subscribe confucius in the body of the message.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY NEWSLETTER
It's easy to forget the events that dominate daily newspapers, transform our lives, and influence the course of world history. But Bruce Calder wants you to remember--every day. If you subscribe, you'll get a chance to recall that "today" is, perhaps, the anniversary of the invention of the telescope by Galileo Galilee (December 3, 1621). Calder provides Web addresses to relevant sites for each day of news he celebrates. As an added benefit, Calder sometimes writes a serialized short history of Canada at the bottom
of the page. Did you know, for example, that ancient Norsemen discovered Greenland and Canada 1000 years ago? That is 500 years before Columbus! I didn't know it was THAT far back. To subscribe, go to
ICQ DISCUSSION LIST
Some people just don't get enough. This mailing list serves those who regularly talk/chat on ICQ--the precursor to many chat programs online today. What could they possibly have to say offline? How to
chat through alphanumeric pagers, how to send file transfers, how to forward ICQ messages to an e-mail address, how to set up an ICQ server, how to talk talk talk more! Sounds like an old silent movie star I've seen talk somewhere.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) and type subscribe ICQ in the subject line.
IRRESPONSIBLE HATE LIST
Who else could this be? That's right--Marylin Manson--the painted, leather-whipped, rock'ette who offends his own sensibilities, yours, and the Christian majority. A lover of music, his best performance is as a modern day transvestite Hitler looking for a little love in the spotlight of fame. Lovely sayings like "I think rebellion is something missing these days" or "We've never had a problem with our fans, it's other people who do" inspire passionate empathy in others who want to be just like him/her. Editor Eric Klinger wants you to feel the same, so he publishes this newsletter biweekly so all you fans out there can get your fill. Don't miss the gossip, guesses, and gargantuan rumors that are sure to entertain, inform, and delight
To subscribe, send an e-mail to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and type subscribe in the body of message.
NEAT NET TRICKS NEWSLETTER
Jack Teems spits out this bimonthly newsletter containing short infobytes on things Net-related. Clear and short-winded, Teems reveals useful Web sites, shareware, and browser tips--whatever strikes his fancy. For instance, in the latest, we heard about a Web site featuring 800 search engines, at http://www.beaucoup.com/engines.html
Teems' browser tip for the week said that if you hold down the Back or Forward buttons of Communicator or IE 4 for a second, "a drop-down clickable list of the next few sites will appear." My personal favorites were the definitions of Error messages! 404 means you probably typed in the wrong URL or that the page doesn't exist anymore. 402 means "Payment Required"--you may see more of that from now on. 403 means "Forbidden," which I'm sure you've come across in your travels. 502 means "Service Temporarily Overloaded." For variety insight into your digital world, this is a good start.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to email@example.com and type subscribe neatnettricks in the body of the message.
RECIPE-LU DIGEST DISCUSSION
If you want a mailing list full of seasonal recipes, recipes, recipes, try this one. Simply packed, you won't be looking for another suggestion ever again. This week, it's hamburgers and chocolate pleasures: Theatre Rounds, Southwestern Burgers, Sunny Springtime Burgers, Texan Camping Burgers w/ Super sauce, Bowl of Compassion TVP Chili, Upside Down Cupcakes, White Chocolate & Almond Brownies, White Chocolate Creme Brulee, Peanut Butter Fingers, Peggy's Mississippi Mud, Rich Brownie Cake, Sinful Chocolate Cake, Warm Chocolate Cake with Coffee Creme. Need I say more?
To subscribe, send an e-mail to majordomo@ListService.net and type subscribe recipelu-digest in the body of the message.
Sometimes simple lessons are just what you need. On a weekly basis, Brien Holcombe presents easy essays and short instructions that enlighten the dark corners of your mind when it comes to your
business online. In sections labeled "Golden Rules of the Net," "The Incubator," "The Worst Thing Entrepreneurs Do To Web Pages," and "How do YOU get people to say Yes," friends and subscribers tell it like it is. For example, one subscriber described how to position your product as a time-saver. Another subscriber listed software to help read log files better. There are so many lessons about being online; we all need to start at the beginning.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.webtread.com/HOW-DO-I/
MACCA DIGEST--PAUL MCCARTNEY DISCUSSION LIST
Are you a "Paul person"? Do you like to talk "Paulie talk"? You must be a Paul McCartney fan! (Hey, Leonardo DiCaprio, can you play an instrument or sing?) Look no further--this is the mailing list of
choice: all Paul, all the time, Paul, Paul, Paul. For example: Subscribers' Favorite Game: Six Degrees of Separation from Paul. Favorite Question: Did you run into Paul when you visited London recently? (Note: This could mean anybody or any place remotely related to Sir Paul). Most Recent Question: What are your favorite Paul B-sides? Latest Gossip: What's Jane Asher, one of Paul's ex-lovers, doing these days? Serious Inquiry: How long has Paul been a vegetarian? Subscribers Want to Know: Didn't Linda McCartney change her name from Epstein to Eastman? Only a fan can appreciate this question: Where can I find oobu joobu part 3? A real fan list, only the dedicated must subscribe. To subscribe, send an e-mail to email@example.com and type subscribe in the subject line.
SCREWDRIVER--BUILD YOUR OWN PC DISCUSSION LIST
There is something sexy about geek-talk. And that's what you get in this discussion mailing list dedicated to the fine science and art of building an Intel-based PC. Founded by Mark L. Chambers, a.k.a. "The Chief" and author of Building a PC for Dummies, his Screwdrivers list is for experts and novices alike who want do it themselves. In other words, "There are no dumb questions." Postings often concern things like how to find products, what's the cheapest price, or how to get your PC to do something specific, such as create an automatic system shutdown. Although, it's all about creating modern computers, subscribers relish in talking about aspects of older ones like the Commodore 64. How about the TRS 80, otherwise known as "Trash 80"? I can absolutely see the Jolt Cola cans littered about the place.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and type subscribe in the subject line.
GET ORGANIZED DIGEST LIST
Bonnie Rice says her "Get-O-List" supports those who find themselves "organizationally challenged." Okay, you have dust collecting on your bookshelves. You have junk mail piling higher and higher on the living room chair. What are those boxes of Girl Scout cookies doing rotting in the kitchen? Do I smell dirty dishes in the sink? Don't panic, get the list!
You'll find tips and suggestions about how to keep surface clutter down, information about books, or pointers to online resources. One suffering subscriber wrote in about how she meets the challenge of
cluttermania every day: She "de-clutters" an area of her house every morning for half an hour. Though this may sound easy, what if you had 27 boxes of stuff stacked high in your living room, birthday presents that need to get delivered, papers that need to get sorted, and stacks of books growing in the corner? I confess. What about you?
To subscribe, send an e-mail to: email@example.com and type subscribe digest in the subject line.
TOP 7 BUSINESS
If you're short on time and in need of good information about how to improve your business practices, this small, daily newsletter from Christopher M. Knight may be of help. Much like a workbook, the newsletter includes suggestions about how to, for instance, question yourself about Identifying Your Hidden Assets. Here are two of the seven: "1: What asset do you currently have, that others are willing to pay for?" "2: Which relationships do have right now with your clients, which could be leveraged for someone else's benefit?"
Questions for "What Every Business Owner Should Know" include: "1: How big could I really build this thing? What is the absolute maximum upside potential of my market?" "2: What must I do today, this week, this month, this year to be #1 in my niche?"
These Top 7 lists and other side bits Knight sends will motivate you to start thinking about how to get your ideas on paper and off the ground.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many humor e-mail mailing lists out there, but Nancy K. Belle's Weekly Witticisms is full of short jokes that make you chuckle or snicker. Be advised, however, that this list contains many
clean, dirty, sexist, sexy, smart-assed, stupid, and/or religious jokes--but they're always funny. Recent selections have included New Bumper Stickers like "Give me ambiguity or give me something else." and "Ever stop to think and forget to start again?" With enough variety each week to keep you interested, this kind of humor is always "the best medicine."
To subscribe, go to http://www.gracefield.com/wit/index.htm
Patrick Grote publishes CompuNotes, an e-letter covering computers and the Internet via e-mail and his Web site once a week. The newsletter contains occasional pieces of industry gossip, interviews
with industry types; columns of all sorts, links to news items at established sites; and long reviews of games, books, and Web sites written by subscribers from the list. In fact, if you want to write yourself, send an e-mail to Patrick telling him you want to contribute a review. Eventually, the other subscribers get to read your personal perspective of the product where you detail every nuance and bug you discover. Recent game reviews include Total Annihilation and Odyssey; and recent book reviews include Webmastering for Dummies and Visual C++ 5 in 21 Days. The most valuable thing, though, is the honesty and personality in each review and column. Sometimes a fresh perspective is really fresh. To subscribe, visit http://www.compunotes.com
INTEL OWNER'S CLUB
For those of you who own an Intel-based PC (and that's likely most of you), check out this e-mail mailing list newsletter put out by Headquarters Intel, in Mountain View, California. Geoffrey Kleinman and other Team members produce this communique twice each month to cater to your newsy needs and interests. For example, in the most recent publication, we found out about 400-MHz and 350-MHz Pentium II processors for the desktop and laptop and the 100-MHz front side bus that provides the PC with "more performance." Pointers to the appropriate page on their site take you to advanced downloads of games, screen savers, patches, and other toys that put the chip through its paces. You'll find games like "Final Fantasy 7" and "Red Line Racer," a new motorcycle extravaganza, or a page devoted to Quake II tips sent in from readers. The most important phenomenon about this newsletter, however, is the feedback from the people. Kleinman & Co. apparently collects it and sends it to the proper departments. You may have a voice here. To subscribe, go to http://www.intel.com/home/club/index.htm
QUOTE OF THE DAY
There is nothing more powerful or profound than a true observation about the world written in words. If put into the right order, words can be magical, medicinal, and inspirational--and they have the ability to influence the lives of many. The Personal Achievement Quote of the Day, owned by Gene Donohue, provides you with many such words on a daily basis. Some of these were spoken or written by great thinkers such as Plato ("The first and the best victory is to conquer self") or scientists like Albert Einstein ("How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But even without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people."). Others were said by those currently making an impression on the world, like American professor and author Ben Stein ("Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows."). Just how do you better understand the world around you and become your better self? Find some of that wisdom here. To subscribe, go to http://www.gapmtn.com/quote.html
What started as a gathering of friends on San Francisco's Ocean Beach 12 years ago has transformed into a community of thousands who stream into northwestern Nevada and camp out on the Black Rock Desert every Labor Day weekend. Dedicated to the formation of a temporary community where the need to survive in a harsh, desert climate is ever-present and participation in that survival is required, Burning Man has become an established festival that now celebrates community and creativity in the raw. Perhaps you've seen pictures of naked and semi-clothed people dancing around a towering sculpture of a wooden man on fire? Perhaps you've heard about people dressed in wild costumes or stories about intense dust, thunder, and lightning storms? Just who is Danger Ranger, and what are these wacky things called theme camps? This Burning Man discussion list is a highly vocal outlet for people who are, or who want to be, part of the Burning Man Festival experience. Run by Eric Pouyoul for several years now, the list is a discussion of past and upcoming experiences, a place to talk about the emergent infrastructure, a good way to find collaborators on projects and campsites, and a forum for statements
of dissent. For example, one infamous, angry dissenter named "Brother Tony," a Christian minister from Sparks, Nevada, caused great consternation among the group a while back. Apparently, the good minister felt the festival promoted loose morals and devil worship. If you are interested in Burning Man, regardless, this is the list to be on.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to burnman-list-admin@diox.Eng.Sun.COM and type subscribe in the Subject line with your e-mail address in the body of the message.
New print magazines, online 'zines, e-mail mailing lists, and Web sites launch every week, and they all need content. Just who is going to create it? A writer, that's who. A much maligned group (but the smartest), this is the audience to which David Eide directs his monthly publication. In it, Eide includes valuable links to various Web sites, including--this month--one on the practical nature of writing; quotes directly from freelance writer-advocate ASJA Contracts Watch e-mail newsletter (favorably reviewed here) and Richard Thieme's Islands in the Clickstream (also favorably reviewed here). You'll also find pointers to all sorts of smaller and useful
publications or short descriptions of Web sites, like http://rattle.com which Eide calls the "find of the month." Perhaps most helpful are the job listings and information on the prices magazines are paying these days for articles. Not to be excluded, Eide adds a pensive, often romantic, essay on subjects of his choosing at the end of the post. This is a great resource.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to email@example.com and type subscribe in the first line of the body of the message.
GARETH POWELL'S WEEKLY COMPUTER REPORT
Living in Australia doesn't distance Gareth Powell from the computer industry at all. In fact, living that far away from Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley seems to give him the distance he needs to dissect emerging technologies and the computer business worldwide. In one weekly newsletter, for instance, Gareth talked about Windows 98, Rick Beluzzo moving from HP to Silicon Graphics, digital cameras, Larry Ellison, the NC and SAP, Dell selling indirectly rather than directly, Digital cutbacks, Flat screens, IBM Voice Recognition, future figures for Net TV, and more. What's amazing, though, is that Gareth presents the voluminous information clearly. He also takes a position while injecting stories from his own life for a bit of metaphor or entertainment. Overall, Gareth's newsletter, if you have the time (because it's very long), is worth reading if you want real, solid analysis.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be subscribed.
Much to my surprise, this mailing list is packed with obsessive fans of the actress Heidi Hudson-Leick. I could have sworn this would be a list about some car! Well, surprise, surprise. For those not in the know, Ms. Heidi Hudson-Leick plays the evil Callisto--challenger to Xena: Warrior Princess on guess-what television show. Subscribers discuss every detail of her life and portrayal on TV and create plot variations that they would prefer to see as entertainment. Practically everybody has questions about her life, such as, "Did Hudson-Leick travel to India?"; "What is your favorite 'ep' (short for episode)?"; "Is her dog's name Griffen"? You've got to be enamored to call yourself a "Leicky."
To subscribe, send an e-mail to email@example.com and type subscribe hudson-leick in the body of the message.
QUEER STUDIES DISCUSSION LIST
Not for the faint of mind, this is a very serious forum for the political, theoretical, and ethical investigation of advanced sexual themes and practices. Never shunning controversial topics, participants openly discuss, among other things, differences in gay and lesbian lifestyles, challenges that transgender people face,
homoeroticism in the military, bisexuality, definitions of being "queer," homosexual pedophilia, and historical acts of persecution. The latest controversy focuses on lesbian author, JoAnn Loulan, who recently admitted on television that she has been having a two-year relationship with a man. "Is she still a lesbian?" the community
asks. "Does she have the right to identify herself as lesbian as she does? What privileges does she enjoy by this relationship?" Not every mailing list will allow this type of freedom of discussion; a good example came when one subscriber challenged the group directly and said, "Have enjoyed the conversation so far (re: Loulan), but just
wanted to add that it is not surprising that gay people would tend to police the borders of identity and community, as virtually all people do so, as a way of making sense of their world, and of course for all the petty reasons (need to feel powerful, etc.)." A controversial opinion within the community, this participant's view is just one example of the type of critical and engaging, intelligent dialogue you'll find here.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and type subscribe qstudy-l followed by your first and last name in the body of the message.
BIRDFEEDER DIGEST DISCUSSION
Wouldn't you love to stare outside the window at a beautiful bluebird
or shy red cardinal perched on a branch in front of your window,
listening to their songs uplifts your spirits? This discussion mailing
list owned by Christine Tarski is all about attracting wild birds to
your home or garden. Participants share tips about how to feed them,
whether to touch a nest, and how to build birdfeeders, among other
things. Sometimes people share their experiences. One woman wrote, "We
enjoy sitting on the deck watching and listening to them. Sometimes my
yard is just teaming with birds, movement, and song. I guess they
really enjoy my place. I have a pair of doves that will eat out of
To subscribe, visit http://theaviary.com
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL NEWSLETTER
Sometimes, when your heart is open, a short story about someone else's
life or a poem may teach you an important lesson. This mailing list
features well-written short stories about living, working, and loving
others. From best-selling author Mark Victor Hansen, this mailing list
is related to his printed book series of the same name. Each mailing
can be by a different author, though, or by a familiar few. Once you
go to the Web site to sign up, you can select different services such
as text or html, daily or weekend service. Recent stories included one
about a CEO who chose the moral high ground over the bottom line; the
story of Markita, the girl who won a trip around the world for selling
the most Girl Scout Cookies; and a moving poem titled, "If I Had to
Raise My Child Over Again."
To subscribe, visit http://SoupServer.com
FLOSSY'S DOLL NEWSLETTER
Do you know your doll terminology? Do you know someone who collects
traditional and untraditional Barbie dolls, beanie babies, or action
figures? Perhaps they want to trade? If you do, e-mail them about this
mailing list right away because it's a find. In it, you'll discover
crucial facts such as this one: Did you know vintage Barbies have
their dates imprinted on their bottoms and not on their waists, the
latter being the more modern practice? You can also read a featured
articled about doll books or an article about dolls in horror
literature. Here, author Ellen M. Tsagaris mentions that Freud wrote
an essay titled, "The Uncanny" about the "compulsion of associating
dolls with dead bodies" and then launches into Frankenstein and other
horror films. She certainly had a good time with that piece. But,
don't worry--there are also many tips about care, comments, and
questions from readers about collector dolls and lots more.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to email@example.com and type
in the subject line.