Listserv

The University of Connecticut Department of Geography has set up a LISTSERV for the AAG Economic Geography Specialty Group to foster professional communication among its members.

To Join the LISTSERV

1) Send an email message to listserv@listserv.uconn.edu. In the body of the email message type only the following command

SUBSCRIBE ECONOMICGEOGRAPHY-L

2) A few seconds later you will get back an email message with directions to reply to the message. Follow the directions and you will be automatically signed up. This email message also contains directions on how to use LISTSERV. Keep this message for your information.

Background Information

LISTSERV(R) is a system that makes it possible to create, manage and control electronic “mailing lists” on your corporate network or on the Internet. Since its inception in 1986 for IBM mainframes on the BITNET academic network, LISTSERV has been continually improved and expanded to become the predominant system in use today. The first version was written in 1986 by Eric Thomas, now L-Soft’s Manager of Technical Services, under the name Revised LISTSERV. Nowadays it is a commercial product, distributed by L-Soft international, Inc. (http://www.lsoft.com). LISTSERV is always spelled in upper case, and is a registered trademark licensed to L-Soft international, Inc. You can of course type the name in lower case when sending commands to LISTSERV, but you should avoid doing that when writing to people as it can be confusing. For instance, some people (incorrectly) say “a listserv” when they really mean “a mailing list”, as in “I am looking for a listserv on water skiing”. This is about as appropriate as saying “I am looking for a wordprocessor on the Stockholm syndrome”, when what you really mean is that you are looking for a paper or thesis on that syndrome, presumably written with a word processor. And, of course, some technical people will think you are actually looking for a word processor, and send you a lot of irrelevant technical information. Another common misconception is that “listserv” is a generic English word, like “electronic”. Some people say “a listserv list” whether the list is a “real” LISTSERV list or a list managed by a totally different and incompatible mailing list manager. This is confusing because people will then think the list is managed by LISTSERV, and assume that certain functions are available and that commands are sent in a certain way. For instance, they may assume they can join the list without having to know where it is located (this will be explained later on), and complain that it does not work. Now, this may sound like nit-picking and an unfair imposition on the memory of non-technical users, but on the other hand people have no trouble remembering that “a Mac” is not an acceptable way to refer to a PC. LISTSERV is a registered trademark licensed exclusively to L-Soft international, Inc., as the name of its mailing list processor product and the term should not be used generically.

A mailing list is a list of people’s names and addresses that is used to send certain messages or announcements to many people at once, who are usually expected to share a common interest in the contents of the message — just like in the real world. However, unlike in the real world, you can usually join and leave the list as you see fit, so there is a good chance that you will actually find at least some of the messages interesting. In fact, electronic mailing lists are more like clubs or magazines than a “real world” mailing list. A mailing list is managed by a list owner (or sometimes several owners for large lists). The list owner is the person with formal responsibility for the operation of the list — a kind of referee, if you want. The list owner defines the list’s charter and policy, i.e. what the list is about and what are the general rules all subscribers must accept in order to be allowed to join the list. The list owner is also responsible for all administrative matters and for answering questions from the list subscribers.

Advertisements