Mailing Lists Made Simple
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If you're thinking of starting an e-newsletter or an Internet mailing list, there are several options for you in terms of setting one up.
First, understand that an e-newsletter is called an "announce only" or "announcement" list where only you can publish and distribute to all of the mailing list subscribers. A regular Internet mailing list where people subscribe then talk amongst themselves is called a "discussion list."
You can opt for a "moderated" or "unmoderated" list. Moderated means all messages go to you first for approval before being sent out to all subscribers. Unmoderated means anyone who subscribes can post to the list and their message will be seen by all.
You can talk to your Internet service provider and find out if it offers common mailing list software such as Majordomo or Listserv. Having your ISP manage the technical setup and maintenance could be a great advantage. Or go to sites like eGroups.com or Topica.com, which allow you to open up a free account with them and go through a simple setup process.
Whichever way you go, you should have a dedicated "host" or "moderator" for your list to maintain the publishing of the e-newsletter or the discussion of the group.
Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.