MAILING LISTS
WHAT ARE THEY?


  1. A Word About Mail Lists
    (Hints, general guidelines, do's and don'ts, etc.)
  2. What is a mail list?
  3. What types (kinds) of lists are available?
  4. What is a closed list? An open list?
  5. Are there other mail lists and mail list servers available?
  6. Is there a list for the XXXXXX surname?
  7. What is the RootsWeb Review and why am I getting it?









 

A WORD ABOUT MAIL LISTS (HINTS, GENERAL GUIDELINES, DO'S AND DON'TS, ETC.)

RootsWeb hosts more than 23,000 genealogical and surname mail lists. The Mail List Index, which lists all of RootsWeb's mail lists, is at http://lists.rootsweb.com/

RootsWeb uses a software program called Smart List to create, maintain, and route mail to it's collective lists. It is fairly sophisticated software but does have some quirky features about it. One of the frustrating aspects of this software is the fact that requests to the computer must be formatted so the computer will understand. Some messages which seem logical to you may not be understood by the software. To prevent frustration on the part of the many thousands of mail list users, please follow the instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing very carefully and read the other frequently asked questions listed.


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WHAT IS A MAIL LIST?

A mailing list is a way of forwarding messages to others who are interested in the same genealogical research as you. You send your message to the list and it is sent to everyone who has subscribed to that list. And everything that anyone else sends to the list will be sent to you. It is a great way to find others who are researching in the same area or are researching the same surname.

A mail list does not have an address that you can go to. It is not a place on the Internet. It only forwards email messages. It will have an address something like: LISTNAME@rootsweb.com

A website will have an address that starts with "http://" or "www."


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WHAT TYPES (KINDS) OF LISTS ARE AVAILABLE?

There are different types of lists which cover different interests such as surnames, states, groups of states, ethnic interests, software, and general interest to name a few. There are structured research lists, and chatty fun lists, and everything in between.

Lists come in Digest and Mail form, and the biggest lists also have an Index form. In most cases, the -L signifies list mode (you will receive a copy of every message posted to the list as a single email) and the -D signifies digest mode (you receive groups of messages every day or so, depending on how busy the list is).


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WHAT IS A CLOSED LIST? AN OPEN LIST?

A closed list means that you must be a subscriber to the list before you can post. An open list means anyone can post. This option is left up to the list administrator. Having a closed list helps to prevent spam from being sent out on a list, and for this reason most lists at RootsWeb are now closed. Check with the list administrator to find out whether the list is open or closed.


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ARE THERE OTHER MAIL LISTS AND MAIL LIST SERVERS AVAILABLE?

Yes. There are many mail lists and mail list servers on the Internet. RootsWeb lists can be seen at: http://lists.rootsweb.com/. To see comprehensive listings of RootsWeb and Non-RootsWeb servers go to Cyndi's List: http://www.CyndisList.com or to John Fuller's List: http://www.rootsweb.com/~jfuller/.


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IS THERE A LIST FOR THE XXXXXX SURNAME?

Trying to find a surname list? Don't know which of variant spellings it might be listed under? This tool finds sound-alike matches for a given surname from among RootsWeb's thousands of surname lists. Give it a try! http://lists.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/findlist.pl

If you can't find a list for your surname, consider becoming a list administrator and start one of your own. It is not difficult.


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WHAT IS THE ROOTSWEB REVIEW AND WHY AM I GETTING IT?

In June 1998, the newsletter was started for passing on information to all RootsWeb users. Instructions for unsubscribing are included in the newsletter, though we hope you will remain on the list. Posts will be weekly and will contain interesting and useful information about RootsWeb.


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