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E-mail Mailing Lists

If you’re searching for a slightly more private online discussion venue, you should take a look at an e-mail mailing list. There are tens of thousands of these special-interest lists, which are run by list managers who encourage discussion and debate on selected topics. For example, if you’re interested in Marilyn Monroe, you can subscribe to a Marilyn Monroe mailing list; if you’re interested in parish nursing, subscribe to one of the parish nursing mailing lists.

E-mail mailing lists are similar to Usenet newsgroups in that they both serve as gathering places for people with similar interests. The main difference is that mailing lists tend to be a little more organized and to focus on more specific topics, whereas newsgroups are open forums in which anyone can participate. Most mailing lists have fewer members than similar newsgroups because mailing lists must be moderated by a single individual—and membership is often limited. (Newsgroups, as most people discover quite quickly, don’t have much moderation at all!) The result, typically, is that a mailing list is a more focused forum with less extraneous “noise” from off-topic posts.


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